3 Ways To Be Less Busy Inside Your Home

3 Ways to Be Less Busy Inside Your Home

I try to encourage someone who is looking to be less busy but is unsure of where to start to consider two broad areas of life: life inside and outside the home. Once you think about life in these two broad areas, you can begin to consider your priorities and make necessary changes.

When it comes to life inside the home, you might wonder what kind of busyness occurs there. It is true, though, that some of the busyness of life can come from what goes on inside the home. It’s not all bad and much of it is very necessary. Finding ways to make things less busy inside the home contributes to an overall life that is more full (and less busy).

(This post contains affiliate links, so thenotsobusymom receives a very small commission if you make a purchase through the links.)

Let’s look at 3 simple ways to make life less busy inside the home.
1) Declutter

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A lot of time inside the home can be spent cleaning, organizing, and tidying. Less time can be spent on these activities when we begin to take the time to declutter.

Our stuff takes up space. Our stuff needs to be maintained and managed. Because of this, our stuff takes up our time. Less stuff means less to manage and that means more time for other people and activities.

There are a variety of methods for tackling clutter. You can take a room by room approach, or you can tackle your clutter by category. However you choose to take on this task, you will see results that spill over positively into all areas of your home life.

A few book suggestions for inspiration:

the life-changing magic of tidying up by Marie Kondo

Organized Simplicity by Tsh Oxenreider

The More of Less by Joshua Becker

2) Establish Routines

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Once you have taken some time to declutter, routines can help you maintain the order you have worked to create.

I’m not going to go into the specifics of what your routines might look like in this post, but I will share that routines such as: morning, cleaning, laundry, dinner prep, and evening will help contribute to more ease and less busyness in the home. These routines keep things “running”, if you will.

For more about routines check out these blog posts:

5 Tasks To Do Before Bedtime to Prepare for the Next Day

The One Household Chore I Try to Do Every Day

Quick Tip: Make School Lunches While You Cook Dinner

3) Enlist Help

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You could definitely enlist professional help and that might be a good choice for you. If it is a good financial and practical choice for you, then go for it.

The help I prefer is already living in my house! My husband and I encourage our children to be a part of the housekeeping that must occur to keep our home running smoothly. Our children have paid chores. Our children have tasks they are asked to do just because. Our children are in our family and are expected to contribute.

Is this always easy? No. Do they sometimes complain? Yes. But I am okay with that. Their help is needed now to lessen the load. Their help is also growing in them character and maturity for the future.

For more about chores:

Kids & Chores (Blog Post)

Cleaning House by Kay Wills Wyma

Life inside the home can have a busyness to it, but I hope that the ideas I shared today help lessen and lighten your load.

What about you? What do you do to make life less busy inside your home? I would love to hear from you, so drop me a comment below!

Until next time,
Charissa

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How I Organize My Kids’ School Papers

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If you have school age children, then you have school papers. In fact, you have lots and lots of school papers.

It can be overwhelming to figure out what to do with all that comes home in the backpack each day. I have 3 children (1 in middle school, 1 in elementary, and 1 in preschool), so that’s 3 backpacks with plenty of papers and various projects. Thankfully, I have found an organizational system that works for our family, and I am sharing it with you today!

Sort the Papers As Soon as Possible

The kids and I go through the papers almost immediately after coming home from school. We deal with that stack of papers right then and there. In our home, school papers generally go to 1 of 3 different places:

“To be Saved” Basket

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Papers that have the potential to make it into the child’s memory box (more about that later) are placed in a basket that we keep right in our dining room hutch. These tend to be special projects, unique writing pieces, or even a high scoring quiz or test.

The items in this basket are not necessarily going to end up in the memory box, but they do have that potential. The basket is sifted through now and again as the year progresses and as more work comes home.

“Important Papers” Binder

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There are plenty of papers that come home for each of my children that need to be saved for most (if not all) of the year. These papers include things like: master calendars, class schedules, classroom rules, login information, etc. Our binder is divided into three sections, one for each child. If a child comes home with an important paper then we 3-hole punch it, and stick it in their section of the binder.

Field trip forms and other timely information are not kept in the binder. These forms are dealt with as soon as possible. I sign the form and return it to the back pack. We write important dates on our calendar and discard the paper.

