Millennium Mom

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Hi everyone.  Here is this month's Fox 19 segment on getting organized for the Spring.  Arnie and I have been doing a ton of cleaning up around the house . The first step was getting our carpets cleaned.  As you probably know, you have to get everything off the floor when the carpets get cleaned.  This forced us to ask ourselves and the kids "do we really need this?"  Most of the time the answer was "no" we don't and boxes and boxes of stuff was given away or donated.

The next step was the garage.  We started with the single garage, an easier first step.  I literaly took every thing off the walls, took shelving units away from walls and so forth.  Every wall was exposed and dusted down with Swiffer.  I then painted the walls and only put back what we actually used.  What a difference, we got rid of a ton and I can actually walk around my car without falling over nice.

I will move onto the mud room next.  Need to get winter boots out of reach and bring out the sandals.  First a stop at Home Depot to get a cabinet, as I am realizing that as the kids get older, shoes get bigger :)

Enjoy the tips.

How to get organized for Spring

Spring Cleaning – we have all heard the expression, but what does it really mean? We are not our mom’s generation, where you really took down all the curtains, washed all the baseboards, beat the dust out of the rugs and so forth. But it is a good idea to get organized for Spring. Unlike other season changes, spring really does require getting organized for. From outside your home with landscaping, to inside with mud dragging in and warmer weather clothes coming out to wear. Here are my top recommendations for how to get organized for Spring.

1. Purge, purge, purge. The weather and season change is a great time to purge. Clothes that no longer fit or are outdated, old toys, and anything you just don’t use anymore. Pack them up and take them to your local donation site.

2. Focus on one room at a time. Each weekend, pick one room and try to clean it up. We used the excuse of getting our carpets clean to really tackle certain rooms. Have your child help out if it their room, it simplifies things and gives you a helping hand.

3. Tackle your garage. Spring is really when everything comes out of the garage – from yard tools, to the lawnmower and kids bikes. Take the time to organize your garage top to bottom. I just painted mine to get it in good shape after a decade of abuse. It was amazing how many things got donated or thrown out when you take the time to go through them.

4. Transition the entry space. If the entry into the house is not organized, the mess flows into the rest of the house. The first thing you should do is to initiate a policy of taking all shoes off at the house entrance. This has tremendous effect on how clean the rest of the house is. Next take all winter coats, shoes, boots, scarves out to wash them and put into storage. Bring out the spring coats and shoes and while transitioning take time to wash down all floors, walls and bins.

5. File your papers. While we may say we live in a paperless society, with auto-pay online and so forth, somehow I still have a pile of papers in my office each month. Tax folder is the most important, but be sure to have your other files in order. The key is you know where it is, so figure out a naming system that works for you. Very important papers should go in a fire safe, like insurance, wills, stock information and so forth.

6. Don’t forget “life” when you organize. Daily life is busy these days, and while we get into a nice routine that gets the kids to their events on time, dinner on the table and the house somewhat neat, it is the other stuff that catches up with us. My way of keeping up with these items is a to do list. I make one for each weekend. If I don’t get it done on the weekend or can’t do to operating hours, I continue it during the week. This is how doctor appointments, getting the car washed, grocery shopping, planning vacations and more get done. A To Do list should be bring mental peace vs. seeming like a chore.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Time to get ready for the Summer break

Getting ready for Summer – yes, yes, we know that there is still three full months until kids bid farewell to their teachers and classmates for their summer break. So you probably think you have tons of time to prepare for the break. Unfortunately, you don’t. Now is the time to line up your child care, camps, family visits and more. Before starting print out your calendar and mark each week for what your plan is.

1. Secure your Child Care NOW. If you are a working mom or dad, there will be roughly 7 hours of the day that you need to find someone to care for your child (unless your plan is for camps which I will get to). Here are my top suggestions for how to find great care for your kids depending on their age

a. Use an agency - in Cincinnati we have things like and Home Management services ( which can help you find the right match for you, set up interviews, and so forth

b. Word of Mouth – most high school seniors and college Freshman/Sophomores are the perfect age and maturity to take on a summer job. Be sure to check their school calendar and schedule as you may need to bridge some of the summer with planned vacations or camps.

2. Plan your family vacations – While these are important events for the entire family, in the summer they also become a key tool when planning your summer schedule. After you find child care, then plan your vacations around any weeks or dates that you do not have childcare. These are often the middle to end of August when college students go back to school, or the first week after school ends. If you take vacations with other families, be sure to plan even earlier as you are now managing even more variables.

3. Book your camps. As kids get older some families and children rely on camps for a large portion of the summer rather than a sitter. Sleep away camps, sports camps, park district camps, and so forth often offer full day coverage. You can plan an entire summer of camps for your kids and not have to secure a sitter if you choose, but it does take a lot of effort on your part. Many camps fill up quickly so be sure to get online and understand when registration opens up. If you have multiple kids that will go to different camps, be sure you can manage drop off and pick up times. Often families need to hire a part-time sitter to help manager this aspect of the summer.

4. Renew your memberships to children’s activates. If you go with a sitter for the summer, be sure to renew your memberships to amusement parks, swim clubs and rec centers to have activities for the sitter to do with your children. Don’t forget to get a pass for the sitter. The Cincinnati Zoo allows you to “add a person” to your membership which we do each year. Others you will need an additional pass.