Saturday, October 17, 2009
Home Organization for the Large Family
Having a large family is a blessing, but it’s also a lot of work. Learning to organize your household will save a lot of time and frustration. It will make things much more peaceful and enjoyable if you are not always working amid clutter and chaos. You can learn to enjoy homemaking with just a little effort on your part.
The biggest job for the mother of a large family is usually the laundry, and the laundry room is often the messiest, most unorganized place in the house. The first step is to take stock of the laundry room. Can you hang shelves on the unused wall space? If so, that would be one of the first things you should consider. The wire shelving you can buy at the local warehouse store (the ones they make for closets) work great, because they don’t have to be dusted. Then you can get things off the top of the dryer, and you can see what you have, and get to it easily.
The next step is to buy plenty of Dollar Store laundry baskets. You should have at least three of the big hamper type ones. When you bring dirty clothes into the laundry room, sort them right away into the hampers, one for dark colors, one for light colors, and one for towels and washcloths. Teach your children to put their things into the right hamper. This will make mildewed clothes almost a thing of the past, because you are no longer putting the wet things in with the dry things.
Keep a bin on either the top of the dryer, or on one of your new shelves, to hold things you find in the pockets of the clothes you wash. Then let each person check and claim their things.
Have a good size trash can in the laundry room, and use it. Throw away empty soap boxes and bleach jugs as soon as they are empty. Don’t have those used dryer sheets floating around all over the room. Lint from the dryer filter will go straight into the trash can. Socks with large holes won’t get thrown back into the dirty laundry over and over, because you will throw them away when you are sorting the laundry.
Once a week, or every two weeks, or however often you go grocery shopping, check the shelves to see if you are running out of anything. With your things neatly stored and in view, it will be easy for you to see.
The next big job for the mother of many is usually the kitchen. If you have your kitchen organized so that you can get to what you need quickly, you will enjoy this job a lot more. Once again, your local dollar store has a lot of plastic bins in different sizes. Stock up on them. They can hold your containers in one and the lids in another. Your measuring spoons and cups can be whisked right out when you are ready to bake, without having to dig through a drawer full of utensils first. Anything you use on a regular basis should be stored in a way that is easy to reach.
Keep all your mixing bowls in one place, serving bowls in another, and your beverage pitchers together in another spot. Have a separate place to keep the appliances, with a bin to put cords and all the little pieces in. Have all your washcloths and kitchen towels neatly folded in a drawer or a bin of their own.
Likewise, organize your pantry. Put things you don’t use often on a higher shelf. Place all the baking goods together in one spot, the canned goods in another and the boxes of cereal, granola bars, oatmeal, ect. in yet another spot. The spices can be grouped together, and the cooking oils next to each other. Then, when you are ready to cook, you won’t have to hunt all through the pantry to find something. It will be right at your fingertips. You will also be able to see, again, if you are out of anything when shopping day comes around.
In your living area, have a magazine rack or some kind of holder for your magazines and newspaper. Teach your family to put these things back in their place when they are finished with them. Newspapers can clutter a living room very fast. And don’t hang onto them. Recycle, or use them to start fires in your fireplace. You have better ways to use the space in your house than to store newspapers and magazines.
Once or twice a day, get one of your dollar store laundry baskets, and walk through your living room, picking up the things that do not go there. Then make your way through each room of the house, continuing to pick up things that don’t belong in that room, and replacing things that do.
The bathroom is often a place where empty things seem to gather and stay. Keep a trash can handy there too, and when the tooth paste tube is empty, don’t keep trying to get one last drop out, throw it away. Throw out empty shampoo bottles right away, I often toss them out of the shower onto the floor when I use the last drop, rather than give into the temptation to put it back on the shower shelf, and then forget that it’s empty. Then, when I get out of the shower, I pick it up and put it in the trashcan.
Keep the extra rolls of toilet paper in the bathroom, rather than the linen closet in the hallway. Nothing is worse than having to yell for someone to bring you a roll of toilet while you are stuck in the bathroom. A pretty basket can hold the extras near the toilet, and make it much more comfortable for guests in your home to find an extra roll if they need it.
Running out of items is another thing that is very frustrating for the homemaker, and also for the people she is keeping the home for! Instead of buying one item, like toothpaste or shampoo, buy two. Then, when you use up the first bottle or tube, buy another one right away. Never buy just one or two rolls of toilet paper, buy an economy pack. Always keep extra light bulbs around. Buy enough diapers for the baby to last a month, and save yourself a desperate trip to the store late at night.
Planning ahead will keep your home well stocked, and buying in bulk will often save you money as well. Having an organized home only takes a little thought, and is very much worth the effort.