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Toddlers

Living from the Laundry Basket

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Laundry is going to be the death of me. Okay, so that might be a little bit dramatic, and very much a first world problem. But, I know some of you other moms can relate with me on this! I hope I’m not alone in this!

 

My family lives from the laundry basket! We do the laundry. As in, we wash the clothes. But getting it put away? That’s another story. Sometimes, it doesn’t get put away. We simply pick our clothes out of the pile each day deciding last minute if we have time to iron it. If not, it just goes back in the pile and we pick something else out. The pile is so BIG, so overwhelming. The thought of spending an entire hour folding clothes is enough to make us leave it for another day.

 

Here’s the other problem. Once you do the laundry, there is always more to be done. It is NEVER. ENDING. Why put away all the clothes when there will just be a new pile to put away the next day? Ahh!

 

Please Lord, encourage my husband to do the laundry today. I pray this prayer a lot, and I know he prays it about me too. When one of us finally does fold the laundry it’s like we deserve some kind of award or something. I folded the laundry today! What a great accomplishment. Oh, wait, there’s another load to be done now.

 

I will soon be a stay at home mom and I know the laundry duty will be on me. So, I decided I need to have a plan with laundry that will actually work for me! Here’s are my goals.

 

Let me just note here that I am very much of a Type B personality. I know you Type A people are laughing at me that I am not already doing this but hey, I’m trying my best!

Wash Less

We wash SO. MANY. CLOTHES. Pajamas? Put them in the wash. Towels? Wash them. Got a little dirt on your shirt? Take it off and wash it. Played outside today? Change your clothes for nap time and again when you wake up. Clothes on the floor for no reason? Put them in too.

No longer. My new plan here is to wash less. If my daughter wore something for half a day and it isn’t filthy? It’s going back in the drawer. If she tries on three outfits in the morning I will use it as an opportunity to teach her how to fold them and put them back in the drawer. My kids will wear the same pajamas more than once unless they get dirty. I am determined to WASH LESS.

Going along with this idea, I also want to have less. I love the idea of a capsule wardrobe which you can read more about over at Pinch of Yum.

 

Wash More Often

My next goal is to wash clothes more often. Instead of doing a huge load every week, I plan to do a small load every day or every other day. I know you may be thinking, what a waste of water! But, we probably have enough laundry to do a small load each day using less water in each load. This way I will have a smaller load to fold and put away. My hope is that with smaller loads, it won’t be as intimidating and I can fold it and put it away in a timely manner.

Which brings me to my next goal.

 

Fold and Put Away Immediately

My next goal is to fold and put away the clothes right as they get done in the dryer. Not only will this prevent the clothes from getting wrinkled but I won’t have to worry about setting aside an hour or more to fold clothes. I also won’t have to worry about growing piles of clothes laying around the house.

Change My Mindset

I know I will never truly enjoy doing laundry, but I also know I need to change my mindset. Instead of dreading laundry and putting it off as long as possible, I am looking at it as a challenge to get done quickly. If I keep with my schedule, it shouldn’t be as dreadful.

 

 

 

                    

 

 

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Keeping a Clean and Organized House when you Have a Toddler

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If you have toddlers, chances are you’ve wondered how to keep your house clean. I know the feeling. You set out to clean the whole house top to bottom while the kids occupy themselves. While In reality, as you clean, your kids are pulling things out of cabinets, drawers, and tubs until you can’t see the floor anymore. The house ends up messier than it was when you started cleaning. All of the time you spent cleaning was time you could have been spending with your kids.

Yes, I know the feeling all too well. If you know me, you know my house is rarely completely clean and I am constantly feeling behind on housework. So, I decided to implement a few things around the house to help keep the mess under control. Some things I have already done, and some I plan to do in the near future so that I can stay sane!

 

 

Designate toys to one area of the house.

In our house, we have done our best to keep the toys in the basement. Obviously, toys make their way upstairs all of the time, but we do our best. This way, the rest of the house appears clean and organized. If people come over the mess is downstairs where nobody can see it.

 

Organize the toys into tubs and put them out of reach.

I did this last summer and it has made all the difference. I bought these tubs and these tubs and sorted all of the toys by category. I chose to put the dolls together, kitchen toys together, etc…but you could also organize them into tubs by putting a few dolls, a few kitchen toys, and a few balls in each tub so you can pull out a tub and have a variety of toys to play with. Then when the kids are done playing, they have to put one tub away before getting out another one. We keep our toy tubs in our storage room, but you could also put them on a shelf, or in the garage. The important thing is that they aren’t just strewn about the house. Since doing this, I have also noticed that my kids engage better. Rather than just pulling EVERYTHING out and not really playing, they have a few toys that they are really playing with.

 

         

Put locks on all of the cabinets and drawers.

