Archives For Organization

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“If we don’t clean this bathroom soon, we’re going to need shots to use it!”

“Hurry, someone just pulled in the driveway! Grab everything near you and throw it in a closet, cabinet, or the dishwasher!”

“Argh!!!!! I can’t think straight in the middle of all this mess!”

These are all statements I’ve made when talking about our house. Since weekdays are busy, our family goal is to clean on Saturdays. However, it takes about 6 hours to get the house to “mom clean,” so it’s easy for other plans to interrupt cleaning.

The strain of knowing what needs to be done and not having time to do it makes my stress level soar! So instead of our home being a relaxing refuge from the world we all desire, it becomes nothing but tense turf. Because we all know when mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy!

Something would have to change to maintain sanity and healthy family relationships.

I began with a plan. My kids still need to learn responsibility so I made the decision they would continue to take turns doing laundry and dishes, they would be responsible for keeping their rooms clean, and they would take turns each Saturday cleaning their bathroom.

The rest of the cleaning duties were written down and split throughout the week. Testing and tracking revealed each weekday took 1 hour of cleaning. To make this doable, I simply cut back on social media. Weekend tasks don’t take as long and fit well with any additional plans made by the family.

It’s been two months and the changes within our household are amazing!

  • Our house is consistently clean making it a joy to welcome visitors.
  • My stress level has decreased which makes the entire family happier.
  • I’m now more efficient in other tasks since cleaning worry and guilt no longer take brain space.
  • Our home is now the refuge we desired.

Is this method for everyone? No! Some find it easier to do everything in 1 day, others to receive daily emails with tasks assigned, and many who want their kids to have more responsibility than in this plan.

What is the right way? Whatever works for YOU. I’m simply sharing this method as an option for anyone who find themselves in a similar situation.

Here is the plan:

Weekly Cleaning Plan

To pin this, click here.

© 2015 Connie Davis Johnson

Easy Laundry Plan

January 8, 2014 — Leave a comment

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Hate laundry?  Try the following simple method to make laundry manageable.

Use a central basket system

  • Choose a location in the house and provide 4 laundry baskets total for everyone to use.  This can be in the laundry room, in a closet, or another convenient place.
  • Use one basket for towels and sheets, one for whites, one for colors, and one for darks.
  • Every person then brings their dirty clothes to these central baskets.
  • Once a basket is full, it’s ready to be washed.

Get kids involved

  • Assign each child a week for laundry duties.
  • Train them to keep an eye on the laundry baskets and wash whenever a basket becomes full.
  • Instruct each child on the rules for laundry.  Teach them how to set up the washing machine and dryer.  Let them know which baskets need to be washed in hot and which need to be washed in cold (this can be marked on the baskets as a reminder).  Also instruct on the amount of detergent to use, if dryer sheets should be added to the dryer, and how to use stain removers.
  • Spend time teaching folding techniques so there is consistency with each load.

Clothing tips

  • Buy 2 week’s worth of socks and underwear for each family member.  There will be less “emergency” loads when everyone is fully stocked.
  • Each person is responsible for communicating when an item of clothing needs special attention.
  • In an inconspicuous spot, mark each person’s socks, underwear, and other clothing with their initials.  This will help avoid confusion when folding and returning laundry.
  • Once laundry is washed and folded, each person’s stack of clean clothes is placed on their bed to be put away.

Although there are many ways to tackle laundry, this system has worked well for our family for many years.  What has worked well for you?

© 2014 Connie Davis Johnson

Organizational Tip!

February 5, 2013 — 1 Comment

Organization tip using zippered plastic bags

You may also like:

Ideas for Displaying Family Heirlooms

10 Ideas to Show Love to Your Spouse Daily

3 Surefire Ways to Ensure You Live Your Priorities

©2013 Connie Davis Johnson

Christmas Organization Tip

November 20, 2012 — 2 Comments

 

©2012 Connie Davis Johnson

Do you have a box of family heirlooms?  Unfortunately, heirlooms cannot be enjoyed when hidden away in a box.  Wouldn’t it be nice to put them on display?  They can then be appreciated by everyone in the family.  And the next generation can learn more about their family.  But how can we bring them into our living spaces without making our homes look like a giant garage sale or a bad episode of Hoarders?

I had several meaningful family heirlooms that I wanted to display but I despise clutter.  So I came up with a plan to use them tastefully as decorations.

My mom owned several sets of paper dolls as a child and loved them.  She kept them into her adult years to remind her of her childhood.  On special occasions, my mom would allow my sisters and me to play with her paper dolls.  We knew their emotional worth so we were always careful while playing.  Once my sisters and I were grown and on our own, she decided to pass along her precious collection.  We each took the ones we liked the most.

The last thing I wanted was to hide them in a box in the basement.  The goal was to enjoy them.  The simplicity of their grandparents toys is also a good lesson for my kids who often take their own toys for granted.

Four frames came in handy in the basement as I prepared to display my precious heirlooms.

  • Once the back of the frame was removed, I placed the paper dolls on the glass of the frame.
  • Rather than replacing the back with the same cardboard backing, I replaced it with the glass from another frame.
  • Sandwiched tightly, the dolls have not moved since finishing this project.  The frames will be painted at a later date.My mom also passed down some beloved doll furniture and toys.  I bought a shadowbox and some hook and loop Velcro.
  • I kept the hook and loop parts of the Velcro attached to each other and cut them into pieces to fit each toy.
  • Peeling off the back of one side of the Velcro, I attached the entire piece to each toy.
  • Then I arranged the toys to my liking on the backboard of the shadowbox.
  • After that, I peeled off the remaining tape from the Velcro and attached the toys according to their placement.

Another shadowbox displays a few other items I received from my parents and grandparents.  All items are attached with hook and loop Velcro as described above except the handkerchiefs which are pinned to the back with a few straight pins.  The items included are:

  • My paternal grandma’s glasses.  She always had a chain attached so she wouldn’t lose them.
  • My maternal grandpa’s watch.
  • Two of my great, great, great grandma’s handkerchiefs.
  • My paternal grandpa’s keys.  He had many keys due to his position in the community along with owning his own business.
  • A recipe for Pumpkin Bread written in my paternal grandma’s handwriting.
  • A small new testament filled with notations of my dad’s.

I inherited two of my paternal grandpa’s bibles, the black and brown bibles in the picture.  These are my favorite heirlooms.  Grandpa read his bibles until they fell apart and liked to write in the margins.  I love reading his notations regarding certain verses and speculating what may have gone on his life at the time.

The bibles sit on my dresser along with a few other meaningful items that include:

  • A white bible engraved with my name given to me as a baby.  It was later used at my wedding.
  • One of my great, great, great grandma’s handkerchiefs.
  • A framed letter my sweet daughter wrote for my birthday.
  • The purse I carried to all my proms.
  • My wedding veil.

My husband’s maternal grandpa served as a paratrooper in World War 2.  We were blessed to hear some of his stories before he died.  My husband’s parents and I tracked down replicas of the medals and ribbons he earned and I attached them along with his military picture inside a shadowbox as described above.  This was one of my husband’s favorite Christmas gifts of all time.

Shadowboxes, frames, and creative table displays allow heirlooms to be showcased.  We can honor our older generations while educating the younger generations within our families.  What heirlooms would you like to remove from storage and enjoy in your living space?

©2012 Connie Davis Johnson