Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Organizing: Tell me your secrets

So MamaBear has an organizational post at her blog with some great ideas for moms and she is getting readers to add their best tips too; I know I am looking forward to reading all the tips she gets - a mom can never have too many good ideas, right?

Here are a few of my favorite ideas that work for us - a family of 7 at one point (occasionally 9); at least now there are only 5 of us to "worry" about on a full time basis.

Invest in one of those huge calendars; you know, the ones with the big blocks perfect for writing everyone's schedules on? Get colored pens or fine tipped markers (a different color for each family member). I included a black pen for writing things down that involved the entire family in my planning. It is easy to see which person has to go where without having to search through writing to find the right agenda; all you need to do is look for the appropriate color.

We have a tight schedule and meal times can be harried; we have several nights during the week where we have an hour between home time and BigB's classes or church services or something so I planned meals that were either "make-ahead-and freeze" so Rush could just throw them in the oven or "quick and easy" that she could have done before we get home. It is not as easy to do this in the summer as our house gets hot if you use the toaster but I am working on a plan as I type this.

Each child has a basket in their room to put items that they will need to have gathered for the next school day such as hats, agendas, Bibles, homework, mitts, etc.

Bug doesn't know how to read yet so I have a wooden shelf with 8 bins for his toys; I printed off labels with the name of the toy as well as a matching picture on the label so he knows where to put things when it comes time to clean up.

I love scrapbooking but don't have time to do things very promptly so I have an accordian file for each of the kids; I have segments labeled Pre-K through Grade 12 in each and keep those momentos, report cards and key pictures there.

As I have posted on here before I also pre-make and freeze sandwiches for the kids' school lunches which saves time and chaos each night and we have something made to pull out if we have to run out of the house for meetings or such around lunch time (for the kids). I get the sandwich & snack bags that have characters on them, each child has "their" character and they know exactly which sandwiches they are going to like (this avoids the "does this one have mustard? Yuck! I hate mustard!" discusions we used to have).

For snacks, each child has their own shoe-box sized rubbermaid (labeled of course) and I divide the snacks up between the boxes. This eliminated the fights we had over some getting none of one snack and others getting the entire box of Dunkaroos (I know. What kind of mom am I?! Feeding my kids Dunkaroos but at least they are usually accompanied by fruits and veggies!)

I am still adjusting to our current schedules so there is a bit of growing pains to work through; the place that seems to be suffering the most is the housework...we tidy most of the time. I am currently devising a schedule that allows us to work on a room or series of rooms a day (keeping in mind the busyness of certain days, with Sunday off); this way the whole house gets clean each week a bit at a time.

That's all I can think of for this post but give me your ideas as well and don't forget to swing by MamaBear's post to see some other fantastic ideas!


MamaBear said...

I think my hubby and I would benefit from the snack bins. :) We tend to eat more than our share depending on what the snacks are.

Your other ideas are great as well! Thanks for sharing!

Jenney said...

I love the snack bin ideas! I have a home daycare and that is a problem when one person gets all the fruitabu and everyone else is stuck with raisins ;o) Thanks!