But, I do have some go to tips they I can't do without, so I will start sharing those, at the request of some friends.
So, I give you part 1.
I make a to do list every day. It keeps me focused and my thoughts in check. Otherwise, I'm scrambling to remember what I was supposed to remember. Most days, I don't get everything checked off. Some days, I write things down just to cross them off! I have daily lists and long term lists. To me, paper and pen just work. If I think of something during the day, I ask Siri on my iPhone to remind me at a certain time and date.
I am a planner girl. This is the one I have used for several years, by Erin Condren. I chose a different planner this year and I will do a post strictly on planners soon!
Entry tables are a must for throwing your keys, sunglasses, phone onto or into. Ours has drawers where I can store headphones and armbands for running, spare keys, or extra nick nacks that need to be kept out of sight!
A shoe basket by the door is also a must for me. In a house of boys, they bring in soccer fields, mud puddles, mulch from the playground, and much more! This is perfect for coming inside, taking shoes off and throwing them somewhere easy. It has to be easy for the boys. This shoe basket is right next to the entry table and gets emptied a few times a week.
One of my favorite and easiest ways to keep my toy sanity is the "crap basket" on the stairs. Toys and other items that have been brought downstairs can quickly go into the basket. Next time someone is on their way up the stairs, they take the items back up. The basket is a nice decorative one so it's not more of an eyesore to me than a helpful tool.
The refrigerator - a central place in the household. We have a family calendar. It's magnetic and can easily be erased or written on with whiteboard markers. At the bottom of the calendar is a large space for jotting down groceries or other items I need to remember for the weekly grocery list. Invitations to events are easily stuck in the sides of the calendar and discarded once the event has happened. The basket has been a great tool for paper clutter. I can't handle paper piles and this solves the problem easily!
On the laundry room door an over the door double hanger holds the bags I use every day (not my purse) In the summer, I use my thirty-one large utility tote every single day for play date and pool outings. I also use my insulated cooler by thirty-one every day for snacks and cold drinks while we are on the go. If you need some thirty-bags, I'll get you in touch with my wonderful friend Katie! Really, these bags are must have items (along with their lunch totes). My camera bag is also hanging there, so I can grab it quickly on the way out!
My brother likes to laugh at my labeled baskets in the laundry room. This is a simple way to store your lunch bags and those miscellaneous house items like batteries, light bulbs, command strips, and hooks that can easily get lost in a junk drawer.
How about outdoors? If you have kids, this large deck box is a mental life saver! The kids know the routine. If they want outdoor toys, they remove the pillows, open the box, pull them out, play, put toys back, close, replace pillows and voila! Easy backyard clean up. You can find these at Costco or Lowes. Costco has the better price and the better quality.
Those are just a few ideas. I have many more! So I'll be back with another post. But let me put it this way. Most days, my life is chaotic and crazy! I try to use tools and tricks to help it run more smoothly, but it's not a fairy tale every day. With two messy, wild, and "all boy" boys, I have to go with the flow. Right now, one is banging on a toy piano as loud as he can with a toothbrush hanging out of his mouth and no underwear on. He's put Darth Vader and every train in the playroom to "sleep" with every throw pillow and blanket he could find. He also has Gymboree in 45 minutes and we are all still in pajamas.
The other boy just threw freshly baked muffins against the backyard fence because "it was awesome" He then spilt a full cup of milk all over the kitchen floor I just cleaned late last night. He's currently in a stage of "don't touch my hair" and it looks like Jim Carrey from Dumb and Dumber. He also wants to dress himself, which means the cute little Gap shirts and shorts sets I pick out for him are gathering dust in the drawers while he wants to wear ninja turtles t-shirts that are too small and soccer shorts that are too big with rain boots on his feet.
Now, one just farted and the other one is trying to copy him.....without underwear on! My cue to go! Real life!
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