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Posts Tagged ‘Kids

I live in South Florida, home to beautiful palm trees and bright sunshine. So why was it that the temperature gauge inside my car read 34 degrees?

Why is it that my 5 year old complains he is freezing when he gets out of the shower when it’s 100 degrees outside but then proclaims it isn’t too cold for shorts when it is 34?

Feeling especially bad for my older guys who have open air hallways at their school and the high temperature only reached 50 today. And on top of that their official school uniform outerwear is a flimsy windbreaker?

Kudos to my 7 year old daughter who brought in another bag of her used toys to the toy drive today. She wants to help poor children to have a better holiday. So sweet or maybe she is thinking that Santa will replenish it all with newer toys. Who knows but the thoughts in her mind are there and I am not complaining.

All done with Christmas shopping for the most part. Now if everything ships like it is supposed to then we will all be happy campers on Christmas morning. AND I am paying cash for everything so no unhappy credit card bills in January!


Geez..it’s been a while since I have blogged, hasn’t it?  I have been so completely busy these past several weeks in my personal life that I am afraid that other things like blogging had to be put on hold.  But I am back and ready to share some experiences with you all.

One of the reasons I have been gone for a while is that fact that my oldest son is in his senior year of high school.  I guess I realized somewhere in the back of my head that this would be the year that activities would really ramp up like applying to college, graduation requirements, etc. but I never really knew it would be to the level that it is.  After all when I went to college the application process was fairly easy.  There was no internet so everything was done by paper and through the mail. 

In fact the college application process can get very confusing. Thank goodness the Catholic school that my kids go to have a really wonderful college placement office that is willing to help you every step of the way.  Last Spring I attended their Spring Workshop for Junior students so I could find out all that we would need to do in the senior year. Even with that workshop I still had lots of questions and since the process really doesn’t get into full swing until the senior year starts I figured I would make an appointment with the college placement counselor in September.

I met with her and she helped to answer any left over questions I had. Good thing I am organized because I don’t know how you do it if you are not.  I wrote everything down and organized the tasks that need to get done in a calendar form.  There are SATs and ACTs still left to take, online applications to submit, essays to write, etc etc.  I have all of my checklists done so I don’t forget anything.

But this is just the beginning.  Senior year is where it all seems to happen not just in school but in extracurricular.  Graduation planning, homecoming dance, sports schedules, etc.  What would I do if I didn’t have organizing tools in my belt?  Thank goodness that I do.

I am starting my first post in a series of 6 that addresses the main ideas that will help you to be organized.   These are ideas I have either implemented or discovered myself over time that helps me to be successful.  (I also took a bunch of pictures in my own house that help to illustrate my organizing ideas.  Nothing was staged for any of these photos and I did not clean up beforehand. In fact, the photos were taken right when I came home from work to illustrate how the various rooms of my house look when I leave for work in the morning).  So without further delay here is the first rule…..

Keep things in perspective when you have young children under 5 years old

I have 4 kids and I am realistic about how messy their bedrooms will usually look on any given day.  I have found that kids 5 and under really don’t grasp what it means to be clean and organized.  That doesn’t mean I give up on my 4 year old. I teach him to make his bed and reward him when he does it but I do have to be patient in establishing organizing habits with him.  

My 4 year old's room

This room is the only room left in the house that needs furniture with some organizing drawers.   But for now, this is what the middle of his room looks like.  If you notice there are toys on the floor but it is a controlled area.  If you notice across the room is a toy basket.  This basket holds the larger toys.  My plan is to get a large corner table so he can put his train tracks and cars on top with compartments underneath for the smaller toys and games. 

My 4 year old's closet

My 4 year old's closet


 This is his closet.  I have a two-tiered clothing rod (only 1 is visible in the photo).  The bottom rod has his short sleeve tshirts on it.  This allows him to help me to hang up his shirts. I also show him how to select his own shirts when he gets dressed in the morning.   In the corner area of the closet is a lot of room for things like underwear and socks.  Again, these things are within reach of my child so he can access them himself in the morning.   I also have a few bins on the left side of the closet for his clothes and books. Again, they are closer to the floor so he can access them by himself.  A big part of teaching kids to get organized is making it easy for them.  I also have a hanging shoe rack in the closet to assist him in putting his shoes away. 

My daughter is almost 7 and is pretty understanding about what it means to be organized.  That doesn’t mean she is perfect at it and in fact sometimes she is not good at it at all.  But I have to keep teaching her and giving her the skill sets and habits that hopefully will be formed as she grows.  It takes time and patience and usually it is one step forward and two steps back. 

My daughter's room

 All kids should be taught how to make their bed in the morning.  A neat bed completely sets the tone for any organized room.  My opinion is that if you have a completely organized room and a messy bed, the room will still look disorganized.  So teach your kids how to make their beds.  They may not get it perfect and that’s ok but they should at least give it their best effort.

My daughter's room

My daughter's desk drawer



My daughter is very artistic so her desk is always a haven for crayons, paper, and every craft item imaginable.  The drawers in her desk come in handy as far as organizing the crafts and art supplies.  The pencil drawer has an organizer in it to keep the crayons and pencils neat.  The other drawers are for paper. 


My daughter's closet

 Here is her closet.  We purchased the components at Home Depot and put it together ourselves for about $200.  The bins in the middle section on the bottom are for her shirts, shorts and underwear.  All are within her reach so that she can help to put her clean clothes away (that helps me a lot) and also so she can lay out her own clothes at night for the next day.  The closet also has a two tier rod system with the more commonly used items on the bottom rod (jeans and hanging shirts).  Her dresses are on the top rod.  There is also a shelf in the middle for books and is also within her reach.  She also has a hanging cloth shoe rack that I purchased at Target for about $20.  Again, shoes are close to the floor and within her reach.  My expectation of her is that she will put her shoes in this rack whenever she takes them off.   The shelves on the right side of the closet are for games and toys.

 My two teenage boys are another challenge unto themselves.  They are fully aware of how much I want them to keep organized and most times organization is not on the front of their brains.  Admittedly I fail often when it comes to them organizing on their own so I have had to adapt.  I accept that most days their rooms will be messy, some days it will look better than others, and sometimes I have to be in the room with them barking out orders in order to get the room into shape.   It’s difficult to get them into the organizing habit.   Still, one rule I do enforce is that their messes are to be contained to their rooms and I never allow clutter to stray into the common areas of the house.

Teenagers' Room

 This is one half of the teens’ room.  Bed was unmade and Mom was not happy on that day. 

Teenagers' room

 This is the other half of the teens’ room.  Bed is made and notice how different it looks from the rest of the room. 

Teenagers' Room

 This is the middle of the room.  I have told my kids that any clothes on the floor and not in the hamper or hung up or put away will be collected and given to Goodwill.  Usually they get the point as shown in this photo.   

As you can see from the pictures above, the house isn’t perfect but hopefully I have achieved some sense of control within the rooms.  Just like everything else, working with kids is always a work in progress.  It does take a lot of work and perseverance but the payoff is usually fulfilling.

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