Monday, February 28, 2011

Healthy $10 a Day Menus

Oatmeal, pears, juice
Leftover Chicken Divan, rice, mandarin oranges
Spaghetti with meatballs, Caesar salad, garlic bread

Dutch pancakes, applesauce
Baked potato bar
Tortilla Espanola, carrot and celery sticks (anyone know how to get the "~" over the n?)

Fried eggs, grapefruit
Southwest salad
Beef Stew in crockpot, biscuits

Peanut butter baked oatmeal
Tuna noodle casserole and peaches
(Alternate: Mac and cheese soup)
Cheesy Beef and rice , salad, cooked carrots

Blueberry muffins, yogurt, fruit
Spice-Rubbed Turkey Breast with Sweet potatoes (Smith's has turkey breasts on sale for $1.49/lb)

Whole wheat pancakes
sandwiches on rolls
Leftover turkey in:
Turkey with Two Salads
Chunky Turkey Vegetable soup

back up meal: Chili, cornbread or Santa fe stew, cornbread

(linked to Menu Plan Monday at

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Speed Clean the Kitchen

Over the weekend, while logging into Yahoo to check email, I stumbled across this article:

How to Speed Clean Your Kitchen: The best time-saving tips, techniques, and to-do lists for polishing off the kitchen

While it never takes me just five minutes to mop my kitchen/dining room floor, this is a helpful list with some good guidelines for getting in the groove of creating a daily kitchen routine.

Check it out, and as Fly Lady says--go shine your sink!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Pick One Spot

Awhile back, I read about the Pick One Spot contest on girltalk. Although inspired (I can always find a spot to work on in my house!), I didn't have the time for a major organizing overhaul that weekend. So I'm getting to it today. I knew then that the spot I'd pick would be my closet. That's what I'm working on today. Sure, it's a little overwhelming but I'm making progress, and that feels good!
I'd take a picture for you, but as I explained in this post, the digital camera's shot. So I'll just describe it instead. Here's what I'm doing:
  • Removing everything from the shelves, one shelf at a time
  • Taking the clothes to the bed to sort through
  • Sorting through it shelf by shelf--either putting it in a summer tub or a winter tub, a giveaway bag, or a throw-away bag (plus a pile of dry-cleaning)
  • Gathering my maternity boxes and putting what fits now and is in season in the closet
  • Creating a massive ironing pile
The closet looks much better. The bed looks overwhelming! So I need to finish my sorting and tidy everything up back to normal (or near normal). :)

What spot would you pick?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

My Boys Wear the Perfume in the Family

This isn't my perfume tray, but my mirrored vanity from my grandmother looks exactly like this. And my boys can't keep their hands off it. I think it's the push-spray action that fascinates them; maybe they get a little superhero thing going on: "watch me spray the bad guys with this repellent." Whatever the reason behind the intrigue, I can smell it when they've gotten into my perfume.

Today was particularly interesting. Actually, I'm struggling to find the right adjective to describe it.

I was on the main floor, helping our oldest with his math and phonics. The two youngest were upstairs, supposedly getting ready for the day. It was quiet. Too quiet. That's never a good sign in this house.

I went upstairs to investigate. My oldest son beat me up the stairs. He yelled, "Mom, they're getting into your perfume again! They're spraying it everywhere!"

Not only had they sprayed multiple bottles of perfume several times, they had taken my bottles of essential oil (lavender and Pan-Away--which smells a little like Icy Hot) and one of the boys had poured the bottles on the head of his brother. He also took a small bottle of peach-scented roll-on perfume that I really liked and dumped that on brother's head too. Creating their own perfumery, I guess.

I also had a small bottle of Estee Lauder's Advanced Night Repair (which is tremendously not cheap) on my vanity that is now providing an advanced treatment for the carpet both day and night.

The only redeeming part of this situation is--at least their mix smelled somewhat decent today. Plus, my son got quite the deep conditioning treatment for his hair.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Why I'm Going Back to Film

I've blogged before about my problems staying current on scrapbooking (or putting photos in albums in general). Largely, it's due to the fact that I don't print digital pictures on a regular basis. If I were going to print pictures, the order would be so massive and so expensive that it keeps me from doing it. I know I could solve this by simply breaking it up into bite-sized, budget-friendly pieces (one month--not one year--of pictures at a time, for example), but I don't.

