How To Efficiently Manage a Full-Time Household

Managing a crazy household? See my 3 biggest tips to keeping it together here.

Ever prepare for a trip? And you know how to get where you are going.. but you pull up the GPS anyway… Just for the added security? This post is mainly a GPS for somewhere I know how to get to.

Matter of fact I’m already halfway there. But things have changed and are changing and I don’t want to waste time on a U-Turn. So below are some of my tips to keep from going crazy when your the CEO of a large household. I would say that managing my household is 98% my job. Not that my husband doesn’t help (Bless his heart… he tries). But keeping up with appointments and school functions seems to be mainly my job. And I don’t mind. I personally feel like this is the only job I must do. Making money at my full-time job is great. But my sole purpose at this time is to raise our children & manage their schedules. I feel this way because they didn’t choose. We chose to have children. We chose each other. They didn’t have a choice. This is the hand they got. One day they will get to choose. Many choices. But right now, they are 9, 8, 8, & 7-year-old little boys. And I feel that they are my job.

That being said- it is a crazy job! It  hectic and chaotic. It’s a dirty job.. but somebody’s got to do it! Lol 

First of all, I recommend recruiting and delegating. Yes, I’m one of THOSE Mommy’s. My boys help me with tasks at home for 2 main reasons: For me and for them. Definitely I need the help. I cannot do it all by myself. And just as importantly, I want to raise good men. Men who can fend for themselves if they need to. Men that know how to do laundry and dishes (or, at least load the dishwasher.. Lol). This isn’t the 1930’s. It’s no longer a given that they will  find women that will SURELY take care of all these household chores for them. And if they do, it will be nice that they have a good understanding of what is required in the home and at the very least, will help out. Especially if they have big families like we do in our home now.

Next up- Calendar. 

Sadly, I’ve fallen into the category that smartphones have made me dumb… somewhat. We have a calendar on the wall at home. It’s cute. And pretty. Unfortunately, it’s useless. Mama phone calendar is the most important calendar in our lives! Recently, my phone crashed. I had cell phone issues for about a month. And although I missed some things like Pinterest (I love, LOVE Pinterest).. I didn’t miss anything more than my calendar. The same could be said for my Husband. He missed my calendar. We were all a little blind without it. Lol In light of this new information, I plan to use the pretty calendar on the wall much more. Additionally, I think instead of chore charts and behavior charts- I’m probably going to give each of my boys their own calendar. I’ll be sure to list what their monthly chores are, of course, as well as any upcoming appointments they have. Shouldn’t they be “in the know”? Lol This will hopefully (fingers crossed) eliminate about 10 questions per month. “Mom, when is my dentist appointment?” “Mom, when do I go to Grandma’s?” “Mom, when is my Birthday?” Yes.. I think this is a brilliant idea. It will also be used to track “good days and bad days”. Smiley faces and sad faces. Days that allowance is earned or lost. 
My last big tip for managing your household (this is for any parent that is trying to raise children): Meal Prepping.

I’m new to this concept and I am in Love with ideas I’ve found on Pinterest. I’m still getting into my groove, as I do have a full-time (or mostly part-time) job. But even as a stay-at-home parent- having your meals planned and prepped for dinner will save you tons of time! My first meal-prep happened about 2 weeks ago. I cooked and prepared my lunches for work, in addition to preparing healthy snacks and infused fruit water I like to drink after my coffee for a boost of energy to keep me going. This was amazing! Check out the flavor infuser pitcher here that is perfect for making fruit water. My husband was a little jealous that I didn’t prep his meals for the week. So I’ve got to get on a bigger scale next time I prep my lunches and begin my journey in dinner meal prepping. I started by purchasing some plastic containers that are microwave/dishwasher/freezer safe  (they sound amazing, right?) They aren’t hard to find. Then I baked seasoned chicken and vegetables, just like I would for dinner. Portion out and ready to go! Huge time-saver! Click here for some handy kitchen items that can help you meal prep like a boss!! And this Salad Container keeps you eating healthy on the go. 

My last thought for this post is probably the most important. There are days I’m sure I can’t do this job. I’m ready to throw in the towel and Fail. But I read something very inspiring about Thomas Edison. 1000 times he tried to create the light bulb. Who would have given up before 1000 tries? Meee! I would have! But what an inspiration. And when questioned about his failed attempts he made a correction to his interviewer. “I didn’t fail 1000 times. The light bulb was an invention with 1000 steps.” Not everything we try is going to fit our lives. And even when we do find something that works for our families- we are evolving and this is an ever-changing life we are living. Keep in mind that this is a 1000-step invention. 

New Year’s Resolution #1- Organize & Declutter!!

Read my blog about organizing and decluttering your home, from laundry room to bedroom to kitchen. Saving some space, one Avon product and room at a time.

Organizing & Decluttering seem to be the unreachable goal at my house! Lol I am the only female that lives in my home… so I’m the only one who sees the aftermath of a tornado when I look around. Everyday I look at our closet.. & then look at my kitchen.. & then look at the kids activity are (where coloring crayons & coloring books & notebook paper) is stored & I think to myself that I know I cannot tackle the beast head-on. I must tackle one space at a time. Time is valuable at my house.. & very limited. Every day I think to myself that organizing even one space per week will give me results! So.. starting this weekend (hopefully) I am going to start with one area at a time. & Avon is going to help me (:

For the Laundry Room: The Sort And Separate Tote helps my boys help me! What a concept! 

