Everyone Thursday: Black-Out Pleated Shades

Redi Shade Black-Out Pleated Shades | CorporetteMoms

2018 Update: We still stand by this rave review of temporary black-out pleated shades for kids’ rooms, hotels, and grandparents’ houses– but you may want to check out some of our more recent stories about bedtime, including our recent post on how to get your kids to sleep.

Yes, these temporary blackout shades may be an odd choice for an “everyone” Thursday, but stick with me. I only recently realized these things are available — we just bought some for Harry (he sleeps in our bedroom at night), and they’ve made all the difference. I can see them being great if you’re pregnant and exhausted (or, heck, just not getting any sleep at night) and have the opportunity to take a catnap at work — and the great thing about them being super affordable is that you can use them for a few rooms, while on vacation (they’re super lightweight and disposable), and more. For a pack of 6, they’re $27.62 (36″ x 72″ size) and $33.30 (48″ by 72″ size) at Amazon. Redi Shade Black-Out Pleated Shades


Your Laziest Mom Hacks

lazy-mom-hacksWhat are your laziest/smartest mom hacks?  What are your best tips for getting stuff done around the house in “unperfect” ways? 

Some readers seemed miffed by my posts on photo organization and organizing kids’ clothes — but I am faaaar from perfect, and hate to give that impression.  (Sorry, ladies!)  Of course I’m going to write a post about the things that I feel like I’ve figured out, while skipping posts about the piles of laundry around my house (and lo, there are many).  So I thought we’d do a post about some of our laziest mom hacks — what are your imperfect systems for Getting Stuff Done?  Of course, some of these “lazy” things below are also some of the smartest things I’ve done. It’s like folding underwear (which I haven’t done in a LOOONG time, well before kids). Once you stop, you’re never going back.

For my $.02:
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How to Organize Family Photos — and Make Photo Projects

How to Organize Family Photos

2017 Update: We still stand by this advice on how to organize family photos; you may also want to check out our newer discussion on the best apps for privately sharing photos.

I don’t know about you guys, but I have been overwhelmed by the number of photos we take of the boys. So many good family photos!(Part of the problem: I text the grandparents a “picture of the day” of each of the boys.) Over the years I’ve developed my own system for dealing with all of them, but I’m curious to hear what everyone else does, because my system is definitely a bit labor intensive… How do you organize family photos? What are your best tips for organizing family photos and “processing” them into projects?


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Open Thread: Keeping a Clean House

How to Keep a Clean House as a Working Mom2017 Update: We still stand by this advice on how to keep a clean house as a working mom, but you may also want to check out our latest discussion of when to hire a cleaning service for your home. 

What changes did you make to your cleaning routines after you had kids? Is a cleaning service essential to you as a working mother? The last time we talked about hiring a cleaning service on Corporette, I was struck by how many readers agreed that a cleaning service became a necessity after having kids, and the same was true for me, so I thought we’d discuss. I was particularly intrigued to hear moms of older kids (I think among comments here) talk about how having a daily housekeeper in the post-school hours really helped them bridge the “too old for a nanny, too young to be home alone” time period. (Pictured: Clean kitchen, originally uploaded to Flickr by Ben Sutherland.)

For my $.02.: Today is the most wonderful day of the fortnight: our beloved cleaning professional, Olga, is here at Casa Griffin. I was always highly (highly!) resistant to getting a professional to do our cleaning before we had kids, but it started to make more sense when Jack started crawling (and, um, throwing things like applesauce everywhere). It’s now become a non-negotiable for us, in that we will find room for it in our budget somewhere — I love the clean house, the sense of peace and calm that Olga leaves behind, and the fact that I can devote most of my time to either working or mom-ing.

We still do a lot of organizing before she comes to make sure that she can focus on cleaning, and she generally does the floors (mopping, vacuuming), the surfaces (dusting, washing), the mirrors, the bathrooms, as well as changing our sheets, washing our towels, and working on specific tasks like cleaning the walls or windows. We got her number after a friend of mine was waxing poetic about Olga and how wonderful she was. She had such a busy schedule that we had to wait a while to get on her roster, but we’ve never looked back.

How did you find your cleaning service (or person)? What do you ask him/her/them to do? How often do they come? What do you and your partner (and kids) do in the interim? Did you have a cleaning service before you had kids, and did you make any changes after becoming a mom?how to keep a clean home as a working mom

Working moms discuss how they try to keep a clean home despite a hefty work-life juggle -- come share your best tips for keeping a clean home as a working mother!