20 October 2011

Controlling the Clutter

When I had only one child, keeping the playroom tidy was no problem.  Fast forward to today and, often, I can't walk a straight line through our playroom, or man cave, as my sons prefer to call it.  I have to meander through the strewn toys, books, remotes, dvds, legos (ouch)...  well, you get the picture.  That is, until I decide I've enough and take control of the clutter.

Here's how I do it, and you can too...

1-  As I have mentioned on this blog before, every few days I call for a 10 minute tidy.

What is a 10 minute tidy?  It's how I get my boys to keep the playroom from getting overrun by the mass of clutter.  10 minutes is a manageable amount of time for the boys to clean up without getting overwhelmed.  By doing this every couple of days, it truly does control the mess.

2-  Location Location Location.  Every category of toys has it's place in the playroom.  Wii games belong in the cabinet, neatly stacked.  Legos belong in large bins and we have smaller plastic drawers for the special Lego items.  Books belong on the shelves, obviously.  Larger toys and games have places in the closets and in large buckets (purchased at Walmart) that line the walls.

3-  Assign responsibility.  Each of my four sons has his own area of responsibility.  Just like the Navy has numbered fleets that control different theaters of operation, each kid in our family takes control over a region of the playroom.  This is very effective because it often prevents mess in the first place.  If Dwight sees Zack leaving remotes and Wii games on the floor of his domicile, he will immediately complain and make Zack put them away so that it is not left for him to take care of in the 10 minute tidy.

These three steps can go a long way toward keeping your clutter under control.  They have saved my sanity, the boys know what I expect from them and how to make it happen.

The Forever Moments

I just received a beautiful piece of art from The Forever Moments.  The photo was taken when Horatio visited us last month.

My days are filled from 0' dark thirty until way past sundown.

I often forget to capture the fun moments on the camera, but even when I remember to snap a photo, the pictures rarely leave the hard drive on my computer.  I know I'm not the only one who has this problem.

Of course I wish I had time to make scrapbooks, I've even been to some of those scrapbook parties where an organized mom teaches us barely put together moms how to put together detailed scrapbooks with our kids' pictures, making the rest of us feel wholly inadequate.

Sometimes I find time to stick a favorite picture of my adorable (yes, I am biased, of course) kids into a frame, but that's about the most ambitious I get.  I barely have time to shower some days, so creating works of art is WAY down on the To Do list.

So I am very happy to have found this great site where someone will do it for me!

You can send your favorite images to The Forever Moments and they will do all the work!  They have dozens of templates to choose from and you can personalize them all.  They personalized the dog tags on my template.  (I've edited the boys' names for privacy, the writing actually looks just like the "Daddy" on the other dog tag.)  They will use whatever names you request, no matter how silly, and will even change colors for you.

Each template is cut out by hand, not printed out like you see on other sites.

You can order the templates with or without the frame.

Prices range from $9.95 to $19.99 depending on the intricacy of the design, and they donate $1 of each military themed template order to Blue Star Families, which I love!

I received my art over the weekend and the boys and I immediately found prominent wall space on which to hang it.  Then, the next time we skyped with Horatio, we took the camera over to the wall so he could see it.

It brought tears to his eyes.

The best part, readers, is that we have one to give away and you can enter several times.
The giveaway will run through November 3rd.

For your 1st Entry: Head over to The Forever Moments website and then come back here and leave a comment telling me which layout is your favorite.

For your 2nd Entry: Head over to facebook and "Like" their page.  Leave a comment there saying BeenThereDoneThatMom sent you and come back here to tell me you did so.

For your 3rd Entry: Become a Follower of this blog and comment here to tell me you've done so.
For your 4th Entry: "Like" Been There Done That Mom on facebook and leave a comment here telling me you did so.

For a 5th and Final Entry: Follow @BTDTmom on twitter and leave a comment here telling me you have done so.

I will choose a winner on November 3rd and the winner will be contacted by the great women at The Forever Moments within 2 business days to choose a layout and get the ball rolling!
I received my template as a gift from The Forever Moments but the opinions I've expressed are solely mine.