Monthly Archives: February 2015

7 Steps to Turn a Cluttered Living Area Into an Attractive & Relaxing Family Space

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Most families will probably not be surprised by the fact that their home’s central gathering areas, such as the living or family rooms, are the ones that suffer the most from the effects of clutter. What may be surprising, however, is the fact that making just a few minor changes can keep clutter at bay and help make these areas much more pleasant for use by the entire family. Mopfrog of Danbury offers seven tips to get you started!

  • Create zones for each activity, such as specific areas for play, watching TV, reading, gaming or crafts. In each of these areas, choose furnishings that double as storage and include some rolling bins that children can move about the room during play and then return to the play area when not in use.
  • Choose a coffee table that doubles as storage, for example a trunk, that can easily store items such as throws, magazines and drink coasters. If purchasing a new coffee table isn’t within your budget considering adding an inexpensive, but decorative storage box to keep small items accessible, yet out of sight.
  • Implement a one in one out policy for magazines to keep them from becoming part of the clutter problem. Instead of letting them overtake flat surfaces, use a small magazine rack or bin for current issues and move the old issues to the recycling bin as the new ones arrive.
  • Sort through existing game, movie and music collections and remove any that have been outgrown or are no longer used. Consider selling these online and use the funds to add new ones to the collection, or simply donate them to area youth groups or shelters.
  • Make additional space by removing unused or uncomfortable furnishings. Make or purchase some large floor pillows for lounging on movie night or choose some ottomans that can double as both storage and extra seating.
  • Utilize your wall space more efficiently by hanging televisions on the wall and installing floating shelves for decorative items. Instead of cluttering up tabletops with family photos, consider creating groupings of them as wall art for several areas of the room.
  • Utilize natural light to make the space seem larger and more inviting by opening the blinds and drapes and letting natural light flood in.
Organize and Declutter, Organized Living, Organizing Your Living Room, ,

Make Snow Days Into Family Fun Days

Little girl and her dog looking out the window.The sight of falling snow can have some very different effects family members. Youngsters watch the forecast and check the depth of rising snow levels, all the while hoping for enough to get a reprieve from classes in the form of a snow day.

Parents also watch the weather, but instead of joy, they often fret about the inevitable boredom they know their kids will feel as soon as the magic of the snowy weather subsides. If you are dealing with snow day boredom in your home and would like ideas on getting and holding your kid’s attention without resorting to video games or TV, here are three tested and approved ways to make snow days into family fun days!

Build a Indoor Fort or Campsite

When the weather conditions are not safe for spending time outside, help kids build a fort or campsite in the living or family room by arranging the furnishings to create tent structures and then draping them with old sheets and comforters.

To make this activity even more fun, turn off the lights and use a flashlight to make interesting shadow shapes on the walls of the tent or tell tall tales around a faux campfire made by sticking some charged solar landscaping lights into a large flowerpot filled with sand.

Cook Your Way to Snow Day Fun

Kids love to measure ingredients, take turns stirring them together and then sample their creations and a snow day is the perfect time to enjoy this type of fun activity. Opt for a fun recipe that will give kids plenty of opportunities for hands on involvement and taste testing to hold their attention. Here are some good choices to consider:

  • Caramel coated popcorn balls that can be sculpted into fun shapes by little hands
  • Sugar cookies that can cut into fun shapes and then decorated with healthy nuts, raisins and dried fruits.

Mark the Day with a Snow Day Adventure Story

When a quieter activity is needed, pass out pads of paper, pencils and crayons and allow each child to unleash their inner storyteller. Set a kitchen timer for short periods of time and have each child write a few sentences. When the timer goes off, they must pass what they have written to the next child at the table. Continue writing in this fashion until each child has added two or three passages to the story and then use a hole punch and yarn to compile the pages into a book.

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Turn Household Chores Into a Fun Learning Activity for Kids

5-Tricks-for-Keeping-a-Surprisingly-Clean-Home-with-KidsOne of the most important parts of parenting is teaching our children how to be resourceful and self-reliant and taking care of the family home is a great way to hold these lessons. If you would like to help your child develop these beneficial skills and garner some help with the household chores in the process, the following tips may be just what you need.

Forming a Clean Team

Children are often eager to help Mommy, but have no clue how to perform many common household chores. By forming a cleaning team with your child, they will be able to mimic your actions to learn how to correctly perform the task, and you will both benefit from the interaction of working together.

When working out the details for your home cleaning team, remember that children of different ages have different attention spans, as well as different skill sets. To maximize the lessons (and the amount of housework that gets accomplished), plan frequent, short sessions and make them as enjoyable as possible by using some of the following suggestions:

  • Use age appropriate, upbeat music and mix up the genres to make it fun. For example, consider breaking out some 80s disco tunes for your teenagers and alphabet songs for the toddler crowd.
  • Incorporate physical activity into cleaning chores to get a clean house and a fun workout by practicing your dance moves with your kids while mopping the floor or scrubbing walls.
  • As the kids become more proficient with their tasks, create a lottery to assign the chores for the week. This adds some excitement while making sure that no child is stuck with the same chores again and again. To do this, write each chore on a slip of paper and have each child draw them from a fishbowl. Keep track of the completed chores on a dry erase or chalk board and award a prize each week to the child who successfully completes all their tasks – even your prizes can be family oriented, such as a trip to the movies.
  • Institute a nightly scavenger hunt to find and put away items that have been strewn about through the day. To add excitement, set the kitchen timer for five or ten minutes and have all
Chores for Children, Cleaning and Children, Cleaning and Your Family, ,