Penny Pinching Peach


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Cleaning House With Kiddos

Cleaning With Kiddos

Cleaning With Kiddos

Does anyone else ever feel like cleaning in a house of small children is like trying to empty a swimming pool with a teaspoon? You may make a little progress eventually, but they will quickly fill any space you empty and mess any place you wipe and dump out anything you put away and…well, you get the point! I know that you can teach them to clean up and put away- and I do that- but it’s still a never ending task, and it takes alot of my energy to make sure my little ones actually follow through with their jobs. I have to get creative for them to care about keeping up with anything, and that’s pretty important because Mommy can’t do it all well alone.
One trick that works pretty well with my children is that if you don’t pick it up, you lose it. If I ask my kids to clean up and they don’t, I give them warning that next time I say something will be while taking a toy. If it still doesn’t get done, I grab a toy they actually like (I’ve learned to not grab comfort objects or things they aren’t too fond of) and put it away from them. If they still don’t clean up, I take two…and it goes on from there. To earn back ONE toy, they have to clean up immediately the following clean-up session without argument or complaint. This is probably the most effective method for my independent minded oldest. She frequently doesn’t mind alot of punishments I can dole out, loves to argue, and lives to win. Since I won’t fuss with her, just say “You chose to lose a toy/two toys/three toys by not cleaning up when I asked” and refuse to engage, it’s not fun for her, and she hates losing things she loves. I’ve rarely had to go beyond two toys, even with her. 🙂
I also try to make it more fun for them to help clean up. They love it when we sing the cleanup song while we work. They really enjoy it when I make cleaning up a race! I’ll say “Can you pick up all of your toys before I can finish dishes? I’m pretty fast!” or “How many books can you put up before this song stops playing?” or “Do you think you can finish washing your fingerprints off the window before I can finish cleaning the bathroom?”. Sometimes I’ll offer a reward if they get it all done or if they finish in a certain time frame. These rewards are usually something like a snack or an extra book to be read during story time or playing with playdough or something. Almost anything can be fun for kids if you make it into a game.
What are some tricks you have for cleaning up with kiddos?

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Decluttering My Closet

The Great Closet Purge

The Great Closet Purge

My closet is the bottomless of abyss, a cavern full of miscellaneous items, gifts bought ahead of time and mountains of clothing that mocks me with the tiny sizes and even more youthful styles worn by my mother’s daughter who was not yet my children’s mother. It’s one of those things that makes me anxious to even think of tackling, but today I got the nerve up to try yet again. This time, however, I’m in massive purge and pack mode, since we are getting ready for a major move and I don’t want to carry all the clutter with us. I haven’t the slightest illusion that we won’t still have too much stuff with us. I am just determined to make sure not to take all of the things I haven’t used or worn in forever, because it is literally dead weight that steals my joy by making it impossible to keep my home looking neat. First on the list is probably my worst personal offense- my clothing!

If you share my struggle with clutter, especially clothing, maybe my mad methods will help you out (or at least inspire you that a fellow clutterbug was able to get rid of so much junk), so I thought I’d share. If I can clear things out, ANYONE can! (Well, I can’t speak for actual hoarders. I’m not quite there….yet!)

My criteria for getting rid of clothing? If I haven’t worn it since my nearly three year old son was born, it’s gotta go. There are very few exceptions to this. I made an exception for a dress my mom personally made me a patchwork bottom for, because it’s still beautiful and oh-so-sentimental. Also, obviously I haven’t worn my wedding dress, but I’m not going THAT far in my purging!!

What are the categories for clothing that I am no longer keeping? Throw away, thrift store, and consignment. Throw away is for the clothing with more than slight stains, tears, etc. that I can’t easily repurpose into rags or something I can use right now. (If you do alot of DIY and are not drowning in your stuff like I am, you can think alot more creatively with this part. I’m overwhelmed, so it is gone, gone, gone!) Thrift store is for items that are still good, but may be very slightly stained or totally outdated. Consignment is for items that are in good condition and either timeless or stylish, because I can use them to get things my kids will be needing. The photo doesn’t include the two bags of thrift store donations I have headed on out. 🙂

How in the world am I sorting the clothing I am keeping? Well, ordinarily I’d divide them by season and put up the out of season ones. However, since I’m having a new baby this summer and plan to breastfeed her, I’m doing things a lot differently. I got a huge storage tub and filled it up with clothing I can’t wear either while pregnant or during the early days as a breastfeeding mom who will not only need to be able to access aforementioned breasts to feed my precious baby girl, but whose body is most certainly not going to be back to normal for the remainder of warm weather. All of the clothing that I believe that I can wear between now and cool weather I kept out. It’s not as complicated as it sounds, since this is my third child and I know exactly which clothing is too aggravating to try nursing a baby while wearing. LOL

Anyone else purging that cluttered mess of clothing in the closet??