Up-Cycled Wipe Containers {Thoughtful Thursday}

Drier Sheets Case

keep your drier sheets fresher in an up-cycled wipe box AND its cutera large box of drier sheets fits in this container, keeps them fresher, and is cuter than those lil cardboard ones

A large box of drier sheets fits in this container, keeps them fresher, and is cuter than those lil cardboard ones.

Keep Drier Sheets Fresher in an Up-Cycled Wipe Container

Travel Tissue Box

Travel Case of Kleenex made from an Up-Cycled Wipe Container

A small wipe case is the perfect size for a travel case of tissue and keeps it dry and clean.

Holds "Missing Pieces" for Board Games

Store Random Game Pieces in an Up-Cycled Wipe CaseStore random missing game pieces in an up-cycled wipe box

Its is nearly inevitable that kids will misplace a piece {or 8 aHem} to some board game. Rather than have them grouch and tear apart the game storage trying to return that piece when its finally found. This random game piece container allows them to store the piece by stuffing it in through the top or easy-open lid so the pieces are found quickly when playing a game with that missing piece.

Travel Crayon Case

You can fit a 24 package of crayons into 1 up-cycled wipe case for your traveling artist

You can fit a 24 package of crayons into 1 up-cycled wipe case for your traveling artist

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NEVER Fold You’re Littles Laundry Again

I have has some friends ask how I get certain things done while having 4 kids. One of those is laundry. I never cringe when I think about laundry and I think that is completely because of the system we have in place. It has kind of evolved over the years.

Littles Help with Shuffling the Laundry move to the drier or sort into clean baskets

Our Basic "System"

  • I start 1 load every night {unless there are random circumstances, night time wet sheets, sickness, extra guest, "washing day"- clean sheets or carseat covers} and some times move it to the drier.
  • The little on laundry that day "shuffles" the laundry- movies it to the drier and or sorts the laundry into the appropriate baskets.
  • Once {some times twice} a week, usually Saturday, we all put clothes away. Adults do their own {folding if necessary}, Jamin (3), Izzie (4), and Maggie (almost 6) all put away their own clothes.

At first I was a little embarrassed to confess my biggest secret in our system. I think my mom and mother-in-love are possibly discussed by this buuuut, it work for this season of life::

We NEVER fold laundry.

  1. Littles can Help
    I spend less than 7 minutes a day on laundry because I have my 3 oldest on a chore chart that includes laundry. They're current job is to shuffle the laundry. The awesome basket shelf my hubs made me is a vital part of our system but this could easily be done with baskets on the floor.
  2. Tiny Clothes Don't Stay Folded
    When my oldest girls were little, I loved organizing their clothes. {Attempting} to fold all those tiny items and get them to stack neatly in their drawers. I'm sure it would have been pretty comical for anyone watching. Since those days, I've designated drawers for specific items but never fold them.
  3. Littles clothes don't really wrinkle
    I have never observed someone snarling their nose up at the state of my kids clothes so why waste the time. They are so tiny, they don't look gross. {I also refuse to buy high-maintenance clothes for my kids and my husband and I for that mater}
  4. 1/2 our clothes are hung
    Since we have limited space in each bedroom {and I like to}, we hang all shirts, jackets, and skirts/dresses. This leaves very little to go into dressers and underwear, socks, leggings, PJs, and pants don't really matter if a little ruffled. Making sure it all fits also keeps us from having too much of something. If it doesn't fit it needs to get.
  5. Laundry Gets Done
    I have tons of friends who HATE laundry. It gets overwhelming and everyone in the house dreads it. This is no glamorous laundry life but it does get done!
  6. Sanity
    In this season of our family, we need as much sanity as possible. High-maintenance laundry is just not a priority. If it is to you, that's fine. But if you are overloaded, snapping at your family over clothing battles, and pressing preschool pants, you might need to try something else. Does laundry really matter in an eternal perspective? There's always time to teach folding before they leave the house {it is a good life skill to learn}.
kids closetsNote: they rarely look This clean ;)
girls' dresser boy's dresserbaby's dresser
While researching before I made my big confession, I found this awesome ladies laundry system and she too confessed to not folding kids laundry. I could hug this stranger for making me feel less skanky ;)
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Our Family Chore Chart

Today is Jamin's first day of officially being "on the chore chart". :(

Training Littles to help with Household Chores

I've been postponing this...it just seems too soon. This means he is really growing up :( My younger kids have always though it "unfair" when the older kids got to "help" by doing chores. Every once in a while I would 'let them' help the olders do the chore. Last week was Jamin's official "training week".

