This is a Premium feature
To use this feature subscribe to Mumsnet Premium - get first access to new features see fewer ads, and support Mumsnet.Start using Mumsnet Premium
Large family household organisation - any websites or blogs to recommend?(25 Posts)
Hello! We are a blended family of 6 and needing some organisation in our lives around the house, for school, laundry, bathroom organisation, hallway organisation, car choices, batch cooking, etc! I am looking for websites, chatrooms (found this one! Yay!) and blogs that focus on this topic but I've not found any yet.
I would really appreciate any tips on good places to look, websites that talk about large family organisation.
I would also really appreciate any recommendations of shops that do colour coded items, personalisation or letter labelled type things for stuff like bathrooms and hallways!
There are just too many children, it's outta control!!
I often look up larger family organisation on Pinterest or insta. Or large family laundry, stuff like that. Family command centre is another good one - I made my own from blackboard paper, about a fiver on amazon.
The problem is they are a bit twee and often massively religious (it’s fine, but I’m an atheist and when things go to pot I tend to swear rather than pray )
I also have two kids with SEN, so organisation is pretty important!
Short answer is I haven’t found one yet, I just adapt. We don’t do colour coding BTW...
@imip thanks for the reply.
Anything I've found is quite twee and religious too... I guess it's a contraception thing?!
Likewise I'm an agnostic swearer
Maybe there's a gap in the market for an appropriate website?
I'll try family command centre - thank you
If you two start it I'll read it, heh!
On the topic of colour coding, someone once told me they code school uniform, socks etc by dots- one dot for the eldest, two for the second etc. Then when things get handed down... you just add a dot!
Totally trivial but make sure everyone has noticeably different pants and socks. At one point I had 3 teenage sons and a husband all wearing black socks - I had to squint to see the tiny logos when trying to pair them up. I've given up now and just let them fight it out amongst themselves
I put iron on labels onto uniform or put names in the hem with a Sharpie.
I do laundry every day, to keep on top of it. School dinners is easier than packed lunches but more expensive if you have 4 DC.
Get big, bulky shopping delivered if you can, since you can time delivery for when it's the least busy time.
Tbh I've never managed to batch cook - my teens and husband are human hoovers.
We’re 6 too.
Never found (well never looked to be fair) for specific large family organising sites etc. BUT:
I meal plan and write it on a mini white board each week when I do the online shop to collect on my way home from work.
We have a printed job rota stuck on a kitchen door.
Also have sticky backed ‘blackboards’ stuck on a kitchen door with what clubs etc are on each day.
And a calendar in the kitchen which everyone is expected to add things that are important (can’t get our heads round a shared calendar on phones but that would be better if we could)
Socks - all colour/pattern coded. Fortunately they’ve never embraced rolled up school trousers so it hasn’t mattered that they’re not all black and now 2 have left school anyway!
Laundry is simple - if it’s in the basket, I’ll wash & dry it. If it isn’t, 🤷♀️
I’m a bit slack though and don’t worry too much about lights/darks unless I know dark things are new.
Clean dry clothes are sorted into 6 piles on my bed and everyone is responsible for putting their own clothes away before I go to bed!
Everyone has their own coloured towel which hangs on their bedroom door. No towels left in the bathroom except one hand towel.
I’ll but any toiletries that are written in the shopping list (or indeed anything that is written on the list, not just toiletries).
Is this the sort of things you’re after? Or have I gone off on a tangent?
Yes to school dinners too!!! It’s a sanity saver
I have a rota for changing bedding. It's time consuming getting everything dry in the winter, on top of the normal laundry, so I often do each child's bed on different days. If the weather is nice I do them all at once so I can get the sheets outside on the line.
Wrt cars, I used to have a Vauxhall zafira but the back seats were really quite small and not really for using more than occasionally. If you are buying a new car, get an adult or teen to test our the very back seats because you need something that is comfortable. Got a BMW now which is better but you might be better taking two cars on long trips.
Cars - we’ve had a Ford Galaxy then a Renault Espace but we outgrew it - eldest day couldn’t fit in the back row anymore. We now have a Ford Torneo which has so much space
I've looked and never found very much - like someone above said, what there is seems to be by very religious American families for some reason.
DH and I have 6 between us. All now teens/students. My top tips would be:
- Google calendar - has been fantastic, kids at use it, I know who's in when, works really well if your kids spend any time with their other parent as they can access it from anywhere.
- pattered socks
or a very relaxed/communal approach to sock ownership
- a tick list for washing up - a tick every time they help, if no-one volunteers the person with the least ticks (who's there) has to do it. Better than a strict rota if you've got people in and out at different times
- a meal planner that everyone ticks when they're in, a shopping list they write on when they use the last of something, and internet shopping.
