Monday, February 14, 2011

Kristi - Guest Post

Today I have a special treat for you: a guest post from my bloggy friend Kristi (you can read more about her at the end of the post)! This will especially speak to you moms of young children, but there are truly some great tips for everybody here on managing your home - especially in regards to keeping your home clean, and getting delicious meals on the table without stress! Enjoy:

Tip 1* Plan your meals the weekend prior to cooking them so that you have all your ingredients readily available.
Have you ever found a great recipe and then started making it and realize there are one or two things you need, but you can't go to the store because of nap time, the weather, or some other inconvenience?  I find that planning out what you are going to eat each day of the week really helps with faster food shopping, less grocery trips during the week, saves gas money, etc.  (Sometimes I even plan out a month in advance...but not lately)

Tip 2* I have found that placing all the ingredients on the counter the night before helps me.  Then if I do need to run to the store for one or two things I can do it first thing in the morning with the kids when they aren't tired or hungry.

Tip 3* Begin chopping or prepping your meal right after breakfast! (I know I'm insane, but this is what works for me) I find that the sooner I start prepping my meal during the day the less stressed I feel come dinner time.

Tip 4* At your children's nap time finish the prep of dinner or even start to cook a few things!  (My meal is usually done cooking around 3:30 or 4pm then it has time to cool and I like to taste test) By 5pm we are ready to eat!

While you are prepping your meal what is your child doing?
* Coloring at the table
* Playing with play dough
* swinging in the swing or sitting in their bouncy seat
* playing in their exersaucer
* Reading a book to a younger sibling
* watching a short video (Blue's Clues, Barney, Baby Einstein)

How do you keep your house tidy throughout the day?

Tip 5* Everything has a home!  The kids help me clean up when it is time and they know exactly which bins things go in.

Tip 6 * Shoes are lined up near the front door or placed in person's closet

Tip 7* Things that need to go upstairs are lined up on the side, and whenever I take a trip upstairs I grab something and put it back in it's home

Tip 8* I sing with  my kids as we clean (singing always helps us to stay positive)

Tip 9* I choose a room or area to focus on each day.  For example: Mondays: Bathrooms (3) Tuesdays: Playroom, Wednesdays: Basement, Thursdays: Dining Room, Fridays: Kitchen, Saturdays: The 3 Bedrooms.  Each area or room gets vacuumed, cleaned, disinfected, garbage emptied, etc.

Tip 10* I only do one load of laundry a day (if there even needs to be any laundry done, which some days there doesn't) and I make sure the load of darks, lights, or delicates is done first thing in the am and then at nap time or t.v. time at night I fold that load.  Laundry shouldn't become overwhelming so I try to only do one load and then I feel caught up.

Tip 11* Before going to bed breakfast is prepped on the counter, coffee maker is set, and sink and garbage are emptied...this way I wake up to a nice clean kitchen and not a pile of dishes.

Tip 12* The key is if you do a little each day then you don't have to clean all day!  And many hands make light work, so teach your children young to start "helping" even if it is more work in the beginning because they learn fast, they feel important, and they are more apt to be more independent, helpful, and eager to participate as they get older.

Thanks Kristi, these are such wonderful tips! I hope you've all enjoyed our special guest post today and will leave Kristi lots of grateful love :-). Want to get to know her better, and be able to keep up with more of her tips, ideas, and encouragement? You will find her writing regularly at her blog: Keeping Up With Kristi.

About the Author:
I am a believer in Jesus Christ. I am married to my amazing husband who is my best friend. Family is very important to me. I am blessed with two beautiful children, Julia (3 years old) and Mark (20 months). My God, My husband and children are my main priorities in life. I want the Lord to say, "Well done thou good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of the Lord," when He welcomes me home.