SO nice to see a thread devoted to larger families. I've been reading and thinking, so please forgive me for jumping in with a lot to say...
I was very
organized when I had one child. Somewhat, with two. When the third arrived, it was a struggle, but I could do it with enough coffee and effort. Four and five are really testing me....chaos, noise, legos, madness. I will not mention the laundry, and today - you may not look into the bathrooms. What on earth do they do
Now, we homeschool also. DH is away 3-4 days a week for work. I am really, really making an effort here to GET RID OF STUFF so that I can focus on what really matters! We would love to list our home in the near future, and find a couple of acres. The thought of staging our home is overwhelming, but I have time, a clipboard, and a whole-lotta coffee!
I've been making progress, but need a little help in getting the family on board. Over the five years in this home, we've amassed an impressive amount of nail holes, corner dings, and baseboard scuffs. The toys have reproduced! I have too many little shirts, single socks, and books, books, books! The carpet upstairs is horrible
! I was turning a blind eye to these things, which was a mistake. Or not...maybe I was overwhelmed and busy having happy babies. Whatever the reason, right now I feel the clutter pressing on my happiness, and I'm ready to throw open the windows, shovel out the crap, and let the kids see that the stuff
doesn't matter! I want to see bright, open, sunfilled spaces!
I'm trying hard to be content, but motivated. Feeling sad and sorry gets me 'stuck'. One book that helps me is "Material World" by Peter Menzel. I take in the amazing photos of how people live all over the world (and not just next door, down the street, or in the media). It's a great object lesson for the kids, and a good place to start when deciding if we really need
this or that. Blogs are sometimes and inspiration, and sometimes a big fat bummer when I'm comparing. I use them sparingly. Same with magazines, HGTV, etc. Even with one child, my reality, my needs, and my budget were pretty different from the 'norm'.
Big long post wrapping up here...For me, step one
in organizing a big family is a mental process...finding a vision. Why am
I doing this mama, homeschool, AP granola thing? What am I trying to achieve
? What should my ideal (present) home feel like? (My goal is a peaceful, cozy, nurturing, sunlit space with simple well loved things. Neutral, light colors. Stack of books, bowl of oranges, pile of pillows....I'd love to read about others!) I try to have that picture in my mind before
I order the baskets, chuck the toys, scrub the grout, etc. Mothering and organizing a large brood feels like trying to hit a moving target most days! I've wasted so much time and money trying to find the stuff
that would make
me organized. I'm getting wise to that fact that some quiet time thinking about what I want the space around me to feel like, look like, smell like brings everything into focus.
Anyhow, I'm not close to being 'there' yet. I really hope to learn a lot from all of you, and look forward to reading more!