Decluttering Toys

As I mentioned in my most recent post, we’ve been dealing with a lot of behavior issues with The Boy lately. He has had what we call “meltdowns” every day for the past two weeks (there’s a slight possibility it wasn’t every day, but it was certainly more days than not. 

I’ve been reading about the effect of electronics (to include toys with batteries) on behavior, and I’ve decided to test out the theory. This is what our living room looked like as of a few days ago:

The chairs are in the living room because our home is used for our church services, but their placement in the room was due to The Boy using them to “build a house” and then deciding that that was how they were going to be put away. 

This morning, I took every toy downstairs and most of the toys in The Boy’s room and dumped them all on the living room floor. Then, together with The Boy, we sorted the toys into categories. We had categories for toy food, stuffed animals, baby toys, cars, train tracks, building blocks, duplo legos, instruments, chunky puzzles, stuff to throw away, and stuff to give away. 

I also removed all electronic toys from the room (I’m storing them elsewhere for the time being), and I will limit his screen time to 30 minutes a day or less. He didn’t have ton of screen time before but I’m pulling back the reigns even more for now to see how things go. 

My plan is to try going without the battery-powered toys for a couple of weeks and observe The Boy’s behavior for changes, if any. 

After about 2 hours of sorting and organizing, our living room now looks like this:

Every toy has a place, and toys that are in the black bins have labels so we can see what belongs there at a glance. We also have some “dress up” clothes that are currently in The Boy’s bedroom which I’d like to find room for in the living room as well. I have thoughts on how that might work, but I haven’t done it yet. 

Looking forward to seeing if this makes any difference in our family dynamics. 


BabySteps Day 25

Good morning everyone (afternoon to those in later time zones)! I’m back this morning with Day 25 of the BabySteps process. Yesterday was Day 25. Here’s what my day looked like:

Morning Routine

  • Got up and made my bed
  • Got dressed to shoes
  • Swished and Swiped bathroom
  • Recognized negative voices and changed them
  • Rebooted laundry
  • Thought about dinner (Cabbage and Sausage Skillet with deviled eggs)
  • Put out Hot Spots for 2 minutes
  • 5 Minute Room Rescue (sadly I skipped this yesterday)
  • Spent 15 minutes decluttering
  • Looked at Control Journal
  • Read my FlyLady emails

The new task for the day was to read FlyLady’s testimonial on how she first developed her own routines.

Afternoon Routine

  • Start Dinner (Our dinner was actually leftovers yesterday, so this started pretty close to dinner)

After Dinner Routine

  • Keep sink shining (working on catching up from last week)
  • Laid out clothes for today
  • Put out HotSpot before bed
  • Looked at Control Journal checklist
  • Went to bed (pretty sure last night was the first night I’ve actually gone to bed at my previously chosen bedtime of 9:30. So proud of myself on that one!)

That was my day yesterday! Today, I’ve moved on to Day 26 so stop back tomorrow for an update on how I’m doing.


BabySteps Days 23 & 24

Good morning everyone! Yesterday was a busy, busy day for my family, so I did not have a chance to get yesterday’s BabySteps post out. Instead, this morning’s post will cover Saturday and Sunday on my progress through FlyLady’s BabySteps. So here goes:

Saturday: Day 23

Saturday morning opened with my Morning Routine. The routine I have built so far in my BabySteps program is as follows:

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BabySteps Day 22

Good afternoon everyone! I’m back with the results of Day 22 on my process through the FlyLady BabySteps — albeit, slightly later than normal.

It’s been a busy Saturday morning for my family. We were awakened by The Boy at 7 am. Then we decided to have a family outing to Walmart for some new pants, followed by a stop at the grocery store to pick up this week’s groceries. By the time we got home, had lunch, and cleaned up, it was already noon and I was/am exhausted. I seriously debated taking a nap, but I knew I needed to get this post out, so here I am!

