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New Organizer

I depend more on my organizer than my phone! It is used daily and contains every event and note I need to live out daily activities. My current organizer’s life has come to an end and needed to replace one. After searching a few weeks and waiting 3 more weeks for it to arrive, it is finally here and I’m not completely happy ūüė¶

First impression is that it is bigger/heavier than expected so I will always have to carry a larger purse to accomidate its size & weight. I love the layout of this organizer and the christian quotes. It has everything but a homeschooling section on it that I would need.

WHY is this organizer through the months Aug-Dec2012?? What are u suppose to do from Jan.-Aug of 2013 until the next edition comes out from Aug.-Dec2014. Does that make any sense?? Shouldn’t it begin and end at the same months so that people could continue to repurchase the same planner?

I don’t like the large coils or cover style too much, it seems a bit old-fashioned¬†but def. nicer than its previous¬†style. I don’t like that it does not have a band that wraps around it so that it will not open accidentally or get pages indented. I don’t think I would purchase this again unless they revamp the packaging. If anyone knows of an awesome planner/organizer please let me know!

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Kitchen Cabinets & Organization

As I was looking through my cabinets, I realized just how pretty they are and hope to provide someone else ideas. I have a dinner set for 8 people packed away in the garage. We purchased this lovely green dinner set for four people from Walmart. We don’t have a dishwasher, so we hardly¬†bring out the “extras” only to burden me with lack of space & dishwashing! I place smaller misc. things in the green baskets all the way on the top so¬†they flow over the self or end it being placed somewhere they don’t belongs ūüôā

In this second cabinet, I place canned goods, mostly all organic. Yet I try not to consume too many canned goods because of the aluminum leakage,bpa¬†and other toxins leached into the food. YUCK! But how could you deny such a lovely convenience of opening a can and easily consuming it without any preparation what so ever? Sometimes I justify eating canned goods by saying “it’s better than fast food” lol.

Yet I’m only fooling myself and potentially¬†putting my son’s health at risk consuming¬†foods in these packages. Besides have you ever seen how much sodium they load in these cans??? It’s crazy. For refried¬†beans had 35% sodium p/serving, times 3 per can equals¬†= 75% daily intake of sodium. Now how much is that really when you convert it to a young child? Not to mention you still have to eat other meals in the day that contain their own sodium levels. I get sick to my stomach thinking about it. Perhaps that’s why I feel so inflated? Big belly = too much salt? Who knows, maybe there’s truth¬†to it? But aren’t¬†my kitchen¬†cabinets pretty? ūüôā And yes, they always look like this in the inside, it actually takes very little effort to keep it this way once you organized it the way you want things to be. Cheers!

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How to teach your toddler to do chores

I can’t remember where I got this article from but it’s worth sharing. Assigning chores to your toddler might well seem like a chore in itself. After all, a 2-year-old isn’t going to be the neatest or most efficient worker. But giving your toddler even the tiniest measure of responsibility now will pay off later by laying the groundwork for future good habits. Plus, having a chore to do makes your child feel like part of the family, someone whose contribution is valued. When assigning chores, keep these pointers in mind:

Pick tasks that are appropriate to your child’s age. Be sure to choose simple, straightforward jobs, since your toddler simply doesn’t have the cognitive ability yet to break down a large project into its components. Tell him to go clean his room, for instance, and you’re likely to be met with a blank stare. But he could be responsible for one part of the job, such as putting his clothes in the laundry basket or helping you pick up all his toys. And define chores loosely: putting his bowl and spoon on the table before dinner could constitute a chore, as could putting his toothbrush back in the holder.

Toddlers want to be just like Mom and Dad, so capitalize on your power as a role model and let your child work alongside you as an assistant. Hand him a sponge while you’re cleaning the kitchen and let him wipe off the table. You’ll find him quite willing ‚ÄĒ even thrilled ‚ÄĒ to be called on to help.

Keep instructions low-key. Before your child takes on a chore, demonstrate it for him, talking it through as you go. For example, you might show him how you sort light and dark clothing into different piles before you wash it. Remember, at this age, chores shouldn’t be so complicated that they require a lengthy explanation. Anything that takes more than a minute to explain is probably too difficult for your toddler to do anyway.

