Spring cleaning: Getting organized

Spring Cleaning and Organizing

Spring cleaning and getting organized is all the rage as we move into a season of warmer weather and open windows!  We’ve gathered information and inspiration from around the web to help you declutter and organize your home and make it sparkly clean for spring time.

cleaning supplies       organize your supplies

organize recipes        bag storage

Gather information on supplies you need to do a proper cleaning job, and how to store them for easy access. Get ideas and inspiration to organize everything from your family recipes to your garbage bags. Clean and organize everything from your bedroom closet to your bathroom closet.

Molly Saves in the closet       organize the bathroom

Get these tips and so much more from our Home Organization Pinterest board HERE. 

In an archived article from last year,   Organization- Friend or Foe , “Stuff can weigh a person down.”  In March, we introduced you to The FlyLady  who teaches us to break down our home cleaning into zones. You can read more about that HERE.

We learned about Decluttering- Creating a Peaceful Environment HERE

Bullet Points to Jump in and Begin Your Spring Cleaning

  • Divide and Conquer – use bins to separate clutter into keep, give away, throw away
  • Set a timer – in 30 minute increments
  • Turn up the tunes
  • Check off your list until each section in the room is clutter free
  • Clean the room
  • Move to the next room in the house
linking with Works for Me Wed

Featured Participant on Frugal Home Friday

Frugal HOME Friday

Link up your frugal tips for home and homestead,

recipes, DIY or crafts, and share ideas to inspire others

Featured Participant:

A Beginner’s Guide to Saving Money – Part 1 – Saving money on clothes

Frugal Friday link-up Featured Participant

 

Please share your own Frugal Home and Homestead posts

You could be our next featured blogger:

Each week we will be choosing a new blogger participant to feature in our Friday Link Up.  Share your posts – old or new – that involve anything HOMEkeeping, HOMEschooling, HOMEsteading, HOMEindustry!

By linking up – you agree to allow us to use your photo and link to your blog if you are chosen as our Featured Participant. We share links on FB, Twitter, G+, and Pinterest as well to let the world know about your great ideas. Thank you for participating and sharing.

There are so many wonderfully creative bloggers out there who have a wealth of knowledge to share on topics for the home and homestead. If you run a home business, enjoy gardening, raising bees or chickens, love cooking, are good at organizing or any other topic that will be valuable to our readers – please link up your pictures and share the knowledge to inspire others!

If you don’t blog – you can link up photo’s from an Instagram account to share ideas as well or leave us a comment with your thoughts!

linking up: Fabulously FrugalOrganized 31,Fabulously Frugal Thurs,Sunday Showcase Works 4 Me

 

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De-cluttering Your Home – Creating a Peaceful Environment

De-cluttering Your Home

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*affiliate links may be present

De-cluttering your home – one step at a time, one room at a time, one day at a time – is the first step to creating a more peaceful environment.

Getting rid of clutter helps you find clarity in mind and emotions. It ultimately relieves anxiety and guilt!

It can be easy to put it off when you are looking at clutter that has built up over time. You can become overwhelmed and end up putting it off even longer.

De-cluttering doesn’t have to be so difficult. We have a plan to help you jump in and get started, and then finish the race like a champ!

Getting Started:

Make a list of the major rooms you want to tackle. Then, break down each room with a list of the most important goals you have for that room, down to the least important.

Make a list for each goal in the rooms. For instance, I have a child’s bedroom that has been used for storage and now needs to be turned into a room suitable for a pre-teen boy. It is a mess.

The biggest problems in the room are clothes that the family has outgrown, and all the toys that they no longer use. Of course, that would be easy enough, but there are clothes in the mix that we need to save for other children, and toys that need to be kept for others.

It has been overwhelming because things have been piling up in that room for a long time – making it most uninviting  – not even a little bit of de-cluttering going on in there.  I have avoided it at all cost!

FlyLady.net

Step number one is to get a bin for clothes that need to be stored and a bin for those to give away, a bin for toys to keep and a bin for toys to give away. It is also important to have a trash can on hand to throw away anything that is broken or clothes that are not worth mending. Turn on your favorite music and jump right in!

Set a timer for 30 minutes at a time and work against the clock to get through the first pile. It is okay  if you don’t make it on time, just reset the clock and keep on going! Take a break in between or at least every hour or so, move on to the next area on your list until all the clutter in room one has been removed.

