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Organisational tips for the bigger family

(33 Posts)
AlwaysTheMummy Sat 29-Mar-08 19:13:32

Do you run a tight ship or take each day as it comes.

I find even with my lot I have to keep on top of everything or we get into a huge mess.

xx

DoodleToYou Sat 29-Mar-08 20:30:58

Message withdrawn

fryalot Sat 29-Mar-08 20:34:08

lol - I read doodle's post as a tip - "don't have a large family"

blush

DoodleToYou Sat 29-Mar-08 20:38:58

Message withdrawn

Tickle Sat 29-Mar-08 23:12:10

watching with interest - I blush miss appointments relatively frequently with one or other child - and hate it!

BibiThree Sat 29-Mar-08 23:22:17

Yes, you organised people, PLEASE share!

Califrau Sat 29-Mar-08 23:42:05

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Ceolas Sat 29-Mar-08 23:49:31

Oh yes, does anyone make a calendar with 6 columns???

BITCAT Sat 29-Mar-08 23:57:49

I dont quite know how i do it! 4 kids 9,6,5 and 2yo.
Good daily routine especially on a school day.
Make sure sandwiches are done night before, kept in fridge till morning.
All clothes, school wear ironed and ready for following day. I usually have them laid out ready for morning then after breakfast they can get washed and dressed.
Elder children can help, whether its just putting stuff in pushchair ready..like book bags or lunches. My 9yo puts 2yo shoes and coat on whilst i get ready!
I write everything down on calendar so i dont forget.

Tickle Sun 30-Mar-08 07:44:14

Some good tips there bitcat - I think one of my problems is that at the moment our 2yo is pretty 'strong-willed' - wink

Kicks and screams if you try to put his coat and shoes on for example. I'm so busy in the morning struggling to dress him, or chasing the 3yo round the house as she giggles and runs away hmm that I leave the 2 bigger ones to sort themselves out...

and then I don't get a chance to look at the calendar

But it's true sorting more stuff the night before would obviously help.

<<wanders off, muttering discipline, discipline >>

rosylizzie Sun 30-Mar-08 15:07:06

agree holidays and weekends nightmare for organisation, school days ok
my main tip is to get rid of stuff every week less you have the better - be ruthless
insist on older children helping ewven if just 10 mins its amazing what can be achieved if everyone tidies a room
think ahead about food constantly
always have a wash going
god life sounds grim! but I find im much more chilled with reasonable degree of organisation - mind you still in PJs muttering about the time change here!

weblette Mon 31-Mar-08 17:30:56

The thing that seems to keep me from falling into absolute chaos atm is leaving twice as much time as I would have done pre-4.

Doesn't always work but gives me a fighting chance of getting to things on time

Psychomum5 Mon 31-Mar-08 18:16:26

I am more organised here now that they are all at school, but it can descend into chaos rapidly if I am ill/awayhmm!!!! (shows that shouting can help at times....DH is less shouty than meblushwink).

School days....

up and shower/bath first thing. I always found with mine tho that a bath at night was a sure fire way to wake them all up againhmm, so got into bathing them as we woke, and with school it has continued.
down for breakfast, which has evolved over time from me putting out the cereals and bowl the night before, to now which finds the first one down sticking in toast/pancakes or nuking croissants and making coffee/juice etc.
lunchboxes are always made the night before, so they get put into bags....which again, have been packed the night before.
they all dress before breakfast, and also I do hair for whoever needs it.
breakfast.....and then TV if we have timewink/or reading if I am PMTingblush.
shoes and coats are always in the hallway so they go on, I leave to collect other kiddies on the way (oh, older girlies now get collected by a friend as they are in senior school)......and drop off at 8.45am.

I then come home, tackle wichever room is the one to do that day, do a wash, make beds if not done, have coffee......relaxgrin.
oh, and sort tea out into the slow cooker if a dancing night!

after school we are chaotic as I run in, do the lunchboxes for the following day, get all organised for dancing etc.....then back out for 4pm!!!

home for tea, all have a job such as lay table/drinks/plates/putting food onto table for helping self etc.....and we eat.

homework and bedtimes start.......

I do tidying before I sit down so that when I come down in the mornig I come down to a clean kitchen and tidy lounge.....grin

HOLIDAYS.....

all this goes to pot, and we go with the flow....except for the tidying before bed and washing needswink

MUM2BLESS Mon 05-May-08 17:46:28

I have four kids aged 12, 9 , 6 and 3. I find that I have to organise myself though. Its good to make sandwiches the night before. I have lists of thing to do. If I put it down on paper it helps me not to forget important dates etc.

