5 Things You Didn’t Think Need To Be Tossed Before School Starts.

The one thing that really made me mad when my Kids finally moved out and went to college was that they had held on to so many things they didn’t need for years in their rooms and our house, and I was left to deal with it. Geez, thanks. 😢 I thought we were outgrowing our space, but we just needed to get rid of things! And I mean a lot of things. Here are 5 things that made no sense to keep throughout the years.

Halloween Costumes 👻

Can someone tell Hobby Lobby to chill on their excitement of the holidays? Two weeks into August and 💥you are greeted with Halloween Decorations when you walk in the door. They get 5 Stars for always being prepared in advance. However, life outside the Hobby Lobby doors is hectic. Unless you think you can recycle a Halloween costume on another kid without them throwing the temper tantrum of “I don’t want their hand me downs” then stop by Goodwill and bless someone else.

Small 👟 Shoes/ Clothes 👕

Yep that’s me… 3 or 4 years old in Melbourne, Australia 🇦🇺
Crocks, flip flops and more, are probably all lined up by your door, but do they even fit. Save yourself a headache this school year. Picture the screaming that they wanna wear their ruby red Boots from two years ago to school that you know they don’t fit. Ditch the old shoes 👟winter jackets, and clothes now and bless another child. If you’ve
got some great gently used items, consider Texas Baptist Children’s home for donating. They have many families with children that could always use some gently used items for their new beginnings in life.

Sport Equipment ⚽️/Band Equipment 🎺

Most parents of a middle school aged child can empathize with me and this violin that My Son played for a year only. I’ll admit that he’s 23 years old and I still have this 🎻violin from his 7th grade year. I’m not perfect, I just write about perfect scenarios. 😂
Before your garage turns into a cemetery of old sports and band equipment, google your local donation place for this items. Play It Again Sports and your local Facebook neighborhood group page are the fastest way to try to at least get some of your money back from their phase of middle school.about:blank

Books/Filled Coloring books 📚

When my Kids moved out of the house I was surprised at how many books they left at home. All of those Scholastic Book Fair Times Of “Mom I just have to have this motorcycle book please” and Judy Blume series books become dust collectors. Make your kids go through their book collections yearly to save you the tears I shed when my kids went to college. I guess some books just serve purposes for some specific times in their lives and that’s it.
Filled Coloring Books
How many coloring books are just adding to the pile of books in your house. Sneak and toss them. The great thing about this throwing away situation is that most coloring books are recyclable. So you’re doing yourself and the planet good.

Socks 🧦

It’s less expensive to just toss the socks out in their drawers before school starts than to play the “find the best socks” challenge when school starts.
Academy and Target 🎯have become hip to this idea. They always have the socks in bulk on sale around back to school shopping time. Home Cleaning in a Teravista is off to a good start because one of our Moms there inspired this blog 😊. She had so many bags outside her door when we showed up to clean. When we asked her what she was doing, she said she was clearing so we could clean. Made sense ✅

This post was written in memory of Gentry Mason. The Lovely Harris Family Featured on our Blog Post was created because of Gods Plan and your existence.No matter where we end up providing home cleaning in RoundRock, Austin, Lakeway, and Spanish Oaks we notice the same thing time and time again. Moms are busy and kids are messy. It’s just life and sometimes life is happier with a little mess rather than everything being so organized. However, getting rid of what we have outgrown helps the transition into the next phase of life. Whether it’s 1st grade or Junior year, we all need to let go to grow.

How To Marie Kondo With A Warren Buffet State Of Mind

Life is a bunch of piles. Work on the desk, bills, emails and crunched time to smash New Year Workout Goals. Then the Marie Kondo Challenge goes viral again. Putting extra…pressure on getting my workouts on track, eating clean and balancing work. So since music is my go to for a mood changer I channeled the lyrics of Drake’s “I’m So Proud Of You” song.

Fitting Time For The Marie Kondo Challenge is Challenging

I appreciate Drake for acknowledging that’s it’s hard, because a lot of areas of life are overwhelming making the survival rate of these New Year Goals a struggle to complete.