Pull out your cleaning list until everything sparkles and shines!

Bullet Points

  • Divide and Conquer – use bins to separate clutter into keep, give away, throw away
  • Set a timer – in 30 minute increments
  • Turn up the tunes
  • Check off your list until each section in the room is clutter free
  • Clean the room
  • Move to the next room in the house

One of the best ways to stay on top of clutter is to educate yourself with great homemaking wisdom from The Fly Lady – who happens to be one of the fabulous Molly Green Magazine writers. She’ll help you make a flight plan and divide your home into zones that will keep you from getting behind ever again.

Visit FlyLady.net to learn tips and tricks from a real pro! 

linking with Works for me Wednesday

 

Teach Kids About Work and Money: Free Online Chore Chart

*affiliate links may be present

 

I just love this free online chore chart!

The chore list

The chore list (Photo credit: demandaj)

I’m always on the lookout for specials and free deals to improve our lives on the home front. MyJobChart.com is a valuable resource for families. Teaching kids about work and money is an important part of  family life. Having tools that make it simple can take the sting of chore time as they tend to build motivation.

FREE online chore chart that motivates your kids and earns them rewards that they can save, donate to charity, or spend on toys!

Motivating Your Kids Is Easy: Just 1-2-3:

1) Sign-up for MyJobChart!

2) Assign Chores to Your Kids

3) Reward Your Kids For Great Work!

 

Chores in a children's home

Chores in a children’s home (Photo credit: theirhistory)

A Chore Chart makes it easy to assign chores, and makes it more motivating for children to fulfill them.  It facilitates fun, engaging, hands-on learning and teaches children the principles of sharing, saving, and spending.  MyJobChart.com gives parents the tools they need to instill a strong work ethic and teach financial responsibility.

For me, an effective resource needs to be both frugal and simple to use – in order to be worth the time and effort of using it. As long as you are reasonably familiar with using online services, you should not have trouble with this one. I believe it can be especially beneficial in organizing large family chores.

Once your basic information is in place, it only takes a short time each week to add additional information to personalize any particular week or month for your family.

Do you use chore charts in your home? Have you tried an online version? 

Molly Green Magazine members gain wisdom and knowledge from years of practical application in the arts of household management from FlyLady.com  - Find out more about the extra benefits of becoming a Molly Member HERE. 

 

linking with Works for Me Wed

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Importance of family dinners: & Recipe from Build a Menu

In the fast paced world we live in, it can be easy to forget the importance of bringing the family together around the table.

Guest post by Lisa Holcomb of Build a Menu

Nacho beef soup - build a menu

 

10 Conversation Starters for Dinner Time

     When you think of happy families sitting around the table eating dinner do you conjure up thoughts of “Leave it to Beaver” or some other old sitcom?   The mother walking around in her apron, high heels and pearls with a perfectly set table, perfect dinner and perfect family all sitting at the table.

Well, let’s get real please.  I know that’s sure not me.  Just like you, I’m a homeschooling, chauffeuring, (sometimes scatter brained), Jesus loving, busy, busy mom.  I’m usually doing good to get all four of my boys and my husband to the table in the evening.  Not that they don’t want to eat, just our busy schedules can get in the way.  However, we do try to make it a priority to eat dinner together as a family as many nights during the week as possible.  Some nights are harder than others.  Some nights we’re not all at home.  Still, we make it a priority as much as we can and I find that we are able to be together around the dinner table more often than not.

It really is amazing what a difference a positive meal time can make in children and families. Studies show that children who dine with the family:

  • eat more fruits and vegetables
  • are happier
  • are better adjusted  
  • are more socially adept
  • get better grades
  • are less likely to smoke, abuse drugs or alcohol
  • are less likely to suffer from eating disorders, obesity or depression

Kids of all ages benefit from family meal time together.  Teens and tweens need the family table time.  They need the positive atmosphere and conversation that should take place at the table.  They need to be reminded that they are valued and loved.

Our two youngest children were adopted from the Texas foster care system and its amazing how much healing can be done around the kitchen table eating a meal together and bonding. Families who eat together share values together.

Some of the family eat Sunday dinner, on Sunda...

