..........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!

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