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Minor changes you've made in your home mgmt that has made a huge difference


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in how your house runs? I'm desperately trying to find that happy medium between 'I want to throw away all the contents of my house and live as an extreme minimalist' and 'I am the way I am and even though I've tried to change, I always fall back into my old ways so I should maybe start to embrace who I am instead of always trying to change me'....(yikes...run on sentence of the year!!!)

 

So in the interest of finding a balance between the two, I was wondering what little changes I could make that would make a big impact on my day to day routine (housework)

 

One thing I've found is that if I can get everyone to put their dirty clothes in their room in their own hampers (instead of the bathroom floor :glare: ) then I can wash one room at a time, and it makes putting away the clothes so much easier!

 

Does anyone have any good tips? :bigear:

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On another note regarding laundry- I put up a folding table in my laundry room to prevent clothing from migrating to other rooms prior to folding. So I fold the clothing as it exits the dryer, put it in a basket, transport it to the appropriate room and put it away. This has cut down on the laundry clutter in various rooms.

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Our washer/dryer is in our kitchen and we have no room in there for anything else :( I wish we had a laundry room.

 

My older kiddos do their own laundry for the most part BUT half the time, I mysteriously find their clothes/towels/etc in the bathroom hampers. I used to take them out and throw them in their rooms but I've gotten to the point where I don't have time to sort through them all....I need to get back into that habit though.

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in how your house runs? I'm desperately trying to find that happy medium between 'I want to throw away all the contents of my house and live as an extreme minimalist' and 'I am the way I am and even though I've tried to change, I always fall back into my old ways so I should maybe start to embrace who I am instead of always trying to change me'....(yikes...run on sentence of the year!!!)

 

So in the interest of finding a balance between the two, I was wondering what little changes I could make that would make a big impact on my day to day routine (housework)

 

One thing I've found is that if I can get everyone to put their dirty clothes in their room in their own hampers (instead of the bathroom floor :glare: ) then I can wash one room at a time, and it makes putting away the clothes so much easier!

 

Does anyone have any good tips? :bigear:

I do this and it does help tons!

 

Never, ever ever going to bed with the kitchen a complete wreck makes a big difference. I do try to get all the dishes done each night, but sometimes I will leave a pan soaking overnight. However, even if I can't get every single dish done, I wipe up counters, clear off the table and neatly stack the few things in the sink. I've found that most kitchen clean-ups take less than 15 minutes. (I have a dishwasher and seldom start cooking supper without clearing up dishes from earlier in the day)

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Getting rid of ALL sippy cups was the best thing I ever did. No more clutter of them, no more leaving them in the car to collect. Each child (and DH and I as well) has ONE Kleen Kanteen water bottle, and they're responsible for keeping track of their own (except for the baby; I keep track of his).

 

Doing a couple of loads of laundry every day works much better for me than a day or two of many loads.

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Doing a 5 minute clean of the bathrooms every morning has made my life so much easier. I keep cleaning wipes and a toilet brush in each bathroom and quickly clean the sink and toilet every morning. I also keep a dish wand with tub cleaner in it in each shower. After showers/baths we scrub the walls and tub with that. It takes less than a minute to do the tub and I can do both bathrooms in the morning in about 5 minutes. Best part? I NEVER have to spend 30+ minutes "cleaning" the bathroom. It stays clean! (I do have to do the floors occasionally)

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I've recently institute a "Sock Sack". It's a lingerie laundry bag. Each child has their own hanging on a hook in their rooms. When the kids take off their socks and undies, they put them into their sock sacks. On laundry day, I throw the entire bag into the wash. No more sorting out socks! Each child gets their own bag back and puts away their own socks and undies. I got the idea from here.

