Tuesday, February 20, 2018

How to tidy your house 5 items at a time

Mom2MomEd Blog: The 5 item rule for a tidier house
As moms, Mckenzie and I know all too well how easy it is to feel overwhelmed all too frequently. And, when you feel that way, what typically happens to your house? 

It starts to look--and feel--like a wreck, right?

That's been the case at my house a lot over the last year and a half as we've dealt with my uncle being ill and passing away, as well as dealing with my own health issues (some resolved, some ongoing). When you are sad, depressed, tired, or feeling sick, it's easy to ignore your home.

Dishes pile up and go unwashed.
Floors remain unmopped and unvacuumed.
Windows stay  smudged and grimy.
Counters are cluttered.
And, on and on...

The worse the state of the house gets, the harder it feels to even begin tackling it all, right?


I've tried a number of home management and cleaning plans and systems over the years, and I have to say that many of them are completely overwhelming! They have zones and systems and steps and methods that just add up to a lot of rules and mental clutter for me. 

I need something more straight forward, especially when I'm feeling overwhelmed to the point that I just can't focus and keep track of a system or method or rules. 

One day, when facing my daunting full sink of dishes, I came up with a single rule that has revolutionized my cleaning and tidying style. My house may not be perfectly clean and tidy and organized all the time with this method, but my MIND feels less cluttered and that mental boost goes a long way!

All you need to do is select ONE room or area of your house to focus on and then every single time you go into that room or near that area, you put away, clean, or organized five items. 

That's it! That's the entire process! 


For us, that one area is almost always our kitchen. Every single time my son or I walk into the kitchen we take care of five items--and often, that leads to us getting even more done as often the hardest part of cleaning, organizing, and tidying when you feel overwhelmed is simply getting started, right?

At our house, in the kitchen this might look like:

  • loading five dishes into the dishwasher
  • cleaning the stove, counter, front of the microwave, fridge handles, and top of the fish tank (it lives in the kitchen)
  • sorting and organizing five plastic ware containers (matching tops and lids, for example)
  • tidying all of the items on one shelf of the fridge (more than five items to organize there!)
  • finding five unused gadgets to purge into our donations bin

By consistently doing this every time we go into our kitchen, the kitchen rarely returns to an overwhelming mess. 

Is our kitchen perfect all the time with this method? Hardly, but it is mentally a huge improvement and this method is MANAGEABLE for us.

Give it a try and tell us how it works for you! You don't have to tackle your kitchen or even the same room every time you apply the five items rule. The key is that you simply get started by selecting a small area to clean, organize, and tidy and then tackle it five items or tasks at a time every single time you go near it. 

How do you manage overwhelm and keep your home tidy?
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Monday, February 5, 2018

Grocery Haul: Mini-Costco trip

Grocery Haul: Mini-Costco trip
I don't know about you, but I kind of love grocery haul blog posts and videos! It's a small thing, but I enjoy seeing what and how others eat and the different prices of groceries across the United States (or even other countries!).

We've never shared a grocery haul on Mom2MomEd before, so we hope you'll indulge us for a moment!

For this trip, I went to Costco for a few staples, as well as a few treats for the family of a police officer that frequently stops in at the hospital where I work. I also picked up a little Galentine's (Valentine's Day for your female friends) treat for a friend.

My son and I are working on tightening up our family budget in order to prepare for some big savings goals, to crush debt, and to work towards financial freedom. As a result, we are spending February meal planning and eating out of our cupboards, fridge, and freezer rather than making our usual grocery store trips. Our goals include using up as much as possible with as little waste as possible, to create a more comprehensive list of recipes and menus that we enjoy on a regular basis, and to maximize our money. Thus, my most recent Costco trip was quite small compared to my normal Costco grocery hauls!

So, without further ado, here is my mini-Costco grocery haul:

  • Ziploc 4-pack of gallon sized freezer bags (152 bags total) -- $14.49 
  • Turkey breast lunch meat (1.58lbs) -- $10.41
  • Godiva chocolate hearts (14.6oz) -- $8.59
  • Kirkland Asian snack mix (2.5lbs) -- $9.99
  • Kirkland chocolate covered mango slices (19.4oz) -- $9.69
  • Kirkland organic ground beef (4lbs) -- $19.99

The Ziploc baggies will be used primarily for storing chopped up banana chunks in the freezer for smoothies, but I also use them to carry dog food when traveling, to carry my toiletries through airport security, and so on. In truth, it will take us an exceptionally long time to go through all of these baggies--probably a few years!).

The turkey breast is a lunch staple for us. No explanation there...

The Godiva chocolates will go in a Galentine's Day package for one of my closest friends--she LOVES Godiva!

The Kirkland Asian snack mix and the chocolate covered mango, however, were totally unplanned splurge purchases which defeats the purpose of my grocery shopping goals. However, they also are both snacks that we like and will consume completely, so the only waste will be the packaging. My mom also really likes both of these snacks and thus I'll pack up a bit of each for a trip we'll be taking to Southern California in a few weeks. 

And, the organic ground beef--well, it's expensive stuff compared to regular ol' ground beef! I swear, it's worth the price! We don't eat a lot of beef at our house, I grew up with a mom who bought ground turkey instead of beef. I ate turkey sloppy Joe's, turkey burgers, turkey meat balls, and so on. For years, I followed in my mom's turkey buying footsteps. Then, however, a few friends started telling me how much better organic, grass fed ground beef tastes. Then, a vlogger I follow on YouTube (The Former Mrs. Jones) did a Costco haul video proclaiming how much she loves the flavor of this beef. We decided to give it a try and now it's our go-to whenever we make tacos or other dishes that require ground meat.

  • Grape tomatoes (2lbs) -- $5.99
  • Kirkland quinoa salad (1.55lbs) -- $7.73
  • Bananas (Weight? Maybe 3.5lbs) -- $1.39
  • Organic baby carrots (5lbs) -- $5.49

These items were all on my Costco grocery list. We use the tomatoes in a whole bunch of ways, including just eating them as is, and we dice a bunch of them up to cook into taco meat. 

The bananas will primarily be used in smoothies and banana bread (see above regarding the Ziploc baggies...). The carrots will be eaten as is, used in soups, and so on; however, our dogs happen to LOVE baby carrots as snacks! In fact, one of them begs for them and she FrEaKs OuT if you say the word "carrot"!

The quinoa salad, well, it's simply delicious! I'm not a big quinoa fan, but this salad is refreshing and tasty. It is chock full of tomato, cucumber, cilantro, and other yummy goodness! I especially love a bowlful with a dollop of hummus on the top. 

  • Tree Top fruit snacks (80 pouches) -- $11.79
  • Clif Kid Organic Z Bars (36 bars) -- $17.49
  • Pocky sticks (1lb 9oz) -- $8.99

These three items were all purchased as a contribution to the gift for a local police officer's family as I mentioned above. I did pull out about 20 of the fruit snacks for my family, and the rest went into the gift package. 

What do your grocery hauls look like? Do you enjoy this type of post? If you have a Costco membership, what's the best thing you've ever bought there?

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