Personalize The Marie Kondo Challenge

To keep this simple and realistic, I addressed my top three priorities of life to live, before anything else.
Eat, sleep, time crunch. If these flow healthy, peacefully and in order my days are more productive.

How To Marie Kondo Your Kitchen For Your New Year Healthy Eating Goal🍽

Everyone in your household shouldn’t have to go on a diet because you are! Personalize areas of the pantry and fridge for your “Go To” healthy eating. Let’s call these areas your fridge and pantry VIP section. Most VIP sections in Vegas don’t want to be in the back of the venue. Everyone wants to be in the spotlight up front. So make your healthy eating options visible to see, organized and easy to access.

How To Marie Kondo Your Bedroom 🛌

Your bedroom needs to bring you more peace than any room of your house for a good nights rest. Change is good. So if it means removing distractions out of the bedroom then address it and remove it. It may mean switching up your mattress (did you know you should flip your mattress every 6 months?) bedding or arrangement of your room. As much research as you put into the TV you watch is the same amount of care we need to put into the place we rest.

We Recommend BB&B Carpet and Tile For Carpet Cleaning!

How to Marie Kondo My Time

This has to be the hardest priority of all. Simply putting time for myself before anyone else. Shocking but true! Office work gets done by placing a time frame on a to do task, so why not to do task time limit my priorities for myself. I know I have to be at work by 8 am but my body really needs me to be at the gym by 6 am. So I’m going to remove the clutter that’s going to stop me and prioritize the goal for myself first. We all know the clutter could be the snooze button option or a simple click on social media that turns into a wasted hour.


I personally think the Marie Kondo challenge seems easy for Marie Kondo because she wasn’t raised in the typical American Household. So don’t overwork yourself trying to keep your socks 🧦 folded in segments. Personalize this experience of addressing what is slowing you down. From eating right, sleeping peacefully and getting your time back in life it may be easier to address the priorities and throw the rest of the list away.

4 Steps To Unclogging Your Happiness Inside Your Home

We can all agree with the phrase “I deal with shit 💩 at work all day so that’s the last thing I wanna deal with when coming home 🏡 !” Well the shit 💩 you …..constantly bring in your home 🏡 adds up, and until you clear it out you’re going to feel clogged eventually 😳. Now let’s get the plunger of life going with three steps.


IN THE CLOSET: You’ve been in a “I’m gonna go to the gym” thing every🙄 Monday for the last year.🔜 If it isn’t a size under or a size over TOSS THAT SHIT🎯 The thought of going through everything is overwhelming so just give yourself a commercial break time out. ⌚️ 1 bag for each closet in 5 minutes. If you can fill the bag in 5 minutes of unused shit then you have unclogged a part of your personal life✅ to make you happier. 🍾
UNDER THE SINK: If it doesn’t fit ✖️in a handy cleaning caddy that can be moved from room to room with ALL cleaning supplies inside TOSS THAT SHIT 🎯Cleaning solutions expire!🔚 Keep it simple.
Maybe it’s Maybelline or maybe it’s EXPIRED!💊💄💅 If you don’t know when you bought it TOSS THAT SHIT🎯
IN THE KITCHEN: I mean how many coffee cups ☕️does one mouth 👄 need. Grab a box 📦 and give yourself 10 minutes ⌚️to open and remove unused items. ✅Don’t stop…. remove that shit all the way to your car. 🚗 🎯You know it’s just going to sit in the box if it’s not removed all the way. TOSS THAT SHIT 🎯

Our 🥅 goal while providing Maid services in Austin is to provide ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️Star Hotel Like services. We find the inside scoop on your favorite hotels and bring that service to your home. Think of the feeling of a hotel like Fairmont Austin. You walk into a VISUAL feeling of clean first. Then the scent of clean hits you followed by the touch of clean.
​You too can have that feeling at home but it first starts with removing the shit to uncover the happiness!

5 Tips For Organizing Your Home For The New School Year

Have you heard of the phrase “Proper Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance”?

