How To Get Your Kids to Clean Their Room

Belinda may be grown BUT I do remember the battle for her to keep her room clean – okay, even neat would have been nice.  I was grateful company never had to walk past her room to get to the bathroom or I could just close her door….  What about you?  Do you struggle to get your kids to clean up their room?  Are things tossed EVERY WHERE???

If you’re a parent, you have heard the endless excuses your kids can come up with when it’s time to clean their rooms.  From “I’ll do it later!” to “I’m too tired,” we’ve heard them all! The truth is, we probably used them ourselves at some point in our life, right?  Here are a few tricks to help make the room-cleaning battle a bit easier.

1. Set clear, realistic expectations

What is clean to us may not be clean to our kids.  We need to set age-appropriate goals to help them recognize when their room is “clean.”  For a three-year-old, a clean room could simply mean books are on the shelf, toys in their place and dirty clothes in the hamper. Yet for an eight-year-old, there could be the added responsibility of making their bed or putting clean clothes away.  The key is we need to share our expectations with our children.  Maybe even give them a list of what to do and if they can’t read, use pictures with the words.

2. Let your kids OWN their space

Belinda’s room was her room – seems like a no-brainer, right?  I let her make her own decisions but often gave her just two choices I could leave with – whether it was picking out her clothes, what color her room was or what game to play.  I never thought about giving her a .choice about where things went in  her room… It did get better once we put the closet organizer in with shelves and a spot to hang her clothes.

primaryFor some kids, putting toys, games and clothes away is never fun – except when there’s a monster involved! Here is a unique craft idea to turn Thirty One’s  Your Way® Cube or Your Way® Rectangle storage bin into a fun monster kids can keep their belongings in.

Not only does it help keep bedrooms and toy rooms neat, it makes a great decoration and an adorable gift your kids will love. I’m pretty sure this is one monster your kids will want under their beds … or in their closets!

image1Here is what you will need:

  • 1 white sticky-back foam sheet (color optional)
  • Pair of sticky-back googly eyes – size and number of eyes optional
  • Scissors or craft knife
  • FREE monster teeth template (Your Way® Cube and Rectangle sizes included)
  • Glue stick (for other/additional design options)

How to make it:

  1. Choose either a Your Way® Cube with matching Cube Lid or Your Way® Rectangle with matching Rectangle Lid in the color or print you want your monster to be.
  2. Print out the monster teeth template below and cut two rows of teeth for your cube or rectangle from the sticky-back foam sheet. If you prefer, you can also design your own teeth, but be sure to measure the window or panel of your bin first.
  3. Peel and stick the teeth to either the clear PVC window or chalkboard panel of your bin, aligning the flat edges to the top and bottom edge.
  4. Next, identify the front-facing edge of your lid, and place it on your bin. This will help you decide on the placement of your googly eyes.
  5. Now, peel and stick the eyes in place to the front-facing edge of the lid. You made a monster!

 

Add even more embellishments, if you’d like: Maybe some foam-sheet spots in a contrasting color, or eyelashes, horns, ears or a nose. Maybe even glue a little faux fur or feathers to the lid for hair!

Consider stacking up a few monster cubes to create a fun tower shape or line them up on shelves to create a monster row. The most important thing to remember is to have fun and be creative!  Click the link:  Monster Teeth Template to get the teeth

 

3. Set a good example

Kids learn by example, right?  They learn from what we do, and not from what we say.  I’m sure you have said it at least once “Do as I say, not as I do”… Admit it, we all have.  Honestly, sometimes it’s easier to say, “Clean your room!” and walk away than to actually go in and HELP our kids.  Sometimes, it takes just that!  If your child is resisting, why not get down on the floor and help.  When you do the work together, you are setting a good example of how families help each other – and it actually is a chance to spend  some quality time talking and bonding with your child.

I wish we had personalized containers like The Littles Carry-All Caddies, Mini Storage Bins and Your Way Cubes when Belinda was younger.  They are the perfect size for storing toys, extra clothes and other stuff which clutter up a child’s room. Plus, they can be personalized with your child’s name, a favorite picture or animal (using our Icon-Its) or anything else you come up with.  Have some fun with your kids and let them help in personalizing the storage and organization products for their rooms.

