Got To Pick A Pocket Or Two

I have a confession to make.

I’m a pickpocket.

But it’s all for a good cause, you see….the cause of my time. And my laundry.

If you have children (or even just husbands), you have probably learned that it’s important to check pockets before putting things in the washing machine.  Not for you, of course; you never forget there’s an important paper in your pocket.

I once washed my husbands entire wallet. Complete with credit card (needed replacing), memory stick (amazingly, still worked), and a check that fell apart and was an embarrassment to ask for a re-issue. I learned my lesson.

And then I had children. Who like to stick the strangest things in their pockets! Rocks, pieces of play-dough, crayons….you do not want to wash those things with your other clothes.

I made a cutsey sign to hang over the hamper. It reminds everyone to check their pockets, sort by color, make sure it’s dirty, etc.

Nobody pays any attention to the sign.

I nagged, I implored them to check their pockets. It made little difference.

And then, I began to pick pockets. For profit, that is.

I empty the pockets, and the contents become mine. I then offer said contents for SALE to the owner first, and then to others if the owner doesn’t want to fork it over. If there are no buyers, I declutter it by putting it in the trash (it usually belongs there anyway).

I don’t charge much, only a shekel (about 25 cents) per item. But to the kids, it’s a lot (the 2 older ones get 1 or 2 shekels for allowance each week plus a little for extra jobs if they choose). And it works! It makes them more careful about leaving things in their pockets, and helps them learn the value of both things and money at the same time.

It works for me.

What’s your trick for getting your family members to participate in laundry rules?

What’s the worst thing you ever washed by mistake?

Have you ever been pickpocketed for real?

How do you teach your children to take care of their things/value of money?

When was the last time you watched Oliver! ?

My Afternoon Routine


One of my favorite tools from the Flylady is the concept of routines. A routine is something you do every day, and putting it in a specific order helps you to remember and learn it until you don’t have to think about it. And having a little checklist, either on a post it or in your Control Journal can help.

In my recent post about keeping up with the laundry, I shared my morning routine. It looks like this:

  1. Make my bed
  2. Get dressed to shoes
  3. Feed baby
  4. Wake other kids
  5. Start a load of laundry
  6. Prep & drink smoothies (hubby usually does this)
  7. Prep school lunches (hubby usually does this)
  8. Cleanup kitchen/empty dishwasher
  9. Baby to nap
  10. HANG CLOTHES OUT TO DRY/laundry “reboot”

My late morning routine looks like this:

  1. Cleanup kitchen if it’s not already done
  2. blog post/computer work/desk work 1/2 hr
  3. declutter 15 minutes
  4. daily mission/detail cleaning/weekly home blessing as needed
  5. outside time or other activity with children
  6. prep lunch

And my afternoon routine (babystep #23), looks like this:

  1. Serve lunch/feed baby/eat lunch myself
  2. Lunch cleanup
  3. prep snacks for school children
  4. put toddler to nap
  5. welcome school kids home/give snacks
  6. story time with 4 year old (and anyone else who wants to join us)
  7. put baby & 4 year old to nap/bigger boys to quiet reading
  8. MY QUIET TIME! computer/reading/nap if I want.

It really is helpful to do it the same way every day; it helps me to not forget anything. Since I’ve been doing it for a while, it does come automatically so I don’t consult my control journal, but if I were new to this or found myself leaving things out, I certainly would.

Flylady gives her routines as examples
. Use any of these to give you ideas; just remember that you need to make it work for YOU.