Category Archives: Organization

Pinterest Projects USB Cables and Lemon Chicken

The USB Cable Management original pin.

My version.

USB Cable Management

I can never find the right USB cable that is attached to my computer. One allows me to charge and access my phone the other allows we to get the photos off the camera. So when I saw this pin I thought that it was a great idea. It flopped the first couple of iterations, mainly due to my desk. The first set of binder clips I bought were to small and the cables didn’t pull through easily and they could clamp on to the thick top of my desk. The second set were bigger and the cables pulled through easily but they still didn’t fit on my desk. That led to attaching them to a ruler that I then had sticking out from my desk and wedged under my computer. That worked but was not ideal. The final iteration was the piece of metal that I found in the hardware store and some double sided foam tape. This is working great. I can always find the right cable. The last cable is for my headphones and lets me keep it reeled in. All in all I would consider it a flip but it took some work to get there.

Lemon Thyme Chicken original pin.

My version.

Lemon Thyme Chicken

Second up is Lemon Thyme Chicken. This one came about because the kids came home with Lemon Thyme from Grandpa’s garden. They wanted to make something with it and chicken was on the menu already. A Google search brought up a Pinterest page. It looked good although my wife’s description was ‘Anaemic’. I had to make a number of changes. First I only had boneless skinless chicken thighs. Second I had to substitute lemon juice from a bottle rather than fresh squeezed. One lemon equal 1/4 cup of juice. I also added more garlic, probably close to double as that is how my family likes things. I would make it again as is but I think this is going to evolve into something different rather quickly. I already have ideas for changes. So again I would say flip.

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How to get your kids to clean!

Getting kids to clean is always a battle but it is becoming less of one each time.  My to older kids (5 and 8) are responsible for cleaning their room, the play room and library/craft area.  They must have it done by Friday morning to get their allowance so I can vacuum.  The key word here is responsible.

Teaching responsibility is a big part of why we started this routine.  Getting them to understand that things just need to get done isn’t always easy.  I used example like “I am responsible for cooking you dinner.  I can’t just decide not to cook dinner just because I don’t want to.”  It takes a lot of repetition but it is starting to sink in.

The first thing is defining and making sure that they understand what it is that they are responsible for.  I am a big fan of 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families by Stephen Covey and some of this comes from listening to his CD.  They are responsible for:

  • Getting all their laundry in a basket and downstairs to the laundry room.
  • All Stuffies  on the bed or in their hammock.
  • All books on bookshelves
  • All toys in bins (preferably the right bin but we are working on that one)
  • All Craft supplies away in the craft drawers
  • All Art projects on their shelves or filed.
  • All recycling recycled. (Had to define what is recyclable and what isn’t.  That took some work and I check both and explain if there is a problem)
  • All garbage in the garbage.
  • Floors to the point that I can vacuum.  That is the final checkpoint.

I also had to explain what was not acceptable, ie piling everything on the couch.  While it made the floor clear enough to vacuum the coach was unusable.

They can do this anyway that they want as long as on Friday morning I can vacuum.  They can choose to keep it clean by doing a little bit each day.  Never has happened even with all my hints.  Come Wednesday night they have to clean.  My wife is out Wednesdays so me and the kids clean.  Seeing me clean my area reinforces the responsibility lesson.

So last night they choose rooms.  First choice goes to the one that I say cleaned best last week.  Second choice goes to the other one and the third room is shared.  My daughter cleaned her room and more than half of the shared room.  My son cleaned a bit and then got distracted by a book he found.  My daughter is done and can do what she like this afternoon.  My son, who wanted to have a friend over is going to be cleaning instead.  I also have a new Mythbusters on the PVR to offer as enticement.  He will have it done for tomorrow I have confidence in that.  They also get an allowance that is conditional on the Friday morning clean rule.

Repetition is the key,  same expectations, same rewards, same consequences.