Heading into August with ‘ back to school ‘ just around the corner.
We are chatting with Ashley of the Cleaning Fairy To get organized for the transition back to school, Ashley is also a proud sponsor of the Tri-Cities Moms Group:
- Have a ‘home’ or cubby for each child to place their homework and belongings from their backpacks each day which is helpful for repacking in the morning. Each child gets to pick a cubby spot (in my IKEA 4×4) for their school supplies and backpack contents. At the end of each day I get each child to unpack their lunch kits into the sink and dry storage area. Then the backpacks with their notebooks, textbooks or extra supplies goes into their cubby. In the morning, it is very simple to find everything. The kids go to the counter, pack their lunch for the day and then head to the cubby for their homework and supplies.
- Prepare a chart each week so that children know what to expect. Include a daily reminder guide in each bedroom so that the child knows what to do each morning, afternoon and bedtime. I use a piece of construction paper and change the colour each week so they can see that it is new. This serves as a guide for what they have coming up that week including activities, late starts, early dismissals or Pro D days. I use a clothes pin to highlight which day we are on and move it each night after they have gone to sleep.
- Minimize the closet and toy area to keep daily tidying up easier. One of the biggest things I find help my September run smoother is having less stuff in the home. I have started to being more aware of the space all my ‘stuff’ takes up and have worked hard this past year to have less of it. Each child’s closet only has clothes that are weather appropriate with other options in case weather happens. I also have all winter clothes in a separate tub just above with clothes that are next size up in case a growth spurt happens. I have really reduced toys and they only have a few key toys that take up some space. Other than that they have about two bins each for toys in the IKEA 2×2 in their room. We have a few bins for share toys and books as well in the living room to play with and rotate out. I have found this very helpful with time management. We know where everything belongs and where it should be.
- Labels. Back to school supplies are marked with thin patterned duct tape vs regular naming labels with the child’s name or phone number etc. Teachers get to know this system quickly. I buy two roles of a patterned tape at Staples and spend a night taping everything. My son has sensory toys and adaptations that get duct taped and they come home every year because the tape is so durable. I find this has been an invaluable tool in our home.
- Have a set list of things to do like getting dressed and brushing hair and teeth. Sometimes these can be hard for kids to remember so I have a list broken down into three transition times during the day. They are morning, after school and before bed. Under ‘morning,’ I have brush hair and teeth, get dressed, make bed, get the cereal out and clear the table, pack bag etc. For ‘after school,’ I have empty backpacks and lunch pack, put away dry storage items, start homework and independent reading. I add in any extra chores or things that need to be done that day so the oldest can earn screen time. For ‘Before bed’, I have shower, brush teeth and floss, and check in with mom for anything extra. I use coupons to reward for following this system and keeping the home running smoothly. The most popular coupons are no vegetables for dinner, extra TV time and extra long stories. My kids have loved having the coupons to rewards and I have really enjoyed watching them work towards earning them.
I want to wish everyone a great rest of the summer and a smooth transition into going ‘back to school’ in September. I have found these tips very helpful for my family. As a mom with a son heading into Grade 5 and a preschool age daughter we have really benefited from following these systems when. I love that at the end and start of the day each child knows where backpacks and their contents go and that is not on my kitchen counter! I hope some of these tips can help your transition this year as well.
~Ashley Sorensen, Owner and operator of The Cleaning Fairy, a licensed, insured, bondable cleaning company.
Real Estate Market Update
As reported by the Real Estate Coast of Greater Vancouver (REBGV), “two district markets have emerged this summer.” The demand for detached homes has returned to average levels while the condo market is still hot with multiple offers and sky-rocketing prices. This is quite the change from last year when the detached market was extremely active. As of July 5th2017, there were 8515 properties listed which represents a 9% increase compared to July 2016. Of these properties there is a large selection of detached homes while available condos are at an “all time low,” according to Jill Oudil, President of the REBGV.
Urban Mommas Soccer Member of the Month – Ashley Oddy
Tell us a little bit about your history playing soccer and what you love about the sport? I started playing when I was just a little one. I started playing for the house team and led to playing for the rep team also in Vernon as a teen. What I love about the sport is the simplicity of it. It does have its technical skills but once you get the hang of it you just continue to perfect it. It is a sport full of passion, with lots of twists and turns throughout the game. All that keeps me loving it.
What appealed to you about joining the Urban Mommas team and what makes this team special? Many reasons stood out to join the team. I hadn’t played in years and learning the team wasn’t about experience, but getting mamas out there to be active, have fun , and meet new people had a huge appeal. It made me step out of my comfort zone and do all those things. What makes it special is that we are all there for the same things; fun, learning something new, meeting new people, exercise, laughs and for the love of the sport.
For those who may be considering joining a soccer team but haven’t played for awhile, what advice would you give them to take the jump? It really is like riding a bike. If you’re really looking for all the things I said make it special, go for it. The team is full of energy, support and a lot of fun.
As a mom, what has been the hardest part about juggling parenting and finding type for yourself for exercise, socializing etc? Do you think an athletic team like the Urban Mommas helps alleviate some of the stresses of being a mom? To be honest I don’t have that feeling or experience of it being hard in any way. My husband and I are very active people and this is just one on the things I put “first for me” I make it a priority as he does with the gym so we balance it out in our schedules. I need the personal time, girl time, and especially exercise to keep my sanity being a busy working mama.
This team defiantly has helped alleviate a lot of stress I have had this past year and a half as they all have provide a great amount of support, positivity, love, a bunch of shoulders and laughs to brighten any type of dark cloud. I look forward to our Wednesday night practices and Sunday games to sweat it out.
Come on come join, I promise you will not regret it 😉
~Ashley is not only a proud mom of a toddler, wife, TCMG sponsor and soccer player she is our mobile hair stylist! We look forward to seeing her every month for our trims and cuts! she always keeps us looking our best!
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