Monday, January 26, 2015

5 Things Every Mom Needs to Organize Her Home

Thank the good Lord for Pinterest, Amen??  I have found so many things on there that I have adapted into my life and it has helped out so much.  I am a very artistic an creative person, but staying organized and tidy...I struggle with.  I am not terrible at it, but it is not something that doesn't come naturally to me.  Well, I do like to organize, but keeping it that way...that's another issue!  I thought I would share my Top 5 things that help me out in my daily life as mom and wife, all of which I adapted from Pinterest.  Hope they help you too!  Would love to hear from you in the comments as to things you can't do without in your home.

1. Command Center!

A place for the kid's crap!  A place for everyone to know what is on the daily schedule and even the menu for the week.  A place for art and to help the kids remember things.  A place for the inner workings of the home.

I have some of the kid's art framed, a bulletin board for me, and school pictures of the girls.
There is a Job Chart, Behavior Chart, buckets with chalk and wipe off markers. 
   I also painted one of the rectangles on my pantry door with chalk paint to write the weekly menu.  
The "menu" I did with a paint marker and stencils.  I write on it weekly with chalk.  My kids love being able to know what is for dinner ahead of time, since they always ask.  Speaking of chalk...I prefer the chalk pencils.  They write so much better than chalk sticks that break. 
 I put a calendar behind glass so I can write on the glass and wipe off every month, but I also have 7 small chalkboards with each letter of the week  to detail daily events.  I made the chalk boards out of 5x7 frames.  I took off the glass and painted the backing with chalkboard paint.  I added wooden letters that I painted white for each day of the week.  

There are three wood slots for the girls homework or library books and our stuff like bills.  I put up two art bulletin boards for each girl and also each girl has an info bulletin board above their hooks that they hang their backpacks and jacket on.  The info board is for things they need to remember school things I need to fill out or for flyers from their school (like late library book slips).  Also, I can put love notes on their for the girls or write reminder notes. I bought framed bulletin boards at Hobby Lobby that I then painted white and black on the frame part.   I attached the first letter of their names on each bulletin board.  They are wood and I painted them in black and white chevron.  

3. Job Chart

I will have a tutorial up soon for this one!  This works hand in hand with the behavior chart.  My girls love earning the money, and we have a nice clean house too! I took this picture before I had printed out the jobs on paper and laminated them, so forgive the green sticky notes...but you get the idea!

4. Crap Bins

This is awesome if you have a two story home, like we do, but really can work in a one story home as well.  These are great because I can quickly pick up my kids things if someone drops in, but they still have to put them away and be responsible for their stuff.  I used a paint marker and stencils to add their names to the bins.  The Etc. one is for me and my husband.

5. Daily, weekly, monthly cleaning list 

I have yet to make this...but I will as soon as this blizzard blows through here in New England.  Or maybe during.  The plan is to customize this to my chores and then print it out and put it behind a glass frame so I can check it off as I go.  This is a picture  of the chart from  Simply Kierste

I totally want to do this and adapt it to my life and home.  I will add it to my command center.  I am so bad at procrastinating with cleaning.  This will for sure keep me on task. 

Have a great and productive week!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

DIY Behavior Chart

I am a Pinterest addict.  If you follow me on Pinterest, you will see.  Most nights, I have a nightly ritual of surfing Pinterest before I go to bed.  What an awesome invention to share ideas!  For the creative, this is a dream come true!

My 7 and 9 year old girls have been having some difficulties with their attitudes. Leave it up to Pinterest to save the day!  I took a great idea from Tommie (adorable name by the way for a girl, don't you think?) at .  She had a great tutorial I found on Pinterest for a behavior chart  It was a very clean, creative, colorful and easy project.  I took it and adapted it.  Then I took it to my psychologist to get her opinion on it and she approved!  

Here is what you will need: 
 - Wood pallet sign of four boards (find it at Michael's in the wood section) or 8 rectangular boards (also at Michael's) 
-Black Paint Pen 8 craft colors of your choice (I chose Aqua, Green, Mint Green, Light Yellow, Gold Yellow, Light Pink, Dark Pink, and Red. 
-Letter stencils (or freehand it) 
-Picture frame hanging teeth 
-Scrap piece of wood or rectangular dowel for back (if you use 8 separate pieces of rectangular boards, you will need three to stabilize it in the back)
-Laundry clips 
-Washi tape (optional) 

I really liked Tommie's idea, however I wanted to make mine more permanent and personal.  So I set off to Michael's to see what I could find.  Originally, I was thinking about getting rectangular pieces of wood instead of the cardboard pieces Tommie used.  Then I found these!
Four wood pieces already put together and looking like a pallet sign.  Perfect!  I bought two of them.   I almost bought one thinking the chart would give my children to many chances, but I knew somedays they may make lots of mistakes and need LOTS of chances.