Well, if you have never heard of this phrase please do yourself a favor…say it out loud today, write it down, and then make your whole family repeat it.

With the rush of the new school year fast approaching, now is the time to plan ahead so that our families school year routine can be efficient and easy.

Children need a very defined structure, not only in the classroom, but at home to succeed.  We as parents have to take a planning approach to get ready for not only our upcoming busy schedules, but our children’s schedules as well.  

Work, breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, caring for pets, caring for the home, laundry, homework, etc. can all be a little overwhelming (especially during this back-to-school month).  However, good calendar enforcement and some organization can help make the ease into the upcoming school year a breeze.


Where do your family members need to be and who can get them there?  Sounds like a simple question – but it is really an important one to ask yourself.  Traffic in Austin is bad enough!  But traffic is so much slower during the school year than it is in the summer so make the needed changes now to your route to school and work in the morning.  (That extra stop at Starbucks could cost you an hour of your valuable time during the school rush hour in a few weeks).

Share a family calendar with your children so they also know the who, what, where and when of all the family members.  This information will help everyone plan accordingly.

Lunch? Are you sending money or putting money onto their accounts or do you need to plan a time when lunch is made so the morning rush isn’t hectic? Dinner?  Is a family member in charge of cooking dinner?  Is Soccer practice the same day and time as gymnastics? These are all questions that require some consideration before the kids sharpen the pencils and open the textbooks.  Set up a family calendar and place it either in the laundry room, garage, back door, or fridge (a place where all family members can check it regularly).  Or you can even share a Google Calendar with your entire family on your smartphone.



When was the last time you spent more than 30 minutes in your children’s rooms?  Take a moment and prep your child’s room with them.

From the drawers, to the desk, to under the bed:  remove, replace or reuse is the concept in this organization process.  Take some time with your child to really look at the items in his/her room and decide if it can stay or go.  If it stays, find a place for it together.  This way, your child will know exactly where to find each item and where to put it back when he or she is finished with it.  Hopefully, this helps your child getting ready for school and homework time be more effective. Teach them that you are making room for more items because, as they grow, the contents of their bedroom will increase if you don’t declutter.


It’s time to organize the pantry and fridge to make it easy when the kids are preparing lunches or breakfast for the school year.  Assign certain shelves for snacks, breakfast, and lunch items.  Place food within reach and keep that placement consistent – so your family will easily see when you are out of cereal before they actually need to eat breakfast. 

And don’t forget to take this time to throw out many of the old snacks that have been shoved to the back of your pantry from last year’s lunchbox stash.  You don’t want little hands to grab expired items.  Your kids may just know they like the taste but may not be paying attention to those all important “best by” dates.  You don’t want to start the school year off with sick tummies!


Assign a certain day of the week to wash laundry and add it to the family calendar.  This will help prevent the emergency, “Mom I need my gym clothes washed!” scream the morning of gym class. (We have all been there – digging through the laundry basket hoping that the clothes are wearable for just one more day).  Teaching our children the responsibility of their own items (even if they are not washing them themselves) is very important in their maturity.


We as parents don’t tend to jump in the back seat often.  So take the time to pull the car into the garage and jump in the back seat and discover all the hidden summer gems your children have lost.  You may find a shoe that could possibly save you a trip to the store to buy a new pair. I hope these tips help you get organized for the school year.  I’m sure on that first day there will be many tears and many squeals of excitement (from both kids and parents)!  But with a little planning, at least at home you can make the smooth transition back into the school year.  So, get ready to have a productive start to the school year with Prior Proper Personalized Planning.

Do you have a routine or certain plans that your family has found extremely beneficial at the beginning of each school year?  Please let me hear from you in the comments section below.

4 Tips On How To Organize Your Closet and Keep It That Way!

An early morning run seemed like a great idea this morning until I looked at the weather and it was 36 degrees outside! I ran to my closet to change from mid-length running pants to full-fledged Hyperwarm Nike running clothes and realized those were tucked away in storage containers. So, since I spent UNDER an hour reorganizing my closet (yes, I reorganized my whole closet in under an hour), I thought I should surely share the secret.

