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Large family organization

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 

Hello there mamas! 

 

How do you organize your home to keep things (somewhat) organized? I am really bad at this and need all the tips and tricks you can share. :)

post #2 of 22
Oh geez, not very well anymore!

Lots of IKEA and vertical storage.
They each have a mesh laundry bag for socks/undies to go into the washer so those are automatically sorted.
They all put away their own laundry.
We do a nightly 15 minute clean up to music. Everyone contributes and we get the house as spotless as possible.
I get rid of stuff at every possible chance!
post #3 of 22
Our house isn't well organized, but we have a chore chart that helps. Everyone runs through and does chores between breakfast and computer time.
post #4 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by kittywitty View Post

They each have a mesh laundry bag for socks/undies to go into the washer so those are automatically sorted.

I haven't heard of that before. Do you meant that one person's socks and underwear go into a bag, which goes into the washer, with other people's bags? That sounds pretty neat! Can those bags be bought online, and if so, could you please post a link?

 

My mother-in-law gave us color coded laundry baskets for each child. (She was able to color code them because we only have four children so far.)

 

Both boys are in the boy bedroom, and both girls are in the girl bedroom. Beyond that, we aren't that organized, either. Great question, though - thanks, forestmushroom!

post #5 of 22

Still working on that here too...

 

Pinterest has a bajillion ideas but one could waste too much time there looking at them all instead of actually doing them, so I have to be careful there. I did something like this with our medications and 1st aid and it is working pretty well - http://pinterest.com/pin/34269647137206616/

 

That came from this website http://www.abowlfulloflemons.net/ and she has lots of nice ideas, but as far as I can tell she works full time and doesn't have half a dozen children underfoot, so keeping perspective there as to whether or not things are realistic for our family.

post #6 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kittywitty View Post

Oh geez, not very well anymore!

Lots of IKEA and vertical storage.
They each have a mesh laundry bag for socks/undies to go into the washer so those are automatically sorted.
They all put away their own laundry.
We do a nightly 15 minute clean up to music. Everyone contributes and we get the house as spotless as possible.
I get rid of stuff at every possible chance!

the mesh bag things sounds awesome, actually!!I love the idea of a dance party/pick up.  Sounds really fun!

Quote:
Originally Posted by seraf View Post

Our house isn't well organized, but we have a chore chart that helps. Everyone runs through and does chores between breakfast and computer time.

 need to make a chore chart... we don't even have anything like that! :D

Quote:
Originally Posted by Catholic Mama View Post

I haven't heard of that before. Do you meant that one person's socks and underwear go into a bag, which goes into the washer, with other people's bags? That sounds pretty neat! Can those bags be bought online, and if so, could you please post a link?

 

My mother-in-law gave us color coded laundry baskets for each child. (She was able to color code them because we only have four children so far.)

 

Both boys are in the boy bedroom, and both girls are in the girl bedroom. Beyond that, we aren't that organized, either. Great question, though - thanks, forestmushroom!


color coded sounds good. :) I am super happy to struggle along with y'all with this question!

Quote:
Originally Posted by fruitfulmomma View Post

Still working on that here too...

 

Pinterest has a bajillion ideas but one could waste too much time there looking at them all instead of actually doing them, so I have to be careful there. I did something like this with our medications and 1st aid and it is working pretty well - http://pinterest.com/pin/34269647137206616/

 

That came from this website http://www.abowlfulloflemons.net/ and she has lots of nice ideas, but as far as I can tell she works full time and doesn't have half a dozen children underfoot, so keeping perspective there as to whether or not things are realistic for our family.

I totally know what you mean about wasting time on pinterest! that is too funny! I will check out that blog. Yes! I know, being in the house all day with kids is probably why it is a mess... if we were gone all day it wouldn't be that hard!!! Because no one would be here messing it up. It is all the living in the home that makes it disorganized. And loud. LOL

And yes, getting rid of stuff! We are not totally minimalist, but are pretty much trending that way.... we just have too many peeps and too little space to have a lot of "stuff."

post #7 of 22
Thread Starter 

Oh, and just to share this, I love this countdown to christmas from organized home: http://christmas.organizedhome.com/christmas-countdown

 

it is really cool and it makes cleaning the house more fun since it is all in preparation for Christmas!

 

I would love to do this for each season, or in preparation for other Feasts. :) Like all Souls day, Christmas, Corpus Christi, etc...

post #8 of 22

Next to our recycle bins we keep a box for stuff to get rid of.  I try to take appropriate things to the children's consignment, or donate them to a fund raiser yard sale, but if the box gets full before I do that, I just drop it off at the Goodwill and start a new box.