Recycling Bag

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I know. It can be really hard to get rid of work your child has completed. If we keep everything, well, we might have a hard time finding the kitchen table in a few months. If the paper is not going in the basket (and then possibly the memory box) or the binder, then it gets recycled. We still take the time to acknowledge the work. We ask about the assignment or have them read a part of it to us. But yes, it quickly makes its way to the recycling bin. And yes, this is something our children know happens.

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Sometimes we hang items on the fridge or a door to display the work for a period of time. Sometimes these items make it to the memory box, and sometimes they don’t. It’s nice for the kids to see their work around the house.

Keep the Special Work in a Memory Box

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The memory box is the final stop. Work that has remained in the basket is now considered as material for the memory box. By the end of the year, we have a small stack of papers in the basket, and we look through that to choose the work that will make it to the box.

Each child has a memory box with a section for each grade they have completed. The section includes a school photo for the year and (about) 8-12 papers or small projects from the year. It’s a great way to remember the child at that time in their life!

School papers are inevitable, but keeping them all is impossible. A simple organizational system seems to be the best way to tackle the paper problem. I hope you found a little inspiration from our system!

What about you? How do you organize school papers?  I would love to hear your ideas, so drop them in the comments below!

Until next time,
Charissa

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What I Keep in the Cosmetic Bag in My Glove Box

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(This post contains affiliate links, so thenotsobusymom receives a very small commission if you make a purchase through the links.)

Have you ever left your house, been a few minutes down the road, and realized you forgot to put on deodorant?

Have you ever left your house, arrived at your destination, and realized you never brushed your teeth?

No? Oh, right, neither have I.

Okay, not true. I have forgotten to do many important things, and I often realize it when it’s too late. Because in the midst of getting 3 kids out the door and trying to put myself together, I sometimes forget things.

It was because of these various “Oh, no!” moments that I chose to create a little “emergency kit” of sorts for the glove box of my car.

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I could keep these emergency items in my purse, but right now I am enjoying my medium-sized crossbody bag. I don’t want to add more bulk to my purse or buy a larger one at this point. Having a cosmetic bag that remains in the glove box of my van seems like the perfect solution for the time being.

The Contents

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*scissors

*hair tie

*bobby pin

*Wisp (mini-toothbrushes)

*deodorant

*cotton swabs

I picked up the super cute bag that contains all these items at the Dollar Tree. (I know you’re surprised.)

What I Want to Add to My Bag

*Tide to Go Stain Pen

*tweezers

A Few Other Tips

Don’t try to prepare for every possible situation. Remember this is a small bag you are trying to fill with emergency items. If you start playing out every scenario, you’ll be filling your glove box and car with too much extra clutter.

Clean out and restock the bag periodically. Your items will be used and need replacing. Some items might get old and need a refresh. Check your bag periodically, so you’re not caught off guard the next time you need an item unexpectedly.

Consider a bag for each car. If you have more than one car, consider making two of these kits. They’re not that expensive, but they do come in handy, so while assembling one bag, you might as well put together another.

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What about you? Do you keep anything stocked in your glove box? What item do you always wish you had in your car? Leave your ideas below! I would love to hear from you!

Until next time,
Charissa

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5 Items You Should Bring on Your Next Hotel Stay

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Last weekend I was able to get away for 2 nights with some of my longtime friends. It was such a gift to be able to have this time away, and it provided much needed relaxation, refreshment, and rest.

We stayed at a great hotel and appreciated our simple, clean accommodations. After the weekend I was thinking about that particular hotel stay and hotel stays, in general. I pack (and sometimes over-pack) thinking I know just what I need. Sometimes I get it right, and sometimes I realize I forgot something that would have been very helpful. Packing can sometimes be a bit of a guessing game, but I think there are some “should bring” items that might be a little unexpected.

Today I am sharing the 5 items you should bring on your next hotel stay.

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(This post contains affiliate links, so thenotsobusymom receives a very small commission if you make a purchase through the links.)

