Clear the Clutter

How To Get Your Kids to Clean Their Room

Belinda may be grown BUT I do remember the battle for her to keep her room clean – okay, even neat would have been nice.  I was grateful company never had to walk past her room to get to the bathroom or I could just close her door….  What about you?  Do you struggle to get your kids to clean up their room?  Are things tossed EVERY WHERE???

If you’re a parent, you have heard the endless excuses your kids can come up with when it’s time to clean their rooms.  From “I’ll do it later!” to “I’m too tired,” we’ve heard them all! The truth is, we probably used them ourselves at some point in our life, right?  Here are a few tricks to help make the room-cleaning battle a bit easier.

1. Set clear, realistic expectations

What is clean to us may not be clean to our kids.  We need to set age-appropriate goals to help them recognize when their room is “clean.”  For a three-year-old, a clean room could simply mean books are on the shelf, toys in their place and dirty clothes in the hamper. Yet for an eight-year-old, there could be the added responsibility of making their bed or putting clean clothes away.  The key is we need to share our expectations with our children.  Maybe even give them a list of what to do and if they can’t read, use pictures with the words.

2. Let your kids OWN their space

Belinda’s room was her room – seems like a no-brainer, right?  I let her make her own decisions but often gave her just two choices I could leave with – whether it was picking out her clothes, what color her room was or what game to play.  I never thought about giving her a .choice about where things went in  her room… It did get better once we put the closet organizer in with shelves and a spot to hang her clothes.

primaryFor some kids, putting toys, games and clothes away is never fun – except when there’s a monster involved! Here is a unique craft idea to turn Thirty One’s  Your Way® Cube or Your Way® Rectangle storage bin into a fun monster kids can keep their belongings in.

Not only does it help keep bedrooms and toy rooms neat, it makes a great decoration and an adorable gift your kids will love. I’m pretty sure this is one monster your kids will want under their beds … or in their closets!

image1Here is what you will need:

  • 1 white sticky-back foam sheet (color optional)
  • Pair of sticky-back googly eyes – size and number of eyes optional
  • Scissors or craft knife
  • FREE monster teeth template (Your Way® Cube and Rectangle sizes included)
  • Glue stick (for other/additional design options)

How to make it:

  1. Choose either a Your Way® Cube with matching Cube Lid or Your Way® Rectangle with matching Rectangle Lid in the color or print you want your monster to be.
  2. Print out the monster teeth template below and cut two rows of teeth for your cube or rectangle from the sticky-back foam sheet. If you prefer, you can also design your own teeth, but be sure to measure the window or panel of your bin first.
  3. Peel and stick the teeth to either the clear PVC window or chalkboard panel of your bin, aligning the flat edges to the top and bottom edge.
  4. Next, identify the front-facing edge of your lid, and place it on your bin. This will help you decide on the placement of your googly eyes.
  5. Now, peel and stick the eyes in place to the front-facing edge of the lid. You made a monster!

 

Add even more embellishments, if you’d like: Maybe some foam-sheet spots in a contrasting color, or eyelashes, horns, ears or a nose. Maybe even glue a little faux fur or feathers to the lid for hair!

Consider stacking up a few monster cubes to create a fun tower shape or line them up on shelves to create a monster row. The most important thing to remember is to have fun and be creative!  Click the link:  Monster Teeth Template to get the teeth

 

3. Set a good example

Kids learn by example, right?  They learn from what we do, and not from what we say.  I’m sure you have said it at least once “Do as I say, not as I do”… Admit it, we all have.  Honestly, sometimes it’s easier to say, “Clean your room!” and walk away than to actually go in and HELP our kids.  Sometimes, it takes just that!  If your child is resisting, why not get down on the floor and help.  When you do the work together, you are setting a good example of how families help each other – and it actually is a chance to spend  some quality time talking and bonding with your child.

I wish we had personalized containers like The Littles Carry-All Caddies, Mini Storage Bins and Your Way Cubes when Belinda was younger.  They are the perfect size for storing toys, extra clothes and other stuff which clutter up a child’s room. Plus, they can be personalized with your child’s name, a favorite picture or animal (using our Icon-Its) or anything else you come up with.  Have some fun with your kids and let them help in personalizing the storage and organization products for their rooms.

