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The Sweep

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Wherever we go, we seem to leave things.

woman is a hotel room

Michele Ashamalla: Not big things, like a child or a car, but enough little things that it can be annoying. And expensive. So I started some contests with the kids. There's the "Hotel Room Sweep" -- anyone that finds an item my husband and I have missed gets a quarter (the last trip, a quarter saved me from buying a new power cord for my computer). There's also the "Cross-Town Friend's House Sweep," where the finder of the most forgotten items gets total control of the radio on the drive back.

I used to leave a lot of baby items wherever we could spread out. I didn't come up with this one when we still had an infant, but I wish I had. I think I would have held on to a lot more bibs and sippy cups! This is particularly helpful when you are visiting a friend 20 or more miles away and certain items cannot just be picked up the next day. I am also a fan of the "Airplane Sweep," where extra points go to children who find items in the aisles or that have rolled into other rows. Of course, items left or lost can always be replaced, but why buy if you don't have to?

next: Don't Be Overwhelmed by Toys!
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