Monday, September 15, 2008

Smart Martha

Have you ever heard of Smart Martha? Well, I just attended one of these seminars on Friday at a local parish. Their motto is "Real Organization for Real Moms with Real Priorities" - cool. I need that.

The premise of the program comes from Luke 10:38-42 [Martha/Mary] You all know this one, I don't need to tell it ;) So it's all based on being a "Mary" to your family, friends, neighbors [who are the "Jesus' " in your life], but - we still have to be "Marthas" too. After all... we've got a household to run. That laundry ain't gonna take care of itself! So - be a Smart Martha.

I was very bummed that this seminar was only 2hrs long instead of the usual 4hrs - she didn't cover all 6 topics. She told the contact lady from the parish to choose 3 topics - and 3 were picked, but only 2 were touched on in the end. I guess the women's group only booked her or the room for X amount of hours. Anyway, Tami, the presenter, felt bad leaving so much out of her presentation. She kept saying, "Maybe I can come back some time and give you the other 2 hours." Why they didn't do that in the first place is beyond me. Anyway, that's my only complaint.

Here are some creative ideas:

Errand Bag - hang by your door for returning things to people or stores

Keep toys in one area of the house [ I know!, but wait!] - some exceptions are the "Toddlers" who bring toys wherever they go. So put a special basket/bin with some toys in it for them in the main living space in your home.

Keep supply of diapers/wipes in basket in main living space [to keep from going back/forth up/down to the changing table]

Puzzles: Don't keep them in the boxes they come in [we all know what happens to those boxes!]. Put them in a zipper baggie - the first time your child puts the puzzle together: color or somehow mark the back of the puzzle to know which piece goes with which puzzle! Brilliant idea!

Toy Boxes: Only use big bins such as toy boxes for big collections - weapons box, dress- up clothes, etc. Throwing a bunch of toys in gets crazy-messy and none of the bottom dwellers get played with b/c they forget they're there!

A Thank-You Basket: make the task of sending/writing thank-yous easy. Keep a basket filled with various thank you cards, return address labels, stamps, common addresses, and... a pen!

Kids' Room/s: Take a picture of the room spic-n-span clean and hang it on the inside of their closet door. "Does your room look like this?"

Catch-all Basket in the laundry room for all the stuff you find in the pockets [ummm, except for cash... that goes into my pocket!]

Always have a "dirty" dishwasher! Empty dishwasher as soon as it's run its cycle. Continually put dirty dishes in throughout the day. There should be no dishes in the sink because they are always going into the dishwasher! So your sink will always be clean too.

That's just a few examples of some ideas. We've been doing the dishwasher thing ever since. It used to be that we'd run it at night and it got emptied by the girls after dinner the next evening - and then refilled with dinner dishes. Not anymore. The dishes are put away either first thing in the morning or at snack time and we load as we go. If they can take a plate to the sink, they can put it in the dishwasher [ has to be emptied!]

I reorganized my pantry on Saturday. It was a semi-involved task, but so worth it! There's a certain 'ahhh' feeling when I open it now.

Paul just hung up my bulletin board near the pantry for the Organizational Center [Communicatin ctr, or Command central]. So I'm on my way to Rome [which wasn't built in a day by the way!]

Tami told the story of the Magic String - there was this man who had this magic string and whenever he pulled on the string it would fast forward his life to get through the sorrows, trials and sufferings in his life. So when his son got sick... zippp... he was beyond all that pain and suffering. All the irritating things in life... zippp... he got through just like that! Pretty soon he looked and he was an old man. He used his Magic String through his life so much that he hadn't lived and now it was closely ending. So don't say "I can't wait till..." - because it'll be over before you know it. Look at your own kids... you know what I mean.

So, go be a Smart Martha and ENJOY THE DIAPERS - they'll be gone before we can blink!


Melissa said...

Shelly, thanks so much for this post. I read something similar in Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World, but I like how your speaker addressed such specifics in the household. I got a laugh from the Kids Room picture. I think I'll be trying that one.

The Magic String story is exactly like the Adam Sandler movie "Click." Just for adults, but it is a good movie!

Regina said...

i am so bummed...out homeschool group is having that seminar here next saturday but tug has to work that day and i dont have a sitter. literally the ONLY saturday he has worked since we moved here.
as for the puzzle thing i dont do ziplocs cuz they are hard to store (slippery). instead i get the small containers from walmart ($1 each) that have attached lockable lids. i label the back pieces and put them in their new box. i cut the small picture from the side of the puzzle box and tape it with box tape (so the entire picture has tape on it) to the front of the box.
get rid of that darn period

Shelly said...

the idea with storing things in the baggies was that they'd all be kept in a "purdy basket" [yeah, definitely tape the pix on whatever container you use!]. I like your idea, Regina.
---> .

PaulaB52 said...

Or you can do like me and BANISH puzzles from your house forever! LOL. Seriously, my kids (when they were smaller) would dump the puzzle, then walk away. I would end up having to put the puzzle together. When they got a bit older, they'd do the puzzle once, then forget about it.

I do the dishwasher thing. When it's done running and it's cooled a bit, I have the boys empty it. I'm now starting to harp on putting their dish in the dishwasher. They'll do the dish, but leave the cup and fork in the sink!!

Christine said...

Great ideas. Thanks for posting them. GIVE ME MORE! My favorite is the picture of the bedroom on how it should look.

I like my space and life simple. For example my blog....not too messy and fancy. I like things neat and I do not like stuff. Too much stuff is in my house!

Regina said...

are you taunting me? seriously?! ........................................................... ............................................................ ..................................

Shelly said...

regina - LOL!! [.]

Jessica said...

Oh! I would love to go to one of these!! Thanks for sharing all the suggestions! And great job on your pantry!

Sara said...

It's too bad you got a short seminar. Our TORCH group had an all day one. There were a lot of great ideas and it even came with a notebook of the slides she used. Did you get that?

I posted some of the stuff on my blog, though not as nice a list as yours. I'm really happy with the kids' bedrooms!

momto5minnies said...

That looks like a neat program.

Your pantry looks GREAT!

I do the puzzle trick, but I don't have all of them in baggies. They are labeled with letters on the back to distinguish different puzzles. I also agree ... big toy bins are terrible. I try to organize things into small clear sterilite/rubbermaid boxes so that we can see where things go and for the most part they are not spread out.

The idea of taking a picture of a clean room is great, but to do that we need a clean room. Does that mean I do it first ... LOL!