Just a list of a few things I learned along the way on Parenting and running a house, that made it just a wee bit easier on me, the multitasking CEO of this crazy family of mine!
Each child has their own hamper in their own room along with a laundry basket, that way I do all their laundry individually then fold or hang their clothes and then only one trip up to each of the rooms for them to put away and I am no longer running from room to room with every laundry basket.
Go on a family vacation every year? How I make this easier for me is I combine getting ready for this trip and adding to their wardrobe by buying the new clothes that they need for what ever season we plan the trip in. I buy their new socks and new underwear and a few new outfits for each child before we go out of town, then I don't have to worry about going through their wardrobe putting outfits together, (this was a huge help when they were all younger and needed me to do the choosing and the packing for them) Also it secretly impressed my Mother-in-law with how snappy and bright their appearances were! lol Since we do our family vacations in the summer, its a good time to buy the clothes they need every summer and when we are/were school clothes shopping that takes care of the winter vacation wardrobes.
When they were all younger and this worked for a long time, each chore in the house was listed and given an appropriate amount of points as a reward for doing the chores and since my kids ages were spread out into 2 different age groups I had chores listed even the lil ones could do, like straighten the pillows on the couches, feed the pets, straighten the shoes in the hall, just little stuff that made a huge difference in the appearance of the house and then I kept a list of the children with the points they earned. When they wanted to do something like a trip to the mall, or a sleep over or eat at someone's house or have someone eat here or a new CD or ice cream from the ice cream truck they had to cash in the points for these requests, they could even cash in some points for cash if they needed it to splurge on something they wanted but I wasn't going to buy for them. They learned.... You want something? WORK FOR IT! Don't expect to get handed everything in life. Everything is a privilege and it must be earned. This worked for about 4 years.....I had 4 years of a very tidy house and no whinny children, bad behavior resulted with points being taken away.......They didn't like that so they were very good! lol
We also keep a huge change jug, we all add to this through out the year and usually in late winter when we are all about stir crazy from being locked up in the house all winter we have enough spare change to take a 4 day trip to a semi-local indoor water park resort.
Holiday presents to buy as gifts to mail man, teachers, etc.? Wait until after Christmas sales like 70% off and buy gifts that are great old stand buys, bath lotion sets, candle sets, stationary, small Christmas decorations, picture frames any non food item (ICK!) and put away for next years gift giving season. really good idea when you have lots of little gifts to buy!
Christmas is also a great time of year while food shopping to get in on all the buy 1 get 1 free items and ask the grocery bagger to put all 'extras' in a separate bags and drop off at a local shelter, food bank or local church on your way home from grocery shopping.
I also have each of my children pick a name of the Christmas gift Tree and they usually try to find one with a first name like theirs or at least their own age group and then help me to pick up a gift to add to the Christmas giving tree in their name.......it helps them to remember the holiday spirit of giving and think about those who are a lil down on their luck right now or you can sponsor a Christmas dinner for a needy family. Christmas should be special for EVERY child.
Would love to hear from anyone else who has ANY tips for making "MOM" an easier job!