All that was supposed to mean was Jamin tagged along with Maggie when she did her chores and watched. What it ended up being was Maggie, the master leader that she is, called Jamin to her when she was asked to do her chore and talked him through how to do each one...step. by. step. Izzie thought she wanted a turn at being his "trainer" but got really irritated quickly and didn't pull it off as easily as Mags did. lol He learned where dishes belong, how to sort laundry, and was already very aware of how the coveted "set the table" chore worked.

My kids' chore chart for the week teaching responsibility, learning household chores, finances, budgeting, and gerousityUp Close pic of children's chore chart

One of the things that has helped me is this "responsibility chart" we've had for several years now. I found mine at a consignment event but you can buy the same chart HERE <--affiliate link fyi. I like the chart because it keeps me from asking my oldest to do everything; because I know it will get done, get done right, and it's just easier. Here is how we use our chart:

Basic Chores

This chart comes with tons of "responsibility" options. There are lots of them that are just expected in our house {ie "Say Please & Thank You", "Don't Use Bad Language"}. Then there are some we've labeled "morning chores" {ie "Make Bed", "Get Dressed"} and these are things everyone is supposed to do every morning. The basic chores we are teaching our littles to currently help with are:

  • Set the Table: decides where everyone sits as well as what color plate they use
  • Dishes: I have most dishes in lower cabinets for them to reach; they place other items that go higher on the counter for me to put away
  • Laundry: sorts into clean baskets {we'll work on folding later}, everyone helps put away clothes over the weekend.
  • [help with] Trash: [helps daddy] bring trash bags from bathrooms, carry out recycling, and take to the curb on the appropriate night
  • Sweep: dinning room & kitchen daily, bathrooms and laundry room as needed
  • Vacuum: living room daily, bedrooms as needed

I like to have the same person do Set the Table and Dishes on the same day so if there are no dishes for them to set out they can see the direct correlation between the chores as well as why its important to do these things daily. I have just now started 'training' how to sweep & vacuum so I put those two together and only assign that to the older girls {who are more capable}.

Smiley Face Assignment

I think this chart may have been designed for "earning" smiley faces but since we expect them to help out around the house, we just assign "jobs" they're "allowed" to help with and we take down/replace the smile with a different color if they don't end up doing it that day.

  • Pink: Maggie {5-years-old}
  • Purple: Izzie {4-years-old}
  • Blue: Jamin {3-years-old}
  • Orange, Yellow, Green: everyone/whoever Mom & Dad's choose

Since the "basic chores" are things that need to be done daily, all I have to do is ask "whose on ____ today" and that person is in charge of doing that chore right then.

Allowance

I'm not sure if allowance is the right term but we "allow" our kids to have money as a way for us to start teaching preschool finances 101; the chores are just a good excuse to do that.

  • Bread Tie: represents money- can choose to 'spend' them on things
  • Penny: when we start working on counting and are responsible enough to keep up with the money
  • Nickle: when they start counting by 5s

At the end of the week, we count which chores were completed and hand out allowance. Then we have them put them into their bankS we made; this is how we teach them about generosity and budgeting.

Homemade Banks

Don't forget, it's never too early to have children do chores. The early you start, the easier it becomes a habit and helps the entire family in the long run. Their perspective of household chores is all based on how you present it; we choose to show these chores as a privilege to those who are old enough.

Our philosophy has always been, We all helped make the mess so we will all help clean up the mess. Don't get me wrong. I've had to let go of a lot of my perfect ideals, and tons of my organizational tendencies for the details. BUT we get the major stuff done...most of the time. Helping with household chores is also a way children learn about serving one another, being considerate, and responsibility.

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Girls’ Room {Settled In September}

I talked earlier about purposely "theming" the kids' room for genders. This will eventually be the bedroom for all 3 princesses. I think this general girliness will last for years.
The Girls' Room

On the large blank wall, we have 2 twin beds in each corner. The post bed {that matches the dresser} was given to us by my sweet aunt after my cousin outgrew it. The trundle bed was my bed growing up and was my mom's and her sister's before that. It started as a medium brown wood before I painted it off-white for our guest room and then white for the girls room.We've always used the trundle part {not popped up} as the next step/toddler bed before moving into a tall twin bed.

