Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013
Do you and your partner bicker during the week over who was supposed to do what? You thought he was going to pick up the presents for the neighbor’s birthday party, and he thought you were on top of your first grader’s science project? My husband and I clash over our calendar–we never know when and where we’re supposed to be until it’s almost time. We e double-book way too often.
The authors of Family Inc.: Office-Inspired Solutions to Reduce the Chaos in Your Home (and Save Your Sanity!), Caitlin and Andrew Friedman, say that squabbles like these are incredibly common. Luckily, couples do not need expensive therapy or endless examination. We simply need to get organized instead.
According to the authors, it’s efficient and painless to run a family like a business. You may have read about their strategies in the January issue of Parents in the story called “The Secrets of an Organized Family.” Check out the issue for detailed information on holding family meetings and doling out weekly chores. It’s crucial for a couple to check in for an hour once a week and figure out everything from who’s cooking, who’s paying the bills and who’s schlepping the kids to activities. Little kids can do chores as well–like setting the table, feeding the animals and putting the laundry in the hamper.
The book tells readers how to dig deep and get organized. Start by cleaning out your house. Get rid of stuff–donate and throw out what you and your kids don’t need right now so you can start your “company” with a clutter-free plate. Set aside one hour each week for that family meeting where you discuss anything and everything that needs to be addressed. Family Inc. includes tips for enjoying more down time (shave time off your errands and chores), sticking to the budget and smoothing out arguments (never fight when you’re tired!). It’s chock full of tips for everything from hiring a babysitter to finding more family time.
Want to get going right now? Try implementing a system for handling mail, receipts, documents and your schedules. Here are 10 Essential Items for Organization straight from the book.
1. bill caddy
2. file hangers and folders
3. accordion files (receipts)
4. family calendar
5. dry-erase board for kitchen
8. storage containers
9. shelvings (put shelves everywhere)
10. box of office supplies (pens, staplers, labels)
If you’re looking to streamline tedious everyday headaches, this book is for you. If you’re already super organized, the Friedmans give information for staying on the right track.
On a scale of 1 (forget about it) to 10 (award-winning), how organized is your household? Mine is hanging tight at a solid 5.
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andrew friedman, bills, caitlin friedman, chores, family calendar, Family Inc., family meetings, household, kids chores, responsibilities, saving time | Categories:
Mom Must Read, Must Read, Parenting Advice
Friday, December 14th, 2012
No time to exercise? No problem. Author Carolyn Barnes just wrote a book called The cLean Momma Workout. You may know her from her website or her popular DVDs. Below, Carolyn wrote a guest post for me with her tips on getting lean while you clean. Her book comes out on December 26–perfectly timed for those New Year’s resolutions.
Wouldn’t it be great if we all had a maid and fit into a size 2? Let’s face it, housework is a drag, and going to the gym? Blach. So why not combine the two and get a serious workout, while you clean your house? Learn how to burn up to 200 calories in just 20 minutes while doing your chores!
Crank up your favorite tunes and tone up while you cLean up with three of my favorite, calorie blasting, butt burning exercises that will get your heart rate pumping and your house spotless.
THE RAG DRAG
Cleaning your floors can be a drag, so use this move on any hard surface or floor that needs cleaning. Here’s what you do:
1. Get two damp rags, and place them under your feet, standing shoulder width apart.
2. Bend your knees slightly, keeping your tush tucked in and your abs engaged.
3. Make sure you are not hunched over and that your spine is straight.
4. Start with your right leg bringing it in and out 5 times while bending your left knee. (Make sure that your knee doesn’t extend beyond your toe.)
5. As you bring your right foot in and out, put pressure on your entire foot, as if you are wiping old jelly off the floor. (The resistance makes this a great work out).
6. Repeat this on the other side, 5 times as you clean another area of your floor.
*If you do the “Rag Drag” till your floors are clean, you will burn three times the amount of calories than
you would if you used a mop!
WAX ON, WAX OFF
Say goodbye to gooey countertops, and hello to fab abs and a tight tush! All you need is a rag, a cleaning spray and some elbow grease. Here’s what you do:
1. Stand in front of your counter-top or table with your feet shoulder width apart and bend your knees into a plié position. (Make sure your tush is tucked in, your abs engaged, and your spine stays straight. Note: the tighter you keep your abs, the better the workout).
2. Make sure to keep your hips square to the countertop or table that you are cleaning.
3. Take your rag and cleaner and make ten large circles with your right hand firmly pressing down onto your countertop. (Again, think of wiping away sticky jelly).
4. Repeat with the left hand doing another ten circles while pressing down firmly.
*Think about how often you wipe down your countertops. If you do this throughout your day and evening you’ll see your tummy and arms tone up fast!
The Vacuum Lunch
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Firm up your thighs, tush and abs while you vacuum.
1. Place one hand on your vacuum and the other on your hip (for added burn, keep it straight out to the side.
2. Step forward with your right leg bending at the knee and lunging forward. Make sure that your knee doesn’t extend beyond the toe. Keep your spine tall and straight and your abs tight.
3. Hold this position or you can pulse up and down for a count of 10.
4. Repeat with the other foot forward for another count of 10.
5. Continue with counts of 10 as you vacuum around you. The key is to keep your hips from wiggling by keeping your abs tight!