20 June 2017

Getting through the clutter - ideas in getting your child to help

There are days when negative thoughts and the mess of the house gets on top of me.

The clutter in our house has been doing my head in for a while now. I try and get myself motivated and do a big clean up, but it seems once the girls are home from school and require food, drinks, or want to do craft or play with their toys, the mess returns again!! It drives me crazy.

My mantra at the moment!
I started decluttering (or minimalising) with a friend who is having a Facebook game where each day you are supposed to get rid of (or donate/recycle) a number of items...yesterday was my first day and I managed to get rid of 15 items. Today its 16 items! I mentioned the game to my girls who are excited to help Mummy!

I know if I can get on top of it, I'll have more time for myself and the girls. I will be less stressed (and less of a snappy Mum), or worried about having people over (lately I have been inviting people over, but letting them know there is a mess beforehand), and I will feel more calm when their is more free space and less mess.

Tidying up has become such a chore though, especially in getting the girls to tidy up after themselves.

Over the past few years I have been trying different things with the girls.

Making a list

Popette whinges when I ask her to tidy her room, she's like most 8 year olds I guess, and will spend a total of 5 minutes tidying then comes out announcing her room is tidy!...hahaha. She wants me to help her clean up her room, which usually consists of her looking at things and me doing the work. So now what I do is tell her a list of things to do or write them down for her, which she can easily follow.

Break it down into small jobs

I still help Cherub (5 1/2) clean up her room. The other night I mentioned that she needed to pick up her toys before bed, she had so much stuff on the floor I kept treading on her toys and was worried I may break something.

If I break down what she has to do (ie. Pick up all your teddies and put them in the box) she seems to be able to do it without too much help.

Creating a job board

Our magnetic job board which is on the fridge
We have resumed the girls jobs board, where they get a tick for each thing they do...for example, brushing teeth (twice a day - gets 1 tick), put their dirty clothes in the laundry basket (1 tick), packing up their toys/books and putting them away (1 tick), putting their clean clothes away (1 tick) etc.

When they get a large amount of ticks (total is up to Hubby & I to decide) they get $2 each. And a further $2 if they have brushed their teeth all week (an incentive to get them brushing!) $4 pocket money is pretty good I think!! We introduced a "second chance" tick, mainly for Popette who doesn't drink her water at school. To get her drinking her water, I said I'll rub a tick off the board, so if she hasn't drank her water or brush her teeth one day, she gets a "second chance", but it can only be used once!

Giving them a toy bag or basket

Another idea I am thinking of is to have a tote bag (it could be a Woolies green bag or basket) with their name on it, ie. "Cherub's things" which she then uses to collect her toys from the lounge room floor and takes it into her room.

Cherub doesn't play with just one thing at a time, she seems to play 2-3 different things, so at the moment we have her lego blocks, duplo blocks, teddies with plastic food, and monster trucks scattered throughout the lounge room. She always tells me, "but I'm tired"..."I want you to do it/help me", "There's too much..." etc...and the toys stay there another night. I'm hoping by having a bag it will help her carry it in her room, and not be so overwhelming for her.

Making it a game

A friend once mentioned make tidying up a game, see how quickly they can pick up their toys off the floor and if they can beat you or a timer.

Do you have tips or tricks in getting your kids to tidy their room and pack up after themselves?

06 June 2017

Nourish update

This year I chose Nourish for my guiding word, as we are now halfway through the year (scary!) I thought I'd give you a little update on how I'm going.

With both of my girls in school I find myself with a lot of time on my hands, so I have been nourishing my creativity a lot! I have been learning and trying new techniques with my painting, joined an online gouache course, sharing my artwork more on Instagram  and Facebook (which can be a little bit scary!), and more recently published an online portfolio (you can see it here) of my art & design.

My dream job would be to create and sell my artwork, but at the moment it's baby steps, as I continue working on my skills and building up my portfolio and work. I'm hoping to get to the point of adding an online store to my portfolio (either sell through an online store like Etsy or via my website), and maybe take on freelance or commission work.

I am slowly but surely finding a better balance with making time for myself vs housework, as well as taking the time to enjoy the little things more, like enjoying the warmth of the sunshine while sitting on the back deck while I paint, while remembering to be grateful.

With my health and fitness, I have been trying to get my body moving more. I have been taking a few walks along the river with my family as well as on my own or with a friend. Getting out of the (cold) house, and enjoying the sunshine and fresh air, really helps my mindset too, and gives me the extra boost I need to get through the day.

I am continuing my search for a part-time job, but finding it difficult in finding something that offers the hours I require and that is close to home. Hopefully something will turn up soon.

How's progress with your guiding word going? Are you still working towards a guiding word/new year's resolution or have you given up?