..........Contact me at Mom25dogs@gmail.com.........

Contact me at Mom25dogs@gmail.com

Friday, May 14, 2010

Spring Cleaning Tips

My Dad used to work for a private school and one of his jobs was to go through all the lockers - including gym lockers - open them up and clean them out. He kept it for a certain length of time but he had to get rid of it. Most men would have thrown the stuff in the dumpster and been done with it but he is too thrifty. He would sort out everything that was use-able and give it to charity or to people he knew needed it. Many times we would spend days actually washing/drying clothes and then sorting them into general sizes and passing them out to teens and children at our church.

But what that brings to mind is how wasteful that is. Do your children leave sweaters, jackets, shoes, lunchboxes, thermoses, notebooks, etc at school? Have you noticed the black hole effect... where they leave for school wearing a coat but you never see the coat again?

I realize that children can be forgetful, it's part of being a child. But part of being a parent is teaching them how to grow up and be an adult. They need to learn how to be responsible about their belongings and they won't learn it from anyone else but you. All it may take is a time or two of Mommy or Daddy showing up after school, marching them to their locker and cleaning it out for them. They may get the idea if it embarrasses them a little. Try to make a mental note of what they are wearing when they leave in the morning and run over that when they come home in the afternoon. Remind them nicely. Tell them you will remind them 3 times and then it means you go with them to the school to get whatever it is they've "lost". You don't want to be a nag, so the 3 times rule is a good warning. Remind them nicely 3 times and then follow through. When they come home on the last day of school, their lockers should be cleaned out and their stuff brought home.

If you feel confident that you have gotten back everything you can from school, then make them help you sort out the stuff. Anything that is still use-able can be corralled and taken to charity. You and I know how many pencils and pens they can come up with. Have a good pen/pencil cup on your desk but if any of the pens and pencils still work and are use-able, wrap a handful at a time with a rubber band. Then take them to a charity. If notebooks have been used less than half, it's use-able and you can keep it for next year or give it to charity. Take coats and jackets to the cleaners (be sure to check the pockets). Have them wash any dirty socks, gym outfits, gym shoes, etc. If they are use-able but your children don't want or need them any more, give the clean clothes to charity.

*NOTE* I've heard horror stories about filthy, bug ridden clothes being given to charity. That is NOT acceptable! You should always send clean, bug free clothes to charity or throw them away yourself. That is so not fair to the workers who have to sort through your stuff! And make sure you only give away clothes in good condition. Nobody wants your paint spattered, hole ridden, ratty T-shirts!

When Katie Got Engaged!

This is my digital scrapbook page of when Dustin proposed to Katie last Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Spring Cleaning Tips

Do you know Justin Case? I do and I bet you do too.

"I might need this, just in case."

"I'll save this, just in case."

I had a Grandmother who died in her late 60's. Going through her things we found a brand new, unused set of towels still in the original gift box and given to her on her wedding day. She'd never used them. They were too good to use. She would keep them, just in case. She died without ever using them. By the time we got to them, they were yellowed and stained with age so they were used for rags. Ole Justin Case won again!

Justin Case is high maintenance not worth holding on to. Everything he has needs to be stored, organized, cleaned, etc. Lost and found, then lost again. Moved when you move. He's not worth holding on to. If you have a Justin Case item, it's time to re-think keeping it. Chances are, if you haven't used it in the last couple of years, you won't need it in the next couple of years. Let's say you need ole Justin Case 10 yrs from now when you are remodeling... can't you rent one, borrow one, buy one then?

Sometimes ole Justin Case is downright trash. People who keep cardboard boxes "just in case". Or someone who keeps emptied yogurt containers "just in case". These things are really trash and have no business taking up space in your nice home.

Now, don't get me wrong. If you are moving next month and know you will definitely need those cardboard boxes, then, by all means, keep them. My mother-in-law has 6 married children with a bunch of grandchildren so she's always sending leftovers home with somebody and she needs those emptied food containers. They don't sit around for years and waste her space, she uses them quickly so it makes sense for her to keep them. That way her children/grandchildren don't have to worry about getting containers back to her. These aren't Justin Case items, but, rather, "going to be used soon" items. For me, cardboard boxes and emptied food containers would be Justin Case items and I don't keep them around. I refuse to take care of ole Justin Case and waste my time with him.

So ask yourself if you really need a Justin Case.

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