I told the kids what I was doing and they were actually really excited.  Funny how kids are like that.  The more structure, the more they like it and the better they do.  I took out my craft paints and used Tommie's color scheme as inspiration.  I ended up using the colors in this order: Aqua, Green, Mint Green, Light Yellow, Gold Yellow, Light Pink, Dark Pink, and Red.  At Michael's I also picked up some letter stencils shown above.  These happen to be from Martha Stewart.  If you have younger kids, early readers, you probably need to get stencils that are more like the classic alphabet.  Another way to adapt this, for kiddos who can't read, use a smiley face symbols like this:

I would still put words under each face, it is good for early learning.  The more little ones see words and letters, the better...even if they have no clue.

Once I figured out my colors and order  I started to paint them.  When painting, if you mix the colors a bit at the seams, it's ok. Just blend it in with your finger and it will look ombre.  

Next was time to figure out what the categories/consequences were going to be.  When you do this, you must know what your child's currency is.  I have an Early Childhood degree.  I was an Assistant Director of a NAEYC accredited preschool and PreK teacher for 8 years (before I had kids).  This was something that was always super important when discipling kids.  What is there currency?  What is important to them and what will motivate them?  Tv time?  Friends? A favorite toy?  Do they hate being alone (seclusion)? iPad? Money?  For my girls they are a bit old for Time Out.  It's no longer effective.  My girls are in a dance troupe that is going to Disneyland Spring Break to perform.  We have told them that we will not be buying them is up to them to earn that money and bring it. Money is a big deal right now.  The behavior chart goes along with a "Job for Hire" chart that I also made (DIY for  that will be in another post).

As for the categories, the ones posted in Tommie's blog were ok, but I wanted more concrete ones and thought I would adapt hers.  I found a post on  Here is the post: April Perry, the author of the article, posted a picture of something similar with consequences that I thought could work.  Two caught my eye: 30 minutes to bed early and lose 30 minutes screen time.  The 30 minutes to bed early...I had to be honest, that is a good idea, but wouldn't work with us.  First, it probably wouldn't happen and second, Daddy gets home late sometimes, so it would cut into his time with the girls.  Don't want to discipline them with taking away a loving, bonding moment.   The 30 minutes no TV time I decided to adapt.  My kids are usually too busy to watch much TV daily, but when they do they get two shows = 1hour/1 1/2 hours.  So just taking away a day of TV would be good.  I finally came up with these categories:

Good Job 
10minutes AloneTime 
No TV for a day 
Fine $$

The lesson in this is you have to do what works for you.  Also, I asked the girls what consequences would be hard on them and what order to put them in.  Luckily, they were honest.  This was good, as my psychologist pointed out, as it gave them ownership.  The funny thing is it took me a few days to get the supplies and have the time to make the chart and they kept asking me about it.  They were actually excited for me to put it up!

Next was time for stenciling the letters.  I used a paint marker.  This made it so much easier and neater.  I used the Martha Stewart letter stencils.  When I first did it it looked like this:

Nice, yet, it seemed a little light.  However, if you like that stamp look, one coat is fine.  I decided to go over the letters again free hand  with the paint marker and it then looked like this:
I liked it darker for my kids.

Two more things were left to do.  Put the two pallet sign like pieces together and figure out the kid's name clips.  To connect the two signs Inailed a small piece of wood behind them to connect them in the back with short nails (so it doesn't poke out the front and hurt lil hands).  Then I hot glued them in the crease on both sides. I guess you could use wood glue too.  For the names, I used large laundry like clips I found at Michael's and covered them with washi tape to make them each different and cute. I used the permanent marker to label their names on the clips.   Lastly, I put picture frame teeth on the back to hang it.

My husband jokingly calls this the defcon (defense readiness  condition).  When he was in the military and you would drive on base, there would always be posted the defcon in different colors for alert.  LOL Red was the worst.

When the girls misbehave, they move their names down the chart.  They can also move up, if I notice some amazing behavior (being kind to each other, sharing, listening right away, helping etc. ) . They have been doing it for a week now and I can report that their behavior is improving and the chart is a success so far!  No one has gone passed warning yet!  I highly recommend this especially in conjunction with the chore chart.  Check back, I will be posting that DIY next.  It especially works for elementary age kids!  If you make one, let me know how it went in the comments below!  Love to hear from you!