Your closet is your very own department store!  You are the owner, and it’s time to do some inventory replacement.  You don’t have to spend a ton of money on getting a new closet system made.  All it really takes is a one-time evaluation of your closet to make each year a smoother transition between seasons.

Separate, coordinate, reposition and arrange are 4 easy steps to keep your 6:00 am rush to get dressed for any occasion down to a minimum.  Let’s look at each of these steps in more detail.


To separate clothes so that it will make sense to you, first you need to think of your lifestyle.  What do you wear most…a suit, sweats, heels, tennis shoes? Align the items of importance to you like the grocery store aligns groceries – at eye level to catch your attention.  This will make the early morning grab of clothes easier than sorting and sifting through gym clothes, jeans, and finally to your suit you need for work.

Shoes should be separated in the same manner.  Group them together from dressy, casual, to flip flops and boots. 

Clean storage containers of all sizes can help with the closet organization process as well.  I have a 5 stack slim storage container that I use in my closet to separate my undergarments and socks.  I noticed how Victoria’s Secret separated their items into bins and drawers to keep the shape of the bras.  So, I just copied their idea and applied it to my closet.


Now that you have items of importance at a quick reach, color coordinate them in like color arrangements.  Items such as white long sleeve shirts and polo style shirts should already be separated from each other, so now just coordinate each separation into color groups.

Also, coordinate your styles of pants from slacks to jeans on the proper hangers to decrease the unwanted pleat from a hanger.CLICK HERE & WE’LL HAVE YOUR WHOLE HOME SPARKLING!


With the weather turning colder so suddenly, now is a great time to move the tank tops, shorts and flip flops to storage bins and reposition the sweaters, jeans, boots and jackets into their places in your closet. It was so easy to reposition items this morning because I had already separated them last year.

All I had to do is this…I simply took the stacks of summer clothing (tanks and shorts) and then I pulled out the storage bins of sweaters and sweats and replaced the items in the storage bins for the appropriate season.  It’s a simple switch!  This makes it an easy repositioning transition every season.  And, when the warm Texas weather comes back again in the spring, I will simply take a few minutes and do the process again (only the winter clothes will go back into the bin and the summer clothes will get organized into my closet).  


Arrange the items in your closet in a way that shows you what you wear most often.  And here’s a helpful tip:  when you wear an item and rehang it, be sure to turn the hanger the opposite way to show you how often you are wearing certain pieces. (We all have favorite outfits, but our friends and coworkers would probably like to see us in something else once in a while).

Also, place your heels in toe to heel positioning (in other words:  one shoe will show the toe and the other of the same pair will show the heel) to show the height of the heel and style all in one quick glance. If most of your shoes are in boxes, assign one of your kids a paid job to take pictures of each shoe. You can send those pictures straight from your smart phone to your local drugstore and usually have them delivered to your door!  Then, simply tape the pictures of the shoes on each box.  How is that for organization made easy?  You know what I like to say, “Team work makes the dream work”…and it also teaches children the importance of organization.
I am sure after doing this a few times you may even find the need to get rid of a few items.  While separating, coordinating, repositioning and arranging you may find clothes that no longer fit or you simply aren’t going to use.  But, please remember that someone else may be able to get some more wonderful use out of the items.  You can always donate to the local homeless shelter to recycle your clothes for new ones and feel good about it. 

So, I hope these 4 tips on how to organize your closet have helped.  Think of it this way…if you get organized, you can reward yourself by going shopping and picking out something new.  You have the room in your closet for it now – right?  Do you have any closet organizational tips to share?  I’d love to hear from you in the comments section below.  

Happy Organizing!

How To Quickly Prepare Your Kitchen For Thanksgiving

If the task of Thanksgiving dinner is on your shoulders for next week, it’s time to prep the kitchen NOW!

We can’t make your grocery list for you, but we can help with the kitchen to-do list.

