5 Ways to Prepare Your Home for a New Child

Many prospective parents know welcoming a child into their home will bring change, but they don’t realize their lives are going to do a total 180. It’s an amazingly wonderful change, but when you’re in the middle of it all the change can feel overwhelming. You have to start preparing yourself mentally, emotionally and physically before your family expands.

No matter how you expand your family, whether it be through natural birth, adoption, fostering or surrogacy, preparing your home ahead of time helps you ease into your new role as a parent. It’s so important organizations like SurrogateAlternatives.com provide their surrogate parents with guidance leading up to the delivery.

After having eight kids, we’ve learned a thing or two about getting our home ready for a new family member. Here are five pieces of advice I’d give any new parent.

Prioritize Based on Age
How you prepare depends on the age of the child. If you are having a baby there’s no need to baby-proof the house just yet since they won’t be crawling or walking for 9-12 months. However, if you’re adopting a two-year-old you’ll need to secure everything from top to bottom. Before fostering a tween or teen you’ll want to make sure they have some sort of private area they can make their own.

Divide and Conquer Your To-Do List
Now that you’ve prioritized the to-dos and come up with a list of chores that need to get done ASAP, it’s time to assign them. Taking a divide and conquer approach will help you get more done in less time. It also ensures no one will get burned out and exhausted.

Sit down with your significant other, and older kids if you have them, and go over the task list. Each person should pick chores they don’t mind doing. If there’s something no one wants to do you’ll need to find a fair way decide, like flipping a coin.

Organize Your Family
We have mastered the art of organizing a family. With a family as large as ours, you have to have tight organization or chaos will ensue. But even if it’s your first child, adding another person to the mix means there’s someone else to account for each and every day. There will be new responsibilities, commitments, appointments, etc.

How you stay organized will be unique to your family members and situation. However, the one essential is good communication. As long as you communicate frequently and clearly everyone will be on the same page and less stressed. Come up with a communication plan that highlights the various ways you’ll communicate information. For example:

  • ·  Designate cell phones as the primary contact method for emergencies.
  • ·  Put a daily calendar on the fridge with color-coded days that dictate which family member has something going on.
  • ·  Have a family touch-base once a week to keep everybody updated.

It’s also important to take time to communicate with each other leisurely. Family dinners are a great opportunity for everyone to talk with one another and simply discuss how their day was or what their plans are in the coming days.

Make Enough Space
Even a newborn needs space in your home – actually they need a lot of space. Newborns need to have a crib, a changing station or dresser with a changing table on top, hamper and toy chest among other things. You’ll need to really assess how much room will be needed to accommodate the new family member. It might mean rearranging a few of the rooms or converting a living space into a bedroom.

Let’s be honest – a family can always use a little extra space. That’s why you have to be really strategic with space when the family grows larger.

Stock Up on Supplies
The best time to stock up on supplies is before you have a child in tow (or another child). If you have the financial means and storage space buy everything you can in bulk. You’ll save money in most instances and avoid wasting more time than necessary shopping. Those precious hours can be used for sleep instead.

If you’re having a child you’ll want to overstock every essential baby supply. New parents of a newborn are some of the most fatigued people on the planet. Do what you can to avoid having to shop in the first few weeks.

Easy Steps For Organizing A Family

For most modern families, organization is key. With so many friends, hobbies, jobs and commitments, it can be easy to lose track. Staying organized is crucial for a smooth and harmonious daily life but it is not always easy to achieve. We may feel like we often don’t know what each family member is up to during the week or that appointments and commitments can sneak up on us. There are many advantages to being an organized family that go beyond simply making things run more smoothly. Being organized makes it easier to ensure that you spend quality time together. It makes holidays simpler to plan if everyone knows their commitments, and it keeps morale high. Disorganization can lead to a lot of anxiety and stress. They commonly cause tension in relationships and so a disorganized family is often a stressed one. But with a bit of forward planning and communication, you can revolutionize the ways that you and your family get things done.

family photo
Image source

Communication is a common buzzword in relationship terms. Whether friends, family or partners, we are often encouraged to express ourselves. Communication shows respect and interest. If it is sincere and not accusatory, we should regularly ask our family members what their plans are and share our own. By knowing what is going on in each others lives, there is instantly more to talk about. You won’t feel shut out and neither will they. Communication facilitates more communication. The more openly you share the more likely you are to get the same back. Try to keep everyone involved and updated with your plans and they will soon learn to return the favor. Emails and even an online calendar can be a great way to keep teenagers involved. If they can add an activity to a calendar that is then visible to you they can feel independent whilst still keeping you updated.

