By Naomi Cook
You will see lots of ghosts, princesses and superheroes roaming around your neighborhood on October 31st, but do you see lots of clutter around your home every day of the year? Add piles of candy into the mix and the clutter may just end up intermixed with candy wrappers! But wait! You parents can gain the upper hand when it comes to doling the candy out and attempt to control energy intensified sugar highs! Try the methods below; after all a little bribery never hurt anyone, and rewarding hard work (think going to the gym) with a treat (think buying a cute new workout outfit) keeps productivity levels consistent.
If you are still feeling the stress from back-to-school time, try incorporating a new routine for your family, including candy (yes, I said candy!) into your daily schedule. Starting at Halloween, get your family involved in keeping your home less cluttered by:
- Dumping out each child’s stash on the kitchen table and looking for any candy that is not wrapped, has a torn wrapper or a hole in the wrapper.
- Repeating the process with each child. You do not want to mix any of their candy up! Kids are territorial when it comes to their treats!
- Allowing for trading between siblings, because one may have candies that they don’t like and the other one does.
- Storing the candy in larger kitchen plastic containers; think inexpensive ones like from Ziploc or Glad, which can be used again for storing cookies, etc. later on.
- Heading online and doing searches for Halloween images and free Halloween fonts, and letting the kids cut them out and tape them on to decorate their container or containers –depending on the size of their haul!
- Creating a simple chore chart, to encourage your children to help around your home with tasks that they can handle. Then for each task they complete they get a piece of candy! How do you make a chore chart, you ask? Well, let me tell you!
Creating a Chore Chart
- When shopping, look for packs of Halloween stickers. You may want to get several packs depending on how many children you have.
- Head to your printer for computer paper, and take out one piece of paper for each child. Assuming you already have markers and a ruler, that’s all your really need!
- Arrange the paper, so that the long side is parallel to your table.
- On the far left vertical side create a block with the child’s name, while on the horizontal side, create a block for each chore. Use the ruler and markers here to make the blocks. The more chores you can add on, the better, as it is another opportunity for them to get another piece of candy! For lists of household chores for children ranging in ages from toddlers to teenagers, do an online search; there are a lot of sites out there on this topic!
- As your child completes each chore, simply have them put a sticker in the box referring to that chore!
- Consider creating a new chore chart for each month, and add on chores specific to the holidays of that month. You can find stickers for nearly every holiday, so you can keep the process fun all year round!
By incorporating a chore chart around Halloween, like this, children of a young age will learn responsibility and gladly receive one piece of candy for doing a task. For other months, you can have them “earn” a certain amount of stickers to exchange for a small prize – think the dollar aisles at Target. However, as they grow older, that won’t cut it, and they will be looking for an allowance. Yet, by the time they are teens, if they are still trick or treating, let them deal with their own candy…and maybe sneak a piece once in a while for yourself…
Until next time, stay neat people!
Naomi, thanks for the clever Halloween inspired organizing tips. Now I just have to remember not to eat all the candy myself.