Get Organized: 10 Command Center Ideas for the New Year

We used to have a killer command center. It was amazing.

And that’s not even a GOOD picture of it.

At the current moment, and I’m almost ashamed to admit this, but we don’t even have a command center. I have all the components for it but I haven’t found a great place to house it yet. I’m thinking somewhere in the mudroom when we get it finished. I promise to stop being a disappointment and get on that…someday.

I wanted to use today’s round-up as a way to gain inspiration for my own to-be command center, as well as inspire you all. If you haven’t used a command center to organize your family’s time, you really should try it. It’s very helpful. If you’re a visual person, it will be extremely valuable to you. Typically, I’d write a short description of each one, but today, I’m just going to share links and pictures.

Source: 1Thrive

You will notice a common theme amongst all of these command centers. It’s a way to keep up with your schedule, but also a way to cut down on paper clutter and filing. Think of it as the busy mom’s assistant. Every single one of these pictures is different, but they’re all useful and they’re all pretty. Which one is your favorite? Comment below and let me know 🙂

Have a wonderful weekend.

How to stay clean and green in the new year with ECO-GLOVES!

This post is part of the ECO GLOVES sponsored program. I received compensation as a thank you for my participation. This post reflects my personal opinion about the information provided by the sponsors.

Most of us are worried about the coronavirus pandemic and, as a result, we are trying to keep our bodies healthier and our homes cleaner. We use antibacterial cleaners, hand sanitizers and rubber gloves. While all of these things are readily available, they also generate a lot of trash.
Fortunately, there are eco-friendly alternatives.

Source: ecogloves.co

Did you know a typical plastic glove takes about 500 years to biodegrade? EcoGloves, which are made from plant based materials, take only about three months. And since 24 billion pounds of plastic enter the ocean each year, this is an especially big deal. With EcoGloves, you can protect your hands AND reduce the amount of plastic pollution. It’s really a win-win.

Eco-Gloves are ambidextrous and gender-neutral. They are made from plant based materials and have strong seams and are very durable. There are other advantages to using EcoGloves as well:

  • Compostable & Earth-Friendly: Made from renewable and sustainable plant-based materials. 
  • Advanced Biopolymer Technology: Allows for gloves to breakdown faster in a compostable environment.
  • Premium Quality: Eco Gloves have extraordinary strength, stretchable durability and are puncture resistant so they won’t rip, tear or leak. 
  • Food Grade Compliant: High quality and food safe to use in restaurant or hospitality setting.
  • Latex Free, Powder Free & BPA Free: Non-plastic, non-nitrile, non-toxic, ideal for most sensitive skin types.

You don’t only have to use EcoGloves for serving food or cleaning. You can use them to protect your health while using shopping carts, touching public machines like ATMS, and opening doors.

Watch this video and see for yourself 🙂

EcoGloves are affordable, environmentally conscious and an effective way to protect your health. You can order them from the EcoGloves website here or on Amazon.com. EcoGloves are used in hotel chains and restaurants around the world, and in homes like mine and yours.

Are you ready to try Eco-Gloves? Get 10% off your first purchase by using this link: https://ecogloves.co/discount/LUMBERINMYMINIVAN21

Stay well and be healthy!

DIY: A Swing Set Made for A Princess

How a few hours on a Saturday can lead to hours of fun

We have an aging redwood playset that my kids have had since my nine year old was two and a half. It’s been a lot of fun, but it is badly aged, and both kids are too big for it. I didn’t want to spend a ton of money on a new swingset, since both kids will likely age out of it in the not-too-distant future. But with Covid still on the rise, and the parks being too risky, we decided to DIY a simple yet sturdy swingset they would enjoy.

First, we bought four treated lumber 4X4x8 posts, a treated lumber 2x6x10 board and one treated lumber 4x6x10 post. We also bought metal swing set hardware from Amazon.

We started by inserting the 4X6 posts into the brackets to create both A-frames.