The whole digital thing just doesn't work the best for me. So I'm going back to my old camera--you know, the kind that requires film. Remember that stuff? :) It's just better in my situation, because I have to buy a roll, take the pictures, and then go develop the 24 pictures on that roll of film. Hard copies in my hands, ready to go in albums or books.  The kids will be able to see, in pictures, the mischief they got into a week ago, a month ago, a year ago. The whole family will be so pleased.

This decision, though, was somewhat forced upon me. A blessing in disguise, you could say. You see, a few weeks ago, while I was upstairs, busy putting our two-year old down for his nap, my three-year old got ahold of our camera on the main floor and was busy trying to take pictures. He completely zoomed the lens out, and then--to the best I can figure--tried to push it back in with his finger. He brought the camera up to me when he couldn't get it to do anything. I couldn't get it to do anything either--except to say "lens error." My husband, who is usually supreme at fixing anything, couldn't put it back together again either. So the camera's shot. Not a pretty picture.

But fortunately, I have my older 35mm camera. I am going to keep it hidden from the kids.

(linked to Works for Me Wednesday)

Monday, February 21, 2011

Babies and Wedding Rings

My sister-in-law called a few days ago and said she heard on the radio about an old wives' tale to predict the sex of the baby one's carrying. Apparently, many women called in to the show and said it really works. Here's what you do:
  • Take a wedding ring, washer, or pin
  • Tie a piece of thread to it
  • Wind it up so that the thread is tightly wound
  • Hold the item over mom-to-be's belly while she is lying down and let it unwind itself. (Supposedly it works best to hold it right below the belly button, where the baby would be around three months).
  • If the needle or wedding ring swings in a strong circular motion, you will--according to the tale--be having a girl. If it moves in a to and fro motion like a pendulum, you will be having a boy. [Other sites say the opposite.] (info from
We tried it tonight for fun. We also performed the test on our boys. For each of them, the ring definitely went back and forth. For me, we tried it three different times. Each time, the ring started rapidly spinning in a circle. My husband thought it was unbelievable. You just have to try it to see for yourself!

I was curious to know the theory behind this. This forum says it's because "men and women give off different hormone energy...Metal picks up on the energy. For men, their 'waves' tend to go from side to side and women go around in a circle. So your wedding band picks up on the waves coming from the baby!" One woman wrote: "You have to be showing a little for this to work because when I did the top of my belly the ring was confused and went side to side and in a circle. I guess it picked up both baby and my energy. Well when I put the ring lower (over my uterus where I feel the baby kick) it started to go side to side right away!"
Hmm...interesting. I'm not putting too much stock into this, but it was fun to try! Whether God gives a fourth boy or our first girl this August, we'll lovingly welcome His gift into our family. The boys would love to have a sister, though, and yes, I'll admit--my mother's heart longs for a daughter someday. We'll see what happens!

I'd love to hear if you've tried the wedding ring test and what your results are!

(Linked to Works for Me Wednesday)

Redneck Housekeeping

My husband enjoys listening to a cowboy radio show on Saturday mornings. A few weeks ago, they told some redneck jokes about housekeeping. The funniest one was something like:

"If it's time to vacuum your sheets, you probably need to change them instead."

Changing sheets is an interesting housekeeping topic, though. Many people routinely change sheets on Saturdays, because that's what they've always done, their mothers have always done, and their grandmothers have always done. It's just tradition, and it works. Others wait until they look like they need to be changed. In most homes, usually after someone's been sick, sheets will be changed and washed in hot water to rid any lingering bugs.

But the weekly system doesn't work for everyone. One busy homeschooling mom of seven wrote in a book that she began to get really overwhelmed with washing and changing eight sets of sheets weekly. She said her kids didn't really get that dirty, so why was she stressing herself out to give everyone clean sheets when she maintained they were still relatively clean anyway? Her solution was to wash every two weeks.

I try to change sheets every weekend, but it doesn't always happen. I don't like to go more than two weeks, though, without changing the bedding. It just feels so much better to sleep on a freshly made bed with crisp, clean sheets.

So what do you think about the frequency of changing sheets? What works best for you?

Healthy $10 a Day Menus

We had a new wave of sickness last week, with fevers, stuffy noses, runny noses, and one case of throwing up. So needless to say, many of the meals on last week's plan didn't get made and will carry over into this week now that everyone's on the mend (knock on wood).