As I posted previously, I got a little off track with my routines this week, but yesterday I worked on getting back on track. I completed my Morning Routine which was as follows:

  • Get up and make my bed
  • Get dressed to shoes, including hair and makeup
  • Recognize those pesky negative voices and make them positive
  • Hot Spot for 2 minutes
  • 5 Minute Room Rescue (I actually spent these 5 minutes in a different room yesterday, so no picture available. I returned to the Laundry Room today and will have a picture available in tomorrow’s post.)
  • 15 minutes of decluttering
  • Look at Control Journal
  • Read FlyLady emails

My new “task” for the day was to take a look at the Ask FlyLady section of their website for 5 minutes (timer set and all). Easy task, said and done.

Last night was to be my Before Bed Routine. Due to my extreme lack of sticking to my routines this week, I wasn’t completely able to finish my Before Bed Routine, but I got some of it done. I will note unfinished tasks below.

Before Bed Routine

  • Keep sink shining (couldn’t shine the sink because I ran out of room in the dishwasher, but still had dishes left. Working on this today, and by the end of day, I should be completely caught up in this arena.)
  • Lay out clothes for next day (done)
  • Put out HotSpot (done)
  • Look at Control Journal checklist (done)
  • Time for bed (As you may remember, I had previously decided on a 9:30 bedtime. Hubby worked late last night, so I didn’t quite make it to bed at my appointed time.)


BabySteps Day 21

Good evening, dear readers. As you may have noticed, there has been a distinct lack of posts about my days through the FlyLady BabySteps.

Since this is the internet and you really have no way of checking up on me, I could say that I’ve been doing my routines — even though I haven’t — and just haven’t gotten around to posting about it, but I’d rather be honest to my readers and admit that this week has simply been a disaster in the home department. My dishes have run amok, laundry piles have grown, and there’s general chaos throughout our home. 

But I’m getting back on track starting with my Evening Routine tonight. FlyLady has said that the Bedtime Routine is the key to the entire day because it prepares you for the following day, and now I’m realizing just how true that really is.

In the past week I have failed to complete my evening routine, most notably the shjnjng of my sink, and it has effected the rest of the routines I’ve built. Without a shiny sink, I have felt overwhelmed by dirty dishes and put off starting them; without clothes laid out, I have not gotten dressed first thing because I usually wake up before Hubby so the room is too dark to see clothes to pick out.

The evening routine really does make a difference for the following day. So with all this in mind, please note that my Evning Routine is done for Day 21 is complete, and I will be starting fresh tomorrow.

Side note: Although I didn’t do much else from my Morning Routine, I did do my 5 Minute Room Rescue. See an update pic here


BabySteps Day 19 & Day 20

Morning everyone! Did you miss me yesterday? I did have a new post, but if you’ve been following my progress through the BabySteps, you may have noticed that yesterday’s post was not BabySteps related. (Shock! Horror!)

I promise you, it was not because I missed a day or because I forgot to post about it. There was actually good reason to combine Days 19 & 20 of the BabySteps process — reason being, Day 19 was exactly the same as Day 18. There was no new task to add to my routine; everything was the same.

The only extra thing for the day was to read a testimonial someone had sent from however long ago about a Bed and Breakfast she and her husband had gone to which actually turned out to be their own home because the FlyLady system had revolutionized her home. Nice to read for motivation purposes, but I figured my readers would not enjoy reading the same routines from Day 18 on Day 19 as well.

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Laundry Detergent

I make my own laundry detergent, which I use for everything except cloth diapers (because Borax is an ingredient — cloth diapers and Borax do not mix well). I thought I’d share my recipe with you.

This recipe was given to me by a family friend. I have not had any issues with it so far, and it lasts for a long time. The last batch (prior to the most recent one I made two weeks ago) I made was sometime in early summer. I don’t remember the exact time, just that it was before we moved into our current house, and that was in June. So that means one batch of this detergent, for my family of 4, lasted for about 6 months.

I know some of you are thinking it lasted that long because it was used infrequently, but no! Most weeks, I did 3-4 loads per week (sometimes more, sometimes less) so it’s a good amount of detergent, and you only need 1-2 Tbsp per load — depending on how dirty they are.

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