Home Organization

Some may call it Nesting, others a turning 30 this year need to get my life in order crisis, but I simply call it reality.  It dawned on me a few months back that if my toddler operates best on schedules and routines, then by george, I need to as well.  Those schedules and routines seem to help her remain calm during transitions, realize that play time will come again and that when she helps mommy and daddy things go much smoother.

Like all people attempting to make life changes, I took to the internet.  I scoured Pinterest and YouTube for ideas and tips to better organize my life and schedule.  I found a few people that really make the task of organizing and clean simple and enjoyable.  For those that knew me when I was a preteen, my parents referred to my room as an archeological dig.  You would never find food or plates and cups in my room, but I held onto EVERYTHING. My mom loves to tell the story of the memory holding envelop that simply had my name on it, but I couldn’t tell you anything else about that white letter holder.

After watching and pinning numerous ideas for organization binders, car organizers, and daily household tips, I got to work.  I will make subsequent posts, with pictures, of what I have found to work for me.  My biggest tips (at the current moment):

  • Make your bed as soon as you get out of it in the morning.  I never did this as a kid because I was just going to get back in it and sleep again the next night.  However, having the bed made when I walk into the room makes it seem cleaner and tidier.
  • Never leave dishes in the sink.  If the dishwasher is empty, put them right in.  When it is full, run it.  I unload before I leave for work so that I can reload anything used that day.  I absolutely HATE dishes (there is another fun story my mom would tell) and keeping them out of my sink has really helped my sanity.  For some reason, dirty dishes really stress me out.
  • Keep the car clean.  I’m sure my husband would laugh if he saw I wrote this as a tip.  However, after cleaning out my car a month ago, I don’t think I can go back to having it be a mess.  When I’m at a gas station or when I get home, I take any trash out immediately and throw it away.  Then, I have a bag of supplies for Hailey when we are at restaurants or other places she may need some entertainment.  That stays right under her car seat.  I have a second bag for work materials.  I feel like I live out of my car during the week, just rotating materials for the family programming.  My trunk contains just the essential emergency kit and window scraper for the pesky winter months.

Start with one task at a time and slowly, your life will become more organized and therefore seemingly less stressful!  If you wish to get started on the journey to organization or are looking for more tips, check out these people on YouTube.  They’ve really encouraged me to change my habits!

Clean My Space

Home Organizing

Happy organizing!!!

 

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Yes, my toddler does chores!

First off, my disclaimer.  She does not do things that would be inappropriate and there is no chore chart for her to follow and earn stickers or rewards.  She simply showed a lot of interest in helping out around the house, so we are teaching her ways she can feel important.

At the ripe age of 18 months, the little lady wanted to help with the laundry and dishes.  I knew I should capitalize on this learning experience and teach her the importance of cleaning up after herself.  So, I started by having her help me load the clothes into the washing machine.  She loved being able to close the door, but she wasn’t quite tall enough to turn on the machine (which I was thankful for because, well, buttons).  As for the dishes, I was able to designate her as the tupperware lady.  She would put all of our tupperware away.  This was all plastic pieces that I barely use anymore because I had switched to glass and that is kept higher up out of reach.

As she continued to grow and want to help more, Mimi (or grandma) got a step stool for little lady to use to unload their dishwasher.  Since she is over there while I am at work, they are also teaching her the importance of cleaning up after yourself. She simply puts the dishes on the counter for Mimi to put in the cupboard.  All knives have been removed from the washer before she can accidentally cut herself.

Now, at the age of 2, little miss can help with almost any chore.  She picks up apples at Gamma and Popeyes, she sorts laundry by darks, brights, and whites, she helps wipe down baseboards and sweeps the floors, wipe down coffee table and end tables, and my favorite vacuuming with her own little Dyson! She also wipes her spot at the table with a *clean* wet rag after wiping her hands and her mouth.  The entire time she is helping we are thanking her and praising what a good job she is doing.  We want to continue to encourage her to clean up after herself and help around the house.  I should also mention that she will clean up her toys as we sing one of her favorite Daniel Tiger songs, “Clean up, pick up, put away. Clean up, everyday!”

dyson kids

Dyson! We found ours at Toys R Us! It is parked by mommy’s Dyson in the closet.