Cream of Wheat, bananas, orange juice
Broccoli Cheddar Quiche, fruit salad
Beef Tips in brown gravy, noodles, salad

Waffles with strawberries and whipped cream
Tomato soup, grilled cheese
Chicken Divan with broccoli over rice

Scrambled eggs, toast
Leftover chicken
Chalupa, corn tortillas, guacamole

Oatmeal, pears
Bbq pork sandwiches, pickles, apples
White chili

Cereal, bananas
Tuna salad sandwiches, carrots and ranch dip
Smoked sausage, baked potatoes, mixed vegetables

Cranberry-orange scones
(Make bread and a pan of cinnamon rolls)
Pinto beans, cornbread

Beef stew, biscuits

Linked to Menu Plan Monday

Saturday, February 19, 2011

The Hair Academy

For the past several weeks, I've been needing a hair cut, and I wanted to get my highlights touched up. But the salon I usually go to charges $26 for a hair cut, and $85 for a cut and color--definitely not in the "having-a-baby-without-insurance" budget. So when an acquaintance posted on Facebook that her daughter was now accepting clients at one of the local beauty academies, I thought it might be a win-win for both of us: she gets the practice she needs for school, and I get a hair cut and highlights for a fraction of the cost--$7 for a hair cut, $20 for highlights.

The best part is she did a fabulous job, and I will definitely be going back!

In our town, there are three cosmetology schools. The one I went to is the newest, and according to reputation, the trendiest. Instructors come around to check everything, and the instructor who checked my hair worked for years as a cosmetologist. I actually heard of him when I was still working in news. Supposedly, he is pretty good at doing hair.

This academy is a full-service training salon. You can get a manicure for $6, a spa pedicure for $25 (which is only slightly less than at a regular salon around here), and other services. If I had a little girl, I think it would be fun to go for budget-friendly-mother-daughter manicures. 

If you're looking for a way to save on hair cuts, I encourage you to check into your local beauty academies. You'll not only save money, you might just come away with a great hair-do too! It can be our secret. :)

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Coffee Talk Thursday: Today's Grandparents

Coffee Talk Thursday

A few years ago, I read an article in Parents' magazine about grandparenting today. While there are certainly exceptions, the article said that baby boomers who become grandparents are, by and large, so busy with their own lives that they're not the doting grandparent of days gone by. Plus, with families no longer living in the same city as their parents, the face of grandparenting has changed dramatically from what it was years ago when extended families lived near each other.
In my own life, I see how this is true.  One grandparent in our family takes grandparenting seriously, making the role of grandparent a priority. This grandparent is committed to seeing the grandchildren regularly and building a strong relationship with the grandsons. Another grandparent would like to visit more frequently but lacks the finances for the cross-country trip. Still, this grandparent makes an effort to build a close relationship with the grandchildren through phone calls and thoughtful gestures (such as small gifts and cards in the mail).  Other grandparents certainly love their grandchildren but are so busy with their own lives and interests that building a tight bond with the grandkids just does not seem to have the same priority that other activities claim in their lives.
As a parent, this saddens me. I wish grandparents would realize what a special role, and a life-changing influence, they could have in their grandchildrens' lives. Although I took it for granted at the time, I lived in the same area as both sets of my grandparents when I was growing up; my life was richer for seeing my grandparents weekly and getting to know them well. I want this for my kids as well, but you can't force someone to embrace something to a greater degree than what one desires.
I don't know how to encourage grandparents to treasure their role as grandparent more than they currently may. Jesus said "Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also" (Matthew 6:21). I think it boils down to a heart issue: how important is it to them? Yet, practically speaking, in the meantime, I think sometimes the grandparent-grandchild relationship may have to be initiated by the parents through regular calls and sending of letters. I guess we could be better about that.
Since it's Coffee Talk Thursday, what do you think? What is your experience of grandparenting today? How do you think we could encourage strong relationships between our children and their grandparents, if the grandparents don't seem to make it the priority we would hope they would?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Ketchup Day

When life gets busier than normal, or the kids get sick, or any number of other things happen that put you behind at home, it can be helpful to take a "ketchup day." In Homeschooling at the Speed of Life: Balancing Home, School, and Family in the Real World,  author Marilyn Rockett says it's a time to "set aside the normal routine, at home and away from home, and be flexible" as you catch up on chores that desperately need completion.  She coined the term because on a ketchup day, she served a simple meal that included ketchup.