Feel free to add, erase, or substitute – but remember to have a plan ahead of time.

photo credit: paintedbooklady via photopincc

Where the Heck is the Gravy Bowl?

If you are like me we tend to pull out all of the fine china and silver on Thanksgiving.   However, once we pull it out, we may be pulling out more work than we are prepared for.

  • Add silver polish and rags to the grocery list and assign a family member the task of silver polishing and fine china cleaning the weekend before the big feast. 
  • Also, plan on having a little more silverware than needed because someone is bound to bring a friend over for a plate and surprise your guest list.  It’s better to over plan than under plan. 
  • Don’t forget to check your blender, food processor, and mixer.  If they usually don’t get a lot of yearly use they may be missing a part or two.  Better to be safe than sorry because borrowing a mixer from the neighbor on Thanksgiving morning may not be greeted with a smile.  

No need to set the table yet, but at least the table necessities will be ready to be filled with food when the big day arrives.

How Long Has This Onion Been in the Fridge?

If you’ve got to smell it…then chances are it already stinks and needs to be disposed of.  Let’s clean the fridge out of those unwanted items.  Also, please take note that certain items don’t belong in the fridge to start with. 

  • The refrigerator is too cold for potatoes and turns their starch to sugar! Let’s save the sugar consumption for Grandma’s pie and not extra mashed potatoes. 
  • Don’t put tomatoes in the fridge unless you are planning a mushy tomato dish.  The fridge is also too cold for them. 
  • Onions don’t belong in the fridge either because not only will they make everything else smell like an onion, but they will also get too soft from the cold temps. 
  • Try to remove some of the old condiments as well (like jellies and salad dressings) that may have been in there since last Thanksgiving. Please check items for dates before serving! 


How Many Potatoes Do I Need To Peel…Because My Feet Hurt!

If you are having multiple people in the kitchen at one time, reserve prep areas for each person. Don’t be afraid to pull in a chair or two to make the work less stressful for all involved. If you have a Bed Bath & Beyond coupon for 20% off you can use it to splurge on cooking mats that have a soft, yet firm grip for the kitchen floors.  Place one in front of the stove and one in front of the sink.  Both areas will see high traffic and long amounts of standing on Thanksgiving. 

Grocery Store Checklist

Nearly everyone in the city is going to be looking for broth next week so plan your list around your ingredients now.  The stores are already stocking up for Thanksgiving and most items can last a week – so stock up this weekend!  Don’t forget to add more paper plates, plastic ware and plastic containers.  You are going to want to get rid of as much turkey as possible. Remember when you hand that plate of food to Cousin Joe that you most likely will never see that container again.  So splurge on the extra plastic containers knowing that you will probably not be seeing them again. 

Declutter the Counters

Fake lemons and cookbook arrangements are cute, but will take up space that you need for the prep work of dinner.  Grab a box and declutter your kitchen so that your work space can be free and clear of clutter. You can easily place the decorative items back out when the feast is over and your company has gone home.GOBBLE!  GOBBLE!  GOBBLE!  WE HOPE YOU EAT TILL YOU WOBBLE!

Five Areas To Clean and Clear For Back To School

“Prior Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance” 

Teachers have prepared the classrooms for a fresh start, so let’s prepare their students for a fresh start before heading back to school as well – beginning at home.  To accomplish this preparation, however, we need to plan in an organized space. Planning school breakfasts, lunches, clothes to wear, after school activities, and everything in between takes some organized strategy. We are down to the wire, so let’s focus on the busiest parts of our homes that get used the most during the school year.Photo via www.homemie.com


If bathrooms are shared, the morning school rush can be a headache. A simple calendar will help. 

Place a calendar on the back of the bathroom door. This will help remind your children of the time expected for them to utilize the space before the next big kid enters.  Remind them that whatever they take out to use needs to be put back immediately.

If your child has their own bathroom, a calendar is a good reminder for brushing teeth before and after bed with a sticker check mark.

Placing the routine into the beginning of their day will help with the flow of the routine for the rest of their day.


