Quick Tips for Improving Your Child’s Creativity

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Guest Blogger, Annabelle Short

Fostering creativity in your child is very important to their future. While they are young, their minds are very impressionable and susceptible to the things going on around them. With many bad influences surrounding them, it is important to foster good and creative ideas that will prepare them to be successful in the future.

While they might not grow up to be the next Vincent van Gogh, creativity is still beneficial. It exposes their mind to a different way of thinking and opens new pathways, allowing them to really discover their interests and to grow and learn new things.

Here are some great tips for improving your child’s creativity:

  • Discuss creativity with your child. Your child will have an easier time letting themselves be creative, if they know exactly what it is that you are trying to get them to do. Let them know that it is fun to draw, paint and try new things. You are fostering creativity by making them aware of it.
  • Design a place for them to be creative. By giving them the atmosphere to be creative, they are more likely to take advantage of it. Set up an arts and crafts station. Put out pens, pencils, notebooks and stickers. A great way to really interest your child in the area is by adding personalized stickers! You can order stickers that are specific to things that your child is interested in. This will be sure to catch their attention and make them feel special. You could do something as simple as put their name on them, to something more special that they enjoy. They can use these stickers in their next creative project!
  • Avoid micromanaging. Let them be. Leave your child alone to be creative. While it is important to still keep an eye on them, don’t hover. They cannot be creative if you are standing right over them guiding them in what to do. Allow them the time and the space to develop and foster their own ideas.
  • Avoid only coloring books. Instead or pre-printed designs and books, try just giving them some white paper. This gives them a blank canvas to create something totally their own. This will avoid them just following the rules and allow them to think of something totally outside of the box.
  • Let them get messy. This might be the hardest part, but it goes right along with avoid micromanaging. Sometimes, they need to get messy in order to truly foster their creative ideas. Obviously, don’t just ignore it totally and let them get unruly or destroy the house, but sometimes a little paint on their hands and in their hair, is okay. They are learning.
  • Be creative yourself. Kids do learn by watching. If they see that you are being creative and trying new things, they will often want to do so themselves. This is also a great opportunity for you to encourage it. You could even say something as simple as, “See, mommy is being creative and making a new project. Why don’t you try?” This also goes hand-in-hand with discussing creativity, but this is the leading by example part of that.

How To Efficiently Organize Your Home After A Move

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Guest Blogger, Meghan Belnap

Moving to a new location can be an exciting time. While it may be easy to plan out how you will handle the actual move, the execution of that plan can be a bit daunting once everything gets in motion.
Having a stress-free move largely depends on how organized you are. Having a thorough plan of approach when you arrive to your new location will allow for a smooth transition into your new living space. Here are some fool-proof ways to have an organized home after a move:

Choose Your Rooms

When you first arrive to your new home, take advantage of the empty rooms by deciding what purpose each room will serve. You can even make these decisions in advance of your arrival if you have the blueprints of your new home. Upon arrival, do a walk-through and place a sign (or post-it note) with the name of the room on the door or wall. Doing so will let everyone that is involved know where to put your belongings.

Organize Biggest Items First

Any heavy furniture items should be the first things that go into the home. Moving the cumbersome items is one of the hardest parts about moving. Getting it out of the way early on will make for easier work as you move the smaller, filler items into their designated rooms. Be sure that you have named your rooms beforehand to reduce the likelihood of having to relocate heavy furniture because it is in the wrong place.

Unpack Soon

The sooner that you begin to unpack your belongings, the better off you will be. Even if you’re tired, try to set a deadline to have your entire home unpacked in 7 days or less. Decorating will likely happen over a longer period of time. What is most important is clearing out any moving boxes that you have around.

Unpack Essentials First

Essential items are those that belong in the kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom. Out of those three, the bathroom items should be set-up as soon as possible after your arrival. Second is the kitchen. If you have a lot of kitchen utensils and accessories, remove the more functional items first so that they will be ready when you need them. The third most important is the bedroom. Be sure not to rush through the closet organization process. Take some time to plan the layout of your closet so that you will not have to redo it later on.

Get Everyone Involved

Whether you are moving with 1 person or 5 family members, everyone can help out in some kind of way. All family members (excluding babies and small toddlers) can help to unpack items and set up their bedrooms. Simple chores can be assigned to help everyone stay more organized.

Take Your Time

To efficiently organize your home, unpacking and setting up your belongings should take priority over almost everything else. Everything will go a lot faster when there are no pressing time commitments in your schedule. If you moved for a new job, give yourself at least a week before your first day of work to get your home in order. You’d be surprised how much you can get done by simply hiring a babysitter to watch your children for an afternoon.

Although it can be stressful to move your life into a new space, remember that it can also be an exciting time! Have fun as much as you can so that you will have fond memories to look back on. Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you feel overwhelmed. The more people you can enlist to give you a hand, the quicker the process will be.

Masters of Disaster: How to Keep Your Home Clean When You Have Kids

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Guest Blogger, Lizzie Weakley

Most people are capable of maintaining a clean and tidy home throughout the week while using each room. Those who have kids quickly learn that the home can become destroyed due to play time and little feet running around. To ensure that you can continue to keep the home clean when you have kids, there are a few important steps to take.

Designate Areas of Play

Instead of allowing your children to take control over the entire home, designate specific areas for play time to ensure that you won’t have to pick up the entire house at the end of the day. Allow them to only play in their room or in a play room to keep the mess controlled. You can also use baby gates to prevent the kids from entering the kitchen or certain rooms of the home.

Install a Built-In Vacuum Cleaner

Crumbs and dust are commonly found on the floors of homes where kids reside, which can be difficult to pick up or sweep multiple times each day when snacks and meals are served. Use a central vacuum to maintain clean floors with an automated product that is installed in the walls of a room and sucks up dirt that accumulates. The efficiency of the product will allow you to keep the floors clean without having to lift a finger.

Schedule Clean-Up Time Each Day

It can be difficult to navigate the home or find what you need if you only clean it at the end of each day. Opt for scheduling clean-up time with your kids mid-day and in the evening to prevent it from becoming a disaster that takes an hour to pick up. You can even sing a “clean-up” song with your kids to make it a fun activity that they look forward to.

Purge Each Room of the Home

Purging your home of unused items and junk is one of the most effective ways of keeping your home cleaner. Your children will have fewer items to grab and play with if you remove a significant amount of times that are not needed. Perform a spring cleaning process in each room and donate items that have not been used in the last year. You’ll also want to keep certain decor items or books out of reach from your children to prevent them from creating a mess. You also want to avoid buying products that you don’t need to have a home that is easier to manage.

Group Like Items Together

Use containers and bins to store different types of products to ensure that cleaning up your home is easy. You can label each bin to make it easier to find where certain items belong and avoid having clutter accumulate. Use four-drawer dressers for toys and teach your child where to place their personal belongings to ensure that they can help with cleaning up and are aware of where to return the items.

Limit Toys to One Room

Instead of allowing your children’s toys to accumulate in the bedrooms and in the living room, designate a specific area of the home where the toys are stored. Create a toy library where your children can access items that they want to use to prevent the home from becoming overrun with balls and train sets.

It may seem challenging to maintain an organized and clean home as you raise children, but there are several ways to keep the interior setting tidy each day. By designating specific areas for toys and using the right tools or products, you can control the chaos while still allowing your kids to have plenty of fun.