So what do you on a ketchup day?

Mrs. Rockett says that you'll want to list all nonemergency tasks--the ones that never seem to get done, and use your extra time on ketchup day to work through some of these items (arranging books on the shelf, sorting coupons, cleaning the porch, etc.). She suggests you routinely and intentionally plan for ketchup days, and involve your children, or trade off with a friend so you can have a few hours to catch up by yourself, and then your friend can too.

Beyond ketchup day, there is also an SOS day. Mrs. Rockett refers to this as a "Saving Our Sanity" day. She writes, "If you're the mother of babies or toddlers, or if you simply are overwhelmed with clutter, you may need numerous SOS hours or even an SOS week or month. Nevertheless, it's possible to bring your house to order, piece by piece."

She suggests you think of an SOS day like a teacher workshop day. "It mentally moves the time to a priority and encourages you that real relief is ahead. You know that the clutter is temporary, tamable, and tolerable when you have a plan to deal with it."

Don't worry if your kids miss out on their normal homeschooling on a ketchup or SOS day--although you could do the basics, if you want. They're learning about life in a family and mastering some valuable lessons about home--which is the central part of homeschooling. Think of it as an ongoing unit study.

We're off to an SOS day, which may also include ketchup!

(linked to Works for Me Wednesday)

Monday, February 14, 2011

Healthy $10 a Day Menus

Happy Valentine's Day, everyone! Hope you all have a great day!

Here's what's on the menu this week.

Oatmeal, leftover Sunday brunch casserole, grapefruit
Chicken fajitas
Italian chicken over pasta, salad, breadsticks, chocolate cake

Eggs in the hole, oranges
Pasta leftovers
Waikiki meatballs and rice, broccoli

Blueberry muffins, orange juice
Broccoli cheese quiche, fruit salad
Chicken stir-fry

Cream of Wheat
Leftover stir-fry, or turn it into fried rice
Pinto beans, cornbread

Scrambled eggs, toast
Bean and cheese burritos (from last night's pinto beans)
Homemade pizza, salad

Leftover buffet
Chicken veggie casserole, rice

Visit for more menu planning ideas!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Show Your Love, for Less

Coffee Talk Thursday

Growing up, my mom went all out on Valentine's Day for my sisters and me. She pampered us a whole bunch, giving us a Valentine's bag filled with fun treats, such as a new shirt, a new department store lipstick (depending on our ages), chocolates, and more. Opening the Valentine from Mom was a lot of fun. Yet, I'm sure my mom--a single mother--spent half a week's worth of groceries on these gifts.

Now that I'm grown and have my own family, we don't make Valentine's Day that big of a deal. I don't need to buy a lot of stuff for what's become such a commercial holiday to show my family how much I love them. That said, we do a little bit--mainly because it's fun for the kids, but it's all within our normal budget.
For example, I bought a few packages of small paper lace doilies that we will make Valentine's out of as a craft project. I did buy the boys a little box of chocolates for $1 each, and a 3-pack of conversation hearts for another dollar (did you know they now say, "Text me"? How times change!). Plus, I picked up some Batman crayon packs in the Target dollar bin, and some plastic heart cups that I'll put their treats in.

For us, many of our special memories are created baking in the kitchen together (when it goes well, that is!). So I plan to make some chocolate-covered strawberries. There is another recipe here. I also picked up two heart-shaped baking pans on sale at Hobby Lobby, which we'll use to bake a cake--possibly this Cupid Cake.

One year, my husband and I tried to go out for dinner. Even with a reservation, we stood up in the packed restaurant for an hour past our reservation time, and the dinner was not great. So I just prefer to make our own dinner and eat at home. I'm thinking of making some chicken parmesan over pasta, with french bread (easy to make the dough in the bread machine), and a salad similar to Olive Garden's.

I asked my husband not to buy me roses--I know, how romantic of me, hugh? They're so expensive for Valentine's Day. If he would like to bring me flowers, there are plenty of other pretty (and less expensive) kinds--like tulips (a bunch for $3.33 at Safeway this week, hint hint honey :)).

I think it's important to make special memories with your family throughout the year, but you don't have to spend a lot of money (or really any money at all) to make those memories happen.

So what do you do in your house for Valentine's Day? 

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Motherhood: It's Stressful Sometimes

I'll preface this post with saying that it's quite personal, and I thought about just writing it in my journal privately. Yet, in hopes that it may encourage other mothers, I decided to share it with you.

