I get asked a lot, "How do you do it?"
I am never
quite sure whether that is truly a request for information or more of a
nice way of saying, "Why on earth would anyone want to have four kids, a
dog, and a job outside the house? And blog too?"
truth is, I really have no answers. Some parts of my house are fairly
organized. Other parts are a big mess. I can be really on top of things
(like school paperwork) but at the same time we have all of our bills
electronically taken out because sending the check in the mail is not
our strong point. Our children are probably not as social as they would
like to be and most of the world is...some days getting out for a
simple birthday party is a challenge. And then there are the parenting
challenges themselves, like the ones I mentioned in the last entry.
I don't do it.
At least not with guaranteed success.
Some days, I just feel like I am surviving.
Okay, most days.
That being said, there are a few things I have found that do make my life a little less crazy.
Nothing to write a book about.
And actually several things I do that others poke fun of and sometimes even critique me for.
But to me, organization, even among the chaos, is important.
It gives me just a little sense of control.
And goodness knows I can use some of that.
probably have written about some of these things before, but I thought I
would share again a few of my tips. I would love to hear what tips you
have for running your household smoother too. I am always in search of
One summer suggestion I have is that I
cannot see my children before 8. I rarely get to sleep that long since I
usually awaken when hubby is leaving for work. And the youngest child
is not really very quiet though we are continuously working on that.
But he does know how to read the clock nowadays. And I shouldn't see
him before 8. (Obviously they can get up and quietly run to the
bathroom if needed...if they wake up and there is sunlight, they are
allowed to play QUIETLY in their room or listen to books on CD) With
some early risers, it is a way of ensuring a little quiet time for me
before we hit the ground running. I also have a mandatory 2 hour quiet
time (which is true on the weekends during the school year). The older
ones usually read books or use a little of their screen time. The
younger ones listen to books on CD, read, or rest. Obviously, if we are
out and about during that time, we skip it. But it is a good quiet time
for the kids and for me. :)
Next up is the "daily menu". A couple years ago, I
was tired of the "What can we have to eat for breakfast?" or "What is
for lunch today?" So last summer I started printing a little "menu".
It has a couple of purposes. One is that it lists the day's chores.
There are three main chores that the older three rotate through; the
youngest child will be participating soon. One is emptying the
dishwasher. Another is re-loading it (because by then the sink is
usually full of dishes). And the third is taking out the recycles which
accumulate throughout the day on the counter. That person is also
responsible for helping set and clear off the table. In the summer I
also have an "extra" chore, such as sorting clothes, dusting certain
rooms, and cleaning certain areas of their room.
The other purpose is the breakfast and lunch "menu".
Like most kids, my kids would eat chicken nuggets or Ramen
noodles every single day for lunch or Pop Tarts for breakfast daily.
Not that Pop Tarts are bad, but I just can't afford to have four kids
eating Pop Tarts seven days a week. And while Ramen
noodles are a very cheap lunch, we do occasionally have leftovers that
need to be eaten. They won't be...unless choices are limited. So now I
give about four or five lunch choices (including leftovers)
cooking blog, mainly for accountability. :) I
still get asked a few times a day, "What is for dinner?" But I will
only answer the youngest child who is not reading yet. The others, I
just point to the wall...
We also have a separate towel basket. And speaking of towels, each child has a set color so we always know who they belong to.
What are some of your favorite organizing tips?