First and Fast

When I was a nanny I quickly learned to use the 'first and fast' principle when trying to encourage the kids to eat something they didn't particularly enjoy. If they ate the vegetables they didn't like first, they would still be hot (slightly more appealing than cold) and they could get rid of the taste by eating something they liked afterwards.

Nobody wants the taste of the food they didn't like to be the last thing the taste and linger in their mouths all night. It also means we don't all have to sit at the table for hours whilst you push it around your plate and whine that you don't like it. ;)

I recently remembered this with Will. He often holds something in his mouth saying that he doesn't like the taste, as if he is waiting for me to say 'okay, then just spit it out.' Obviously my answer is usually 'quick, quick! Swallow it so you won't have to taste it any more!'.

If this is true of toddlers and eating, how much more true is it in our lives in general?

It's not the things you do that make you tired, it's the things you don't do!
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Think of a project, large or small, that you have delayed over and over again. You have to exert mental, physical and emotional energy, and maybe even stretch the family finances to accomplish it. It sits like a heavy weight on you, you worry about it and don't sleep well. But once you go ahead and get it done, you feel great. Relief floods you, you're exhilarated and ready to celebrate. 

Procrastination is what makes you tired, not work. Try applying this approach to your chores today. Pick the things you hate most and just get it done! I promise you'll be glad you did.

Would Your Home Pass an MOT?

I love this idea from the unclutterer. 

You annually put your car through a service and or MOT to ensure that it meets a set of government guidelines, is safe to drive and functions well. Why don't we apply this principle to areas of our homes? 

I'm going to set up dates in my diary, semi-annually, for each area of my home (kitchen, garage, understairs cupboard,  wardrobe etc...) to help me keep them in order. In this way I will be giving an MOT out once a month and on a rotating basis ensuring that my house is kept in good order.

Things you might like to fail an inspection could be:

i)   anything broken, chipped, cracked or stained
ii)  unused, unworn or not referenced since last inspection
iii) out of style, wrong size, not suited for the purpose it's being used for
iv) hated, associated with a negative memory, kept out of guilt
v)  an un-needed duplicate

You can then decide to repair, throw out or give away each item; replacing only things that were not suitable for purpose/wrong size etc...

In this manner we can look forward to clutter free homes that are kept in order without having to do massive clear outs every five years and having to sort through lots of useless items to find the ones we need to use.

Enjoy your clutter free homes! 
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