At random times during the past month or so, particularly when I am feeling really exasperated, my oldest son (5) will come, put his arms around my waist, give me a hug and say, "Sorry, Mom. I know it's stressful being a mom sometimes." Usually, I'll tell him thanks, feel like at least someone gets how fried I'm feeling--even if he's five years old--and work on staying calm externally, even though I'm feeling maxed out internally.

Last week, though, while reading about motherly affection--and particularly about being happy--in A Woman After God's Own Heart®, I started to look at the whole situation differently. When he looks back on his childhood, I don't want my son remembering that his mom thought being a mom was stressful. I want him to grow up with, and recall down the road, that his mom loved being a mom--that she thought it was the most fun thing in the world.

But what do you do about the fact that sometimes motherhood is stressful? Like when you're trying to make onion rings and two of your kids desperately want to help you, but they don't understand that there isn't room for them to sit on the counter, and you tell them to stand on the chair by the counter, but they start whining and crying because they want to be on the counter? And then, as the oil heats, and the fire alarm blares, and the onion rings aren't even ready yet because you're dealing with obedience issues, you're getting stressed out. And then, you get them to stand on the chair finally, but one tries to eat the onions dipped in raw eggs, and another tries to dip the already dipped onions back into the raw eggs, and the fire alarm is still going off--even though the oven fan is on, and your other son keeps opening the back door to let in cold air (but it's snowing and really cold)'s stressful.

While I can't make the stress disappear from mothering, I think I figured out a way to change the way I respond to it. Our pastor preached this weekend on renewing our minds. He said that if you "deposit positive, uplifting, encouraging thoughts in the bank of your thoughts, you will withdraw joy and peace."
We are called to renew our minds with life-giving words, which come from the living and active Word of God, the Bible. Not only will this help us to live a Spirit-centered life, instead of a self-centered life, it can help us immensely in our mothering.

What I realized is that, when I am getting stressed out about the chaos that is happening under my roof, I am usually thinking about how stressed out I am and how I am about to lose it. Time to renew my mind. Think about it differently. Find a Bible verse that talks about the blessings of children and the roles of mothers. Pray that Jesus would help me to renew my mind with positive, uplifting, encouraging thoughts about motherhood, about the moment I'm in. That's what I did during the onion ring fiasco. It wasn't perfectly pretty, but at least it was a step in the right direction! So if I can't change a situation, at least I can change the way I think about it.

Monday, February 7, 2011

What's a Minute Worth?

A Woman After God's Own Heart®

Last week, I picked up my copy of A Woman After God's Own Heart and came across this quote in regard to time management:
"How much is a minute worth? It's priceless or worthless--depending on how you use it."

Thinking about the results that can be accomplished in a minute well spent reminded me of my housework rewards program  I brainstormed last year--not a real rewards program, but a fun idea to reward using each minute to its fullest.

In A Woman After God's Own Heart®, Elizabeth George writes about the wise woman who builds her house (Proverbs 14:10). Conversely, she asks "how can a woman pull down her own home?" She shares that a woman can cause great destruction actively--through anger and through speaking words that "break, destroy, ruin and kill."

Yet, a woman can also ruin her home by being too passive--by "simply failing to work." She writes, "We can slowly erode the foundation of our home by our laziness, by 'never getting around to it,' (whatever 'it' may be), by neglect, by forgetting to pay a bill or two, by successfully putting things off, by not spending enough time at home. Then there's the problem of too much--too much TV, too much reading, too much shopping, too much time with friends, too much time spent on the telephone, and the latest 'too much'--too much time on the Internet."

These words were quite convicting to me, and I made a recommitment to pack a little more work--a little more exertion-- into some of the minutes of my day. Elizabeth George challenges us to find at least one thing each day we can do to build our homes. What is that one thing for you today?

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Go, Bananas,Go!

Here's a simple tip to help your bananas last longer. When you pick a bunch at the store, immediately bag them in the clear fruit/vegetable bags that the store provides and tie them up. Being in the bag will keep brown spots at bay.

I read this tip in Family Feasts for $75 a Week by Mary Ostyn, and it really works! Last time I bought bananas, they were just about ripe. I put them in the bag, and they lasted for seven days before brown spots appeared. Once brown spots appear, the bananas are usually still fine on the inside. Sometimes, brownish bananas will be marked down at the store, and I have always found them to be great--despite the appearance of their skin.