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We live in under 800sqft, so there is just no room in my life for nonsense involving people's stuff. People in my house KNOW (like they know that the sun is yellow and the sky is blue) that there's about a 90% chance of me tossing their stuff in the garbage if it's left out in public spaces. We don't wear shoes in the house, so they often end up left in the hall. That doesn't bother me too much, but if you leave them in front a door, there is 100% chance that I will throw them out of the door, in two different directions. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a cleaning nazi, but there are some things that make life reallllly hard in a small space, and I am fanatical about those. I don't talk about it, nag about, or anything else. I just deal with it in ways that make it much more preferable for people to get their crap out of the public spaces than it is to leave it there.

 

Laundry: we have a laundry closet, not a laundry room. Because the house is so small, hampers in each room would take up a lot of valuable space, so instead I have four clothes baskets and a laundry bag. They all sit right on top of the washer and dryer. Baskets: 1. dark clothes 2. white clothes 3. sheets and towels 4. for carrying laundry out to the clothes line 5.laundry bag for socks and underwear (all socks and underwear are white, and get washed and dried together, everyone has 14 pair of each: also each person's socks are all the same for that person, so no sorting and no odd sock waste). We keep clothes to a minimum, and everyone has particular clothes for dirty work/play that only get washed as necessary.

 

Purging is an ongoing effort. I always am looking for things to get rid of and have been known to tell someone to take clothes off that were too small and put them in the giveaway bag (which is always out).

 

800sqft and no dishwasher means that I just CANNOT have dirty dishes sitting around. Even a little bit makes the kitchen look wrecked. So, dishes have to be done after every meal. I wish I could think of a better way, but so far haven't. I tried paper plates for a while, but it didn't really help. All it did was eliminate a few plates from the pile of dishes. So what? I still had silverware, cups, and cooking stuff. Getting my dishes down is something I'm contemplating. The truth is that we don't really have company ever, because the house is so small, so I'm considering getting rid of all the dishes we don't absolutely need. Haven't decided, though.

 

I'm trying to convince dh to get rid of the living room TV (we also have one in our bedroom). We practically never turn it on. It's a tube model, 27", and takes up a lot of space, especially with the table that it's on. The table could be got rid of or repurposed. It would free up so much space. But so far, no dice.

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* Take 5 minutes: I pick a room and spend 5 minutes straightening.

* You take it out, you put it away: My kids must put away toys, clothes, books, etc. every day right after they're done using it.

* Mail maintenance: Throw away junk mail right away, put magazines in "To Be Read" pile, open and sort bills, get online to pay, and file papers immediately.

* Unload clean dishes: the dishwasher is unloaded right away. This way dirty dishes don't stack up in the sink.

* When cooking, clean up as you go: Once I'm done with a utensil, pot, or plate, it goes in the dishwasher. Before I sit down to the family meal, my kitchen is straightened and ingredients are put away so that the after-dinner clean up is faster.

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Throw away unnecessary mail and papers instantaneously.

 

I wish I would practice what I preach about that. :tongue_smilie: I have some strange going-through-catalogs addiction. I keep begging my husband to just throw them away before I have an opportunity to look at them.

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Getting the kids to keep their own laundry in their own rooms is great, and I say you should take it a step farther. Let your plan to "wash one room each day" go down to a couple wash days a week, for you, to do your own, dh's, and smallest children's wash. Assign the other days to your older kids and have them wash it themselves while you take care of other business.

 

A laundry basket and laundry tutorial are traditional 8th year birthday presents in our house! It saves me a load of time and helped all the kids learn to take care of their own wardrobes.

 

Aside from that, I'd say to honor that urge to minimalize, at least as much as you feel comfortable with at this time. It is liberating!

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Okay, question on kids doing own laundry. If 8yo did her own laundry and did separate light/darks, this would create a really small and inefficient load of laundry. She could do 3yo's too and it'd still be small. Maybe we don't have enough clothes, but I can pretty much do all of our darks and then lights together. The light load is big, but still. ???

 

Maybe I should just had her help as she does. Get her laundry to laundry room, help spot spray and she's happy to separate colors. Maybe I should just have her do all our washing!!:lol:

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Okay, question on kids doing own laundry. If 8yo did her own laundry and did separate light/darks, this would create a really small and inefficient load of laundry. She could do 3yo's too and it'd still be small. Maybe we don't have enough clothes, but I can pretty much do all of our darks and then lights together. The light load is big, but still. ???