I try to get my children to help me out with little things. I have realised that I dont have to be superwoman.

I hate to be late so good organisation is very important to me. If we are going away I try to pack over a few days rather than at the last minute.

Hope that helps!!

MJ

kittywise Mon 05-May-08 18:37:28

My kids are 9, 8,6,4,2 and 12 months
Write everything down
I have an organised mum calendar
Each child has their own see-through document holder on the wall in the kitchen, into which get put all things relating to school, letters, invites etc.
In the mornings, no tv before all kids are dressed, cleaned, fed, got book bags ready etc.

Start to get kids in car 15 mins before ready top leave. it allows for last minute shite and keeps my blood [pressure down.

tiredmumov4 Wed 07-May-08 15:26:15

sarnies night before and next days clothes ready night before are a must in our house. fruit toast and apple juice for breakfaast dressed before breakfast do dd hair whilst she eats (slow eater)bags at front door ready.
lists for hols start 3 weeks before every family member has column and tally chart eg trousers, everytime a pair is packed another tally goes on the chart until i have ridiculously overpacked as usual lol but at least im sure we have enough.

estar Tue 10-Jun-08 12:51:03

Bump.

These tips are great - anymore please?

I am working through a fab book called 'Time Management for Manic Mums' and a lot of it is about what you've been saying - prepare your day in advance so you're ready for anything, get kids to take responsibility for certain things, and waiting till stuff's done to sit down.

BUT I have a lifetime of being lazy laid back and procrastinating behind me and I find it really difficult to do it all. I really need it drumming into me that life is better when organised. I tend to wait until breaking point, vow to tighten the reigns and be more disciplined, then just as everything starts going better, I take my foot off the accelerator and let it all go again.

So drum it into me please people!!

grin

estar Tue 10-Jun-08 12:54:05

I have four, by the way, and would love another but don't feel I can until I get more on top of stuff.

And mine are all boys, who have all inherited my laziness laid-back-ness and procrastination techniques, so I want to be able to help them be more organised in the future too.

misscutandstick Fri 20-Jun-08 06:34:52

mine are 15, 10, 9, 3, 2. all boys. 2 with special needs. 1 home educated, 2 different schools attended.

i have 2 washing machines, 1 dryer. Large dishwasher. large upright freezer, and large upright fridge. Bulk of shopping is delivered.

Children over 5 can: wash, dress, feed, put own clothes away and tidy own rooms. Over 5's bring down their washing. 15yr/o can do dishwasher, and clean kitchen spotlessly. 10yr/o in training. Over 5's can pack things (nappies, wipes, dummies, drinks etc) for the day. Older ones can safely strap younger ones in car to go out. All children help with tidying.

I do sandwiches (so i know which food they are taking... and not just biscuits!). Cooking, washing, chauffering done by me. Over 5's can hang out clothes (finally trained!)and bring in and fold. I dont DO ironing - waste of time... buy non-iron and hang immediately.

ALL children in rooms by 7.30-8pm (i dont expect them t go to sleep, they have TV's, PC's, DVD's, games machines etc. But me and DH need a bit of peace and quiet!) lights out by 9pm and 10.30pm.

When i ask a child to do something, i expect it done. Baby bag is kept packed to go. Dh's shirts hung at bottom of stairs (bathroom downstairs) so he doesnt disturb kids getting ready in the morning.

I have a very large calendar with all appointments and dates of direct debits. Also a large whiteboard for letters etc. A folder for record keeping (old appointments, confirmation letters etc) and a black box for important documents (birth certificates etc).

Weekends... a bit of a free-for-all. kids allowed 1 hour per weekend day on games machines downstairs. bedrooms properly cleaned and tidied afterwards by children. Go somewhere fun on sundays.

sounds a bit regimental... but otherwise its chaos! I agree with the other poster about being ill.. life falls apart. I think number1 tip is ENSURE that EVERYONE chips in and does their bit.

misscutandstick Fri 20-Jun-08 06:35:31

mine are 15, 10, 9, 3, 2. all boys. 2 with special needs. 1 home educated, 2 different schools attended.

i have 2 washing machines, 1 dryer. Large dishwasher. large upright freezer, and large upright fridge. Bulk of shopping is delivered.