Toddlers naturally want to be around mommy and daddy and doing the things they are doing.  So, encourage them and praise them for their efforts no matter what!  Even if you have to go back later and re-wipe or sweep, you are building their self-help skills.  It is important to not “fix” their job until they are no longer in sight.  I’m just hoping she maintains these skills and desires to keep cleaning, because mommy and daddy sure didn’t as they were growing up!

Family Fun! – The Pittsburgh Children’s Museum

A few weeks back our little family of 3 (soon to be 4) took a day trip to the Pittsburgh Children’s Museum.  We went solely for one reason.  I heard there was a Daniel Tiger Exhibit and our toddler is OBSESSED with this show.  As soon as I heard the exhibit was coming within a close enough distance we could drive, I decided to make it a special trip for her 2nd birthday.  She was going to LOVE it!

I wasn’t sure what to expect for the museum, since I hadn’t been there in about 20+ years myself.  My mom loved taking us to museums in the area and I just don’t remember this particular one.  We packed up the toddler and lots of snacks and hit the road early in the morning.  I was hoping to get there early enough to enjoy it before she got too cranky from missing her mid-day nap.

Once we got to the museum and paid for parking, which is kind of pricey at $6 if you also have to purchase tickets; members pay $4 each visit to park.  Luckily we won tickets at a school fundraiser earlier this year. However, you can offset that cost by bringing a packed lunch!

Finally inside and I was absolutely amazed at what they had to offer! Everything was developmentally appropriate for children and encouraged exploration through hands on learning!  I kept telling my husband that if we lived closer, I would be here once a week.  I hope the families in the area use this resource as a wonderful place to play and learn!

There were so many things to do that I didn’t capture them all.  We also didn’t even make it into two rooms because she was ready for a nap.  This museum is absolutely wonderful and can encourage children to learn through numerous hands on experiences.  The staff were friendly and you barely even noticed they were there.  They came in and replaced consumable materials or tidied up certain areas, but for the most part they just let you and your child(ren) explore.

We are definitely planning to go back soon! The Daniel Tiger Exhibit runs through January from what I was told.  I would call to confirm if you want to plan a trip specifically for that! What museums do you and your family enjoy? I’d love some ideas for places to take our family on weekend trips!  Also, if you’ve been to this museum, what was your experience?  I’m going to link the museum website for more information as well! https://pittsburghkids.org

 

Wow! It has been F-O-R-E-V-E-R

I can’t believe it has been 6 months since I wrote my last blog post.  I’m slightly ashamed at myself for throwing in the towel so quickly after finding out we were expecting baby #2. I could have used this blog to encourage and inspire other pregnant moms to continue on their workout journeys.  Instead, I became a statistic.  I all but plopped on the couch day in and day out after putting Hailey to bed at 7pm.  I was exhausted and I didn’t think I could do anything else at the time.

After awhile, I figured I couldn’t write a blog post under this domain name because I would be considered a hypocrite or the topic would not be about working out and staying confident.  So, I avoided this website out of embarrassment.  I’m still two months away from having baby #2, and I’m still not working out, but I’m making a change.  I’m going to change this blog just a bit to include topics regarding educational activities I do with my adorable toddler, reviews of places we visit (museums, festivals, etc), how I am changing my hoarding and piling lifestyle for organization and purging, and continue with the health and fitness to get my body back after the green light is given by the OB.

I’m excited to recreate this blog a little and include a wider variety of topics.  I will be excited to rejoin the fitness community as soon as I am cleared, but I can start with simple things that make me feel rejuvenated and refreshed in the mean-time.  Plus, you can experience the crazy world of “nesting” with me as I enter the home stretch of this pregnancy. I may even post a photo of my growing belly… for now I’m just sharing my thumb sucking baby!

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Only time will tell what this blog will morph in to.  I hope you continue on this journey with me and enjoy what I have to share.