 

Maybe I should just had her help as she does. Get her laundry to laundry room, help spot spray and she's happy to separate colors. Maybe I should just have her do all our washing!!:lol:

 

I came to the conclusion that the skill-building outweighed the inefficiency. But if your washer lets you adjust the size of the wash load, it's not totally inefficient AND another skill is learned!

 

Most helpful thing I did was to draw a Sharpie marker line on the cap of the liquid wash detergent so they wouldn't use too much. I also had them drop the cap into the washer and let it get rinsed out via the wash cycle, so no drippy caps drizzled over everything else.

 

It was not a super quick practice to start up, but the benefits are lifelong.

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Okay, question on kids doing own laundry. If 8yo did her own laundry and did separate light/darks, this would create a really small and inefficient load of laundry. She could do 3yo's too and it'd still be small. Maybe we don't have enough clothes, but I can pretty much do all of our darks and then lights together. The light load is big, but still. ???

 

Maybe I should just had her help as she does. Get her laundry to laundry room, help spot spray and she's happy to separate colors. Maybe I should just have her do all our washing!!:lol:

 

This is why my kids don't do their laundry. Obviously, lots of people like for their kids to do their own laundry, but I tried it once and hated it. Dd's clothes were always in the way and it made it twice as inefficient. I'd rather have the kids help me to do all the laundry; they take part in folding or sorting or whatever some of the time.

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Okay, question on kids doing own laundry. If 8yo did her own laundry and did separate light/darks, this would create a really small and inefficient load of laundry. She could do 3yo's too and it'd still be small. Maybe we don't have enough clothes, but I can pretty much do all of our darks and then lights together. The light load is big, but still. ???

 

 

Are you saying you only do 2 loads of laundry a week? (Not counting towels/sheets). If so I want to know how you do it!

 

In my house Laundry goes like this:

Monday - Grownups/Toddler (we are out most of the day so this day is iffy)

Tuesday - Grownups/Toddler

Wednsday - 10yo does his laundry. He usually has a load of darks, and he will throw the whites in with mine. He will usually wash reds for everyone. He loves doing laundry so he will usually wash his whites too. Yes it's a waste, but I'm willing to let that go if he is willing to do it.

Thursday - I wash my 12yo clothes, only during the school year. During breaks & summer she washes. (She goes to PS.) I only wash her clothes if they are in the laundry basket in her room. I do not pick up clothes. If she doesn't get clothes washed she may wash on Saturdays.

Friday - Sheets, towels, grownups, misc.

 

All said we do about 10 loads a week for the 5 of us, including towels & sheets.

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I came to the conclusion that the skill-building outweighed the inefficiency. But if your washer lets you adjust the size of the wash load, it's not totally inefficient AND another skill is learned!

:iagree:

Most helpful thing I did was to draw a Sharpie marker line on the cap of the liquid wash detergent so they wouldn't use too much. I also had them drop the cap into the washer and let it get rinsed out via the wash cycle, so no drippy caps drizzled over everything else.

 

It was not a super quick practice to start up, but the benefits are lifelong.

 

I started using the detergent packs. They just have to throw one in the laundry and go. I actually got them on really good sale so they were like $1 a pack. I bought like 4 at the beginning of summer and we still have one left. Although, now that I've started making my own detergent again I think my son prefers to use that.

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Okay, question on kids doing own laundry. If 8yo did her own laundry and did separate light/darks, this would create a really small and inefficient load of laundry.