Emphasize Quality Time
Organization makes quality time more of a possibility, because you can better organize your time to suit it. But interestingly, family time can also lead to better organization. If we regularly spend time together, we are more likely to share plans and activities for the coming week. We can then chop and change what is inconvenient. We can fit activities around others, and we can schedule in our family time. Quality time is important for family relationships but it also makes it easier to stay organized. It can act like a mini-meeting or weekly debrief each time to catch up on the week and plan the next.

Prep Work
Getting things done in the early mornings or evenings in preparation for the day can be a great way to stay ahead. Many parents swear by the routine of packing bags or lunches in the evening so that they can sleep in a little later and not compete with the morning rush. Prep work doesn’t have to feel like a chore either. If you take something on when the rest of the family are still asleep or preparing for bed it can be valuable time for yourself.

8 Easy To Clean Home Interior Designs and Decoration Ideas for Mothers

However much time you spend at work, you still need a cozy home where you can relax, pour some wine, put your feet up and perhaps read a good book of catch up on your favorite TV show. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case when you get home to dirty floors, clutter all around the house, and kids screaming your name.

You should get into the habit of putting things away after using and also have a house design that will be easy to manage. To simplify cleaning and maintenance amidst chores and children, you can take advantage of the following house designs and decoration ideas:

  1. Easy to clean floors – Floors get dirty fast. Go for stained concrete floors with protective sealers. Ensure that the design has non-porous seals and minimum seams. These will be easy to clean or sweep. You may also choose floor laminates, hardwood floors or luxury vinyl tiles, which are easy to sweep and mop.
  2. Central vacuuming – Getting the last bit of dust into the dustpan can be annoying, if not terrifying. Get a vacuum with sweep inlets to fasten sweeping and vacuuming.
  3. Carpet tiles – Instead of wall-to-wall carpets or the large rugs, you should go for carpet tiles. They come in a variety of textures and some are soft and there are the thick ones. They are so easy to vacuum and get this, if something spills on it, you will have to lift the tile and wash it over the sink and return it when dry. The other cool thing is that they are available in any of your favorite colors.
  4. Use cleanable materials or paint on the walls – Every mother understands the mischief kids get into whenever they go quiet for a minute or two. Most of the time, you will find walls painted with all the crayon or lipstick colors. To avoid any stress from this, you should use high quality paint that allows paint to be easily washed off. This won’t require heavy scrubbing of walls and you can engage King of Maids – Cleaning services. Your walls will be wiped.You may also consider using vinyl wall coverings. Presently, the vinyl wall coverings are varied and some mimic grass cloth, linen, and silk.
  5. Stain resistant upholstery – A good interior decorator will advise you to go for durable, easy to clean, and stain resistant upholstery fabrics. These are manageable around your adorable kids. Go for brandy, chocolate, taupe, charcoal gray, and black colors rather than leather. Vinyl upholstery and easy-clean slipcovers for upholstery are also suitable alternatives.
  6. Furniture with casters – When you want to sweep, mop or vacuum the house fast, you will need to move furniture out of your way faster. Your solution, lockable casters! These will be rolled out of your way fast simplifying cleaning.
  7. Carefully plan storage – Every nook and cranny must be used. The first rule is for you to put your storage near the place where items to be stored are used e.g. toys next to the play area. Items that are frequently used should be kept at an accessible location. You may also consider going for furniture with storage.
  8. Accessible laundry room – A laundry room next to the master bedroom or the changing room is convenient compared to the basement. Bathrooms can also work as long as they are conveniently accessed.

In conclusion, a house design and interior decoration goes a long way in simplifying cleaning, saving time, enhancing orderliness, and keeping your house looking classy always. As a mother, wouldn’t you like these ideas? Your home will be less messy.

Brother P-Touch Challenge: The Results – A Basement Makeover

Back in August, I participated in the Brother P-Touch Challenge. In that post, I mentioned that I would be making over my basement and sharing the results with you.

It’s been 2 months since I put up that post, and I am so, so excited to share the results with you.

I figured the best way to really show you my new and improved basement was with a video. That being said, here it is:

Direct Link for subscribers

Ok, ok. I know. I like the world great. Sorry. But it really is great. The kids and I all love our basement now. I don’t have toys all over my house, the kids have somewhere to call their own, where they can watch movies, play video games, play board games, or just goof off. If it’s raining outside, the first place they ask to go is in the basement. It is so nice to actually have that option now.

