Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Large Family Organization

I am in the midst of learning how to organize a family of ten.

This is a personal challenge for me as I grew up with a mother who organized me and an immaculate home. Lack of organization? There was no such thing--the house was always PERFECT.

But perfection is not what I am striving for---just organization. Just a simple life where everything has a 'home' and whittled down to make room for people (old and new) in my life. Here are some of my most valuable tools:

1. Black marker
2. Labels
3. Bins
4. Trash can nearby (for castoffs)
5. Book by Don Aslett--'Weekend Makeover'

It is amazing what labeling everything in the house can do to a mom. Here is an example: I started in the boys room--realizing that the big toy bin they had in there wasn't teaching the boys any character. They would just toss everything and anything under the sun in there. So I tossed the bin and pulled out the little bins and marked everything---legos, tinkertoys, dinosaurs, etc. and set them all up in a book case instead. Now there is high accountability for organization---everything has a home!

When you label things you know where everything goes and how much of what you have. The children know where to put things away. If someone new comes into your home they know where things go. If grandma comes to stay she can actually find things.

I think the key to organizing a large family is keeping things simple. In other words, not accumulating a lot of stuff that we do not need. There is so much marketing convincing us that we are missing out if we don't have the latest products--what we really need to do is be smart consumers and ignore the ads and toss our stuff.

Life is so much richer with the simple. Advertisements lead us to believe that we need more of this and more of that. But when you think about it, in the old days, when the pioneers came they had very little and were happy with the simple things. They were grateful and joyful and knew how to keep busy. So unlike us Americans today where shopping and accumulating is a sport--in some families it is somewhat akin to the Olympics!

So persevere I must, to whittle away at all my stuff and make way for a simpler, grander and richer future for my beloved famiy, so that they would learn to be truly grateful and joyful for God's provisions. I would like to share a post I enjoyed on this very topic of gratefulness--you can view it here:

How Can I Complain

(P.S. I will probably do a part 2 later, to share a more detailed look at what it takes to organize a family of ten)


Meredith said...

I just love Don Aslett! He has such a positive, can-do teaching style : )

Anonymous said...

I am in the same boat with you. We are a family of 6, but it still requires organization. Not just with our "stuff", but with US! If I don't have some kind of direction for us, we are scattered and that tends to cause chaos. I use to help me organize my house and my homeschool curriculum has helped me build a daily schedule. I pray you are able to find that balance, too!

Bethany Hudson said...

I really enjoyed this post, June. I especially like the tip of each type of toys getting their own box. That's a great way to teach responsiblity. At the moment, we have a single basket in my daughter's closet. When it overflows, the unused toys get the boot! It is such an encouragement to be reading about how you handle a large family while mine is still only a family of three! I plan to file many bits of advice away for the future.

Lisa @ Stop and Smell the Chocolates said...

I think simplification would help all of us - no matter the size of our family! :)

Meghann said...

This is why I prefer to live in a small house with our ever-growing family! I believe that I will be more creative and live more simply (not tempted to fill up a large amount of space), and organize our supplies much better.

Sarah Mae said...

I can't wait for the part 2! I need it, and I only have family of four (plus one on the way)!

Anonymous said...

This post was timely! By December, we will be a family of 10. I'm working on organization for us too.


Anonymous said...

Organization is not easy. Even though we are not a family of 10 but only of 5 :-), I still need to keep as much organization as possible.

Thank you for sharing...


Michele Helms said...

We are a family of 7 and you are right on the mark with "everything has a home"......enjoy organizing!!

Anonymous said...

I am a mother of 8 children under the age of 6 years. We do have our home so organized it runs pretty smooth. I wish and am hoping someone can point me to a scheduler for a large family. I found one that is really good but only for a family of 5 so if anyone can help me out I would be sooo grateful.

Sofia said...

I love your web and found it very interesting. Organisation certainly is the key to less work.
Mainly due to circumstances I find it very difficult to keep the house and family up together. It's a 6 to 1 war which, generally speaking, I lose. Empty milk cartons in the fridge, shoes in the bathroom, baby dinosaurs in the fold of the sofa, not to mention underneath...My husband says I'll miss it when they are all grown up:D


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