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all about the baskets

Good morning! We had a fun week last week. To me, fun doesn’t necessarily mean GOING somewhere or anything extravagant but just something different. We spent Wednesday out “in the city” since my hubby was off work. We ended up strolling around the mall and eating milkshakes for lunch! Woohoo! Chocolate milkshakes also leave stains, which reminds me of the laundry I am currently doing. When they say it never stops, I never realized how right they were!

I think we will finish up chatting up about some spring cleaning! Or simply cleaning in general! To get a good system going takes some time. To figure out what works for your family takes some experimenting and often changes as schedules, jobs, school, and activities change. The following include some of the bits of wisdom I have collected in my life and I would love to share them with y’all!

One piece of advice is the rule in which items are only touched once and then put away. I know myself, so if I pick something up and lay it down, I will forget to go back and put it away, so I try to touch items one time and immediately put them where they belong. This is nice for anyone of any age! My college friends are busy people, so these ideas will work for you too! Nobody wants to waste time trying to find something in the confined space of a tiny dorm room or small apartment! Sometimes items grow legs and slink away!

This brings me to one of my favorite earthly possessions: baskets! My younger bachelor baby brother gave me two bins for Christmas because he “knows I like baskets.” I laughed out loud. So true. Where are they useful? Well, everywhere of course, so for me, I use them all over the house. We put outside shoes in a basket in the garage to avoid peoples’ feet tramping dirt back and forth all through the house. We have a toy basket in the garage, along with basket for pool items, sports equipment, and more. I have baskets for K-cups in the kitchen and some wire baskets for pantry items such as fruit, veggies, breads, crackers, and chips to make finding foods easier. People do not use what they don’t know they have! I won’t know I have it if I can’t find it! Money is wasted when food goes bad. This is why baskets work so well! Each kid has a shoe basket in her room and a laundry basket for her clothes. I have baskets for they toys in the playroom labeled with what goes in them, which saves me time since the girls can easily throw toys in the baskets. It is organized but easy to put away at the same time. I keep pretty bins filled with extra toilet paper in the laundry room. I also have a bin on a high shelf in the laundry room for toy jail; when little girls leave toys around and they are found. After a while, the toys get released on probation, no worries! In my office/craft room/sewing room, I keep fabric scraps together in baskets, and thread, barrettes, and other small items in small bins so finding stuff is easy. In the bathroom closet on a high shelf, I keep labeled plastic bins with medicine divided according to kind, such as pain relievers, first aid, childrens’ meds, and allergy relief. In the girls’ rooms, I keep blankets, hair accessories, and personal items like jewelry in their own baskets. For baby stuff, burp cloths, socks, hats, blankets, and headbands each have its own bin too. Okay, enough about baskets. We get it, I love baskets and they have many uses. Hopefully you can get some new ideas on a fresh way to organize your house too! The great thing about baskets is they can be found at Wal-Mart for about one dollar! They also come in different colors too. I found some sturdy pink laundry baskets at Ikea several years ago, so if you happen to live near one of those massive stores, check there.

Does anyone have mail and papers that overtake a counter? Yeeeeaaaahhh…I hate clutter and had to do something about that. I found white file folders at Office Depot that hang onto each other to mount to the wall. We have four labeled receipts, bills, coupons, and happies. They are self-explanatory, so when someone checks the mail, if it is not immediately opened, it can be placed in the appropriate file for later. Clearly happies is my favorite file and holds magazines that come or cards from friends.

One helpful hint I have followed is a cleaning schedule. As a counselor I have personally seen, and research shows, that when a person is involved in a job, school, or hobby, they are actually more productive than those who have lots of idle time. Staying engaged is healthy and forces one to create some sort of schedule for life, which is a good thing! Even cleaning deserves a little spot in the schedule. Even with a schedule, I wonder some weeks how tasks will be completed! Setting aside a specific task for each day works well and enables me to keep a relatively clean and somewhat neat house.

On Thursdays, I am dirty from the gym workout anyway, so I clean the bathrooms before I leave for the gym. Fridays I usually do floors, like sweeping, mopping, and vacuuming. I must confess, the vacuum cleaner doesn’t find itself upstairs every week…mainly just downstairs where it already lives in the hall closet. You do what you gotta do! Earlier in the week, I usually focus on laundry because I find myself at home more and can keep up the transfer from washer to dryer. On Fridays, I pick up groceries, so Saturday I can cut up veggies or prep some food for the upcoming week. This sounds really idealistic and wonderful, and in theory, it is, but life doesn’t always flow so smoothly, am I right? Sometimes people get sick, little girls fight too much and I don’t feel like prepping food, or I spend time doing extra laundry instead of another task. At least, having a schedule enables the house to keep some semblance of order and it helps me feel on top of that part of life.

I want to post some pictures of these ideas at work in my house, but my computer is nor recognizing airdrop. I will try to post them at a later date. In the meantime, we can visualize the description. Have a happy week. Praying for you all.

Love, Charis

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