Bedrooms: Who has stuff piled under their beds? I dooo!! Lol These Under Bed Canvas Storage compartments are perfect for storing & protecting seasonal or holiday items you need to put away for a while. Also excellent for clearing out some closet space.

Wire Organizing Baskets are perfect for holding laundry items (such as those random leftover socks that match with the ones the dryer ate).

Or, this amazing Retractable Rail With “S” Hooks for all those items that need to hang up and skip the dryer. This rail hold up to 30 lbs!!

If you’re a reader like me then your nightstand probably looks like this:

But there’s a way to organize this, too!! The Collapsible Canvas Magazine Holder is “surprisingly compact” and “sturdy” according to reviews. 

My dresser in the only item in our bedroom (our entire house for that matter) that is messier than my Husband’s ANYTHING! Lol I have so many skincare items & body lotions & hair products & jewelry (3 jewelry boxes & most of the jewelryis on the dresser!) The Stacking Storage Jars …

… Chalkboard Front Desktop Organizer …

… 2-Tier Ceramic Stand …

… & the Pineapple Design Ceramic Planter (doubles as a makeup brush/utensil holder) will help clean up this space. Being organized, in general, helps me save time & be more proficient at whatever I am doing!  

& what about HIS nightstand? It’s also a mess. Usually with remote controls for the TV, cell phone, & other electronics. Check out the Bamboo Multi Device Charging Dock.

 My kitchen is a catch-all! It is a wreck. It’s not bad enough that the plastic wear like cups and bowls are NOT organized at all. An open cabinet door usually results in all the plastic bowls on the counter. It’s not bad enough that the silverware drawer has random silverware everywhere. It’s not bad enough that my kitchen is already a mess… but the kitchen counter catches EVERYTHING! From papers to meds to keys & sunglasses… you name it! Here are some thinga I intend to use to organize & declutter my kitchen:

Straighten up the silverware drawer in style with this Bamboo Expandable Drawer Organizer.

Keep all the utensils together with this Organizing Crock with Chalkboard Front.

Every home needs one of these! A Grocery Bag Holder.

Make extra shelves in your cabinets! The Bamboo Stacking Shelf doubles your cabinet space!! 

Need to organize those spices?? I do!! The 3-Tier Bamboo Expanding Shelf will fit all of my spices (organized & decluttered!) No more digging through 15 spices to find the ine I need in the very back of the cabinet!

Now… for all those keys & papers & notes I need to keep up with, the Chalkboard Corkboard Message Board. Really handy to get organized & to minimize some of the clutter in the catch-all… uh, I mean kitchen.

The Metal Canister With Chalkboard Front is a great way to store food items, like sugar or flour, or all the contents of your junk drawer like screws or nails. It’s multi-purpose.. & it’s purpose can change (chalkboard). I intend to use mine for sugar.. as I’m currently still with sugar in the bag. Lol

So we all need and have and use food strainers (a.k.a. colanders). I have 2. But who loves how much space they take up?? The bigger they are tye more pasta you can cook… & the more space you need to store it. So check out this Collapsible Colander. Takes up a quarter of the space that my current colanders use!

Who has more than 1 set of dishes? Chances are if you’ve lived on your own (out of parents’ house) for more than 2 years you have 2+ sets of dishes. But unless you have half of a baseball team in your house like I do, then you are storing at least one set? If this is the case, then check out these: Salad Plate And Bowl Storage

Mug Storage

& even Stemware Goblet Storage (a.k.a. wine glasses). Although I can’t think of a good reason to store wine glasses unless you have a holiday set or set of wine glasses that are only used on a special occasion. 

Where are your cutting board(s)? Do you have the kind that sit constantly on the counter? Or maybe you’re like me… you have the rubber kind and the ONLY place they storeeasily is laid flat in a drawer. Or shoved in a cabinet (whichis where you would find mine if you searched for them). But this handy Prep Boards With Holder Set stores easily and out of the way. The boards are even color coded, to prevent cross-contamination (how cool?).

This Mini Trash Can is perfect to store near the cutting boards! Perfect for food prep waste, such as seeds and cores from fresh fruits and vegetables. 

How about this for space saving: the 3-in-1 Kitchen Wall Organizer?? This handy gadget is amazing!! It holds aluminum foil, cling wrap, & paper towels! All in one!! 

Stylish food savers! 8-Piece Food Keeper Set is sure to save some space in the cupboard & to keep my foods fresh. 

Living Room/Foyer/Bathroom: I have baskets everywhere! I have one at the front door, as a catch-all. I have one in the bathroom, with candles & bubble bath by the garden tub. I have a small one on my dresser for all my nail polishes. You can’t have too many! & if you use them correctly- they help you organize & declutter. Woven Bin. They also make great gifts… filled with goodies, of course.