I also thought it would be fun to show you my favorite areas in pictures. Ready?

Here we go!

basement makeover

Ta da! Doesn’t it look awesome? {Maybe I should say great? :)} I really think it does, and I love how it turned out. The picture above shows a glimpse of the chairs where the kids can watch movies, the bookcase, and my exercise area.

basement makeover

This picture shows our new “multimedia” area. We’ve got the X-boxes, the wii, the DVD player, and all the DVDs in one easy to access place. I’m pretty sure this is the kids’ favorite part of the room.

basement makeover

Here’s my favorite area. It’s my craft area. I finally have one place to store all my crafting stuff. I can sit in that chair and sew, make hair bows, wipes cases, jewelry, or anything I want. Everything is clearly labeled, easy to find, easy to access, and the best part…. easy to clean up. If my kids would let me, I could honestly spend all day right there.

basement makeover

Here’s my second favorite area in the basement. I’ve got my photography backdrop all set up and ready to use anytime I want to. Now I have no more excuses. My light is hidden directly behind the backdrop and is easy to pull out, pop the shadowbox on there, and plug it in. I love, love, love that it’s so easy to take portraits of the kids now. I haven’t had an area like this in a home since we lived in Ohio, and I have really missed it.

This Challenge has been awesome. I love the new room that I have thanks to Mom Central and Brother.  And I have to say, the Brother P-touch PT-1290 is so easy to use. Even my kids can do it. {I made the mistake of leaving the P-touch where Jace could reach it, and he went through and labeled everything… including a few of my dishes. It’s funny now, and I’m finally able to see that it’s great that he could spell the words correctly and label them. If nothing else, it was a learning experience for both of us. But, I do love the fact that it’s so easy to use even a child could do it.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my results of the Brother P-Touch Challenge. I know I’ve had a blast doing this, and so have my kids. If you have a room in your house that you want to organize, I would highly recommend the Brother P-touch PT-1290. The labels stay put, it’s easy to find exactly what I need, and my basement looks fantastic.

To learn more about the Brother P-Touch Label Maker and the different options available, check out the Brother Website.

What do you think? How did my basement turn out?

Disclaimer: I wrote this review while participating in a campaign by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Brother P-Touch and received a product and gift card to facilitate my review and a promotional item to thank me for taking the time to participate.

The Brother P-Touch Label Challenge

Have you ever tried to label something important, only to have the labels all fall off after just a short time? (Think Seinfeld.)

If so, pay close attention!ptouch test kit

I was selected by Mom Central to participate in a campaign with Brother to showcase their P-Touch Label Maker. Over the next few months, you’ll see several posts from me about the Brother P-Touch Label Maker and how those labels get me organized and then how they hold up in my house.

My first post is about the P-Touch Label Challenge. I’m supposed to put these labels to the test and see how they really hold up.

I took the challenge, and with the help of Jace and Parker, we put these labels to the test! Here’s our Challenge Results caught on camera:

As you can see, the labels definitely held up to all the abuse we were giving it. I also have to tell you that Jace stayed outside for 20 more minutes trying everything he could to get that label off the block, and he absolutely could not get it off.

It’s awesome to see the label withstand so much and not come peeling off.

In case you didn’t take the time to watch the video, here’s a recap:

taking the challenge

We took the P-Touch Challenge

label before

Here's the label before we started our testing.

jace takes the challenge

Jace tried so hard to get the label off!

After the challenge

Even after all the abuse, the label still looks exactly the same.

As you can see, the label held up under all the pressure we put on it. I am super impressed with these labels so far, and I can’t wait to see how they hold up to the everday abuse my kids will put them through.

In the next few weeks, I will be giving my basement a complete makeover. (Thanks to Mom Central and Brother.) It’s time to turn it into the dream room I envisioned when we first moved in here. I’ll be using the Brother P-touch PT-1290 to help achieve my {organized} dream room.

I hope you’ll join me on my journey! I have a feeling it’s going to be lots of fun.

To learn more about the Brother P-Touch Label Maker and the different options available, check out the Brother Website.

Disclaimer: I wrote this review while participating in a campaign by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Brother P-Touch and received a product and gift card to facilitate my review and a promotional item to thank me for taking the time to participate.