Home business, home education and health challenges: what makes us tic?

Posts tagged ‘organise’

The “Uh Oh” Box

Some years ago, I was fantastising about writing an autobiography. The title was inspired by the animal impressions my children were fond of doing at the time, and the tidal wave of toys that seemed to have consumed every available surface, no matter how unlikely it may seem. I am not terribly proud to confess that the proposed title I had in my was “There’s a Lion in the Passage and a Barbie up my Bum”. It had been one of those days.

One problem we face (and I’m sure we’re not alone here) is stuff being left lying around all over the house. It doesn’t take long, if everyone leaves just one thing where it doesn’t belong each day, for the house to degenerate into chaos. I hate chaos. As FlyLady says: CHAOS = Can’t Have Anyone Over Syndrome. If we’re supposed to be hospitable, we need a place in which to be hospitable – a neat, organised, welcoming space.

Microsoft Word - Uh Oh.docxSome incredibly inspired soul (whose link I have sadly lost) recently posted a photo on Pinterest of their “uh oh” box: a big box with a sign on it, explaining that what you’ve left out has been picked up by Mom and put into the box. You can only get it out by doing a chore. It’s a great plan: stuff gets tidied away; lessons get learned; and each chore has it’s own FREE reward: the toy you would otherwise have lost.

In a word: genius.

So now we have an “Uh Oh” box, too. Everything goes into it, including Papa Bear’s slip slops and Goldilocks’ favourite blanket. Nothing is safe from the Uh Oh box unless it’s been safely tidied away where it belongs. If the week ends and the box still has anything in it, on Saturday I take it all to charity. No quibble. No arguing about which treasures (if any) should go to a more needy (or deserving) home. I wish I could say “no tears”, but that’d be stretching things a bit. At least they have a week to prepare for their loss, or take measures to avoid it.

Honestly, it makes me inordinately happy to see the kids tidying up after themselves, willingly doing chores, my house no longer being overrun, and rewards being given freely and fairly – without me actually spending any money. And of course: no more ranting about picking up toys!

I highly recommend the “Uh Oh” box route if toys have taken over your life. What do you use to motivate your family to clean up after themselves? I could do with the inspiration :). 



Some days are magic.

Col. 3:15 "And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful."

Col. 3:15 “And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.”

Today is one of those days. Everything is in order. (Well, bar a couple of clutter pockets. And the Garage – looming large). My brain is in order. I have a much clearer idea of what to do with the kids next week. My man is wonderful: thoughtful, funny, hardworking, off to bring home bacon. He’s been gone for half an hour and I miss him already!

My daughters are delightful. All morning they’ve been sweet and helpful, playing together, quietly reading stories to each other and themselves, tidying up, helping out. I am truly blessed today. I have all that I need and so much more.

Yesterday I was researching Charlotte Mason’s methods and came across a post about how she would organise her day. It really inspired me and I am going to aim to do something similar. Here’s my version: I’m going to divide my days into realistic blocks of time, namely, Before Breakfast (BB), After Breakfast Before Snack (ABBS), After Snack Before Lunch (ASBL), After Lunch Before Snack (ALBS), After Snack Before Supper (ASBS), and After Supper Before Bed (ASBB). Then each block of time will have one or two major goals to be achieved or priorities to be taken care of.

I still need to list the priorities that I’ll fit into each week, but for now they’ll cover things like gardening with the girls; Sunday School and school prep; time with my man; play time with the girls. In fact, that’ll just be my list. Oh – and “blessing my house” in some way each week. (I really like this concept: each week, what can I do to make my home a better, more welcoming place? One project each week – be it large or small – will make a big difference).

Obviously mornings will be school time. Around supper time we’ll (hopefully) start having family walks. Before breakfast is workout time – both spiritual and physical. And then the rest of the day is work, and even there I’ll pick the two or three most important work items and focus on doing those to the best of my ability.

I started thinking about this last night (well, at 2:45 this morning!) before I went to bed, and I really think I’m on the right track. I feel so calm and even excited about this new, organised, productive life I’m gooing to lead. Wish me luck!

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