How do you help your children keep their space neat and tidy? Show us your organized kids’ rooms by sharing your photos on social media – we love seeing how you put Thirty-One’s  products to use. Tag us with #partywithHope

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Travel Tips

On the Road Again

make_your_road_trip_an_epic_adventureI’m so ready for spring.  I’m getting the itch for a road trip.  No, I don’t mean taking a flight or train, I mean actually driving and enjoying the beauty around us.  For many of us, you are wondering where the beauty is, right?  The roads are congested with traffic, construction keeps us gridlocked in traffic and frustration creeps in.

I know road-tripping comes with its own unique set of challenges, from staying awake during long stretches of driving to keeping yourself entertained when you’ve run out of things to talk about (or tea to sip) with your friends. I found some tips on how to have an AWESOME road trip.

Tip #1: I tend to get tired when we are driving those endless highways, what about you?  If there is a group of people traveling, the chatty person should always sit in the passenger seat.  They can help keep the driver and the rest of the car entertained.  Remember those games we played with the kids in the car, like ‘I Spy’, what about some adult versions like Would You Rather, and the License Plate game.  Yes, they sound silly, but trust me, after hours of driving and boredom, you’ll be so delirious these become funny.

Tip #2:  Pack as little as possible on the backseat so there is room to stretch out.  Try road tripping with kids using cubes to help stay organized.  When you arrive at a hotel, do things seem to explode out of your luggage? The cubes could help you stay organized.  In addition, bring a little laundry bag to put dirty clothes in so when you get home, you know exactly what needs to be washed.

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Tip #3:  Long car rides make me want lots of sugary candy like Starbursts, red licorice, and of course chocolate.  I firmly believe it helps to me stay awake while I’m driving. Don’t burst my bubble!  I keep everything within reach so I am not driving and struggling to reach snacks or drinks.

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Tip #4:  Apps are great, Google saves lives and GPS will get you where you want to go. I am still old school and write down directions and an itinerary ahead of time.  I also figure out an approximate budget so I can stay on track.

Tip #5: The best part of a road trip is trying new foods and sampling the best each destination has to offer. I take recommendations from friends and family.  I also like to check in with employees at the hotel for their favorite local non-tourist place.

Tip #6: Get off the big highways and interstates. Take a chance and drive down a random little road! That’s the advantage of a road trip: Getting lost is the best thing you can do, because it will help you discover something new. You’ll likely be incredibly be surprised by what you find—or who you’ll meet!  I remember taking Sunday road trips with my parents and we always had so much fun.

What is YOUR best tip when going on a road trip?  Share it with us.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Home Organization

Saturday Morning – Kids Room Clean Up

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Does this look like a room in your house?  Chances are if you have kids, there is at least one bedroom that looks like this.  I can’t count how many times I have seen on Facebook posts about messy kids’ rooms.  From the frantic mom who is tired of yelling about cleaning it to the mom who cleans it and tosses (actually hides) everything that was on the floor.  I mean we have all been there, right?  I actually used to close the door to Belinda’s room so I didn’t have to see it as I walked down the hall.

Yup, I was one of those moms that didn’t clean their child’s room.  Dirty clothes not in the hamper, they didn’t get washed.  Friends stop by and room a mess – No, you can’t hang out in the living room.  It took a little while but it eventually worked – she at least kept her room neat.

Great advice from Organized Home for younger children:  “Get down to your child’s eye level to help him or her get organized. Look at your child’s space, storage, furniture and possessions from his or her vantage point. The view may surprise you!”

WOW!  Did that hit home… I wish someone had told me that when Belinda was younger.  Sticky dresser drawers are hard for small hands to manage. Folding closet doors pinch fingers and jump their rails when pushed from the bottom. Closet hanging rods are out of reach. Traditional toy boxes house a tangled jumble of mixed and scattered toy parts.

Here are some solutions:

Remove closet doors entirely.  I was so ahead of my time and I didn’t even know it.