How do you help your children keep their space neat and tidy? Show us your organized kids’ rooms by sharing your photos on social media – we love seeing how you put Thirty-One’s  products to use. Tag us with #partywithHope

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Home Office Organization

Our topic at this month’s Jersey Shore Direct Sellers Networking Group was follow-up.  I LOVE my follow-up system but none of it works if my office is a hot mess!  About once a month, I need to take time to completely organize my office AGAIN!

Wouldn’t it be nice to walk into your home office and be able to find exactly what you need, right away? Imagine the time I would save (and you).  One less “project” so you could spend time with your family, friends and actually working in your business, and not on it.

With a little time and the right organizing tools, you can make it happen!  You can transform your home office from a HOT MESS to an efficient, well-functioning space which will help you to achieve your biggest business goals.  Redoing your entire office can be a HUGE undertaking, so unless you have a full weekend to devote to it, why not focus on one area at a time.

Pick one thing which needs attention.  Let’s think about what would work for your follow-up system.  Do you have a filing cabinet?  Or do you just use the drawers of your desk? Or do you just shuffle piles of papers on your desk?

Clear out and organize your papers

A great first step is to clear out all the papers in your office, whether they’re stacked on your desk or spilling from your filing cabinet. Take this chance to scrub the cleared-off areas, too, so you’ll have a perfectly clean space to work with.

Then use the rule of threes to organize to sort your stacks: one pile to toss or shred, one to file and one that needs action.  When I am working I use the principal of never touching a paper more than once!  Yes, it can be done.

A couple of Fold N’ Files in a color which complements your home décor work well to store the important documents you need to keep accessible.  I have several of them.  I love the fact they fit in my zip top organizing tote so when I need to travel, I can take files with me without having to pull them out.

Use creative storage solutions to better utilize space.  Often, a home office is part of a shared space, which means getting creative with your storage.

Portable storage like the new-for-spring Your Way Display Bin not only gives you a handy place to store loose odds and ends like staplers, calculators and pens, but it also lets you combine (and carry) multiple solutions to best fit your needs: Think Double Duty Caddies for paperwork, Mini Storage Bins for crafts or a Mini Catch-All Bin for gift-wrapping supplies. The result? A clean, uncluttered home office with more desk space where you need it.

Incorporate a larger tote or storage container to help you stay organized

Since it’s inevitable that certain items will make it into your office that don’t belong there, keep a portable tote or storage container under your desk to toss them into. A Catch-All Bin, Your Way Rectangle or Your Way Rectangle Basket all work well for catching your miscellaneous bits and pieces. Don’t forget to color-coordinate for added appeal!

Once a day or once a week, take the container with you through the house to return your stray items to where they belong.

An organized home office doesn’t have to be just a dream. Once you’ve transformed your space, share your pictures with us! We love seeing newly organized spaces which make great use of our fun and functional Thirty-One Gifts products. Additional tips can be found on Thirty One’s blog

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Easy Decorating Hacks

I dream of uncluttered shelves, do you?  Yes, I may be the proverbial bag lady but organizing my own home is a challenge mainly because I have “a gatherer (aka hubby)”.  He likes to pile things.  Don’t get me wrong, I used to be a piler BUT since I have trouble processing things, piles don’t work anymore.

Do your bookshelves look just like the stacks at the local library? Home libraries have much more leeway to turn away from the uniform and instead make a bookshelf more colorful, more fun and more YOU! A few decorating tips can take this utilitarian piece of furniture beyond the basics to become a bastion of your favorite books…and more.

Highlight your hobbies

Books may be windows to your soul, but your hobbies and interests say a lot about you, too. Combine them both on your bookshelves! Strategically place collections of your favorite items beside and in front of your books. Turn stacks of books into stands for small objects that you adore. Make every bookshelf represent the things that you and your family care about most.

Go beyond alphabetical

If your books are arranged from Austen to Zafón, you aren’t alone. But look past strict alphabetization (and the Dewey Decimal system!)  Instead group your books in a pleasing way to the eye – by size or by color. Mix things up by lining some books horizontally, stacking others vertically or even turning them spines-in! Don’t worry: We won’t tell your librarian!