This is one thing I plan on doing soon. I used to think it was pointless but as my kiddos get older, I realize how necessary they really are! We put locks on some cabinets, but not all of them. The kids know which ones they can get into on their own and do so frequently. Once they open one it only takes a few seconds to pull everything out onto the floor. It doesn’t usually take long to clean up but it is another thing to clean. Putting locks on the cabinets and drawers that the kids frequent can save you a lot of time.

 

     

Close the doors to the bedrooms in your house.

Another way to keep the kids from making messes unnecessarily is to close the doors to rooms in the house. This will keep them confined to certain areas of the house, thus keeping the mess confined as well.

Throw out broken toys and knick-knacks that have no purpose.

My biggest pet-peeve is finding little knick-knacks all around the house. Little parts that go to things, toys that don’t work or are broken, and things that are not in their place. Make sure everything has a place to go back to and if it doesn’t, get rid of it. It will also help the kids to know where to put things if everything has a place.

Keep the toys to a minimum.

Go through your kids toys during nap time. Give away or sell any toys that are no longer age appropriate for your kids. If you plan on having more kids, put them in storage for later. Less stuff=less mess. Also, if your kids are anything like mine, they are more fascinated by the rocks in the backyard than they are by toys.

Make a cleaning schedule.

Make a nap time cleaning schedule. Pick one thing to clean each day while the kids nap and write it down. It might look different each week, but having a plan will save you having to think of what needs to be done. There might be things you need to do each day like washing dishes. Figure out the best time to do these tasks and make a habit of doing it at the same time each day.

Clean up after each play time.

Start now teaching your kids to clean up each time to transition to something new. After doing this every day, it will become more of a habit. Of course as toddlers they won’t be the best at it, but at least you are in the routine of doing it and they are learning it as well. Cleaning up small messes throughout the day is much easier than taking an hour to clean up everything at the end of the day.

 

Keep the kids occupied.

If you do plan to do any cleaning while the kids are awake, give them something to play with that will keep their attention for a while. My go-to is Legos. My daughter sits at the kitchen table and plays with them so the mess is mostly contained. Then I have a good 30 minutes to clean if I need to.

Do a quick clean each night.

After the kids go to bed, take 30 minutes to power clean the house. Think about what needs to be done the most and get it done. Don’t worry about cleaning the entire house at this time. Just enough that you won’t have anxiety about it in the morning.

 

Most of all, you are making precious memories by playing with your children. Don’t let your anxiety about a messy house get in the way of that. Hopefully these tips will give you more time with your kids and less time cleaning. Remember that this is just a phase of life. A messy house isn’t the worst thing.  Soon, there won’t be toys to pick up anymore. While you might feel like you are going insane right now, someday you’ll miss this phase of life. Enjoy it while you can and try not to worry about the state of your house.

Other products I love and/or want:

   

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5 Ways to Relax When you are a Busy Mom Strapped for Time

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My day consists of working full time as a preschool teacher but it doesn’t stop there. I am also a wife, a mom of two, and a new blogger. Not to mention I try to live a healthy lifestyle which can also be time consuming. Most nights I am asleep by 12 AM or later and up at 5:30 AM. I try to catch a little time to breathe after work before coming home to the kids. By the time the they go down, I am too tired to do anything for myself.

Sound familiar? Well, I decided to put together a list with links of quick and practical, yet relaxing ideas to do when you are strapped for time but in desperate need of some ME time. This post may contain affiliate links. If you purchase something from one of these links I get a small fee. Don’t worry though, I only recommend things I use and love.

Sit down with a nice cup of coffee. My absolute favorite way to relax is to sit down with a homemade mocha. One thing I look forward to every Saturday morning is actually sitting down to drink my coffee while the kids play. My husband got me this espresso machine for Christmas a few years ago. It has been the best gift EVER! I no longer have to go to Starbucks to get a fancy espresso drink. So, while I constantly drink coffee to survive, there is just something relaxing about actually sitting down and ENJOYING that cup of coffee.

 

Take a hot bath. A hot bath is always a great way to unwind after a long day. Even better add some essential oils or Epsom salts to relieve stress. Not only does it give you time to breathe and think, but you come out feeling like a new person.

 

Get some exercise. I know you might be thinking, exercise is not relaxing. However, if you are super stressed, a quick run or brisk walk can be just what you need to get your blood flowing to regain some energy. It is a healthy way to relieve stress and it leaves you feeling refreshed.

 

Read a book. Reading a good book is a great way to unwind before you go to sleep. I recently read The Nightingale and For the Love LOVED them both!  You can’t go wrong with either!

 

Just go to bed early. If you really don’t have the energy to do something for yourself, sometimes the best thing you can do is just go to bed early. After a full night’s sleep, you may just feel much better.

 

I am realizing that my health and sanity is kinda important to function as a teacher, mom, wife, and blogger. My goal is to do at least 2 of these things each day. What do you to to unwind, relieve stress, or just relax? Leave a comment and let us know your ideas!

 

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