Some of the family eat Sunday dinner, on Sundays the two married sons of the Sergents, their wives and children often… – NARA – 541343 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Need some conversation starters for dinner time?  Here are just a few fun ones:

  1. If you couldn’t watch TV or go online for a month, how would you spend that time?
  2. If you could have any superpower, which would you choose?  (This one is a regular topic at our table.)
  3. How can you tell someone you love them without using words?
  4. If you could be a famous person for a week, who would you be and why?
  5. If you could trade places with your parents for a day, how would you do things differently?
  6. If you could have another name what would you choose?
  7. Would you rather meet your great great grandparents or your great great grandchildren?
  8. If you could be brilliant in one subject, which would you choose?
  9. What do you think Heaven will be like?
  10. In what era would you most like to have grown up (besides the current one)?

Does your family have any favorite topics or dinner time games they like to play? We’d love to hear about them.

Try this fun dish for family game night!

This soup recipe really hit the spot and was so easy and quick to make and cost about $11.00 for the ingredients to feed my family of 6.  If you’re a Trim Healthy Mama, then this is an “S” meal for you.  I hope your family enjoys it as much as we did.

nacho beef soup

 

Molly Green Members enjoy exclusive access to Dine on a Dime –  weekly menu & shopping list -access right from your Molly Member Page!
Members – be sure to check out the SUPERBOWL Menu in your Dine on a Dime section this week!!! Are you ready for some FOOTBALL?

Frugal Friday: Green is Frugal

*affiliate links may be present

Green is Frugal - Frugal Friday

Being a good steward of the resources that God has provided, means taking care of  finances and taking care of the earth.  You will see that being green really is the frugal choice.

We’ve put together 5 Frugal Green resources that are making the top of our list!

  • Go Paperless – do your billing and invitations online with shops like evite.com or pingg.com.
  • Up-cycle – use the internet to learn faux painting techniques to revitalize older or used furniture instead of buying new.spend big money                                                                                               or you can learn a new trick!

upcycle DIY and Save

*Bonus idea - Join Molly Green Magazine subscribers and get the 1st month for $1 and $7.95 every month thereafter. Learn how to live a more frugal sustainable green life – sell your handmade items – submit videos for sharing and gain access to Build a Menu’s Dine on a Dime frugal menu planner!

Come and link up your own frugal tricks and tips to share ideas and encourage each other. Please grab the Frugal Friday button from the side bar or use a text link back to this post.  

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Mothering Matters: bonding with your children over . . . money

teaching children about money

Mothering matters and bonding with your children over money; is it really possible?

Amanda van der Gulik author of Teaching Children About Money says it certainly is.

In this month’s issue of Molly Green Magazine, Amanda talks frankly about how the business of every day life can keep us from taking the time to enjoy real bonding with our children. Even for the stay at home mom, who spends so much of her time with the kids, it is very easy to get sidetracked with all the things that need to be done. Before you know it, too much time can gone by and those little ones, aren’t so little any more!

Amanda suggests, among other things, that including your child in planning of the family finances can be a wonderful bonding experience. Money is important in that, we have to know how to manage it in order to take good care of our families and others. If we aren’t the ones to teach our children about money . . . who will?

But, can it really bring you closer together?

 

family bonding over money

Sharing appropriate information with your child about the family budget shows them that they have an intricate and important role within the family unit. It gives them the opportunity to see what some of that busy work is really all about. It can help them learn to build a better future for themselves, while understanding the value of your family budget now.

Teaching children about money shows that you value them, and that you trust them. What could be more bonding than that?

Mothering matters, and bonding with your children over money is great mothering and good bonding!

 

There is much more in-depth information provided by Amanda in her articles for Molly Green Magazine. Read the full article today and get your own membership with additional benefits here. 

Best-selling author Amanda van der Gulik has been homeschooling her  two children for over 11 years and is the founder of www.TeachingChildrenAboutMoney.com. Visit Amanda’s site today to grab your FREE copy of her eBook, Goal Setting for Families or her “The 6 Magical Piggy Banks” cartoon to enjoy together while you build that life-long special bond with your child using…money!

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Frugal living: ways to save money this year

frugal living

You may have heard the news – the all new Molly Green magazine has turned over a new leaf. We are spreading our wings to include homesteading, self-sufficient living, back yard farming, and all things home industry.

But, we are nothing if not a frugal bunch! And, in that spirit, I wanted to start our New Year off with a super frugal post to help you find ways to save money in 2014.

10 Ways to Save Money in the New Year:

  1. Fix it yourself – use the internet to watch video’s and read tutorials on how to fix various household items. Learn to stitch up clothing and make repairs to the things you use regularly.

