Thursday, July 12, 2018

It Takes A Village ~ Tips and Tricks To Make Life A Little Less Crazy

This photo makes it look like two of the towels are the same color,
but one is actually a light brown and another is gray.

A few years ago, after implementing a great disciplinary idea I had learned from one of my friends, one of my kids said: "See, that is the problem with moms.  They hang out together and TALK and give each other ideas!"

It is SO true!

Just about every idea we have for discipline, organization and strategies has come from reading books, other's examples and ideas from friends. You better believe I watch my friend's very closely to see what works for them and pull from their ideas when I see one that also might work for us!

I want to tell you about one such idea that has literally saved us water, money, time, angst and battles.

I was looking at 12 cups lining my counter.  None of which were mine and Josh was at work, so they certainly weren't his.  It was only lunchtime so I knew that by the end of the day the amount of cups was going to grow but not the number of children using them.

I voiced my frustration to my friend.  I told her that we had tried to tell our kids to remember which cup was theirs and where they placed it so they could keep up with it throughout the day so we didn't have this problem, but it never seemed to work. I mean, I can't blame them.  I can't even keep up with my OWN cup...except that mine looks different than everyone else's so it's easy for me to spot or for others to find for me (shout out to Alethia who is my right-hand find-mom's-phone, keys, pocketbook, flip flops, cup...).

Then my friend spoke up and told me of the most brilliant idea that she does with her family.  They each have their own color cup! So simple, yet SO ingenious.

Then she went on to say that she does the same thing with towels.  And I immediately backtracked over the course of the week and realized just how many loads of towels I have washed (not to mention that my dryer takes about 3 cycles to actually dry a load, so I typically line-dry them outside), conversations I've had with the kids about hanging up their towel, remembering where they hung it up and then reusing the towel so I don't have to wash SO MANY FREAKING TOWELS all the time because nobody will claim them.  And then the famous question I ask on a daily basis: "Who's towel is this? I need you to come and hang it up to dry."

Here is where I post my disclaimer about Colony cleanliness.  Our family has NEVER been the family whose kids get clean every night...or even every OTHER night.  I know, I know, we have failed as parents...but we just can't do it all, and I'm okay with it.  That being said, we do now have 1 teenage girl, an almost teenage boy, and other little humans that smell pretty rotten most of the time, so we are trying to get better.  But regardless of the amount of times our kids get clean (or don't get clean), towels somehow always end up in random corners of the house or under kitchen tables or even OUTSIDE in the yard SMH (I know I'm going out on a limb with my great vulnerability and honesty here today, ha!).

Also, since I've already stopped, you can check out my simplified laundry routine that I wrote about HERE.  I actually think I came up with this one myself!

Okay, back to today's post.

So I did what any smart mama would do.  I drove to Target, found 5 towels ON SALE (it was a gift from the Lord!) that matched the colors of the kids bathroom, then marched right over to the kitchen aisle and picked out closely color-related cups, BPA FREE, and only $.79 people, and rushed home with high hopes.

I quickly went over the plan with the kids and I'm telling you, it was worked like a charm!

The kids now have one towel.  Their only responsibility is to hang it back up on the rack in the bathroom and when I do my weekly load of towels I'll throw them in to clean it.

As for their cup, they must grab their cup, and ONLY their cup, wash it out and keep it close by for the next use.

What ideas have you learned from your friends that have been a lifesaver for you?
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