Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Staying Organized When Raising a Big Family

By nature, I'm a very unorganized person-- just take my work desk for example. I know exactly where everything is...as long as I don't clean my desk. However, when our family went from 2 children to 4 children in 6 months, I very quickly realized, our house needed an overhaul. If we had any chance of surviving the chaos and getting out the door on time, we had to get organized.

Here's how we stay organized while raising a big family.

The biggest problem we faced when our family grew was the constant searching as we were trying to get out of the door. Someone was always missing a shoe, couldn't find a backpack, or their jackets mysteriously vanished. The solution to this was quite simple and has made life much easier. Every child now has a shoe bin. Your shoes come off, they go in the shoe bin. Next, we hung hooks in our laundry room. Every child has a hook to hang their backpack and their jacket up. The trick is to get them to actually hang them up and not leave them on the couch.

The next battle was the school work and school supplies. We bought one of those cheap plastic dressers from Walmart for about $25.00. Every child now has a labeled drawer where they put their homework and school supplies. No more lost homework. We also have a drawer for pencils, markers, crayons and a drawer for paper, index cards, stencils and all of that fun stuff.

Organizing the kids' rooms was fairly easy. My 2 older boys share a room, so they each have their own labeled drawers, their own side of the closet, and their own labeled toy boxes. It makes things much easier for them to know where things are. Plus, since they share a room, it gives their their own personal space in a sense. I also used the same methods for my daughter's room and my youngest son's room to help keep them organized.

The biggest and probably the hardest battle was the arts, crafts, board games, and all of the other fun stuff they like to do. I cleaned out a closet in the hall so now there is a dedicated place to put everything. Boardgames are on one shelf, craft projects on another, other activities on another shelf. Then, I purchases more of those delightful plastic drawers for coloring books, crayons, paint, art supplies, and other fun stuff.

Afterwards, I got the house as organized as much as possible (minus my desk). Although I'm not naturally organized, I have to admit, it has made our life easier. Not only has it cut back on the clutter, but saves us time as everyone knows where everything is, so there's no more searching. It makes things really easy for the kids to find what they are looking for and gives them their own space in a way.

We also stick to a schedule, which helps tremendously. The kids know exactly what to expect at what time. It helps them stay organized and know what's coming up next during the day, as well as helps me stay on top of things so nothing gets overlooked and everything gets done as efficiently as possible.

What about your family? How do you stay organized when raising a big family?

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