Home Organizing On a Budget

Glass JarsAn organized home is a beautiful sight. Nothing is as reassuring as the ability to find anything in your house within a few moments because everything has its own place. It’s just much easier to relax in a well-organized home.

Of course, the first step to getting organized is to get rid of any unnecessary clutter. But what do you do with the stuff you’re left with after you’ve purged your home of its extraneous contents? You can’t get rid of everything, so now you’ve got to deal with everything that’s left.

Getting organized is easy when you have plenty of containers and systems to hold your stuff. The problem is that all of those pretty containers can be expensive. You could easily spend way more than is reasonable to find ways to organize things like craft supplies, paperwork, or even toiletry items.

The good news, though, is that you don’t have to spend a ton to get organized. Instead, use items that you already have around the house to create your own storage devices. Look at the disposable storage containers you purchase every time you purchase your favorite groceries or toiletries. With a little creativity (and some time spent cleaning the containers up) you can have all the tools you need to keep your home tidy and enjoyable.

Try a few of these ideas:

Glass jars from grocery items – These make great containers to collect everything from bits of ribbons to hair ties. As an added bonus, the clarity of the jar makes it easy to know exactly what’s in each jar.

Shoeboxes – Shoe boxes are the perfect size to hold tons of things. I like to keep scrapbooking supplies in them because they are big enough to lie may paper goods flat. You can even turn shoeboxes into “pretty storage” by wrapping them in wrapping paper.

Tissue boxes – These are the perfect way to keep those empty plastic bags from floating all over your kitchen. Simply stuff the bags into a tissue box. You can, then, pull them out one at a time as you need them.

Plastic containers for cold cuts – If you scrub these out really well, they are perfect for holding your makeup and medications. They stack nicely under the sink and can even be packed in suitcases when you travel.

Diaper Boxes – You know those big boxes of diaper packs? Once you’ve used up all the diapers, they are perfect for storing winter clothing or children’s toys. Use self-adhesive contact paper to dress them up.

Learn to evaluate items for multi-purpose use. With a bit of creativity you can have the best of both worlds – an organized home without the high price.

Save Money by Sharing a Nanny

If you need full-time childcare, you may be shocked by the cost.  When I worked full-time and my husband went to school full-time, we discovered quality care in our area outside a large city would cost approximately $900 a month.  If you look into hiring a nanny, the cost is usually higher.  Yet, there is a way to save that many parents often don’t think of–sharing a nanny.

How Does Nanny Sharing Work?

Two families hire one nanny together, and the nanny cares for children from both families.  Ideally, this is best if you only have one or perhaps two children.  Also, having the children from both families around the same age is also helpful.

By sharing a nanny, both families can more easily afford to pay the nanny, and the nanny may make a bit more money to compensate for watching two children from two different families.  This sounds like a win-win financial situation for all parties, and it can be.  However, there are details that will need to be carefully worked out to make the arrangement satisfactory for both parties.

Important Details to Consider

Some of the important details you should agree on before committing to this arrangement include:

-agreeing on appropriate discipline for both children as well as acceptable food for the children to eat during the day,

-agreeing on appropriate activities throughout the day such as how much television is allowed,

-determining whose house the nanny will watch the kids in during the day.

Benefits

Sharing a nanny offers several benefits to both families.

-less sickness.  Since your children will only be with a child or children from one other family, they are less likely to get sick as often as they would if they were in a daycare setting.

-more individual attention.  Because the nanny will most likely be watching two to four children (depending on the number of children each family has) your children will get more individual attention than if they were attending day car of preschool.

Potential Problems

While sharing a nanny can be a good alternative to all parties involved, there are some potential problems that may crop up.  Some of the most important ones include:

-determining what will happen if one family decides they no longer want to be part of the arrangement.  This can leave the other family potentially unable to afford the nanny.  You should have an agreement before the arrangement starts as to how the pay might change if the nanny only works for one family and how much notice each family must give should they want to terminate the situation.

-determining who will take a vacation and when.  Especially during the busy summer months and Christmas holiday, it can be difficult to schedule vacations.  When the nanny takes her vacation now affects two families, not just one, so both families must agree to the nanny’s proposed vacation schedule.

Sharing a nanny can be a great way to make childcare more affordable.  In addition, your children get more personalized attention than they would at day care and they are exposed to fewer germs.  If your children and the other family’s children get along good, that is an added bonus.  Nanny sharing can be a great arrangement for all parties involved as long as you take the time before the arrangement begins to agree on the details for the arrangement.