The Irritation List (or Keeping Your Sanity)

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Here’s a little project that really helped me focus years ago.

I remember Rick coming home one evening. I had several kids at the time- probably 5 or 6. He asked how my day had been and I told him not so good.  It seemed like a thousand things went wrong. When he asked me what they were, I couldn’t really focus on what they had actually been– there were just a lot of them.

So he told me the following day, whenever I was irritated by something, to write it down in a notebook. I thought, “ok, but I’ll be writing all day long!”  What I actually discovered the next day was that it was only a few things that were frustrating me, but they kept happening again and again.

These were some of my irritations:

1-One of my sons, not intending to cause problems at all, would fling the door open and holler, “MOM” so he could discern where I was. It was not only irritating to be hollered at, but sometimes it woke the baby who had been difficult to get to sleep in the first place.

2- Also, when putting the laundry away, I reached up to put jeans on the stack on the closet shelf and the whole tippy stack came falling down on my face.

3- After school I told the kids to put their books away. Everyone seemed to need help because the bookcase was crammed with books and they wouldn’t just go in easily. The pages were getting bent, too.

4- Another of my sons seemed to think it was his place in life to irritate the others, and he was good at it. I’d hear his name whined out loudly by the toddler multiple times during the day.

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Summer Time Tip: Assign Chores for Next School Year

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Summer is always the time I would reassign chores to each of my kids.

I made a master list of everything that needed to be done in our home on a regular basis. Then each summer, I would run off a new copy of the list and evaluate who in our home was the best choice for each chore for the next year.

The reason I did this in the summer was because that was the best time for training each child in the chore they were responsible for. It doesn’t work to just say, “Go clean the bathroom”, for instance. Your child will do what they think makes it clean but they need to be instructed and trained as to how to do it correctly.

It’s kind of fun to change up the chores each year so everyone learns how to do all the chores eventually, and since we’re not doing school in the summer, I took that time to train everyone. By training them in their chores in the summer, the school year would flow more smoothly, rather than having to train in chores as well as doing school work.

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Tips for Tackling the Laundry Pile

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laundry-pile

Laundry is a job that is never done, and often it can be a thankless job. I’m sure you understand! Just when you’re (finally) caught up, everyone comes home, takes a shower, and boom- the laundry room is full again!

However, it must be tackled. So, here are just a few simple tips that worked for me; maybe they will help you too!

Sock bags- Why is it that it seem like the washer must eat socks? When you go to pair them up, there is so often one that is missing! I bought each child a mesh “sock bag”. When their socks were dirty they would put them in the sock bag. When it begins to fill up, they drop it down the laundry chute and all their socks get washed up at once. As long as they manage to get them into the sock bag when they take them off, they don’t get lost.

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Organizing Tip: Kids’ Papers

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organizing tip

Here’s a quick organizing tip I found helpful when my children were growing up:

Most kids love to make (and save!) their ‘special’ papers or drawings and such; you know the ones- not something your child lovingly made for you for a birthday or Mother’s Day. (those are priceless, are they not?!) No, I’m talking about the ones that mom would rather throw in the trashcan to tidy up the house, yet they are of value to your child-  whether it be from an art class, Sunday school, or just a quick creation from home.

But, these various and plentiful papers can add up quickly and turn a dresser or nightstand or an entire room into a mess of papers scattered or piled here and there and everywhere!  Anyone else experience this?

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