It’s time for Mom to step in and help! Everything that was worn in the summer may not be school appropriate.  Before back to school hits, remove items that don’t fit. Trash and unnecessary clutter need to go as well.  Plato’s ClosetOnce Upon a Child, and Buffalo Exchange all accept clothes for cash.  So it’s time to remove these items to refresh for the fall weather approaching.



If the kids are grabbing breakfast in the morning or making lunches, let’s take the stress out of the process.  Keep all snacks, juice boxes, and lunch boxes together and help the kids assume responsibility for making their lunches by placing all of the ingredients they can use in one area. It’s best to assign specific snacks and supplies for only school so that you don’t run out by the end of the week.  This way the kids know that certain things are only their treats for school lunch or breakfast.


organized homework station, back to school organization, homework station, back to school cleaning
Photo via www.aninvitinghome.com
It’s also time to make a clean, fresh start at the desk.

Before this new school year begins, remove anything from the last school year and start fresh.

It’s nice to have new supplies for school, but why not update the homework area with new pencils, pens, and a new inspirational quote board for the new year? A fresh, clean area gives way to new and clear thoughts.


Sleep is important for focus, so let’s hit the following 5 things:

  • Flip the mattress.
  • Clean the clutter under the bed.
  • Wash all linens and create a routine to wash them weekly during the school year.
  • Make sure electronics, such as phones, are kept away from the beds to charge at night so sleep isn’t interrupted.
  • Is it time to buy a new pillow? Why not remove the current germy pillow, or at least buy a new allergen pillow case to cover the existing pillow?

Photo via www.keenerboy.comRemember:  Don’t overwhelm yourself with the last week before school starts setting in. 

Every home is different, so why not walk around your home and make your own personal list of the areas you need to focus on? Quickly clearing and cleaning is essential for preparing for the upcoming school year.

What Documents Should I Shred or Throw Away?

You can hire a professional cleaning company to help you clean the things you are too busy to care for around the house. However, there are just some things you have to clean out personally.  The area of your home office that is designed for your work space can get overwhelmed with kids’ school permission slips to sign and bills from 1999.

There are some papers we have to keep for a certain amount of time, but time is something that we all are short of. Therefore, clearly it’s easy for those papers to stack up.

 If you personally are already on top of this “shred and toss” method, that is awesome. But it’s a good idea to share this method with our teens headed to college and/or older parents living alone.  Times have changed, but identity theft is getting sneakier and more high tech.  Buying a great shredder may be a smart idea for a birthday or early Christmas gift.

It’s can be hard to know what documents you need to shred and what to throw away.  So, let’s take a look…


What Do I Shred?

Shred anything that is considered a “sensitive document”. In other words, any paper that has your: 

  • name,
  •  address,
  •  any part of your social security number, (even if it only shows the last 4 digits),
  •  anything you have signed, or
  •  anything that has a password (even a temporary one).

If you have a certain place you tend to open your mail, it’s best to position the shredder very close by.  That way you don’t have an excuse to start a pile.  You can just open, read, and shred.

Don’t be fooled by some mail only having certain personal information blocked out.  Identity thieves can piece together a month’s worth of your mail and put together quite a bit.

Also, shred any junk mail that is addressed to you directly.

Credit card offers can be filled out and signed by someone else, just by having a blank application!

Shred those credit card receipts AFTER you see the transaction has gone through smoothly, which is usually about a week.

There is no need to save your bills after you have paid them (even for tax purposes) for over a year.  You can always contact the agency and print out your dates when you need them. Infographic via paperrecycles.org

What Documents Can I Throw Away Instead of Shred?

You can discard junk mail (not personally addressed to you).  Also, you can pull out the articles of magazines you like, and toss the magazines.  

Also, throw away anything that isn’t directly identifiable to you with your name and address on it.

Keep Your Identity Safe!

It’s a good idea to purchase a shredder that also shreds credit cards.

Those pesky junk mail credit card offers sometimes come with personal credit cards that, although are fake, can be a method of stealing your identity.

