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Manic Monday: The Family Clothes Hamper {Guest Post}

Guest Post Written by Erin Odom of The Humbled Homemaker

Laundry has always been one of the areas of my home that always—literally—piles up on me. I try to do one load each day, but if I miss just one day, it seems I have a mountain of clothes and linens waiting for me the next morning.

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I used to have a separate dirty clothes hamper for my girls’ clothes stored in their bedroom closet. At the time, it made sense. I would dress and undress them in their room, and I would just toss their clothes into their hamper.
But I found that if I got a day behind on laundry, I might get to the point where almost all their clothes were dirty.
My solution? I now have one set of family hampers in our master bedroom closet.
I store our dirty clothes in 3 separate hampers: one for whites, one for light colors and one for dark colors. I use a gentle, plant-based detergent (Sun Free—which is SUPER CHEAP at Big Lots!) on all our clothes, so there was really no reason to separate the girls’ laundry from ours anyway.
I’ve found we all have just what we need clean when we need it now. And I kind of like not having SO many of the girls’ clothes to put away at one time.
If we ever have a big enough closet to do it, I’d love to transition to a family closet.
How do you streamline your family’s laundry? Do you keep your kids’ clothes separate from yours, or do you mix everything together? Which do you think is easier?

Erin is a believer in Jesus Christ and stay-at-home wife and mom of two little redheaded girls. She loves mission work, speaking Spanish, breastfeeding, cloth diapering and researching how to live a healthier lifestyle. She blogs about parenting, natural living and homemaking at The Humbled Homemaker.

Image by 13dede

I’ve linked up with
Growing Home

Manic Monday – The House Check

This is another trusty-dusty tidbit from my childhood. It’s also another one of those ideas that when you read it, seems almost silly to devote an entire post to because it’s a bit, well….“Oh duh.” However, the amount of times I neglect this little golden nugget either out of sheer exhaustion, or forgetfulness, is staggering! So, here goes…

Before we send the girls to get their jammies on, brush teeth, etc, we do a house check. We take about 10 minutes and everyone goes around the “public” areas of the house and picks up and puts away anything that needs putting away. Often times, however, because we’re all tired and no one in our house particularly enjoys tidying in any form or fashion, there are arguments (between the girls that is) that go something like this:

“I’m not putting that away, that’s yours!”

“Oh yeah?! Well you were the one playing with it!”

“Nuh-uh!”

“Uh-huh!!”

Well, you get the idea. You may remember this post where I share the lovely tidbit from Jen Hatmaker about getting the kids involved in their share of the laundry. Another sweet niblet I gleaned from her book is the phrase,

“Everyone is responsible for their own stuff.”

So, during House Check, if it’s your’s, you put it away, no matter who touched it last. If it’s a shared item, whoever comes across it first puts it away.

I’ve been really pleased with how well this practice has gone in our house as we do it every night when I remember it. The arguments have stopped completely (about who’s going to put what away, anyway) and I go to bed more relaxed because I don’t have to worry about breaking my neck if I have to get up with the baby in the middle of the night. I also wake up happier because I see a tidy(er) house in the morning instead of what we neglected the night before.

Do you implement a nightly House Check? How do you do it?

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Manic Monday – Divine Dirt?

I had just opened the dishwasher to reboot my dishes so that I would be ready to tell the sink goodnight in a little while when I heard a small voice behind me,

“Mom, will you play Old Maid with us?”

I turned around to find my 6 year old, holding a ragged deck of cards, smiling her freshly-lost-a-tooth smile, bouncing slightly in anticipation. My first thought was to say,

No, baby, mommy needs to finish these dishes, and then fold that load of laundry, and then hoover the sitting room.”

But, instead, I closed the dishwasher and played Old Maid. I couldn’t tell you how many rounds I played with my daughters. At least 4 or 5. And I don’t regret a thing. Sure, the dishes were still there that night after everyone was in bed, and I was too tired to bother with them. Which meant they were still there the next morning when we all woke up. I’m OK with that.

Part of my job is to train them how to care for themselves, their home, and their family. It falls to me to teach them how to manage a household, fold clothes, load a dishwasher, plan meals, etc. There are some wonderful times that can come from standing at a sink together or chatting while preparing dinner; working together. However, this was not one of those times.

It’s also my job to teach them how to be a mother, not just a household manager. And, it’s my job to make sure they are loved and nurtured, and that they know it. It’s a wise investment to let the housework (or the computer, or phone) go for a moment and spend time investing in our kids. And it’s a wiser woman who can discern the balance. Lord, give me grace!!

I’ve linked this post up with
Making Friends Monday

Manic Monday – Goodnight, Sink

I had a different idea in mind for Manic Monday today, but when I woke up to a sink (and counter, and table, and coffee table…) full of dirty dishes I decided to write about this.

Tell your kitchen sink “goodnight”. Take a few minutes before you go to bed to make sure the dishes are clean, put away, and your sink and counter are wiped down. You’d be amazed at how brighter your day starts with a tidy kitchen! (or the sink, anyway). And if you’re a non-morning person like me, anything that helps mornings go smoother, or help my mood in the morning be even a tad better is welcome!

I know life is crazy, and we’re all tired, and it’s not always possible to do a last minute dish round before bed. If you find yourself unable to do it every night, try to at least do it Sunday night. Starting off the work/school week off with a clean, tidy kitchen makes a big difference.

Lastly, you don’t have to do it all yourself! If your kids are old enough, get them in on the action, too! They can help load the dishwasher, scrape food into the bin or disposal, and help wipe down surfaces.

I’ve linked this post up with
Making Friends Monday

Manic Monday – Green Drain Cleaner

Manic Monday
This week’s tip is one I learned from my mom when I was a kid. I love it because it’s easy, inexpensive, safe for my family (and the environment!), and it works!

Ever have a drain that smells horrible, or just drains slowly? Ever wonder what you can do to fix it without using expensive, harsh, dangerous chemicals? Give this a try:

What you’ll need:
3 Tablespoons baking soda (bread soda)
1/4 cup white vinegar

Sprinkle the baking soda down the drain, and pour the vinegar on top so it bubbles. Let it sit for an hour, then rinse with boiling water. I use one kettle full of boling water, but you can use more/less if needed. You may find that the drain seems smellier after rinsing, especially if this is the first time you’ve cleaned it like this. Flush it with more boiling water, and if that doesn’t do the trick, just repeat the whole process.

Did this work for you? What Eco-friendly ideas do you use for cleaning stinky drains? Or the rest of the house?

I’m the featured blogger this week over at Making Friends Monday ! Come by, read some great posts, and even link up your own blog!

I’ve linked this post up with
Growing Home

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