 

I also have a book case in the guest bedroom where I put a bunch of $1 plastic "shoe" boxes.  This is where I collect most of the multiple part toys and collections of smaller toys, and the kids can only have one or two boxes out at a time.  

post #9 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Catholic Mama View Post

I haven't heard of that before. Do you meant that one person's socks and underwear go into a bag, which goes into the washer, with other people's bags? That sounds pretty neat! Can those bags be bought online, and if so, could you please post a link?

My mother-in-law gave us color coded laundry baskets for each child. (She was able to color code them because we only have four children so far.)

Both boys are in the boy bedroom, and both girls are in the girl bedroom. Beyond that, we aren't that organized, either. Great question, though - thanks, forestmushroom!
Yes, they each have a zippered lingerie mesh bag and they put all of their socks & undies in. It gets thrown into the washer, dried, and then they grab theirs to put away. I just bought cheap $1 ones at Walmart. If you search on Bed Bath & Beyond or Amazon, you'll probably find them, though more expensive.

Pretty soon we'll go to color coded cups and towels, too, because that's a big source of fighting here.
post #10 of 22

Diyan, that's a great idea. I love to give things away; my husband, not so much, but sometimes he is okay with it so I give to the local Habitat for Humanity ReStore. Our recycle bins are in the garage, where we've seen bugs, so I keep things to give away in my bedroom closet.

 

Thank you for telling me about those bags, kittywitty. I mentioned it to my husband and he doesn't think we have a problem; after I thought about it I agreed with him. Maybe when/if we have more children. (We're not trying to stop...I just don't seem to be quite as fertile as I used to be.)

 

We already have color coded cups and towels. The toddlers have different colored sippy cups, and a few years ago my mother gave all of them different color/design hooded towels. We have flossing toothbrushes that are different colors from Amazon, too (I forget which company sells those).

post #11 of 22

i have a place for everything. And, I think the biggest 'secret' of all is not to have ANYTHING you dont need. I cannot stand clutter and get twitchy when my surfaces arent clear. It just makes everything else run far more smoothly and efficiently when there isn't any extra stuff hanging around. 

post #12 of 22

For me, clutter and disorganization cause me to feel grumpy and distracted. Organization is really important to me. It is also a constant work in progress and we do have our very bad days (and weeks...).

 

The #1 thing that helps me be successful in this area is extreme decluttering. Keeping the entire home super simple. Just not owning as many things as I'm tempted to. Not as much furniture, toys, knickknacks, clothes, books, and kitchen items I don't use frequently. I need the children to be able to clean up all their messes everyday (which we do at 3pm) without getting overwhelmed. We've got just a handful of different sorts of toys and a basket for each of them so the kids know where to put stuff. When it starts taking too long for them to tidy, or I notice an unusual amount of stuff and junk all over the floors, I know it's time to declutter again. I gain inspiration from Amish homes, and from reading things like the Little House on the Prairie books. When I was a child we lived very rurally and I had such a simple bedroom- only a few cherished toys and one shelf of loved books. I want for my kids to have a similar experience- not take their toys for granted, and forget their stories because we have soo many books. But its a struggle.

 

I suppose the second most important thing for me is my day planners and lists. I keep a regular day planner, a homeschool planner, and a list of things I'd like to accomplish each weekday. Today, being Tuesday, is my laundry day. I try on Tuesdays to get the laundry 100% caught up and put away, and the laundry room super tidied. That's my goal for Tuesdays anyway. ;)

post #13 of 22
Thread Starter 

zjande, I love the idea of not folding clothes! Is it hard to then switch to them folding their own? I guess it doesn't really matter... I am really trying to get the stuff under control... my 2 oldest are "collectors" and like to collect... random stuff! LOL But considering we are 7 people living in an old, small 3 bedroom... we are doing pretty well. It is things like books and random things that are difficult to manage, sometimes. And clothes.... I think the big ones have too many... and the baby, too... :)
 

post #14 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by forestmushroom View Post

But considering we are 7 people living in an old, small 3 bedroom...

Question for everyone, How do everyone live in your space? How big is your house? Who shares bedrooms?

For us, we have a 1 story house with 3 bedrooms. The 10 and 7 year olds share a room (their choice) and the babies are still in our room. The house is about 1200sf. One bathroom.
post #15 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by seraf View Post


Question for everyone, How do everyone live in your space? How big is your house? Who shares bedrooms?