2. Cut the Entertainment budget by finding frugal ways to play together.

3. Cook at Home & Take Advantage of Specials.

4.  Ask for a Discount! 

bowling for free

5.  Get a Discount on Children’s Activities

  • Volunteer your services to the organization for a discount on children’s sports when possible – certainly, you want to give of your time for free to help out, but you may be able to offer other services such as – photography, computer work, accounting, or other skilled work to save on sports and more for your family. Look for services they might normally have to pay for & fill in the gap where you are qualified. 
  • Set up a co-op or trade with other parents for sports and extracurricular clothing items. 
  • Take advantage of free programs like Kids Bowl Free

6.  Barter for Services. 

  • As with the above info on getting a discount on children’s extra-curricular activities – consider trading for other services as well. Think outside the box and look for needs that you can meet and then offer up your solutions to the problem in exchange for a repair or other service you cannot do yourself. Small businesses are great for this, but don’t count out the larger companies either. Big companies need endorsements, or reviews from consumers and are sometimes willing to trade for free products. Bloggers do this regularly. 

7. Grow Your Own. 

8.  Up-cycle 

9. Make Your Own Homemade Cleaners.

  • Simple ingredients can go a long way and can be used safely and inexpensively –  Baking Soda, Borax, Vinegar, Alcohol, Mild Dish Detergent, & Washing Soda are a few simple ingredients that can be used to clean almost anything. 
  • Get recipes from The Family Homestead here

10. Educate Yourself. 

Link up your own Frugal  ideas  and we will share them!

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A Homestead Christmas: gift ideas for the homesteader – at heart

homestead Christmas

*no affiliate links present

American_Homestead_Winter_-_Currier_and_IvesAmerican Homestead Winter – Wikipedia

Christmas on the ‘ole homestead makes me think of candles in the windows, fresh Christmas tree scent with touches of cinnamon wafting through the air and sleigh bells from the old farm horse trudging down the lane. While some of this ideal Christmas may not be possible for everyone, there are a few things we can do to make the homestead lifestyle a reality.

You don’t have to live on a farm these days to be a homesteader. Plenty of folks with homesteader hearts are making the most of life in the city. With touches of this and that, reminiscent of life on the old homestead,  I’ve gathered a few ideas for gift giving especially with the homesteader in mind.

 

For those who will be weeding and harvesting this year

The Roo Gardening Apron saves time and back pain!

Roo Apron

 

Waterwise plants for Sustainable Gardens

 On Sale from $24.95

waterwise gardening book

Pretty feathers from around the farm

like these guinea hen feathers

make beautiful ear rings for the naturalist, gardener,

or wildlife enthusiast in your life!

a pair of feather ear rings

Need a quick and easy handmade project?

These beautiful painted bottles from bywilma.com 

are sure to please!

a painted bottle gift

Whether you are living life on a farm out in the country, or in the big city, you can make that homestead lifestyle a reality. Homestead is more than a location, it’s a mindset, and an attitude. Start small, right where you are. If it is a desire or an outlook that comes from the heart, you know you are on the right track.

You might even start with one of these homesteader style gift ideas . . . for a loved one – or for yourself!

Did you see the guest post - here –  from cousin Midge?  She had some great ideas for your favorite gardener!

Sneak Peek Monday – Molly’s Christmas Bundle

bogo molly

 

Two Molly Green Magazines for the price of 1!

It’s our gift to you this Christmas season – Molly Makes Merry

and Molly’s 3 R’s: Rested, Relaxed and Ready to Celebrate!

Enjoy your holidays with Molly Green!

 

The holidays are upon us and with it . . .  the Christmas hustle and bustle – a.k.a. “stress.”

You don’t have to let the stresses of the season get the best of you! This year, you really can have it all – frugal savings on decorating and simple tips can make a big difference in your stress this season and allow you to concentrate on the things that matter most.

BOGO molly

From hosting your company in style, frugal decorating, and hitting the sales,  saving big on the family meals, to making sure that Jesus remains the reason for the season in your home, Molly Makes Merry is chock full of information you can put to good use this holiday season.

Molly’s 3 R’s will help you get Rested, Relaxed and Ready for the holidays as you learn to get organized, put together great recipes, and enjoy the fun and games knowing you have it all together!

Read more about the Molly Christmas Bundle and purchase yours today for only $4.95 

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