Repeat on both sides and then insert the 4X6x12 to make the top of the swing set. When all of your boards are inserted into the brackets, stand it up (with help- don’t do this alone) and tighten the bolts with an impact driver.
Then, make sure the ground under your swing set is completely level. If it isn’t, move it around to where you want it.
Cut your 2×6 in half and use wood screws to attach it to the 4×4 posts. This will stabilize it and create your A-frame.
Double check your lag screws and make sure everything is tightened down.
Install your swing hanging brackets. We used six of these and we measured before drilling.
Then, hang your swings and you are done! We reused the swings and trapeze bar from our old playset.

Looks like the tiny Lumbers approve!

The (Affordable) Parents’ 2021 Winter Survival Kit

By Emma Grace Brown, guest writer

No matter what, winter is always a challenging time for parents. It’s cold out, there’s not a ton to do, and kids and parents alike start to get pretty stir crazy. However, this year promises to be an even tougher time for many. Lots of families aren’t going to be comfortable with the sort of indoor activities and gatherings that have been winter-weather go-tos in previous years. 

We want to help you come up with ways to make this winter fun, despite the difficulties. To that end, we’ve come up with this 2020 Winter Survival Kit. We know money is tight for many families right now, so we’ve gone out of our way to make sure the list includes tips to keep these items budget-friendly. We hope it inspires you to have a safe, healthy, enjoyable winter: 

Outdoor Gear 

If you plan to meet up with people this winter, odds are it’s going to be outdoors. Since indoor gatherings are far higher risk than the alternative, it only makes sense to get out in the fresh air to see the people we love. If you want to meet outside in winter, however, you need good, comfortable, and most importantly, warm gear so it’s actually pleasant to be outside. 

Start with warm winter coats for the whole family. Grown-ups might be able to keep using their coat from last year, but kids tend to grow out of seasonal items before the next cold snap comes around. Outlet malls and shops like Nordstrom Rack are great options when buying for kids. You’ll get high-quality items without the sticker shock. Consider donating the coats your kids have grown out of to a local coat drive to help kids in need stay warm. 

Virtual Activities 

Using virtual means of connection, such as Zoom calls or video games, allow your family to stay in touch with non-household loved ones without risking catching or spreading COVID-19. If you don’t have a video game console, however, it’s easy to feel left out of the virtual fun. The good news is, there are tons of ways to play games with people virtually, no console required. 

There are plenty of online board games that only need a laptop, phone, or tablet for players to join. You can also check out hidden identity games such as Spyfall. Since this kind of game is based more on conversation and interaction than pieces or movement, it naturally lends itself to the video chat experience. Even party games like charades work surprisingly well over video chat! Stay creative and keep an open mind, and you’ll find tons of fun ways to connect online. 

Creative Play 

Finally, we recommend picking up art supplies and embracing creative play over the coming months. Studies have shown that, while the pandemic has made creativity harder, it’s also made it far more important. Art and other creative tasks go a long way toward working out the stress and anxiety the pandemic causes. Moreover, arts are notoriously underfunded in schools, so it might introduce your child to a passion they might not have discovered otherwise. 

A great way to find affordable art supplies is to look for a local second-hand craft shop. These are becoming more and more popular as people become more focused on reducing waste. If you can’t find one near you, you can also check out sales and coupons for local art and office supply stores. 

This winter, focus on finding low-cost ways to keep the whole family connected and entertained. Go gentle on yourself if the stress starts to wear on you, and give yourself space to mourn the winter you might have had. It’s always a challenge to be stuck inside, but creative thought (and lots of self-compassion) can make it easier. 

See more home and parenting hacks at Lumber in My Minivan.

Photo Credit: Pexels

Life as a Lumber: What We’ve Been Up To!

This week, my husband asked for a sweet treat. I’ve been trying to cook and eat at home more. I tried making a pineapple cobbler for the first time. It doesn’t look very pretty but it tasted good.
We also made some tasty “from scratch” waffles on Sunday morning and they were really good. We will share the recipe soon! It’s super easy, cheap and super good…my three recipe requirements.
On my first school day of the new year, I managed to have a little bird fly into my classroom and entertain us for most of my first class. My principal managed to shoo him out.
School and dance started back and these little kiddos are keeping me busy.
This boy has been getting into all sorts of

Happy New Year! Catch us next week for these fun posts:

1. Green and clean in the pandemic (and a giveaway)

2. A new playground for the little lumbers

3. A fun Friday roundup