This board tends to be rather full of people asking about babies and whether to have more, so I'd love more tips on how to handle large families of older kids
Watching for tips! We have 5 dc between 6 weeks and 11 years!
You need to have a home for everything and de clutter regularly.
Hallway - shoe storage, we keep one pair of trainers and one pair of school shoes/work shoes each. The rest of shoes are up in bedrooms at the bottom of wardrobes.
Coats all get hung up in the hallway.
School bags are either kept in a box in the hallway or up in bedrooms.
Laundry - Quick wash setting is used the most. Uniform gets washed every evening on quick wash and hung up to dry straight away to avoid creases (not including blazers they get washed once a week on a Friday as they need longer to dry)
Everyone has their own coloured towels and matching flannels.
Everyone has their own laundry bag for dirty washing (older ones do their own washing) uniform is separate.
All bags and lunch boxes are packed the night before.
Homework is done as soon as they are home from school regardless of when it's due in, that way it does not get forgotten about and the weekends can be for relaxing.
Youngest uses bathroom first in the evenings and goes to bed first.
Forgot to add
We have a white board in the kitchen which I sectioned out, it has everyone's names, days of the week and date, I fill this in every Sunday with who is doing what and when.
With chores around the house, if they are asked to do something, they need to do it or when money is asked for it's a no, you help me, I help you, kind of thing.
I try to do a weekly shop with at least one meal for each person requested. I do online shopping and get it delivered mid week (cheaper delivery costs)
I then meal plan based on the use by dates when the shopping arrives. I have a notebook by the cooker with the meals and dates written down, mainly so I remember what I'm cooking on that particular day but also the DC can check.
Will stop posting now
Oh goodness.. I'd totally follow sweary larger families. The twee sites scare the hell out of me. My family is larger because its blended, I'm certainly not a natural mum of five DC but do have five full time. It's challenging logistically and I'm mostly knackered 99% of the time. I'd love some tips. We have a huge car with nine seats so that helps. Holidays can be off the scale expensive. A huge slow cooker has been a brilliant purchase as has a massive washing machine (and frequent use of the quick wash!!)
@PhannyMcNee I had to check I hadn't posted on here and forgotten about it when I read your post!
We are also six.
Colourcode socks and pants - different heels/toes for people who require 1 colour socks for school.
Colourcode towels and flannels, or put band logos/ sports team logos on them if colours are the same colours. 2 per child, washed the same day as bedding for each child.
A long time ago we colour-coded name tapes (DC1 red names, 2 blue, 3 green, 4 black) and carried it through to sports bags, swimming bags, stickers for school stuff etc. It meant you could just look at the colour which I found quicker than reading the name.
Pre-sort washing - we have a whites/lights basket, a dark basket and a red basket. If it's not in the basket it doesn't get washed (yes, DS2, I am looking at you).
Laundry - Each person (incl. DH!) has a day on which they are responsible for washing what's in baskets and for changing and washing their own bedlinen and towels. I take 2 days as one is for household washing - bathmats, doormats, kitchen cloths etc. We've been running this since August and it works well. The Washer Of The Day also distributes the last wash from the previous day as well as the washes they do in the day. Putting one wash on at 8am the ignoring it til the following day when it's someone else's problem gets you marched back to the machine to complete the process!
Meal planning - I plan protein for every day and largely cook it plain with 4 veg options and 1 carb and possibly a gravy / sauce. This allows for food foibles (2 of mine have sensory issues around food), changing minds on flavours, adjustment for who is in and who is out.
Shopping - I try for once a week. Anything added to the shopping list will be purchased, incl. toiletries etc. If you don't ask for it, I don't buy it. Milk from the milkman daily as it's easier to adjust and stay on top of.
We have a rota for dog walking, which can be adjusted if you can swap with another family member.
Everyone sets the table. You clear your own place afterwards. Those who cooked don't do extra clearing. Emptying the dishwasher in the morning usually gets you a pass from reloading later in the day, but I really like the ticks idea from upthread.
Hope some of this is useful!
Fulfils the sweaty criteria, I think! This blogger is very popular in my home country of Australia. She has 6 dc and some hints in this article!
I follow the picnic dinners often, especially when they were younger for lunch. We don’t colour code but did have a family wardrobe and only 1 dc showers once a day. Rest 2-3 times! All had eczema when younger and it worked for us!
I don't think the link has worked imit Could your try reposting it?
Oh strange, it works for me. If you google, her name is Constance Hall, she has quite a following in Australia and is a Mum of 6. The article I linked was in The Metro.
Bit late here but I absolutely LOVE The Minimal Mom on YouTube! Think she's saved my sanity. She has a family of 6.