Hope you enjoyed it. Oh, and yes, that is a black out curtain. It helps with naps and bedtime. I do have really cute colored sheers that are going to be hung as soon as I go buy a cheap curtain rod. :D

Eventually, there will be a large "princess" tower in the middle of this wall. Magdalene means "high tower". The castle will have a banner on the top that reads, "Devoted Promise" for our Isabella {devoted to God} and Elizabeth {oath of God}. I am now waiting to let our awesome artistic friend do their castle/tower as well because, for real, you can't have J's room next to my sad tower now. lol

{castle for inspirational affect}
The General Idea for the Girls' RoomThis dresser was given to us with the post bed. The shelves are simple wood cut to the length we wanted it, painted and attached to the shelf braces I found at a yard sale years ago. I was going to paint them white but ended up leaving them yellow & think the extra color is fun.

I'm not gonna lie. This part of the room feels cluttered. We purposely keep their rooms simple and don't have toys in the kids room because

  1. we want them to sleep without the temptation to play with toys
  2. we know there needs to be plenty of room for beds/dress(es) in the long run

Girls' Room Dresser & ShelvesThey are getting older and have random "stuff" and I've slowly let it leak into their rooms. More high school era frames with pictures of just the kids who share the room, painting the girls did with our sweet "Ms Biwee", piggy banks, iPod with sleep time music, and hair things both in and on the "headband holder" as well as the matching jewelry boxes their Uncle Andrew gave them that were cluttering up their bathroom which is also the guest bath have moved in here. I'm not sure if it will all stay or not.

Here's the dresser organization:
Girls' Room DresserCurrently, both girls pretty much wear the same size which makes it easy to do laundry as well as purchase clothes. I know this won't always be the case so we are practicing minimalism already. The girls do have their own drawers for PJs and shorts/pants since those seem to matter more than the size of shirts or dresses.
the girls' room closet

We also have the awesome wire shelves from the pantry installed in here for the girl's bed linens! Love it!!! This keeps them easily accessible and make the higher shelf open for larder-sized hand-me-downs and other randomness. {these are the kind of shelves that will be in J's closet as well}
The Girls' Room Linen ShelvingOn the back of their door we have a simple shoe divider used for just that, sorting shoes and other accessories. Larger things like boots remain in the corner of the closet but it keeps most shoes/flip flops tucked away.
Girls' Room Closet DoorOutside the closet is this adorable princess crown our artistic student from the valley made the girls. I added a dowel rod with ribbons hanging off of it so we could use it as a bow holder instead of the sad one I made along time ago.
how to make a princess bow hangerThe same awkward wall that pokes out when you come into this bedroom we also used for decoration. The long white shelf came from our living room and the smaller one was part of another black set and I painted it white to match the other stuff in this room. Elephants were sweet gifts and Ellie will get one when she arrives. Letters are already for all 3 girls even though it will be awhile before El joins the girls in here.
Girls' Room Decor Wall That's the girly room!

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Playroom Organization {Settled In September}

Playroom Organization

I have posted in the past about our system of centers. I've even created center labels as well as names for the kids to "check in and out of" centers to try and maintain organization and get them to clean their own toys up. This worked for a while and Definitely works with large numbers of children {ie daycares/preschools} but it got a little legalistic in our house and I wanted to simplify when we moved.

This time I made new tags {and still have some to be completed} to label the baskets. I LOVE the baskets, bens, tubs, whatever you call these canvas things. They keep everything organized while making it simple to put things away- chunk it back into the basket!

Panoramic Playroom Shelving Numbered Centers

  1. Library Basket
  2. Home Library {sorted}
  3. Playdough Center
  4. Electronic Center
  5. Puzzle Center
  6. Computer Center
  7. Baby Toys
  8. Ball Center
  9. Music Center
  10. Dress-Up Characters
  11. Potato Heads
  12. Wooden Blocks
  13. Vehicles
  14. Mega Blocks
  15. Homeschool Supplies
  16. Little People Center {village}
  17. HIPPY School Work
  18. Dress-Up Accessories Playroom Closet Organization

Inside our closet we have the Doll Shelf & the Dress-Up Costumes/Outfits as well as extra books {for higher level reading}, large toys {pop-up tent & tube}, and scrapbook supplies on the top shelf.

In case you were wondering:

  • red book basket {hanging on the wall}- $2 flea market find/spray painted planter
  • black bookshelves- Wal-Mart {similar to THIS tall one and THIS short one}
  • plastic book bins {on top of shelves}- oriental trading {wish I had a gazillion more}
  • labels- homemade printable {available at the end of the month}
  • square canvas bins {ON SALE}- target, home depot, anywhere I could find them cheap
  • rectangle canvas bin {one in doll shelf as well as other places throughout the house}- Wal-Mart {years ago}
  • doll house/shelf- handmade by my grandparents YEARS ago & revamped a few years ago
  • quilt rack {dress-up storage}- Pier1 as a wedding gift years ago
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