Resist the urge to wade into the mess alone, garbage bags flying with gritted teeth and threats of “You will keep this room clean!”.  I’m sure you know that doesn’t work and is more stress than a busy mom needs, right?  As tough as it may be to bite the bullet, play the role of organizational consultant for your child.  Find out what’s working, what’s not, what’s important to them, and what is the problem.  A lot of times they will have the solution, they just don’t know how to tell you.  This one will take some time, but it will be so worth it in the long run.

Lower clothing rods and invest in child-sized hangers.  We put double rods in Belinda’s closet which allowed the things she didn’t need all of the time to be hung out of the way.

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Kids are short so why not organize from the bottom to the top or the room. Most used toys and belongings on lower shelves, or in lower drawers. Higher levels are for less-used possessions or those “display” items that they can’t play with.  Don’t roll your eyes, we know that we have all put those kinds of things in our kid’s room.

Use floor-level open containers to hold toys, store socks and underwear.  We had lots of these in the closet.  The cubes could be turned around so when company came, they didn’t see what was in the cubes.

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As adults, we rotate our clothes closet, right?  Why not do the same with our kid’s room?  Show them how to do it at an early age.  What clothes are out-of-season or have they outgrown?  Toys that they have outgrown – donate or share with them with other children who are less fortunate.  Toys they don’t play with but are willing to part with, box up and put away for a little while.  If they don’t ask for them again, then donate them.

To make things easier to maintain so that their room is clean and they can put things away – label, label, label 

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Let’s make life easier for us as busy women by making things work for our kids.  Wouldn’t this be a more welcome site?

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What is your best tip for keeping your kids room clean?  Share it with us, we can always use a new way of doing things.

Have a ThirtyOne-deful day!

 

 

Business Tips and Tricks, Home Office, Hope Wissel, Unclutter Your Life

Are You Organized

I read a quote by a fellow blogger, Cheryl Richardson who is a spirituality and self-help author.  Does this sound like your office (or house):

“Stuff has tentacles. Every pile of paper, cluttered counter, or disorganized closet is filled with items that have cords attached to them. These cords reach out and suck the energy from us whether we’re near the stuff or not.”

I don’t know about you but I would have to agree with her, at least in my office. When my office is cluttered, I can’t think or make calls, or work.  I know a great excuse NOT to pick up the 500lb. phone, right?

What if you could CUT those tentacles?  What if you could purge all of the stuff out of your office (or your home) that doesn’t matter to you.  I have written about Belinda’s saying when I used to get in those “clean moods“.  “Watch out, mom will toss you out if you aren’t attached or have a purpose”.  The truth is when I was done, I functioned so much better.  Some would say it is feng shui.  Others might say I am a nut case. Either way, organization helps us to stay focused and on track.

Here are some options to those organizational problems in your home or your office:

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The Your Way Junior Cube, Your Way Cub and the Your Way Rectangle all have lids which can be added to your purchase.  I love that our cubes are solid for personalization on one side while the other side has a clear opening so you can actually see what is inside.  Wouldn’t it be great to just turn the cubes around and put the lid on when company comes to visit?

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As for your office, the Fold N File can be placed inside our Zip Top Organizing Tote so that you now have a mobile office.  No need to transfer only a few files to another bag – take the whole thing with you.

What if you touched each piece of paper (or email) only ONCE?  I know, crazy right?  The truth is it is possible.  I used this system for years in the non-profit (and corporate) world.  It made life so easy.  I am not sure why I have such a problem in my home office.

This year is my year of systems and organization….I have cubes in the bedroom to keep things organized.  My office looks great with all of the organization products, now it is time to implement the systems I have borrowed from some of my Thirty One sisters.

What will help you get organized this year?  Not sure if our products will meet your needs – how about a product experience.  A NO obligation one hour consultation.  You get to try the products to see if they will meet your needs.  If they do, I will help you find the best deal for you.  If not, it is okay – I will be grateful for the chance to meet some new people and share the gift of Thirty One.

So, who is ready to get organized?  Fill out the contact form and let’s get started.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

#partywithHope #organize #productexperience #thirtyone #CherylRichardson #declutter #joinmyteam