For us, we have a 1 story house with 3 bedrooms. The 10 and 7 year olds share a room (their choice) and the babies are still in our room. The house is about 1200sf. One bathroom.


we live in an old farmhouse (but it is in a city, but really old and farm house style)--  2 bedrooms up (one big one, one medium one) and then one small one down. The biggest kids (12 and 9) share a room, and then the middles (girl 6, boy 3) and the baby is with us.... One bathroom, too. No garage, or really much storage space at all. The best thing is that the yard is nice and big!

I would like to move to a 4 bedroom, or have a second living room so the kids can have a kids' den type space (or put a yurt in the yard! LOL). I would like my oldest to have his own bedroom when he is 14/15 and then from then on have the teenager have their own space/room. We will see! Our plan is to move in the next 6-9 months.

post #16 of 22

Well, I USED TO BE really organized.  It seems that since we started homeschooling, so much of my time is taken up with the schooling that other things have fallen by the wayside.  I am currently trying to organize, clean, paint, etc over the summer and before baby #8 arrives in the fall.  But due to being a pregnant and a crazy heatwave where we live, I haven't made as much progress as I would like.  I am always trying to declutter, give things away, etc.  I do a big clean-out in Dec and June, before Christmas and when I am switching the winter/summer clothes.

 

As for space, we have about a 2400sf home, with 5 bedrooms and 3 baths for 9 people.  We do not have a basement or garage, which makes storage a problem.  Right now my biggest storage problem is homeschooling books.  We have kids in 6 different grades, with the intention of continuing to homeschool for a long time, so I can't give the older kids books away because we will need them later.  I need new bookcases!  Even though storage is tight, we do have a nice, big farm-house type kitchen and a decent living/family room, so it doesn't feel small.

 

My oldest son and oldest daughter (15 and 14) have their own rooms.  My 12 y/o son is currently alone also, since we moved the 15 y/o into what was the nursery, but my 2 y/o will soon go in with him.  He is still in my room, but needs to transition upstairs before the baby comes.  My 9, 7, and 4 y/o daughters share a room.  It's tight, but we fit 3 beds and 2 night tables in there in a row, like an old-fashioned dorm room.  Their room always seems to be messy because there is not sufficient space, and too much stuff.

 

We are seriously hoping to move from where we are to somewhere with a lot more outdoor space, maybe with some animals and a giant garden.  A garage and basement would be nice, too!

post #17 of 22

A blog I have found immensely helpful is Large Families on Purpose. She has a large chunk of her blog devoted to organization. They have 9 children in a 1200 (I think) square foot split level.

post #18 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by seraf View Post


Question for everyone, How do everyone live in your space? How big is your house? Who shares bedrooms?

For us, we have a 1 story house with 3 bedrooms. The 10 and 7 year olds share a room (their choice) and the babies are still in our room. The house is about 1200sf. One bathroom.

This rental house has somewhere around 2,000 square feet. The boys are in one bedroom and the girls are in the other, and my husband and I share the master bedroom, which also has its own bathroom so we have two bathrooms. (Boys in one bedroom and girls in another bedroom is what I've seen in all of the Catholic homes we've been to, so that taught me that it's proper.) There is no extra room for a playroom so the toys are in the living room with the books, our computer desk, my desk, and my daughter's keyboard. I grew up in the Midwest and I miss having a basement! At least there is an attic above the garage for me to put boxes in. If and when we have another baby he or she will be in our room, probably until he or she is weaned.

post #19 of 22

This is one of those topics that keeps my silly brain awake at night.

 

We have a 1700sf mobile home that we own and plan to live in forever. It only has 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms. Right now, my 15 yr old son is in one room, 3 boys in another room (ages 3, 5, 7), and me, my husband, our 2yr old DD and newborn son in the master bedroom. I always wonder what will we do in the future? I don't think my husband and I will want to share our bedroom forever, lol, but we won't have our one and only DD (at home) sharing with her brothers.... so perhaps one day when my 15 yr old has gone out on his own our DD can have his room... but what if that's not until he's well into his 20s? And then what- the other FOUR boys will share the one small bedroom? That will be just fine for now, but 4 teenage men will not FIT in there when the time comes.

 

Oy. :nut

post #20 of 22
Color codes for things only work if you only have the amount of kids per colors. I want to now get all new kids plates in one color because I'm pg with my 6th and only have 4 colors.

I try to stay organized by getting rid of clutter. We pick up nightly. All dirty clothes goes to the laundry room nightly. I throw a load in the washer as soon as there is enough to fill the washer. The kids put their own clothes away. Paper clutter is my major downfall and I need to work on that. The kids unload the dishwasher and put away dishes. I load it.
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