You want a shredder that has a great rating because you need it to last!

My daughter is in charge of shredding my box of “to shred items” and she accidentally shredded a key! It was a key that was supposed to open up a car that was a method to get me to the car dealership. However, it had my name on it and identified that I had bought a car there in years past.  The papers should have been shredded, not so much the key!  But cheers to ATIVA for creating a great paper shredder that got the job done of shredding my personal information, AND THEN SOME!

Happy Shredding, Tossing, and Getting Your Home Office Organized!

6 Tips To Get Your Children and Home Ready for School

The iconic symbol to the unofficial end of summer is Labor Day and it is quickly approaching.
“Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance” for our children’s success in the school year so let’s get the 6 most important things planned for an easy start to the school year.

1. School Supplies

The dreaded list that the school provided for our children with some odd item that we can never find has been received.  The best way to plan this trip for supply pick up is to either pre-order the supplies through your school or check out online before stepping into stores.  Office Depot seems to always have every single item my children have needed from pre-K to Senior Year.  However during the mad rush to get supplies a lot of stores have those BIG BIN sales where everything is tossed in and it’s a grab for all.  If you don’t like that kind of madness

2. Morning bathroom rush hour schedule

A. Time schedule
If your children share a bathroom the morning rush hour during the school year to use the bathroom may be your first issue of the morning.  Speak on the situation before it becomes an issue.  Set a morning schedule up for each child to use the bathroom for pre school preparation, especially if you have a boy and a girl sharing the same bathroom.  I suggest allowing the boys to prep first since we all know that young ladies usually have more hair and longer routines. This time schedule can also be used for bathroom cleaning assignments.  Make each child accountable for cleaning the bathroom on certain days so that everyone is involved in the clean up process
B. Time Glass
Another great idea is a time glass.  This is great use also for small children when sharing bathrooms together. They can all have one and that time glass gives them their own personalized time to utilize each sink for brushing teeth. It again can also be used for cleaning times in the bathrooms.  The main point of cleaning the bathroom is disinfecting.  Leave a bottle of mixed vinegar/Water/TeaTreeOil in the bathroom as a non toxic cleaner for each child to use to disinfect the bathroom on their assigned scheduled day.

3. Everyone works better in a clean room

You now have a week to go through your children’s rooms and closets and to get rid of the old and unused and prepare for the new items the upcoming school year will bring in.  Go to a container store and grab some containers to ONLY keep items that you feel you will want to see 5 years from now from the past school year.  Take that container and place it in an area that is not in the child’s room so they too can see there is now room for more growth. Don’t forget about the closet too.  Take out old shoes, and go through the closet with your child to see what they may have stashed in the back to hide.  Who knows, you may find an old sandwich or lunch box from last year!

4. Family Calendar

The school year becomes more of a routine lifestyle than the summer, but with so many people needing to be in so many places daily it’s easy to get so busy that we forget.  Make a large family calendar and leave it in the mud room or side of the fridge for all to see and write on if any changes are to be made. That way the whole family is aware of what is going on and where everyone is during the week.  Don’t forget to put small reminders on their like “Give Mom and Dad a Hug” because we get so busy with driving and running around to activities that we forget to love on each other!

5. Gas up the cars!

Mornings are going to be busy so I suggest checking the cars gas gauge on Sunday evenings.  No one likes to jump in the car in the mornings with a load full of yelling children and an empty coffee mug realizing that you have to stop and get gas!
It’s always better to get gas at night anyway because it’s still as hot as it was in the summer.

6. Take time out to love

The first day of school is a moment of excitement, pictures, and routines.  Start a morning ritual with your children to show them you love them so that no matter how busy the school year gets they know that secret handshake or special kiss on the forehead is a quick sign of “Hey Kid I love ya”.

Age Appropriate Household Chores For Kids

School Is Out and Summer Is In!

