When my friend Maria asked me to be a guest writer I chose to reflect on how far I have come since I was the young mom of three lovely ladies. My daughters’ are now 24, 21 and 19 and let me tell you¦time doesn’t fly; it evaporates. I remember the days when I was a newer mom and complete strangers would approach me and tell me to cherish these moments and I thought to myself, not me! It won’t go that fast for me. I’m not like you. But I was and I am. Time flew and while I was busy raising my girls; they grew up.
I remember the vast amounts of information entering my home on a daily basis. Thinking to myself, don’t these teachers realize I’m busy! I don’t have time to fill out all of these papers! There were so many decisions to make about what to keep and what to toss; what was truly special and what wasn’t that important. What would break my heart to throw away and what was simply a piece of paper. If you are a young mom with children growing up around you I have no doubt that you are in the throes of this information overload known as parenting. So here are some tricks I developed to help me get thru those early years.
Purchase a memory bin for each of your children. Make it large, clear and big enough for 18 years of childhood memories. Use a Ziploc 2 gallon bag for each year. Label each bag with the year, teacher’s name(s), child’s age and other pertinent information. So what goes in these bags? No food, no glitter, no macaroni necklaces! Only journals, samples of your child’s creativity and thins which truly reflect the accomplishments of your child for that particular year.
Assign each of your children their own special color. Use a permanent marker to identify their clothing, toys and other personal objects. This also comes in handy with things like bath towels if your children share a bathroom. If they each have a different color towel, you know who left their towel on the floor!
Keep a family calendar available for your children. Use the color coding system to keep things clear to them about their activities. If your children can’t read yet, use the words to describe the activity and a picture to reinforce early reading.
Remember that more stuff comes into our homes on a weekly basis than leaves on garbage day. Try to make a deal with yourself that for every bag of groceries, clothing and assorted other stuff entering your house weekly; make at least that many leave weekly as well.
Keep a donation bag in every bedroom closet in your home. If you try something on a just don’t love it, don’t hang it back up; donate it. If your child has outgrown something; put it in the bag. This simple act can help keep a closet orderly and your clothing current.
So while you are busy parenting, try some of these tips to make your life a little bit easier. Rest assured, this too shall pass. You will wake up one morning and pack your last school lunch. You will pack them off for college and one at a time they will go their own way and make their own life and you know what? That is exactly what they are supposed to do. So hang on to a few precious pieces of paper, a special quilt, photos and grand memories. Watch them grow and become adults you can be proud of.
Feeling completely overwhelmed? Try hiring a professional organizer or concierge. Debi Weinstein is the owner of I’ve Gotta Get Organized, Inc. a Farmington Hills based company. Debi company organizes homes, offices, children and adults alike. We run errands and even help balance checkbooks! Check us out on Facebook or call 248-882-5960 for more information.