Thursday, September 30, 2010

If It's Not Broke Don't Fix It

Oh she's not crying because I stuck her in the laundry basket.

She's crying because I'm taking pictures and not giving her a ride to the basement on top of the dirty laundry. There are basics in life that make things run far more smoothly. One of them is clean laundry and another appetizing meals. The clean laundry, I have down pretty good. My individual bins to place the kid's folded clothes in works great. It did when our kids were young and it works great with the grand kids. The grand kids are learning to put their clothes in the hamper, though I've a new one, you can see it to the left of the bed in the below picture, and our kids did too keeping the clothes up off the floor. Our old large one looked like a piece of furniture also but I gave it to our daughter not thinking we'd need one so large. Surprise!!, life changed. Now I have to empty this smaller one each day and our youngest adds her 23 pounds on top and Grandma gets a little weight lifting in as I cart her to the basement and back up. The middle child still leaves gingerbread like clothes trailed across the house as she sheds them but we're making progress and our children that picked their clothes up as children leave theirs on the floor as adults. LOL This generation doesn't seem to see the importance of keeping beds made and things picked up. I see it as a simple matter of respect and appreciation for the things you are blessed with. Take care of your belongings and they'll be around a long time.
To keep drawers neat, I roll the shirts and pants in the kid's drawers so they can see the full selection of clothes instead of rifling through them dumping some on the floor and tangling up the the rest in their drawers. It worked when our kids were young and it works with the grand kids.When kids are real small and not prone to pick their own clothes, you can roll shirts and pant together as sets.Our t-shirts on the other hand have been put several different ways in the drawers but the latest is my favorite, folded in fourths and stacked like they were files in a file cabinet. Mine are stacked left to right and with Kirk's drawer configuration it makes more sense to stack from front to back. We can see exactly what t-shirt is where without searching through the drawer. In my husbands case all other methods have meant the drawer is soon messed up royally and I can't get any more clean t-shirts in it until I straighten it out. This method would work good with the kids if they were a different size and since I've only one dresser to put their clothes in I'm dealing with clothes in another fashion. The room will not fit one more piece of furniture.

The following method works great for sheets and it's so efficient I've never changed the method. The closet stays neat and everything to change the bed is in one bundle. If you've ever had kids changing their own beds, you know that if they have to find the pillow cases, the top sheet, and the bottom one, the closet is now in a jumbled mess.

As you look upon this set of sheets, you will see that they have pressed in wrinkles by our grand daughter as she rode the laundry basket up the stairs. It wouldn't be so bad but they sat in the basket until the next day. Oh well, the blankets will cover them. For queen or double beds, the first fold is lengthwise drawing the bottom to the top and then fold width-wise with the flat sheet. The folded sheet is done the same way except you fold over the top and end where the elastic is. Lay the fitted on top of the flat sheet.

Fold in half and then half again. Lay the pillow cases on top. For twin sheets, fold them in thirds as this will make them the approximate same size as double and queen sheets making stacking them in the closet easier. Okay, staking them in my closet easier. Yours might be a different story so tweak to fit your needs.
Fold the length in half and in half again until you have a nice neat bundle

Now if I could just find some order to the top of my dresser. It has looked like this for two weeks and I'm not sure when I'll get to it.
And though most of my upstairs remains pretty well picked up like the living room. You won't want to look on top of the t.v. cabinet if you wish to think I've got it all together. The cabinet in the left upper hand corner with the fake small pumpkins on it. It hasn't been dusting in two weeks and you can write your name on it. Pillows that were once on the couch are tucked away and the afghan that was once on the rocking chair is in the closet. The kids just wouldn't leave them alone and they were strewn everywhere. Though the glass on the bookcase in the hallway and the glass on the television and bottom of the case are covered in finger prints, I feel calmer because things are picked up at least twice a day. One thing I've learned over the years is that everything should have a specific place. And if doors can close on it, like on the television set, or the books in the bookcase, then there is less to dust, less for the kids to mess up and best of all, - less for me to do. Besides out of sight is out of mind for the grand kids, or most of the time anyway.

Maybe it is because some things work so well that I keep working hard to fix other less efficient areas. I've had some success in menu planning but I need to fine tune it further with the demands of raising grand kids that are small and needy right now. My financial budgeting worked well but with all the chaos, I didn't stay committed to it and now, I don't have the tight handle on it I should. A few things have changed like on-line-banking and so I'll have to tweak my methods again.

The tangle of bills and financial paper trails drive me nuts. It's why my dressers often become piled high. Oh how I could use an office but alas, I don't see one in the near future so I'll muddle on. My garage is another frontier that really needs organized. I thought it would be this summer that I finally started to untangle the mess. Three little ones changed that plan. I do get a new garage door next week. I've needed one of those for umpteen years.

So don't go thinking I'm Miss Organized because I've a plan for menus. It's precisely because I'm not organized and getting things done in an orderly manner that I crave it. It's also a part of my Autism. Think Rain Man and scale that way down a ways. The disorder of the past five months has been stressful, major stressful and I'm going to find my way back home to a more peaceful existence one way or another.

So it's meals now and some tuning on the finances. I'll share a few things that has helped us with debt management and then chore lists. I use to have that down pat but I've lost my way. It went something like this: change beds on Monday and wash sheets; clean bathrooms on Tuesday and Friday, not like now where the main bathroom gets done once a week and ours - every two weeks; vacuum Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays etc. If you've ideas to help me along my way, I'm game for suggestions and meanwhile, maybe some of the things I do can be tweaked to fit your lifestyle and be of benefit to you.

But for now I'd best get those bathrooms cleaned and some work done before it's back for the third time today to the school. This time to pick up our oldest grand daughter. Since I home-schooled our children for fifteen years, this school mom job has me learning a new tune.

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