As a relatively new mom I became overwhelmed with housekeeping. It felt like everywhere I looked there was something that didn’t belong there. I needed a plan and I needed it now. I have 3 children at the time and the oldest is only 5 years old. I had better figure out a way to be more organized or I will never be able to handle the kids and working. I would have never guessed I would be so blessed to love and mother 9 kids. Here is what I came up with.
First thing I did is load the kids in the car and we went to the local grocery store. I asked for 2 of the biggest boxes they had. They gave me 2 large paper towel case boxes. I took these home with the garbage bags I had purchased. My goal was to decide where everything went and put it there. From nail clippers to pots and pans. I wrote with a large permanent marker MOVE (these items didn’t belong in this room) and the other box I wrote TRASH (obviously garbage). Over the next week I would drag both boxes with me from room to room while making dinner, doing laundry, normal cleaning chores. I would drop things into the box marked Move or Trash. At the end of my week, when I had a day off of work I started part 2 of my mission.
Next I took all of the trash out of the TRASH box and put it into my garbage bags to take it to the outside garbage. Then I started on my MOVE box. I took a handful of stuff out at a time and put each item in the room and place where it went. Over the weekend I managed not only to have a fully organized and clean house but inadvertently created a place for everything. Now to train the family. Each time I was asked where something was I would add “it is where it goes” and then direct them to it. This worked so well. No need for getting upset or trying to remind them over and over where things belong just simply wording it better.
Each time the kids need to be reminded to pick up after themselves you need to say firmly with no negotiation “EVERYTHING IN ITS PLACE…..THERE IS A PLACE FOR EVERYTHING!” Now with 30 plus years of parenting, I hear my grown children saying to their kids the same phrase. It made my life so much easier. At the time I didn’t know it was a famous saying by Benjamin Franklin lol.
As a parent, I’m sure you are also juggling a lot of hats. It takes real dedication and love to be a good parent. I found this policy helped me be more organized and less stressed. Having the majority of the house work already finished left me to use my limited free time having fun with my kids. The kids tried to label me as being OCD or having some sort of other disorder. Let them! They think they can get out of responsibilities….HA.
Here are some more cliché sayings that are actually words to live by;
“It takes a family to run a family”
“We don’t have to be rich to be clean”
“Never let your kids stop hugging and kissing you and they will never stop showing you love”
“Life is hard so work harder and pay your own way. Never be a taker…be free”