Leave empty space, too!

Even if you have enough books to fill the Grand Canyon (I know we do in our house), squeezing them all onto your bookcase may not be the way to go. Leave some space and give your books room to breathe. Empty space on your shelves can not only give your bookcase a clean look, but it can even make a small room appear larger. (Best yet, this may be the perfect excuse to get a new bookcase!)

Forget the books

Believe it or not, books aren’t even a requirement on every shelf. Instead of banishing photos and artwork to the top of a bookshelf alone, try surrounding the books you love with the people you love! Set framed photos, pieces of art, houseplants and even layer empty frames to add personality and show off the items you love.

Hide the clutter

Bookshelves are very practical places to hold important papers and other items to be kept close at hand. But who wants to see a bunch of folders lining a bookcase? Use baskets to hide the mess within, and containers to keep files handy while portraying a much more pleasing facade.

Choose a Fold N’ File in one of your favorite Thirty-One prints to line up on your shelves, or a Close to Home Décor Box or Close to Home Caddy to add a natural wood accent to your bookcase.

Look at what’s behind

Pay attention not only to what’s on your shelves, but what’s behind them, too! Hanging wallpaper or painting the space behind your bookcase is a great way to add some zing and draw eyes to the shelves. Unsure about which color to choose? Start by looking at the hues that already fill your room on items like chairs and pillows.

How have you made your bookshelves uniquely your own? Do any Thirty-One products line your bookcase? What are your favorite items on your shelves? Share your thoughts with us….
Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

How to Transform Under Your Sink?

I never thought under my sink needed a makeover… I mean who sees it but the two of us, right?  Then hubby installed a water filter system and I had to clean out underneath for him to install it.  UGH!!!!  Of course doing this triggered all kinds of thoughts on how I wanted to revamp the entire kitchen.  Funny how a simple task can get you thinking in the BIG picture, right?

But let’s start with revamping your sub-sink storage in a single afternoon so it’s as fresh as the cleaning supplies you keep there.

Step #1 – Clear the cupboard

I was amazed at the things under the kitchen sink!  So let’s start with a clean slate.

Empty your under-the-sink cupboard and place everything on a nearby counter. Yes, we mean everything! Throw out the empty bottles. Get rid of the supplies you never really use.  You know the one everyone said was so good but it doesn’t touch the dirt in your kitchen.  Now decide the best storage solutions for your space.

Step #2 – Gather supplies together

Separate the rest of the supplies into groups based on how or where you use them. For example, a Your Way Rectangle or two can hold everything you need to wash the dishes. Use a Your Way Rectangle Basket with a liner to contain polishes, detergents and other bottles. Turn a Zip-Top Organizing Utility Tote into a mobile cleaning station with rubber gloves, multi-surface cleaners and a duster.  You can personalize them to keep your supplies neatly labeled and simple to find.  You’ve the “I can’t find it so I can’t do it” excuse, right?  No more excuses for anyone to shrug off cleaning duty!  Guess it means me too!  LOL.

Step #3 – Use empty space

If you are anything like me, you have a handful of supplies items which don’t quite fit into any category – or maybe they are used so much they defy categorization. A few tools and a few minutes can give you easy access to these items whenever you need them.

Add a tension rod to hang spray bottles so they’re always a cinch to reach. Fasten hangers inside the doors to store scrubbers, dusters, towels and other frequently-used supplies.

Cleaning up is far less of a chore when your tools are organized and easy to find. A fresh new look under the sink may be all you need to spark your own cleaning expedition!

Check out this makeover video:

Need help?  How about snapping a picture of your problem area, send it to me and I will help you get organized?  Live close enough and I will be happy to come to you with tips and tricks (not only Thirty One solutions) to help you get organized.

Let’s start today to tackle your “get organized” New Year’s Resolution…..

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Do You Have an Elephant in the Room?