Hand soap

Most hotels supply a few toiletries including soap, but it is always bar soap. Washing my hands with bar soap is really not my favorite, and every time I stay at a hotel I think about my hand soap back home. So, the next time you head to a hotel, run into the Dollar Tree first, and buy yourself some inexpensive hand soap.

Flip flops

There was a pool at our hotel, and flip flops really are the best shoe for time at the pool. Flip flops are also great for sliding on when walking to the vending machine or making a quick trip down to the front desk. Flip flops are easy to toss in your bag and come in handy when you need to throw something on your feet.

Steamer

Yes, most hotels have irons and ironing boards, but I find that whole process somewhat tedious. I am not a fan of ironing when I am at home, and I don’t enjoy doing it while I am away. A steamer is a much easier way to rid your clothing of all those crazy wrinkles that occur when your items are stuffed in your suitcase or bag. There are plenty of mini-steamers that can easily be packed with all your other belongings.

Laundry bag

By the end of your trip (whether 2 nights or 1 week) you will have a small (or large) pile of dirty clothes. I have a hard time shoving my dirty clothes into my bag with all the unused, clean clothes. A laundry bag is a simple solution. If you don’t want to purchase one, you can always just choose the frugal option, and grab a garbage bag from home. I also find that coming home with a laundry bag of dirty clothes makes unpacking much easier. Just throw the bag of clothes right into the washing machine, and put everything else away.

Cash for tips

I have worked at a B & B every summer since I was in high school, and I know housekeepers work hard to clean your room and give you your needed supplies. A tip is a great way to thank them for their service. It doesn’t have to be much, but it is always appreciated. You might also need tip money for room service or maybe just cash for the vending machine.

Those are my 5 “should haves” for your (or my) next hotel stay! They are simple items but very helpful in making for an even nicer get-away!

What about you? What items do you think are necessities when staying at a hotel? I would love to hear your ideas, so drop me a comment!

Until next time,
Charissa

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What I Do With The Clothes I Purge From My Closet

Several weeks ago I organized my bedroom closet, and this organizational mini-project led to the removal of several articles of clothing. Whenever we clean out or organize our closets we are left with a decision: What should we do with the clothes we purge?

Today I am sharing what I do with the clothes I purge from my closet.

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(This post contains affiliate links, so thenotsobusymom receives a very small commission if you make a purchase through the links.)

I begin by doing a quick assessment, and then sort the clothes into piles determining what should be tossed out, given to friends, donated to an organization or sold.

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Toss Out: Sometimes an item has to be tossed out. I don’t like when clothing becomes trash, but sometimes it has to happen. If I find clothes with holes, rips or other damage I toss them out. (If I am able to make them into rags then I do that.)

Give Away to Friends: I sometimes see an item and know it will be a good option for a friend. This happens most frequently with my children’s clothing. It’s nice to be able to share the love and pass along items that no longer fit my kiddos.

Donate to an Organization: We have many Red Cross and Salvation Army donation boxes around us. I limit the amount of clothing I leave in these boxes; I know these organizations are often overloaded with donations, and I am not fully certain about what happens to the clothes I donate. We have a local family pantry that receives clothing donations so that has become my first choice when donating to an organization.

Sell: There are times when I choose to sell my gently used items that no longer work for me because it is a unique way to make a little money. There are a number of consignment shops in my area, and there is one in particular that I will consign with if I choose to sell locally. More often than not, if I am choosing to sell, then I will do it online.

My number one online option for selling my gently used clothing is thredUP. I buy from thredUP and when it makes sense, I sell to them. The process for selling your clothes begins with ordering a clean out kit. The clean out kit consists of a large plastic bag (to fill with your clothes) and some basic info and instructions for sending your clothes to thredUP.

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Poshmark is another option for selling your clothes. I just heard about and am trying Poshmark for the first time. I have listed just 2 items, and I will let you know if I have any success!

When donating or selling clothes, I like to take the time to make sure the clothes look as good as they can. There are two tools I use to make this happen: a lint roller and a fabric defuzzer.

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Remove the lint!

Get rid of the pills!

A closet clean out and organization will lead to unwanted items, so remember the options I shared when considering what you might do with the items you purge!

What about you? What do you do with the items you purge from your closet? Leave me a comment; I would love to hear from you!

Until next time,
Charissa

 

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