Tag Archive | chores

Saturday Project: Spring Forward

thDon’t forget that this weekend is the time to “Spring Forward” for most of us in the USA. Set your clocks ahead one hour before you go to bed tonight! This is also a great time of year to do some tasks that don’t get done regularly.

Check batteries in all smoke detectors. If you do not have a battery charge tester, replace all the batteries. Also, do a fire and tornado drill with the family. Be sure that everyone knows where to meet, and multiple ways out of the house from every room, especially the kids bedrooms.

Take this time to clean your bathroom vent fans and air returns. The covers often build up dust and grease, which can restrict their performance.

Check all your furnace filters and replace if needed. Make a note in your calendar to do this every month.

Finally, clean out your dryer lint. Even if you are emptying your lint trap every load, there is still lint clogging up your dryer. You can find instructional videos on YouTube for opening your dryer and really cleaning all the lint out. Just google your make and model and how to videos. Also, clean or change the vent hose than runs from your dryer to the wall. Get as much lint as possible out of the piping from the wall to the outside air release. You can do that from both the wall side and from outside your house. You can extend your vacuum hose by securely taping a wrapping paper tube (or several) to the end of the hose. Just make sure you use heavy-duty duct tape so that you don’t lose the hose extension in your wall.

The good news for many of us buried under snow or dealing with colder than normal temperatures is that this clock change means that Spring cannot be too far behind! Enjoy your extra morning vitamin D and sunshine!

 

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Juggling It All

daily choresDo you ever feel like the woman in the cartoon? I certainly do, often on a daily basis!

The one question I get asked most often is “How do you do it?” At the heart of this question isn’t really the need for information about how I do something, but the idea of comparing what someone sees as my “perfect” way to their way that looks chaotic, messy, or out-of-control to them.  Comparing yourself, your family, your style to anyone else’s is immediately setting yourself up for failure because you are not them and because what they present to you on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, etc is only the perfect-looking version of their life that they have decided to release to the public.

Let me start by saying nothing I suggest works perfectly, even in my house. There are days when assignments don’t get finished, chores are left half-complete, people yell, toys get left out, and on and on…

The first key to juggling it all, holding it all together, is to realize I cannot hold it all together. “There but for the grace of God, go I” rings true in our home. If we didn’t base our lives of fundamental guiding Biblical principles and a relationship with Jesus, everything would absolutely fall apart into total chaos and confusion, and even with that it still does some days! But even with these basic principles guiding our family, we still mess up. Systems in place to help us still fail because we are human, and at our core we are imperfect.

The second key to juggling it all is to recognize that your family, your personality, your season of life, is different from anyone else’s. You cannot copy exactly what another family does. Even if you did everything exactly as I have posted, your results will be different from any other person’s because you and your family are unique. Whether chores or homeschooling, finances or cooking, you must pick and choose what works for your family and throw out the rest. Try my suggestions. If they work, great! If they don’t, try something else. If you have found something that works well, share your ideas with the rest of us. The idea is not for you to follow everything I say to do, but for us to work together to come up with ideas that we can all use to help manage our families.

As wives and moms, we are all over-worked, under-paid, and often under-appreciated. Part of that goes with the job, but part of that we bring on ourselves by comparing our worst to the social-media best image of our peers.

Things You Should Clean, But Probably Don’t

cleaning crazyMost of us get the basics of cleaning…kitchen, bathrooms, dusting, floors. (For more on organizing your cleaning routine check out the daily chore list or the electronic version.) But, even when you keep these things current in your cleaning routine, you may be missing some of the germiest (that’s a word, right?) places in your home. Here are a few things you should be cleaning regularly and some tips for cleaning.

Tip – Get the kids involved! Race to see who can get finished first. Ask them to come up with things they think need cleaned that you don’t regularly do.

1. Baseboards and trim – Many of us dust the furniture and blinds, but what about the baseboards and trim? Consider using a dryer sheet to pick up the dust and help repel future dust.

2. Phones – Home and cell phones get very germy and dirty. Remove protective cases and clean everything with a disinfectant wipe or a vinegar & water solution (1:1). Do not use a wet cloth, just damp and rung out!

3. Remotes & Game Controllers –  same procedure as phones – wipe them down regularly

4. Light switches,  doorknobs, and locks – these come in contact with a lot of hands. Disinfect them regularly.

5. Drawer pulls – whether on cabinets or dressers, be sure to wipe them down regularly. We often do this in kitchens & bathrooms, but forget about dressers in bedrooms.

6. Vacuum Cleaner – Yes, clean the cleaner. Take the time once a quarter to dust off and clean up your vacuum, including washing the air filter (which can often be done in the dishwasher).

Jobs for Hire

kids chores clipartAround our house we have many assigned chores. We use MyJobChart.com to keep track of everyone’s responsibility charts and the kids are expected to do all their work every day. However, there are often some jobs that come up that are not scheduled and don’t have to be done weekly. For example, we don’t need to rake leaves or pick up sticks out of the yard every week. When these jobs come up, some of the time the kids are expected to help without pay simply because they are part of the family. But there are other jobs that we are willing pay the kids to do. For example, the baseboards need to be dusted/wiped down about once a month. I hate doing this chore and am more than willing to pay the kiddos to do it.

Enter Extra Job Cards! These can printed and then the job is posted on the corkboard attached to our family calendar. The first child to claim the job and do it well gets paid.

TIP: If you use MyJobChart.com extra jobs can also be added there. We have found that the cards get more attention. We also add the job to the children’s online profiles and that is how the actual pay is given.

TIP: Print on and laminate! You have an instant dry-erase card that you can use over and over.

DIY Bleach Gel

IMG_2672_copyI love portable stain treatments and removers because we are always on the go and we are messy. However, I very much dislike the cost and the added chemicals that we don’t need. Simple solutions that do the job well are my choice. So I was very happy to stumble acrossMeAndMyDIY.com and their instructions for making your own gel bleach pen. All you need is a cleaned-out school glue bottle (or something similar), corn starch, and bleach. Follow the easy instructions to make your own bleach gel!

Happy New Year!

new school year.001Ok, it isn’t really a new year, but back to school always feels like that chance to start over, much more so to me than January 1 actually. This year is the first year our kids are not actually starting a new grade in the fall (we “leveled up” in April, deciding to let the kids progress when they were ready and not holding them back until fall). Even with that, because my husband is a teacher, this time of year seems like a good point to hit “reset”!

Any major changes to chores or responsibilities are done at this time of year. We reevaluate kids responsibilities and privileges. We make decisions about what extra curricular, church, and social activities we will focus on this academic year. Each kid makes goals for the next 12 months.

This time of year is also a great time to do a whole home reset. If you haven’t, consider creating a family calendar.  Set up you home inventory. Do a house clearing out and cleaning from top to bottom.

Happy New (school) Year!

Homemade Glass & Whiteboard Cleaner

Since we home school our dining room has not one, but two whiteboard. Because our youngest is 4 we have hand, nose – even an ear – print on everything under 4 feet high, especially windows and glass doors. Because of this I clean boards and glass a lot. Here is a great recipe for making your own glass & whiteboard cleaner: Our Home School Space

1/4 white vinegar

2 tbsp rubbing alcohol

That’s it! You can put this in a spray bottle or just pour some out on a cloth to clean glass & whiteboards.