There's always a few little things hanging around in my head that I keep meaning to post to the quick 5 but don't . So I thought I would take all of those orphaned thoughts and put them into one post.
The task of managing a home is so...sigh. I'm not sure what word to use. Big. Draining. Important. Overwhelming. Here are a few little things that help me keep the chaos to a manageable level.
1. No Dish Left Behind
2. Put the dishwasher to work
I think I've mentioned before that I like to refer to my household appliances as 'my staff'. I don't really know why. More mind games, I think. But I read recently that you can run sponges in the dishwasher to sanitize them (unless they have had contact with raw meat then you should toss them.)
3. No Place Like Foam
I like to use foaming soaps in my house because I feel like it is helpful for little hands. My kids seem to do a better job getting the foam spread out than they do the traditional soap. The only downside is we go through it so quickly. I recently learned (from my neighbor- I am living vicariousy on pinterest through her) that you can make your own foaming handsoap. I purchased a large gallon of refill handsoap and use a 3:1 ratio. So for 1/4 cup soap you add 3/4 cup water. Stir it a bit and pour it in! Works great. So far I've refilled five times and have barely made a dent in that gallon. Genius.
Ah, laundry. You can't ignore it; can't quite conquer it. At least that describes my current state of things. I've found that when I sort the laundry into shopping bags then the kids can carry it upstairs and put it away. Laundry baskets are difficult for little people to haul up the steps- but give them a canvas bag and they are quite pleased with themselves.
|Aldi has some nice big bags for $1.99|
|Yes, I realize this picture has little to do with the paragraph, but what's not to love about that comb-over?|
After four babies, I found the Golden Idea. Seriously,this one simple technique has saved me so much headache.
6. Flower Power
Every 4-6 weeks I buy myself a fresh bouquet of flowers (costing $4.88 at Walmart). I'm shameless. I just buy 'em for me. Because I work hard. Because they inspire me. Because I keep my table and countertops cleaner when I want my flowers to be all alone. I've found that if you take care of flowers, they actually last a long time (usually for me at least 3 weeks, sometimes even longer!)
Now, not just anyone can buy themselves flowers. You have to be prepared to deal with the looks when people say, "Oh, who gave you flowers?" and you casually reply, "I bought them for myself" and then their face says "How weird" but their mouth says, "How nice." Just giving you fair warning. But they get over it. And used to it.
Here's what I do to take care of the flowers.
- Look for flowers that look fresh and have NO wilting. Sometimes the ones I really like are looking a bit past their peak already- ignore those and buy something else.
- As soon as I get home, I trim the bottom of the stems with kitchen scissors and pull off all the leaves that will be in the water (leaves in the water = mushy grossness).
- Next get everybody settled. Usually I divide the bouquet into at least two jars, maybe three (then I can spread them out and enjoy them more- kitchen table, dining room table, top of piano, guest room, etc.) Personally, I love flowers in mason jars. It just feels simple and lovely to me. But if you have a favorite vase or like to keep everybody in one tall, stunning arrangement- then go for it!
- Don't forget to add the plant food packet to the water. I usually divide it between the vases but sometimes I forget.
- Around every other day, I check on the flowers, I dump the water and add fresh water. I pull out things that are starting to look dead.
- Once a week, I pull the flowers out and use kitchen scissors to trim off the bottom inch of the stems.
- After two weeks, I start to combine arrangements if things are dying off. By pulling the flowers together (again in fresh water) I can usually get a solid month's worth out of my $4.88. That's a pretty good investment to me because they bring me so much joy.
- This list actually makes me seem a little bit psychotic. Like the next bullet point might say, "Sing them to sleep at night." I don't do that.
- Put them in Swiss Water. Such a difference.
- That was a movie quote and a joke. In case you missed it.
- This list thing is kind of addicting. All I have to do is hit enter and one of those dots appears.
- and again
- and now we're done.
Any sanity savers you want to pass on?
Hope your week has moments of joy and accomplishment.