Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Using a Different Kind of Box

My best hacks as a mom are those that I have totally stumbled upon.

Isn't that always the way? You look at Pinterest, you read articles, and that stuff fails more often than it succeeds. Then you throw something together as a last resort, and somehow, it's exactly what you needed.

Let's start with the dance organization. Competition dance can make a type A mom CRAZY and anyone further down the alphabet ready to sob into her hairspray. You need to have so many precise things for EVERY dance - the right costume, earrings, hairstyle, hair accessory, tights shoes, costume accessories, prop, maybe even more. When the girls only did a few dances, this was no big deal. But now that I have ten dances for every competition, it's about eighty things to have in the FOREFRONT of my mind. Not to mention the makeup routine and all the makeup required, tools for hairstyles (and don't forget extension cords!), spare tights (in multiple sizes and colors), clothes for awards, and an emergency kit that can solve everything from a blister to a loose tap to a lipstick stain, and it's completely overwhelming. Plus, you know, remembering which dance is when (9:19? 11:43?) and how long you have in between them.

So I've figured out EXACTLY how to pack and organize the bag and I am RIDICULOUS about keeping my system in place. The lists I found online are exhaustive but overwhelming and would not help me at all, and all the packing solutions I found had you basically putting everything in one huge container, which was a recipe for losing things, so I've found my way to small, themed packing in containers that I found at Michael's, totally by accident. I was killing time while the girls took a class, found myself in a craft organization area, and discovered it was the organizational dream.  For example - we currently have eight different colors of earrings, so I have them in a beading box. Hair accessories? Each girl has a different color photo organizer. I printed out color coded label listing every specific part to each costume, mounted them on scrapbooking paper, and attached one to each garment bag. So a green costume has a green label and lists all the essentials. I have a small container that I keep in my purse with hairspray, pins, lipstick and a few baby wipes, that I attached a luggage tag to, and I slip a business card sized schedule in every competition. I don't know anyone who makes Michael's their "go to" dance store...but I swear by it.

I could absolutely do an entire series about dance organization. Maybe someday I will. But shockingly, we do leave the studio from time to time, and I've found other areas in my life have unconventional storage solutions too.

When I got crazy over the trash the girls can produce in the backseat, and determined that no car trash can in the WORLD was fitting our needs, and the suggestions of a plastic cereal container or sand bucket was creating more mess, I accidentally figured out that lidded Rubbermaid container would solve ALL our issues. It didn't tip over, the lid was easy to get on and off, both girls can reach it, and a plastic bag fits well.

Pool toys? Hanging make up organizer.

Schoolwork? Giant scrapbooking page protectors.

When it comes to Pinterest, I'm glad to see that so many people have found solutions that work for them, and even when they don't work for ME, they do get me thinking out of the box. Because out of the box is where the solutions live - EVERY time.

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