Hello, world.  Have you ever had the feeling something was following you?  You knoooow something’s there but you were just too afraid to look.  So you ignore it, hoping it would eventually go away… but it doesn’t.  Suddenly, “something” grabs you at your feet!  You jump back in shock, only to slam right into it.  So then, you do what most people would do… RUN!  Or you attempt to run, when only after a few steps, you slip on to the floor, and fall directly into the “thing”.  Finally, you make it to the door.  By now, you’re thinking you at least owe it to yourself to see what it was; this persistent, consuming “thing” determined to drag you down.  So you slooowly turn around… and stare it head on.  Did someone break in?.. Is it an animal?… a ghost or a MONSTER?!  When all of a sudden you realize… it’s just those overstuffed binders on the floor you’ve been “meaning” to organize, the books and customer invoices stacked on the desk, and the world of products from your inventory toppling over the shelves.  Yep, the so-called “Thing” pursuing you is called Clutter… and the truly scary conclusion is, it ain’t goin’ anywhere until you make it.

I saw this in a blog post some time ago and I giggle every time I read it.  As a home-based business owner, the “Thing” called clutter is a common issue.  Being a home-based business owner for many years, I have had the elephant in the room.  Yes, I do help others get organized but not always the best at taking my own advice!

Do we invite clutter in?  Nope!  Do we like to deal with it? Nope!  It just sort of happens.

I was always one for piles – organized piles.  Then when I started working from home full time, I found it wasn’t so easy to get organized.  I struggled with systems. We know we should take time to get organized, but the truth is we either (1) don’t know where to start, (2) adopt the “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em” mentality (try to work with it as it is), or (3) RUN from it (avoid it all together).

No matter what, clutter has to eventually be cleared up or it will only get worse and you will be buried under a mass of paper being totally unproductive.  It’s not going anywhere and the biggest hit where it REALLY hurts is…..yep, your profits.  It is so much easier when you tackle it right away because it is easier, less overwhelming and can be a stress-free process.  Otherwise, you not only work harder, you start the day off cranky and frustrated because, “seriously, I can’t find the file!” or you have orders for a product you didn’t realize was out of stock… ouch$$$!  Need more motivation?

The major benefits of putting in the time and effort to get any home-based business space in order:

  1. It promotes efficiency… you can locate your items much quicker because you know exactly where everything is when you need it, which saves you time.  Once organized, it may take a moment to think about where you put it but once you keep putting something back in the same place, it will become a habit!
  2. It increases productivity… an organized workspace helps you accomplish more throughout your workday.  When a system of order is in place, you are more driven and focused on the success of your business; NOT on the added stress of a cluttered space.
  3. It saves you profits… Organization = Great inventory management!  You avoid product loss due to expiration, misplacement, or damage.
  4. It creates an atmosphere which leads to business success!.. when you’ve create an environment which stimulates our brain, you think and feel better which translates into your work.  The passion for your business is reignited!  It also inspires you to want to become organized in other areas of your life.  Imagine that!!!

Helping people get organized is part of the butterfly effect of my vision – to bring a smile to the face of those who are struggling.  When people think of someone struggling, they think of major things like chronic illness, the loss of someone, addiction, etc.  BUT the struggle could be the desire to grow your business.  I’m in the business of helping people.

I LOVE working with home based business owners. Let me help you transform spaces which are a “hot mess” to what seems like a completely different room.   Every time you enter your office space, you’ll instantly become charged about your business day.   I can share with you how I got organized and STAY organized (90% of the time).  But it is your BUSINESS (or your home)!  We need to make it work for YOU.

I want you to feel excited and inspired every day when you enter your work space.  It shouldn’t bring feelings of stress or a “business-as-usual” mentality.  As a home-based business owner, you have the power to change your work environment into something to fuel your success.   It starts by getting organized – office supplies, product inventory, packaging/shipping supplies, photo/video equipment… EVERYTHING needed to run our businesses from home, in a neat and orderly system which fits your unique, individual needs…wheeew!  As a home-based business owner, you can create a positive, inspiring environment to keep you pumped about fulfilling your goals – no matter how big or small the space may be.

It’s time to address the elephant in the room!  Face it head on and be determined to overcome the problem which isn’t going anywhere

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!