About Cena Block & her Blog
Cena is a winner of Top 25 Home Management Moms - 2012
How do you encourage your children to help keep the house organized?
Since my kids were very young, we've had systems and a place for everything. When they were pre-reading toddlers, I used clear bins with pictures on them to categorize toys and help them assist when picking up at the end of the day! Appropriate systems have been introduced as they've grown. We've introduced chore charts, made all of their crafts and homework tools accessible, and even created allowance savings charts.
My kids rotate chores weekly: we have an "A List" and a "B List" and they swap lists weekly to keep things fair. The chores have changed over the years to be age-appropriate, but now include larger tasks of garbage, bathroom cleaning, lawn care and mopping the floor.
We also plan our meals out weekly, so everyone knows what is on the menu. This makes it easier in every way to shop, prepare and clean up. When we run out of items - there is a running list on the refrigerator that everyone can add to to be sure we capture needed items right away.
Scheduling is a very big priority for us to stay organized as a family. Now that my children are teens, we all use online calendars, cell phones and texting to keep communicating and organized. One KEY practice that we've done for years is to sit down as a family on Sunday evening after dinner, and go through everyone's calendars to be sure each of us knows what is most important for the coming week. Not only has this helped us to stay in alignment as a family, it's been a cornerstone to keep us all grounded.
What advice do you have for moms trying to manage their home more effectively?
First, give yourself a promotion! Congratulations! Consider yourself the CEO of your own home. As CEO you are solely responsible for all the business of your family and home. This includes setting up your spaces, creating systems, routines, job descriptions, expectations, goals and maintenance tasks! This is one way to align to your home and keep things in perspective.
I have so many tips for moms that I've created a special program! My free DIY Program - Get Organized To Keep Your Family Sane is very accessible and offers 23 easy to implement organizing projects to keep your home and family sane! This 14 page e-Book also has weekly audio tips to remind you and keep you on track to tackle home organizing projects easily. I am so excited to share it with you all here http://tinyurl.com/7d3o2mr. Copy and paste the link into your browser to sign up for my FREE DIY Program: Get Organized To Keep Your Family Sane! It has amazingly simple to implement ideas that really work to bring sanity to your home, by focusing on your organizing your spaces, implementing systems, focusing on your self, and creating support systems that will help you be successful.
What's the biggest challenge when keeping a home organized?
The most difficult thing for most moms to manage is making time for the maintenance factor! Almost every home is set up with systems to begin with - but many moms fall behind by not making time for the very necessary maintenance routines such as cooking, cleaning, shopping, laundry and upkeep. Most moms I know feel pulled in all different directions and they are struggling to find time to do anything. When I work with overwhelmed moms and mompreneurs, I always remind them of the airplane emergency example: Put your oxygen on before assisting others! It is imperative that moms stop trying to be everything to everyone, and start setting appropriate healthy limits for their own sanity. Moms need to get real about how much time they actually have, and then they can begin using their time more effectively and appropriately. Homes take time to become disorganized, and it will take time to get them organized and functioning successfully if they have fallen way out of alignment. The biggest challenge most moms face is giving themselves the courage and strength to say NO to the things they don't want to be doing so they can focus on what they love to do. I've seen many mom-groups swap skills effectively. The moms who like to shop, will shop for each other while the other who likes to clean, will clean for the other. The secret is to find other moms with complimentary skills and interests.
What are your favorite Blog Posts?
Do you try to give back when you declutter? Please share your family traditions for benefitting others.
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There are so many ways to give back when it comes to decluttering. What most people feel is that it's not worth the effort, but I've seen many of my clients do wonderful things with their items they no longer need. There are so many places that happily accept gently-loved items. SOme of my favorites are: Women's Shelters, VA organizations, Local schools and pre-schools, Libraries (and school libraries), Church groups, Mother's of Pre-schoolers, Junior League Associations, VFWs, PTA and PTO organizations, Scouting Troops, and truly, any other non-profit organization can benefit from your cast asides. AND - another way to easily contribute to someone else's treasure is to take your items to the local salvation army stores, or even place them outside your home with a free sign. De-cluttering and donating go hand in hand... It feels good to pay it forward!
What's your best tip for easing the impact of holiday house guests?
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Start a guest journal.. I love bringing out our guest journal from holidays past and reading the sentiments and stories from our guests.