For most families with children, we understand that summertime brings many extra expenses that the school year helps us avoid such as:  summer camps, higher electric bills, grocery bills, utility bills, and more.  Our homes that were once vacant from August to June, from 7 am to 3 pm, are now filled with teenagers sleeping in…and not only your children but their friends touching every surface in your home that they can.  This is the time of year we really understand the patience of school teachers that watch over our children for 8 hours a day. However, they are watching over them in a confined space and now summertime freedom has children (and all that they come with) attacking every wall of our homes.

Let’s Take The Teacher Approach!

Every semester teachers create very defined plans to keep our children busy from roughly 7:45 am to 2:45 pm daily. Their plans are really goals that help our children become better than they were on the first day of school to the last day of school.  Progress cards and report cards help us all see this and we reward them for their awesome efforts.  School may be out but the defined plans can still be put to work.

Let’s make a plan!  Teach your children that they can earn a summer vacation, camp, or another extra summer activity if they help around the house – since they now have extra hours on their hands.  Put those extra hands to work for you!  

Of course not all ages can do the same tasks.  But, every child of every age can do something and it is good for them to start learning early and progress in their tasks as they grow.  This gives them a sense of pride and responsibility.  Let’s look at household chores by age groups.


Teens 13-17

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photo credit: David Reber’s Hammer Photography via photopinccTeenagers are old enough to handle chemical-free cleaning solutions.  Now is a perfect time to teach them the importance of taking care of their possessions and the space around them before they leave your nest and create their own.

  • Laundry – Teach with direction the steps in washing their clothes, towels, and bed sheets.
  • Cleaning their rooms on a more defined level – Instructions on cleaning under their beds and the importance of not having food items or containers in their room are good points. Showing them that bugs like food just as much as they do is a great way to scare them into throwing that bag of chips in the trash instead of under the bed!
  • Assign one common area to clean a week –  From the bathroom, living room, kitchen, lawn, to the garage….These are all rooms we all use on a regular basis.  Show them the importance of cleaning under things like the cushions and rugs as well as cleaning above things like the ceiling fans.  Once you assign a task and make sure they are doing it your way (and not their way) they will become more aware of throwing towels on the floor after a shower and leaving shoes in the living room.
  • Washing out trash cans both inside and out – How many times are we constantly reminding our teens to tie a knot in the trash bag so it doesn’t cause maggots and flies in the trash? Ew!  When they clean a nasty trash can out once they will be sure to tie that bag before they let it fly into the can next time! 

Pre-Teens 8-12

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photo credit: Alison Faith via photopincc

  • Unloading and loading the dishwasher –We shared a blog a few weeks back on the importance of loading and unloading of dishwashers. Click here to reread that important article to ensure your dishes are loaded properly by all members of your family.  Teach your pre-teens the importance of carefully loading items so they come out clean and sparkling.
  • Feed and wash pets – As much as our children love playing with their pets, they really don’t understand the clean-up process that goes into caring for them.  This is a great age to teach your children how much a pet relies on us for everything…food, water, exercise, hygiene, etc.
  • Dust your room – It’s never too early to teach a child to dust.  Dusting is one of the most detailed cleaning tasks of most homes. Assign a common room each week for your child to dust that does not contain breakables.  Teach them the importance of caring for their home’s items whether those items are in their room or not. 
  • Strip your sheets for washing and make your bed – This is usually the age that kids are choosing their own clothes and finding their own style.  The value of their decisions means so much to them.  When you teach them how to properly make their bed they will value the process more when the school year starts because it will become a summer habit.

4-7 Year Olds

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photo credit: theloushe via photopincc

This is the age range of the little helpers!  Children this age are most likely in camps or activities outside of the house – as if it were a school day.  Since they now don’t have homework assignments, you can assign them small tasks to help them feel that they are your little helpers.

  • Place all toys back in your room at the end of each day.
  • Bring napkins to the table for everyone at dinner.
  • Help put away light grocery items and learn the assigned shelf or area for items… especially their snack shelf items. 

It’s never too early to teach our children the importance in the value of our homes’ items.  Summertime gets busy for every household member.  Assign tasks to see progress in your children’s caring behavior for their personal spaces.