Anyway, on to my cliff notes:
(image via: http://www.houseofsmiths.blogspot.com/ )
-Forget xtreme couponing and the stress it causes, not to mention the enormous amount of time. (This was my favorite piece of advice!)
-Save money by buying all necessities (non food items, toilettries, etc) and buy a year in advance. This will save you extra trips to the grocery store, which will save you much more money and time!
-If you can't buy a whole years worth of necessities, save 10 percent a week of your grocery money until you can.
-When you see a good deal on a product, buy a years worth, especially if it doesn't expire. Think of childrens shoes, socks & underwear, not just groceries.
-Where ya gonna store all of this? Under each bed in xerox boxes or plastic buckets with lids. Make sure you keep a list of what's under each bed and label the boxes on both sides!
-Remember online savings such as retailmenot.com when buying items online. I always use this for shutterfly coupons and gap coupons.
-Start with building a 3 month food supply on hand and rotate it often. The less trips you have to the grocery store the more time and money you save!
-Base dinners on what's on sale that week and plan a menu a week or a month in advance.
-Go grocery shopping once a month with a menu in mind and shop for milk, eggs, fruits & veggies twice a month.
(picture via: Better Homes & Gardens)
-Take care of yourself first. This is so foreign to moms & seems selfish. But when we don't take care of ourselves physically & spiritually we have very little to give and get run down & depressed much easier.
-Take care of your husband second. Make the little time you have count. Invest in your relationship and your whole family will reap the rewards. Do small things with great love!
-Make sure that everyone who is important to you gets individual time once a week. Look for clues when someone needs you. Asking silly questions is more likely that want your time not that they dont know the answers.
-Be flexible, if you're always rushed you're stressed when things aren't perfect. Understand what's important vs what's urgent.
-Live life twice. Once in your mind and then again during the day. Start your day with a list of what you want to accomplish, in what order and how you'll get it done. Find your "prime time" to accomplish the most. Do you have more energy in the morning or are you a late nighter? Schedule to get the most done during those times.
-Give yourself rewards, set time limits. ie: check emails, facebook AFTER you shower and empty dishwasher. Give yourself 15 min of free time, then back to your checklist. After you've accomplished a few more things on your list, give yourself another 15 minutes. Do the same for your children. They make their beds and get dressed then get breakfast. They do their jobs and take them somewhere fun, etc.
-Do the things you like the least- FIRST, you'll accomplish more and faster that way!
-Learn to say no. Don't take on too much and stress your entire family out. Know your limits. Take time to decide what's most important.
-Eliminate & deligate!
-Finish what you start!
-Play. It gives you energy. Brings health. Gives you the desire to enjoy life more. Have hobbies. Do something fun for yourself at least 10 min a day. ie: crosswords, internet, read a book, etc. You'll be a happier person.
-Alternate between work and play to give you more stamina, otherwise you'll burn out.
( picture via: http://www.howdoesshe.com/ )
TEACHING CHILDREN TO WORK:
2-6 yrs old:
-One job per year old they are.
-Kids feel valued when they feel like they contribute to the home/family.
-Make it POSITIVE! Set timers, turn on music, work as a team.
-Train this age for 7 days, watch for 7 days.
-Compliment them x 3 & make it specific. Let them overhear you telling your spouse or grandparents how good they are at cleaning mirrors or setting the table.
-List daily jobs on 3x5 notecards, add graphics if they can't read, laminate and put on a ring for each child.
6-12 years old:
-Use their name and don't ask them to help you. Make it their responsibility. ie: "Morgan, it's time to clean your room" -always sound positive and nice. Treat them as equals in the cleaning of the home. Make them feel responsible for their surroundings.
-If they struggle, say "I've got 3 minutes to help you set the table. Do you want me to get the plates or the silverware?" Make it their responsiblity and help them feel in charge of getting it done.
-Summers: First week off for just playing. 2nd week- train for 5 days of jobs.
-List all the steps on a 3x5 card of what's needed to clean that room. Post on mirror in bathroom or inside closet/cupboard door so they know exactly what's required. Make sure they don't work for more than 40 min a day.
-Schedule individual time to relax with each child once a week.
-Remember what's more important, a messy room or tattoos. Choose battles wisely.
-Give them problem solving jobs. Fixing a bike, a lawn mower, show them they can do it!
-Teach them to finish a job everytime.
-Teach once, watch once.
-Compliment and reward.
-Treat them like adults.
-Continue to make it positive.
( image via: http://www.4men1lady.com/)
ORGANIZING THE HOME:
-if you get 10 percent more organized you'll save 90 minutes a day!
-get rid of HALF of your stuff. Especially clothes, toys, linens.
-look your prettiest in your home. Don't just get dressed and showered when going out. You should feel your best when you're in your home.
-Finish the job. Start laundry and get it folded AND PUT AWAY in the same day. Even better, try to get it put away warm!
-Get rid of any clothes that require ironing! Love this idea!
-Dry cleaner is your best friend for men's dress shirts. (my idea, not the teachers)
-Don't feel guilty about getting rid of expensive items that you don't use. Think of the rewards of finding a good home where the item will be more appreciated.
-Don't hold on to items that maybe one day you'll need. Think of passing on those items and maybe one day those items will come back to you when you need them.
-Less stuff= less stress= less time spent organizing/cleaning!
-Your marriage is more important than getting rid of your spouse's pack rat ways. Make sure that your pack rat spouse has a separate spot for themselves. A drawer to place all their keys, wallets, receipts when they walk in from work. Contain their messy space and don't make it an argument.
-Make organizing POSITIVE. If you stress your family out by organizing, you're defeating the point.
So there you have it. Everything I learned, minus the fun I had learning it. Sorry you couldn't come with me, but your pants will thank you. I ate so many amazing cupcakes, chocolate covered cinnamon bears, cafe rio pork salad, and 5 guys burgers for all of us. My new favorite quote is "people who like to eat are more fun". SO TRUE! And the cleaning begins......