I also made sure to include a calendar. We put appointments and family things on it, circle our recycling pick up days, and use it to plan our weekly menu.
I also make sure there are a lot of places to store toys, and we go through and pick up every night. For example, here is the boys’ train table in the the playroom/sewing room we share.
Here’s the whole room. You can see I use the shelving to store all my yarn and fabric so I can keep surfaces clear.
DVD storage – these are IKEA boxes and my most recent organization project. I got tired of looking at the shelf full of random DVDs and VHS tapes (yes, I still have and watch VHS).
2. MAKE YOUR KIDS WORK
This is another thing I’m pretty hard core about. I love my boys, I really want them to be good husbands someday, and I’m not serving them or their future spouses if I don’t teach them self sufficiency. So yes, that is my 2 year old helping do laundry, and that is my 4 year old helping and overseeing.
Then you take the wash and put it in the dryer.
And don’t forget to drag the laundry basket to the stairs so that Mommy or Daddy can carry it up.
Now before you think I have super kids, let me assure you, I have normal, rowdy boys. Who were refusing to get dressed on this particular morning. The secret is that I have started them young (but if your kids are older, it’s never too late) and I start with things they can handle, making a game of it. Tater started with helping me unload the dishwasher before he was 2 because he liked sorting the silverware. Now he has taught Bean how to do it, and Bean does silverware while Tater unloads the rest. As you can see, they also do laundry. Recently we also taught Tater how to make his own waffles for breakfast. After practicing that for a few days, he progressed to serving his brother breakfast too. His words, “I got it Mommy, you’re fine, drink your coffee.”
And before you think I’m the meanest mom in the world, you should know that they love to help, and that their chores usually take them less than 10 minutes. Do you see the pride of accomplishment on Bean’s face dragging that basket? “Mommy, I dwag it supah fast!” (translation: Mommy, I drag it super fast)
Yes, it took forever to unload a dishwasher while I was teaching Tater to do it, but the time spent teaching them to unload dishes and do laundry has saved me time now that they can do it themselves. Kids are awesomely capable, and I think we as parents need to recognize and celebrate their capabilities.
Especially when it means less housework for me 🙂