29 August 2008

10 tips to beat clutter in less than five minutes

I just saw this on unclutterer.com. It is too good not to share:

10 tips to beat clutter in less than five minutes
  1. Make your bed each morning.
  2. Throw away the newspaper each night, even if you haven’t read it yet.
  3. Follow the “one-minute rule” – push yourself to do any chore that takes less than one minute. Throw away the junk mail, close the cabinet door, put your dirty socks in the hamper, hang up your wet towel.
  4. Identify an organization or person to whom you can give things you no longer need – it’s much easier to get rid of unneeded stuff if you can envision someone else getting good use from them. Also, figure out a place to store those things until you hand them over. We have a special shelf for books that we’re taking to the Housing Works thrift store. When the shelf is full, we drop off the books.
  5. Pause for a moment before you “store” something. Storing something means you don’t intend to use it much. Other than holiday decorations and seasonal clothes, you should strive to “store” as little as possible.
  6. Beware of freebies. Never accept anything free, unless you’re thrilled with it. A mug, a tote bag, a hand-me-down toy, the lamp from your mother-in-law—if you don’t need it, don’t take it.
  7. Get rid of things if they break. When I went through our apartment, I was astonished by how many things I’d kept even though they didn’t work.
  8. Don’t keep any piece of paper unless you know that you actually need it. I have a friend who, for years, carefully filed away the stubs when she paid her gas bill. “Why?” I asked, mystified. “I have no idea,” she said. Along the same lines, don’t keep anything that would quickly become dated—like travel information. Remember the internet! If you can easily find information online, you don’t need to keep a hard copy.
  9. Hang up your coat.
  10. Before you go to bed, take five minutes to do an “evening tidy-up.” Don’t tackle anything ambitious, but just stack up the magazines, put your shoes away, shove the chairs into place, etc. Just a few minutes of tidying can make your house look a lot better, and it’s a calming thing to do before going to sleep. Plus it makes the morning nicer.

Birthdays and Misc.

Katie got her staples taken out yesterday. Even though they said it wouldn't hurt, it did. Poor girl!

I know I am such a slacker. There have been so many things that have happened, but I didn't want to post without pictures, so I put it off. I finally got the pictures downloaded, so brace yourself for the longest post in history. Ok, not really. I think I'll just post a few things now, then come back later for a few more.

Two of my children recently had birthdays. Tiffany turned 8 on August 12, and Katie turned 5 on August 20. First off, Tiffany's birthday. We had watermelon at the park with some of her friends. She loves reading mystery novels, so we had a "clue" scavenger hunt. It may have been a little advanced for them, but they had fun.

Then there was Katie's birthday. Again, we used our local park. It's so much easier than cleaning a house after a party! Katie wanted cupcakes. We found cute little party toothpick candles from the dollar store to use. Here are a few pictures from that:

21 August 2008

Ever Wonder How Much It Costs to Go to the Fair?

The answer is about $420. That may seem like a lot of money for some of you. Well, it really does to me, too. Sometimes things don't go as we planned.

Corwin took the day off work so we could go to the fair during the day when it was less crowded. We showed up about noon, when the carnival opened. We paid admission and Corwin and the older two girls got wristbands for unlimited rides.

I took Emily through the exhibits while the others were off to the carnival. They had a blast. Later, Katie joined me, while Corwin and Tiffany rode rides that Katie wasn't tall enough for. We also bought a little food there. I had brought apples, bananas, and nuts, but apparently, that wasn't quite enough for everybody, so we bought fries and a burrito to share.

We heard about this great show called Splash Dogs. We tried to find it, but to no avail. Instead, we passed this tent where they were doing a CSI show. I thought it sounded interesting. Corwin didn't, so he and Tiffany took off for more rides. Katie, Emily, and I sat on the bleachers at the back of the tent to watch the show. It was kind of interesting, but also hard to follow because for me, it's hard to listen to those funky echoing microphones. The girls didn't sit real still, but they weren't loud. Emily got up a couple times to get her backpack off the stroller and to put it back for her snack (nuts). Katie adjusted herself on the bleachers, then slipped down to where her bottom hit the foot area and her head hit the seat. Of course, she let out a cry. I took her in my arms, and Emily by the hand out of the tent, so she could calm down. Then I noticed blood on her shirt collar. I looked through her hair, and sure enough, there was a gash about 3/4" long. It looked fairly deep, too. I went back in the tent for the stroller, put Emily in it, and took Katie by the hand across the fairgrounds to the first aid station. They looked at it, put a bandage on, and told us to take her to a clinic for stitches. I texted Corwin. He met us at the first aid station, and carried Katie to the car.

Now, how hard should it be to find a quick care clinic open in the evening? All of them I knew of in our town closed by 6. And guess what? It was 5:55. So, the only thing we could come up with was to drive to the next town over to get her in. She got two staples put in the back of her head, and a pair of nitrile gloves to calm her. Oh yeah, and stickers and popsicles for herself and her sisters.

So, for a little more than $420, we got a fun afternoon at the fair with a little food, three staples, a pair of gloves, a few stickers, and three popsicles.

10 August 2008

Going through the pictures on my camera, I found this video of the girls playing in the rain a couple weeks ago.