Wednesday, February 01, 2006


Chris and Carmen's question of the week on how we run a large family is on organization.

For some reason people seem to think that because you have a lot of kids that you must be very organized. That folks is just not true.

In theory moms of large families may have the desire to be organized but being the mom of a large family in reality means that you have more people who most likely do NOT have the desire to be organized!

My world functions better with organization- I'm happier, calmer and much easier to get along with when things are clean and organized.

You would think that this would somehow give the other members in my immediate (meaning those who live IN my home) the desire to keep things neat and organized BUT it seems to have the opposite effect on them.

In keeping with the theme of Chris and Carmen I will show you what I have done that works for our family and not all the things that I have tried that didn't catch on very well.

Not to say that what I have done that works was not accomplished without much screaming and gnashing of teeth. But hey, whatever works, right?!

My kitchen is fairly organized because I designed it and had all the cabinets installed where I wanted them. Thanks to my Mom's tips it came out better than can be expected. Now if I could just get everyone to stop using it to store their crap it would be great!

Laundry is fairly simple. Once you are twelve you do your own laundry and have your own laundry basket and your own laundry day. For everyone else there are two hampers in the hallway to put your clothes in and I wash them all. Fold them on the kitchen table thus forcing them to be put away before we sit down to dinner. Once you are six you put your own clothes away. Before that I do it and once you approach that age I start teaching you how to do it.

Clothes storage. We don't have any dressers in our house. They take up to much room and aren't as sturdy as they used to be. So all of our kids have storage things from IKEA and they are all in the same place. One whole wall and half of another house these. Bins are cheap to replace if they need to be and it's easy to put clothes away and out of rooms this way. Church clothes are hung up in your closet in your room.

Each child has a storage thing that holds 3 bins next to their bed which holds toys or whatever miscellaneous things they want to put in them. At least that is the idea. The only exception to this is the baby girls' room which has a bookshelf with blankets and toys in baskets. I can get them out to let them play in their room but mainly use them to store toys that rotate out from the coffee table.

In the kids bathroom we have two shelves with hooks underneath the bottom one. Each person has a different color towel that hangs on the hook. Each person also has a hygiene baskets that holds their toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, airbrush, shampoo, soap, face wash, razors, shaving cream, lotion and shower scrubby. These baskets are stored on the two shelves - bigger kids with things like razors on the top shelf and younger kids on the bottom shelf.

In the hallway we have another bin holder (these are all from IKEA) that holds a small bin for each child. This is for them to put homework that needs to be finished and their AWANA books. The idea is that they can easily find these items when they need them, again, this is JUST the idea!

Our coffee table is another storage area. The baskets on the bottom hold baby toys. This allows them easy access to their toys and maybe, just maybe I can teach them to be more organized than the others. OK I can hope though, right?! The top middle basket holds diapers, butt cream and wipes. The baskets on each side hold mail, magazines and whatever miscellaneous things get put in there. We also have end table with baskets that hold books that are being read, puzzle books and again whatever miscellaneous things are thrown in there.


Carmen said...

That was really interesting! Thank you so much for sharing!

owlhaven said...

Nice ideas. I have some at my place too... glad i found you. I'll be back

Chris said...

I like those Ikea storage dresser thingies. I'd like some of those to put in bedroom closets.

Amah said...

I have baskets and boxes stashed everywhere - but the top of every table is still piled up!! I'll get to my "ideas" tomorrow :-)