If bananas reach a point of being too ripe for your preference, and you don't want to make banana bread, simply peel the skin, plastic wrap the banana and pop it in the freezer. You can grab your frozen bananas if you want to make bread later (just let them thaw in a bowl first). Or...our favorite use for frozen bananas--smoothies! The riper they are, the sweeter they taste--making them perfect for smoothies.
(I also cut the top part off my children's half-eaten bananas and freeze them too).

By bagging your bananas, you'll keep them fresher longer. Go, bananas, go!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Housekeeping: Nature or Nurture?

Coffee Talk Thursday

In college, I had a roommate who absolutely excelled at keeping our apartment immaculate 100-percent of the time. She would get home and scrub the bathroom, even if it didn't need cleaning. When she felt stressed, she cleaned. The place was spotless, I'm telling you. That is, if she were the only one living there. I lived there too, and I was a different story!

My roommate told me her mom was just like her--or perhaps I should say, she learned to be just like her mom, always cleaning until it was perfect and then keeping it that way. I grew up differently. One time, my roommate asked if I could pick up a little since "it was getting crazy in here." I didn't think it was that bad. Clutter made her uncomfortable; it made me perfectly comfortable!

To this day, living in (and maintaining) a cluttered home comes much more naturally to me than living in (and maintaining) a spotless house. I don't have the same drive to clean, and keep cleaning, that my roommate (and other people) possess. Whether that's due to nature (the way I was born) or nurture (the way I was raised), I don't know. Regardless, I can continue to learn tips to help me maintain a more tidy home most of the time. I can continue to develop discipline to retrain myself away from bad (and sometimes just plain sloppy) habits. I shared seven habits that can really help in my guest post at Organizing Junkie. I share other tips here, as I learn and grow.

So what do you think? Does being good at cleaning depend on your personality in terms of the way you were born, or do you think it comes more from the way you were raised, or a little of both?

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

When You Give Your Child a Cleaning Cloth...

My kids love the book, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie. Real life inspired a new version of the book for my family. It all started the day before we hosted play group and cleaned like crazy. My three-year old helped me clean the glass and other smudges around the house. I paid him a quarter for helping with a good spirit and gave him lots of hugs and praise. Since then, he hasn't stopped wanting to help clean (more than I even want to clean each day!). Here's our version:

If you give your child a cleaning cloth,
He'll ask for a spray bottle.
If you give him a spray bottle,
He'll ask for something to clean.

When you give him something to clean,
He'll spray and spray,
And you'll have to remind him to
wipe and wipe until it's dry.

When it's dry, he'll ask for something else to clean.
When you give him something else to clean,
He'll be so happy, he'll spray until his bottle's empty.
Then he'll ask you to refill his bottle so he can clean some more.

After he's cleaned some more,
He'll ask you if you can mop the floor.
You'll say no.
You'll be surprised you've been shown up by a three-year old,
who is more motivated to clean than you.

The next day, he'll see the spray bottle
And you know what he'll ask.
He'll want to clean some more.
So you'll let him.

Then he'll look at the floor.
So you know what he'll want.
He'll ask to mop the floor.
You realize you should probably mop your floor...someday.
He'll help you.

What's The Problem?

Ok, so the title of that post sounds sassy, doesn't it? What I mean, though, is that when we are feeling frustrated--like something isn't right--in any area (parenting, marriage, housekeeping, etc.), the first step in solving the problem is to first figure out exactly what the problem is. Then we can make a plan to address it and work to improve it.

One housekeeping frustration I've been having lately concerns laundry. This system helps me stay on track with folding and putting laundry away. The problem is that everyday, I take all the dirty laundry down to the laundry room and empty the baskets there. Lately, this has been creating quite the pile on the floor. It looks quite a bit like this. Not a pretty sight.

So how do I solve the problem? I think for me the solution is to resist the urge to grab all the dirty laundry each day and dump it downstairs. Do set loads each day, and only gather up what fits in that load (colored, gentle, whites, etc).

Sure, there won't be clean and clear laundry hampers throughout the house. But I have a better chance of maintaining a clean and clear laundry room floor! Plus, it won't be such an embarrassment if an unexpected guest needs to use that bathroom.

I would love to hear how you keep laundry from piling up in your laundry room. Your systems may really help me (and others) too!