Children over 5 can: wash, dress, feed, put own clothes away and tidy own rooms. Over 5's bring down their washing. 15yr/o can do dishwasher, and clean kitchen spotlessly. 10yr/o in training. Over 5's can pack things (nappies, wipes, dummies, drinks etc) for the day. Older ones can safely strap younger ones in car to go out. All children help with tidying.

I do sandwiches (so i know which food they are taking... and not just biscuits!). Cooking, washing, chauffering done by me. Over 5's can hang out clothes (finally trained!)and bring in and fold. I dont DO ironing - waste of time... buy non-iron and hang immediately.

ALL children in rooms by 7.30-8pm (i dont expect them t go to sleep, they have TV's, PC's, DVD's, games machines etc. But me and DH need a bit of peace and quiet!) lights out by 9pm and 10.30pm.

When i ask a child to do something, i expect it done. Baby bag is kept packed to go. Dh's shirts hung at bottom of stairs (bathroom downstairs) so he doesnt disturb kids getting ready in the morning.

I have a very large calendar with all appointments and dates of direct debits. Also a large whiteboard for letters etc. A folder for record keeping (old appointments, confirmation letters etc) and a black box for important documents (birth certificates etc).

Weekends... a bit of a free-for-all. kids allowed 1 hour per weekend day on games machines downstairs. bedrooms properly cleaned and tidied afterwards by children. Go somewhere fun on sundays.

sounds a bit regimental... but otherwise its chaos! I agree with the other poster about being ill.. life falls apart. I think number1 tip is ENSURE that EVERYONE chips in and does their bit.

juuule Fri 20-Jun-08 07:18:57

Misscutandstick - don't you do any ironing?envy We haven't found any shirts or trousers that don't need ironing along with a couple of other things. So although I've got it down to a minimum we do still have some.
I have thought of getting a second washing machine before now (11 of us) but don't have anywhere to put it.
I would like to know what your tactics are for getting your 15yo to clean the kitchen. Does he do it on a regular basis or just occassionally. Mine use the "I'll do it later" phrase which usually means it's not likely to get done.

cupsoftea Fri 20-Jun-08 10:33:20

deal with school letters straight away & write down all invites, trips etc on a calender. I use a calender with a page for each month & one line per day. It's small but perfect.

misscutandstick Sun 22-Jun-08 20:11:05

cupso - yup we do that too! the calendar looks as manic as my hair most days!

Juule - NOPE, not one jot of ironing, DH is a teacher and in 4yrs of teaching - thats 450 students per week (aged 10-18) 2 comments in all of that time. its a careful system of hanging carefully to dry and hanging on a hanger when dry. We have a dryer, but tend not to use it very often. I do have an iron, but it only comes out when we do T-shirt transfers, Hama beads, or wax pictures!

I did household chores when i was a child, Im sure you did too. So why not our children? surely teaching them life-skills is AS important as academic studies? and no-one would argue that school is very important. SO, armed with this philosophy - I ask nicely, and EXPECT it to be done. When I ask something of my children - ANYTHING - I EXPECT it to be done, not doing it is not an option, even the 3y/o is finding that out!

So DS1, yes, he does the kitchen every morning. He usually does it without much complaint too, but often needs to be reminded that wiping the sides down is part of it! He is also quite capable of doing hoovering (not to a womans standards tho!). Perhaps i expect too much? weeelll, i certainly wouldnt get as much help around the house (and why shouldnt everyone chip in?) if i didnt ask and expect it. BTW all children always thank me for every meal - even if they dont particularly like it!

BTW DS1 is ADHD, and very 'young', hes also home educated. Hes currently doing GCSE's thru a local school as an outside candidate. I feel its extremely important for him to learn life skills, including shopping, cleaning, cooking (working on that - hes very nervous round a cooker) and budgeting (and struggles with that too).

so to round off my rant [blush} sorry...

ask when you want something done, keep it in simple words, and be specific - include names (dont waffle and lose the point), look like you mean it, and ooodles & oodles of praise when they've done it! and dont forget to say thankyou, and that you appreciate their help. ooh ooh and in answer to the "ill do it later" - say "anytime in the next 10mins will be fine.. thankyou"

SqueakyPop Sun 22-Jun-08 20:12:47

Take each day as it comes.

Spidermama Sun 22-Jun-08 20:14:15

We have a school shelf in the hallway by the door with a notice board above it. Not exactly attractive but it helps to have all the outgoing school stuff in one place in the morning.

We also make lunches the night before.

Other than that, it's utter chaos every day. grin

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