I am not a simplifier by nature. I am a train wreck by nature. I horde (well, I keep :)), I was raised without structure when it came to home organization. We have a pretty big home (3300 sq ft) and it is so full, and disorganized. 2 years ago, I quit work full time. DD1 was 10, DD2 was 2, and I had just found out I was pregnant again. We had planned this in our master plan, and I was ecstatic. When we both worked a ton we hire help to clean. I left DD2 in child care for a full week after quitting work and went through every item in our home. I brought 2 truck loads to GoodWill. Everything stayed so clean, so nice, I knew where everything was. Pick up was easy because everything had a place. Fast forward. DD2 and the now 16 month DD3 both have some special needs that have sucked the life out of me. How is full of crap again. DD1 is 12 and in Jr High, super busy and involved in everything. AND....we just found out we are expecting again (surprise this time) and 6 week sono showed 2 sacs, 1 heartbeat. We go back in 3 weeks to see if the other is viable and is kicking a heartbeat, or not. So this spring I will have a then 13 yr old, 4 yr old, still 1 yr old, and either 1 or 2 new babies. I am so overwhelmed with my home. I would hire regular cleaning help again but I have scaled my part time consulting from 15 hr to 3 hr a week due to the girls needs, and there isn't tons of extra cash. It is to the point that I am now rebuying things we have because I don't know where they are. :) Our cute little kid hooks I installed 2 years ago by the door are now full of 6 or 7 unused totes. Sometimes I think....why do I own 10 purses, 10 totes, 5 diaper backs, 10 flashlights, etc...when I could own one of everything that I knew where it was and such. We have an amazingly beautiful home. I love it. I want my kids to come home, ,kick shoes off by the door so we have one pile, toss their bag on a hook or tote, and get on with life. I have no expectations of amazing organization, but just a little structure so life runs smoothly. I have tried flylady and such, and fail. Any wisdom on how to start to get my home together and my kids in a routine of housekeeping? Like, why shouldn't we be able to stop when we are done playing, pick up a toy, and put it away? Bestow your wisdom on me. :) How do you hold a home together with multiple kids???
I don't have any amazing words of wisdom :). I have two 10 year olds, a 3 year old, and a 2 year old. Three out of four have mild special needs (Asperger's, learning disability, sensory issues -- possibly Asperger's, but she's 2 so we don't know, but she's a handful :).)
I have been trying to simplify our lives for the past three years, but reading Miss Minimalist's blog has really been the motivating factor to get to a true point of simplicity. I have no desire to be a true minimalist, but she focuses more on having what you use or love. There were just a lot of her blog posts that made me realize that I really could get rid of the extras or the things I didn't like but kept anyway.
I might attempt to enroll the whole family in an
transition to a new way of thinking and doing things
that mirrors what's going on inside you as isn't the
process of pregnancy beautifully organized and
orderly? So perhaps you can tell the children how
you wish the house and your lives to gradually become
more orderly and beautiful for its own sake and also
as a welcoming for the baby(s) that are coming. As
some might focus on a nursery, yuor family might focus
on transitioning the house and their life to a new level
by the time of the due date. I'm hoping your children's
excitement about a new sibling(s) might lend itself to an
effort towards oragnization for you and for those new
Perhaps you could start with one room and extend
improvements throughout the house. As you've got a
teenager I'd make sure you and your spouse were
modelling, as much as you can, an attempt to organize
so perhaps your bedroom is constantly in OK shape
and ideally is getting a little more beautiful by the day.
If the kids need new toy boxes etc and your budget
allows it then things like that might organizing easier.
Perhaps words about why would they expect you to
buy toys or clothing when they litter the floor with
them with hints about rewards go with improvements.
Periodically you could tell the family how the baby
is changed since the last time you talked about it
and hopefully be able to mentuion some things that
have improved in the house and in your lives.
I'd greet them at the door for a while to make sure
shoes and bags went where they should.
You could tell them that the little egg that started
them and their siblings had a protective covering
over it called "zona pellucida" which in an ancient
language (Latin) means "absolutely clear." No stuff
floating around it as is true on the amnionic fluid inside
you now. You want that clearness, that clarity and lack
of clutter now for them as they grow up. You want
your mind to be clear too to think of them (all your
children) and not about all the things needing to be
finished, organized or tripped over. Many children is
a wonderful thing; many totes a waste of resources
that might go towards a vacation etc..
Maybe some milestones you setup come with
celebrations/rewards. If you want a schedule make
one on the same day you can hopefully get everyone
on board and schedule playing outside time or play
time or something they want and put that time at
least initially after they clean up their rooms or something
so that you might be able to storm into their rooms
pretending to be angry saying your really upset with
them and to quit cleaning up and get outside and play
"Right now!" to begin to show them that being organized
or as you say, "playing, pick up a toy, and put it away"
would actually, in time, allow them more time to do what
they want and have what they want.
"Let us put our minds together and see what life we can make
for our children." ~ Tatanka Iotanka
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