Stand back. When your toddler first tries a task on his own, be patient. Jumping in too quickly to lend a hand gives him the message that you don’t think he’s capable. And never belittle his efforts. If you want to offer a suggestion, do it kindly: Instead of saying “No, that’s not right,” try “You’re doing a great job sorting laundry. I like to put the brown socks in with dark clothes, though, since they’re a darker color.”

Make helping a habit. Get everyone into a routine by doing chores at about the same time every day. For instance, your toddler’s jobs might be to put his pajamas away in the morning and pick up his toys every evening before bed. You also might try designating a particular day of the week as cleaning day and giving your toddler a bigger job, such as helping with dusting or sweeping.

It helps to post a list of household chores and who has to do them. This way your child learns that everyone in the family contributes to the smooth running of the household. Since your child won’t be reading for a few years yet, look for a ready-made chore chart that uses symbols instead of words to represent chores (a broom for sweeping, a dish and dishtowel for dishwashing). A star or sticker next to a completed chore is an ample reward, along with plenty of praise for a job well done. And remember to adjust your child’s chores as he grows.

Whistle while you work. Getting to spend more time with you is one of the biggest incentives for your child to do chores, so don’t send him off to work alone until he’s older and more experienced. Even if his job is to pick up the Legos in his room, stay nearby and chat with him, or join in with your own task. He’ll appreciate your company, and you can encourage him if he loses his focus. Make his job easier by providing easy, accessible storage for his playthings such as clear plastic bins for toys.

Chances are your child will think a job like sweeping is actually fun ‚ÄĒ especially if he has his own child-size broom and dust pan. So if you happen to view housekeeping as drudgery, don’t let on. Make it a race (“Let’s see who can get their toys into the box first”) or sing silly songs together.

Be sure to tell your child what a great job he’s doing and remind him how much he’s helping you out. You can also point out the benefits of his work; if he’s helping you wipe the kitchen table, you might say something like “Now it will be clean when we sit down for dinner.” This gives him a sense of accomplishment and shows him just how significant his contributions are.

Don’t expect perfection. No child is going to perform every chore willingly every time ‚ÄĒ and certainly not a 2- or 3-year-old! Just like grownups, kids have other things they’d rather do besides housework. If you need to issue a reminder, try to be friendly and matter-of-fact. Nagging almost never works. Instead, simply say, “It’s time to put away your toys. Then we can read your bedtime story.” Part of the purpose of having chores is to develop a sense of initiative in your child, so try not to micro-manage. Recognize that the task won’t be done perfectly at this age ‚ÄĒ and it doesn’t need to be.

And above all, keep in mind that your child has a long, long time to learn to do chores. If it takes a few months for him to get in the hang of helping out, that’s okay. It’s a skill he can use for the rest of his life.

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Toy Organization

We bought an amazing storage unit $200 from Ikea and some lovely green totes $4¬†to hold everything nice and neat! I combined tote shelves with two open display shelves. There isn’t labeling on every tote yet, I’m still working on it! You can click on any image to enlarge it.

This is his playroom/guest room/office.

The two shelves on the bottom are specially for him to reach and are toys he often plays with in categories of Train Set, Transportation, People/Animals/Farm, Balls/Stacking, Misc./Electronic.

Some of his other toys are in larger green bins in his bedroom upstairs.

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Baskets for Organization

Applying some of Montessori principles, I love the natural basket vs plastic idea. I have four main baskets, one for pretend play clothes, one for music instruments, one for reading books, and one for art supplies. You can click any photo to enlarge it.

This is the pretend play basket that is currently holding mainly his hats and he does have dress-up outfits of doctor, police-officer, skeleton(great for learning bones), misc.

The music basket. I purchased most of the items separately from Toys-r-us & KindermusiK.

This is his main art/writing desk & he has a basket of supplies underneath.

Reading basket in the main floor bathroom where he goes potty and is read to.