I’d love to hear your tips on organizing. I certainly can’t have too many. Happy Decluttering! 

-Brandi ūüíč

Avon gets you ready for Back to School!

Anybody live in a crazy house like me?! With four young boys in the house getting ready for back to school is just as crazy as getting everybody back in the routine of getting up early… and doing homework… and bedtime! Every parent knows that back to school is an endless checklist of tasks… and then an endless struggle to get back into a routine.

Well… Avon can help out with the upcoming struggles and help you get organized!

AvonLIving3Kids (well… my kids) are usually very eager to help out and be more independent by doing things themselves. This color changing alarm clock¬†will make your kids feel like they are more independent and will also make your life easier.

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Whose got the superhero’s? My boys love Spiderman. & they love the idea of packing and bringing their own lunch to school. Check out this 3-piece backpack set¬†which is available exclusively through Avon. The set comes with a backpack, a lunch bag, and a pencil case. Now I am partial to boys since I am the only girl that lives in my house.. but Avon has the Disney Princess backpack set, as well as the Frozen and Minnie Mouse sets (exclusively from Avon) available as well.

AvonLiving2Got to love the rainy days! Everybody loves sunshine… but make sure you are ready for the clouds with these rainy day smile makers. The Superman rain boots and Disney Princess rain boots are available for $24.99 exclusively through Avon. And keeping your kids dry will be much easier¬†with these color-changing umbrellas.

AvonLiving7Getting and staying organized doesn’t have to be a headache. Avon has products you will love that will help you create a schedule that works for you and help get your kids into a routine that will make everybody’s day go smoother in your ¬†home! This calendar chalkboard set will help you keep up with important dates and memo’s. Or this chalkboard corkboard set will provide additional space for tracking upcoming activities or posting incentives for your kids, such as a reward list or chore chart. Personally life would not be sustainable at my home if my kids were not provided with chore charts.

*Tip: Since I have four young children (their ages are 8, 7, 7, and 6) I keep a chore chart for each child. The chores rotate monthly and stickers are earned each day for completion of their tasks which include things like behavior in school, homework, and chores done at home. One sticker per day may be earned and stickers may be ‘lost’ for any reason dependent on the information I have listed on the charts. At the end of the week each child earns $1 per sticker on his chart! This is only $5 per week (times four = $20 per week out of my pocket); however, the chores completed by my children save me at least $20 in time. And you would not believe how big of a motivator this is for my school-aged children.*

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Now that you have some ideas about how to get organized and get into a routine with your children let’s talk about the kitchen. At my home, by the time homework and chores are done we (or I should say ‘I’) do not have much time to prepare dinner. That being said… diet or no diet.. healthy or not healthy.. we have all heard about meal-prep. I have not perfected this plan as of yet; however, it is a goal I am hoping to achieve this next school year. Sunday’s can provide some time in the afternoon’s and evenings to prep meals for up to 2-3 days! I strongly recommend meal prepping. I once read that a goal without a plan is just a dream. The more I think about this the more the words sink in. Goals are a good tool to get you going in the right direction but without a plan how can you reach your goals? So your dinner meals can be prepared¬†on the weekend and either refrigerated or frozen for later use during the week. I, personally, like to bake chicken in the oven and prepare rice and store in containers, like the 8-piece food storage set with attached lids¬†from Avon! These containers are available for just $19.99 and my favorite thing about them? The lids are attached! Who hasn’t spend hours in the kitchen looking for the lid that goes with this bowl? No more! Lids are attached and do not come off. And if that’s not enough… these handy containers are safe in your microwave, your freezer, AND in your dishwasher!

AvonLiving5Along with meal prep, we do a lot of crock pot meals in my home. Prep time is usually about 30 minutes. We walk away from the crock pot for the day and come home to dinner. So easy. This Cuisinart Oval Slow Cooker¬†is perfect for letting your dinner cook itself! And guess what? This fine piece of equipment that can literally give you 2 hours of your life back is safe in your dishwasher! No more standing at the stove preparing your family’s meal and then standing at the sink cleaning up your family’s meal! I think every home that has more than 2 people should have a slow cooker. This gives you more time with your family.

AvonLiving8Next up let’s check out your laundry room. If I haven’t mentioned already… I have four children in my home! Add my husband and me and I (yes… mostly I) spend quite a bit of time in our laundry room. Again, let me mention the chore charts my children live by. Yes!! They absolutely have to fold and put away their own laundry. Remember the comment about life not being sustainable at my home without my chore charts? Well… imagine me washing, drying, folding, AND putting away laundry for 6 people?! It is certainly possible… but not if my family expects me to do anything else. So how can these Avon products (that I love so dearly) help you in your laundry room? Well let’s take some guesswork out of laundry for the other people that live in your home so that they are able to pitch in! These personalizable set of 3 printed laundry bags¬†are so handy that my 6-year-old can sort laundry for me! You can use these bags how they are shown in the picture OR you can give each child a bag of his/her own to keep up with their dirty or clean laundry! Or feel free to delegate out some more of the responsibility by having the people (big or small) actually move some of the laundry. These stackable rolling bins can help get the job going. Or they are also great for storage.