31 Days To A Less Messy Nest Day 10:: Simple Solutions for Everyday Issues


Over the past few months {years?} I’ve heard myself barking the same reminders to my boys, “hang your book bag up, don’t pour too much cereal, you can’t use 18 different cups before lunch…“.  My husband and I made a few simple changes in our home and now I can save my words for better things like “can I have a hug? would you like some more cereal? flush the toilet…

For example, we have always kept our dishes, you know, the plates and bowls, way up in the high cabinets. Our boys are in the stage where they are old enough to not break real dishes but not tall enough to reach all the higher cabinets without a stool.   We like for them to help set the table and put the dishes away so an easy solution for our family was to relocate the dishes to the lower cabinets where they can easily reach a bowl.  I consider that idea to be one of my best accomplishments as a mother.  I think simple mom would be proud.


Another issue was the poring of 8 servings of cereal into a bowl every morning.  Our solution: much smaller bowls. I know, it’s not rocket surgery but this simple change is going to really impact how often I have to buy cereal.  I found the bowls for $1 each at Big Lots.


Cup over usage was running rampant in our house.  Now each boy has his own style of clear plastic, unbreakable cup.  They each have 3 cups and those are the only ones they can use.  They use it, rinse it out and then set it on the dish rack until they need it later. I throw them in the dishwasher at night. If I see a cup laying around the house, I don’t grab it.  I leave it.  Right now one of the boys has unknowingly left two of his cups in the playroom and one half full of juice in the fridge. I can’t wait until he figures it out and has to go searching for his cups and then wash them out because he missed the nightly dishwasher run. If I really ran a tight ship I’d probably lower the cups down to one each but, I’m new at this.


Now you will roll your eyes at how I am so slow to miss the obvious.  We had book bags on the floor that seemed to multiply.  It finally hit me that I had not provided a designated spot for the book bags.  Problem solved.  Duh.  It’s from Target if you are wondering.


There is just not a good place near the boys room or bathroom for any kind of clothes basket or hamper.  The problem is, it doesn’t matter if I choose to provide a hamper or not, dirty clothes will come off and need to be put some place–I don’t walk down stairs naked just to put my clothes in the laundry room before I take a shower and I can’t expect my boys to either.  So, I went ahead and accepted the fact that I needed to put a bulky, in-the-way basket in our skinny hall.  It’s still better than a pile of clothes strewn around.


Lastly, every night we somehow had like 5 wet towels on the bathroom floor.  Even though we only have 3 boys. And of course, none of them left THEIR towel on the floor.  So my husband bought 3 different color towels {2 of each} and assigned a color to each boy.  Now, if they step out of the shower and their two towels are somehow dripping wet from the night before, they’ll have to reach into that in-the-way clothes basket and dry off with their dirty clothes or figure something out.  I have a feeling after experiencing a dripping wet towel once, they will naturally remember to hang up their towel.

None of these solutions were new, life changing or even things I hadn’t heard of before.  Just things that we failed to implement.  Now I’m on the lookout for other ways to help our house run more smoothly so I can focus more on fun things and help our boys become more responsible.

What about you?  What issues have you resolved with no duh, simple solutions?

This post is a repost but it was the post that got the most comments EVER other than a giveaway.  That response gave me the push I needed to decide to write for 31 days about less messiness.

Be sure to visit the other 31 dayers:: Reluctant Entertainer, The Inspired Room, Remodeling This LifeChatting at the Sky, Balancing Beauty and Bedlam, My First Kitchen, Life With My 3 Boybariansover the next 31 days.

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  1. Nester! amazing. i am now bound and determined to get my plates and bowls moved to a bottom cabinet. i 100% agree with you that the kids can do SO much that would lighten the load for big mama. thanks!

  2. I love the cup idea. I recently came up with a water bottle idea. Water bottles are the bane (bain?) of my summer existence. We live in the south and basically take water along every time we leave the house for half of the year. Water bottles were too often traveling the house, left in a vehicle…don’t even get me started on the lids. I bought each kid their own color, and thought that was brilliant, but there was always one or two that couldn’t be found when we needed it, or lids missing. And since getting the right colors meant getting different brands, well, then you have to find the *right* lid for the right bottle…argh. So, this year I bought a dozen plain steel colored water bottles…same brand, same lid. I bought colored hair elastics. And when we go out, I can grab water bottles and put that persons color of elastic around their bottle, so when we get home I can rinse it out and save it for the next day. And if someone’s goes missing, I can grab another and another elastic easily enough. We use the colors for bath towels and toothbrushes, so even the younger kids know which color is theirs.


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