How do you cope with all the stuff?

(11 Posts)
ontheginalready Thu 03-Mar-16 13:39:19

I have 4 dc (10,8,5,3). The smallest is in preschool. One of my biggest problems is dealing with all the stuff that comes with having 4. Today is World Book day so we have had to do 4 lots of dressing up but they have also had forest school so that is four loads of that to deal with. After school 3 out of 4 have an activity so all need their kit for that. Everyday they come home with letters, pictures, general stuff and I am finding it overwhelming. We are often on the move so I/they don't get chance to deal with it straight away so it all builds up. Does anyone have any strategies?

TIA

MyPantsAreGreen Thu 03-Mar-16 14:15:50

Hello I have 3 children not exactly a large family but in our long skinny house it feels like it sometimes! I just wanted to post because I share your pain and wanted to start a thread myself! My middle daughter has just had a birthday and the house is swamped with unplayed with new toys and boxes and bits of plastic! Aargh! It's very frustrating but jumbo storage bags and frequent trips to the dump is all I can suggest. I also buy cheap cotton totes from ebay and have a bag for each activity, library books etc. These can be hung up on hooks on the wall. I also go round with a black bag quite often and chuck things that are just lying around. I really wish I could hire a skip and get rid of it all so sometimes!! I agree the stuff that comes home from school is some of the most tedious to deal with. The way I deal with it is I ask myself the question "twenty years from now will this junk model/drawing etcetera mean anything to me and my kids?" If the answer is no I quietly chuck... Good luck!

Tsotofamily Thu 03-Mar-16 14:24:56

I currently have 3 due no.4 in July. I deal with letters as soon as they come in, write down stuff on the calendar I also have a white board on the fridge, where I put down there activities they are doing that day. I have stuff ready in bags the night before and by the front door ready to go.
Homework - once its completed it back I their bags.
Wed is my worse day son has swimming with school ( only for few more weeks tho), recorder, then cross country after. As well as reading book that needs to be changed.
Dd1 has dance after I've done the second school run to collect ds.
Dd2 also has dance but that's before I need to pick Dd1 up from school.
Homework I try and get th to do it as soon as it comes through the door or get them to take it with us if we have to wait around at an activity

MyPantsAreGreen Thu 03-Mar-16 14:30:16

I also give a lot of stuff that's outgrown or no longer played with away. Hang it in a bag on the pram and given away to the first person who wants it. Wbd costumes and the like can and should be shared and exchanged across the school community. It's ludicrous to buy things that may be sitting in someone's cupboard gathering dust.

sugarplumfairy28 Thu 03-Mar-16 17:19:25

I'm not in quite the same situation I only have 2 DC, one at Kindergarten and one at school (we live in Germany) Kindergarten always have something going on, DD needs to take this, or bring home that, appropriate clothes, waterproofs, snowsuit, winter boots, wellies, all have to be taken on the day brought home and sorted. DS has early days and 'late' days either 07:40 or 08:30, has to carry literally everything around with him, sports kit that has to go in on certain days, activities, a never ending list of things after school. My problem is that all the information that tells me this, is all in German - and my German is still really poor, so absolutely everything has to be typed out into a translator.

For the regular things that must be ready to go on a certain day, I track back to when it has to be washed and goes in a day specific washing basket. So if I need it ready for Monday, it goes in the Friday washing, you get in to a habit with it and it becomes easier. Letters go in a red 'in tray' until they are translated, then go in a folder, school, kindergarten, activities etc etc, everything goes on the calendar. I have a organised in date order memo board for irregular things which is linked to the calendar on my phone which I can set reminders for.

I'm an organised person anyway, but it helps me.

ooosaidooo Fri 04-Mar-16 19:36:08

I did Marie Kondo on the house last year, that helped and awful lot, it's sort of ongoing so I am often taking bags to the charity shop.

I have a basket by door for shoes and another for book bags. I also have a desk/craft space with an A5 filofax ( with this diary so that each day has it's own to do list). School letters get put in the filofax with a note on the due date if they need action. Dates and times get put on outlook so that they appear on my phone. Once dates are on outlook school letters get filed in a box in case there is every any doubt with regard a particular date something is happening.

Mostly I try and keep stuff to a minimum, world book day costumes were made up stuff from around the house or with things I bought that could be used again anyway.

I also have a HUGE tote bag for the extra bits that the DC's can't carry. Amazon prime also helps a lot, no more faffing about looking for last minuet presents/things needed for school.

DC1 and 2 are old enough now to remember their own stuff and carry it, the younger 2 will be needing help for a few years yet.

Bluelilies Fri 04-Mar-16 20:20:15

We used to have a chart on the wall reminding me what they needed with them on each day of the week. They're older now so more in charge of remembering their own things.

Letters and school communication I scan to check there's no quick response required, but then do let them pile up. Then set aside an hour or two once a week for sorting them all out - on my day off usually.

If it's school artwork, etc that's building up a big box file per child is a good way of storing it all. Then after a year or so you can go back and filter most of it into the recycling box and just keep a few good bits.

Fresh01 Fri 04-Mar-16 22:27:19

I have 4 of similar ages. We have a large office diary on the kitchen island that everything that needs to happen or be remembered is noted in. The 10 and 8 year olds can add specific things for them to it. Any forms are sent back immediately or they linger in a pile.

All the kids have bags for sports/activities that don't leave the utility room. We recently built a shelf above the door to put them all on. As soon as something is washed it is back in its bag.

I have a box of sports spares - goggles, swim hats, shin guards, mouth guards. I buy extra when they are on sale. But things the kids can't play their sport without. Too many Saturday mornings looking for a gum shield at 8am!

Art work - I have a bit of card with each child's name. I now put the name next the picture and photograph it on my phone when it comes home. Good bits get put up on the window for a week or two. Then it gets put in the bin, others straight in the bin. One day when I have time I will create a folder with each kids pictures...........

Spandexpants007 Fri 04-Mar-16 22:29:34

I have 4. I severely decluttered recently. Got rid of half our crap.

Kiwiinkits Tue 08-Mar-16 20:15:32

I have a big box that sits in the hall cupboard. If I see anything that I remotely think is clutter or outgrown or no longer wanted I put it in the box. When the box is full I take it to the charity shop. I have never ever regretted getting rid of anything.
Also we recently installed an attic ladder to access our roof for storage. Brilliant.

jamtartandcustard Wed 09-Mar-16 10:29:37

I also have 4 - 12,7,4 and 10 weeks. I've done Konmari and also I'm quite minimalist anywhere so I'm very careful about what comes into our house. Squeezing a family of 6 (7 every other weekend) into a small 3 bed house can be hard enough without mountains of stuff to contend with as well.
Letters are dealt with as soon as they come in. I read them/sign them and record any important dates in my phone whilst they do homework.

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