When you have 6, almost 7, people living under one roof things can get out of control in a hot minute. When everyone leaves out just 2 or 3 things that leaves ME tracking down 21 items that need to be put away. I think my children will one day taunt me with phrases I’ve been known to say on a daily basis. Such as, “WHY AM I THE ONE PICKING THIS MESS UP, IT’S NOT EVEN MY STUFF!”. Do you ever get that feeling when you look around your house, and feel like every single room and closet is just full of STUFF?! It’s suffocating. The thought of another child’s things, and babies do have a lot of things, leaves me with no small amount of heart palpitations. Just kidding. Kind of.
My kids are actually very well trained and they do their fair share of helping out. Still, it’s necessary to have some systems in place that make life easier. Some organizing rules that help us:
1. Touch it once. If it comes in the house deal with it then. Don’t put it in a pile to be dealt with later.
2. Everything has a home. I hate the feeling of shoving things into places they aren’t permanently going to remain.
3. Be responsible for your own things. Everyone from 4 to 40 needs to take care of their own stuff.
So, here are a few ways we actually maintain order.
I’ve been wanting to do a refresh in their bathroom for awhile, so one Saturday prior to bed rest I raided a couple closets and 15 minutes later (plus a couple Target trips afterwards) they got a mini makeover. Some day, we will tear out the linoleum and dated light fixture but for now, things look better.
Here is the before in case you were wondering
The green is gone and I went all white. Now, I know white everything is kinda trendy right now and might not seem like a practical solution for 5 kids, but here are my thoughts on that.
1. Everyone in the house now has a white towel. There is no distinction between our 3.5 bathrooms.
2. White towels are easy to bleach. There is a reason hotels use white towels too.
3. When it comes down to laundry day (more on that later) it’s easier putting things away. All the towels can be done at once, there is no white/dark loads.
4. For the most part, as long as I keep up on laundry it helps things look “clean”.
The boys towels are on the towel rack and they girls towels are hanging behind the door in case anyone was counting.
Next, the tooth brush drawer. I can’t tell you how gross it is to open a drawer and see toothpaste and dried spit x’s 4 crusted on every surface.
It also gave my germaphobic self some fear to know that their toothbrushes were all intermingling amongst each other.
So, here you go. Everyone has their own box with fresh from the dentist supplies. Even Colette, who technically doesn’t even have teeth yet, has their own place. Hopefully, this will result in not only a cleaner more organized system but better oral hygiene as well. One can pray.
Thankfully, laundry has never really been that big of a headache for us, because we’ve put some good systems in place.
1. Everyone has their own basket. From Brian to Colette, we each have our own “bag” and it’s easy to tell when someone needs to do their laundry.
2. Each person is basically assigned a laundry day. Mondays- R&L. Tuesday/Wednesday- Brooklyn or Ella depending on if they need it. Friday- usually Brian or I and/or towels, etc.
3. Everyone, yes EVERYONE is responsible for their own laundry. Both the girls do their own laundry from start to finish. The boys help me with theirs and they do their own sorting/help with putting it away.
4. Sheets are washed at the beginning of every month. Please don’t judge me too harshly on that. If they are dirty they get washed more frequently.
Some of my kids aren’t tall enough to reach the sink and the water dispenser on the refrigerator makes a mess, so as seen in a previous post we keep water out on the counter. Next to that is this handy six slot caddy that holds everyone’s cup. Each of us gets one cup (well not exactly true for Brian &I) for the day. The kids all know where their slot is and are responsible for putting their cup back in it’s place. This saves us a lot of extra dishes and random cups laying around that who knows, who it belongs too. Maybe it’s my my germaphobe personality but I don’t like the kids sharing cups.
I probably could go on about kids’ rooms, shoes, memory boxes, photos, etc. Maybe, I’ll save that for another post!