As many of you regular readers know, I love any excuse to clean and organize, and I find spring to be a particularly motivating time to do so. Being the neat freak that I am, about two or three times a year I do a full sweep of my entire house and purge everything we no longer need. There are tons of great organizations that will pick up clothing and household items directly from your house. I usually donate our stuff to a local veteran’s organization.
Many of my friends tell me that they are intimidated and overwhelmed by the thought of doing a spring clean, so I thought I’d share some strategies for attacking one room. The first thing you need to do is prioritize. Pick one room in your house that has either gotten out of control or that you simply wish to de-clutter. The next step is to come up with a cleaning schedule. You could pick one week and commit to cleaning one to two hours/night until the job is done. If it’s a smaller job and you have a child that naps, you could try to tackle it all at nap time.
Today I’m going to talk about the kitchen:
1) First, start with your fridge. Take everything out and wipe it down (I usually find that a simple wet paper towel or clorox wipe works best). Once everything is on your counter, throw out any food that has gone bad and any condiments that you no longer use or have expired. If you aren’t in the habit of regularly replacing your water filter (if you use one), now is a great time to do that. Also, I’m old school and keep a box of baking soda in the fridge to eliminate odor. Now is a good time to replace it.
2) Next, move on to the pantry or food storage cupboards. I have an obsessively organized pantry (as evidenced by the photo below), but even my pantry gets cluttered. Go through any old food that you don’t use and donate it (if it’s not expired). Think about how often you use certain items, and move those to the front of the cupboard. Things used less frequently should be moved to the back. You can also put taller items behind shorter ones, that way you can see everything you have. If you want to take it to the next level, The Container Store has great baskets and other organizing tools.
3) Another great place to audit is the kid’s kitchenware. Toss any old sippy cups that leak or have gotten grimy, and any plates that might have a crack. This is good time to order replacement straws for any cups that might need them.
4) I also use this time to make sure my kitchen set-up is working for me. For example, is it convenient to have my cups where I have them, or should I switch them with the plates?
5) Finally, the elusive junk drawer. No matter,how organized you are, everyone has at least one drawer that is a catchall for all things that have no other home. Mine might not look bad (see below), but there is tons of stuff in there we don’t use or don’t need. Just because it’s in a neat pile, doesn’t mean you need to keep it. My motto is if we haven’t used in the last six months AND we don’t anticipate using it in the next six months, we donate or toss it.
I hope this is helpful. I always love hearing other organizing tips. Share them below if you have any!
Running with the kiddos in a stroller…sound like a big hassle and production?! Not at all. With a little planning and the right stroller, it can be simple. It keeps you active and gets you out of the house at a time in your life when things may be hectic and you feel like exercise time for yourself can be hard to find.
Running with a stroller is a tougher workout than running alone. The weight of the stroller and your child in it will make for a slower pace but that extra weight you are pushing amps up your total calorie burn. Many runners find they are anywhere from 20 to 60 seconds per mile slower when jogging with a stroller, especially a double stroller.
To keep the kids happy, be armed with snacks, juice, water, and a couple of toys/books, stashed inside the compartments of your stroller. And as most moms know, nowadays hand-held electronics are highly entertaining to kids as well. If you have a child who will nap in the stroller, you may want to coordinate your runs around nap time when they are more apt to be sleepy and doze off.
Not sure which stroller to buy for hitting the pavement or trails? This is a great guide to the world of running strollers: http://www.runnersworld.com/other-gear/runners-guide-jogging-strollers?page=single
Kids generally enjoy being outside and seeing new things. They just sit back and enjoy the ride! Not only are you getting great exercise for yourself while spending time with your little one(s), you are also setting a good example for your child on the importance on staying active and healthy!
Blog article author: Jen Dehestani, ACSM Certified Personal Trainer at JFit 360° http://jfit360.com
So I have a confession to make…I have social anxiety around groups. I always have. It just seems so much more obvious now that I am a mom. Kid’s birthday parties, playgroups & mom’s night out make me want to run in the other direction. I think I forced myself to go back to work early because the thought of going to a playgroup with a bunch of moms I did not know sounded like a total nightmare. In talking to a few friends recently I realized that no one that I know would have a clue I felt this way. Apparently I come off as confident, social, friendly and some say on many occasions the life of the party. But inside I feel frightened, panicked and stressed out.
Once I get comfortable within a group the anxiety definitely goes down. It also helps to remind myself of situations that I went into dreading but then had the best time. A recent example is a moms dinner out with my bff and 2 of her friends (who have become good friends of mine). Even though I know these moms really well now, I still felt so uncomfortable going to dinner. I know it sounds so silly. I see these girls all the time…I know they like me, but I still just feel so uneasy about the whole thing. Dinner was BEYOND fun. Great conversation, yummy food…honestly one of the best nights I have had in a long time. I need to keep that night in the back of my mind every time I find myself going into that panicked place around group social situations. I know I need to work on it not only for myself but for my kids and husband too. I can’t allow my fear of social situations with groups I don’t know get in the way of my kids going to birthday parties, joining a weekend playgroup or enjoy a night out with new moms or another couple. Do any of you struggle with this as well? Would love to hear your stories!
Wishing all the moms, moms-to-be, grandmothers, aunts, and mother-figures out there a very happy Mother’s Day! You deserve it!
This weekend’s post is dedicated to all the victims of the Boston Marathon tragedy.
What: The One Family Music Festival to benefit The One Fund Boston
Where: The Exchange Conference Center, Boston Fish Pier, 212 Northern Ave, Boston, MA
When: Sunday, May 12, 2013, 12:00pm to 5:00pm
More Info: http://www.onefamilymusicfestival.com/Home.aspx
The One Family Music Festival was created to help Boston area families heal after the tragic events surrounding the 2013 Boston Marathon. It is intended as a time for families to come together to celebrate Boston as the safe, vibrant place families have always enjoyed, and to reclaim the city.
Proceeds from the event will benefit the One Fund Boston, which supports the victims and their families.
As a result of support from a generous donor and countless businesses and individuals, 100% of the proceeds from the One Family Music Festival will go directly to the One Fund Boston.
We are thrilled to announce that the Mometeria Beta has officially launched, and you are among the first to know. Thank you so much for your support over these past few months as we have been diligently building out a site that you will love.
The site matches like-minded moms who live near each other based on criteria that we think is fun, interesting and important. We want this site to be about you, so we also included a feature that allows you to search for moms based on what you think is most important.
There has been so much excitement around our concept, and we need you, our early supporters, to help make this the best community around.
If you haven’t already, we would love for you to:
- Create a profile
- Play around with the site
- Share what you love and what we could do better
- Tell all of your mommy (or mom-to-be) friends to sign up