 

:iagree: I see the wisdom for some people, but for us, it just seemed a really inefficient way to get the laundry done, particularly since I try to use the clothesline as much as possible. When you are clothesline user, you have to wash as much as your line will hold when the laundry weather is good. That's why I keep the baskets in the laundry closet. When a basket gets really full, I know it's a good size for a full load, and I can go ahead and wash it. Plus, it's pre-sorted.:D

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Another laundry thing I do:

 

lots of washclothes

1 towel per person

 

Towels do not get washed with each use. If you are clean, then your towel just needs to be dried for re-use. Towels get washed on an as-needed basis (at least once per week, but sometimes more if it's humid and they aren't drying well).

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I do 3 or 4 loads a week - 1 of regular clothes/darks, 1 of whites, 1 of delicates. Sometimes there's enough whites for towels to be separate and every other week I do sheets. If the kids did their own laundry, the loads would be super small, especially since their clothes are still small. My clothes are easily the biggest pile every week.

 

My oldest has been doing her own laundry for years. I don't know how old the younger guys will have to be to help. We have a large stacking washer and dryer. I can barely reach to set and run the dryer (I'm 5'5") and there's no room in the little nook for a step stool.

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I am in "throw it all away" mode, too! Must be something in the air.

 

Our biggest change (and challenge, at times) is to make sure the kitchen is clean before bed. I know this was mentioned already, but just wanted to reiterate how much smoother our days go if we start out with a clean kitchen.

 

Also, laying out clothes, getting the coffee pot ready, and setting out breakfast dishes is a big one here - really makes our day go smoother.

 

We do a late afternoon "10 minute tidy" - the kids run around picking up the living areas, and I straighten the kitchen.

 

I'm watching all the laundry solutions carefully... Hoping to find one that works for us. Our laundry situation is a conundrum at times, as the laundry room is essentially a closet off of DH's work-at-home office. Since he is often on conference calls, I am not always free to come and go, or even run the machines, from 8 am - 5:30 pm or so, on weekdays. And evenings, well, frankly, I don't want to trek up and down the stairs! Any ideas on that, oh laundry gurus of the hive, would be deeply appreciated. :) Maybe a magical laundry fairy would be the best!

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Excepts for dh's work clothes, I don't find it necessary anymore to do a load of lights separate from darks. Each person's clothes all go in together on cold, maybe warm and all is well. It does make sorting easier. Whites all stay together and towels all stay together of course.

 

When I had littles, I made sure there was a bucket under each sink with everything I needed to clean that particular bathroom (childproofed cupboard of course) so that when I had a few minutes I could grab the bucket, clean the bathroom and put it back away.

 

I buy lots of chicken breasts at once, trim them and split them into ziplocks for the freezer all at once, and save on a lot of kitchen cleaning time when we need chicken for a meal.

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One thing I've found is that if I can get everyone to put their dirty clothes in their room in their own hampers (instead of the bathroom floor :glare: ) then I can wash one room at a time, and it makes putting away the clothes so much easier!

 

Change "then I can wash" to "then THEY can wash" and you've got my best tip ever. Each person has one load to wash, dry, and put away each week. Each person has their own laundry day (there are 6 of us). On Saturday night, I do all the household laundry and my own. Sunday is for DH. Works like a dream, and the 4 kids are ages 4-9.

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Since he is often on conference calls, I am not always free to come and go, or even run the machines, from 8 am - 5:30 pm or so, on weekdays. And evenings, well, frankly, I don't want to trek up and down the stairs! Any ideas on that, oh laundry gurus of the hive, would be deeply appreciated. :) Maybe a magical laundry fairy would be the best!

 

Can he schedule his conference calls for certain times, so that you can plan around it? Or at least put them on any regular schedule? Do you use a clothesline? If you do, I would say, throw a load in before you go to bed and let it sit overnight, then take it out in the morning. Maybe also throw a load in very early before you even have breakfast so that you can get it out before he starts calling.

 

Another idea would be to put in some sound proofing. Whether that would be around the washer or his office would depend on your layout. But sound proofing doesn't need to be complicated or expensive. You know those blue egg-crate rolls people used to put on their beds? They make excellent sound proofing and are very easy to staple to things.

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I'm working in that minimalist direction. I JUST told hubby today how wonderful it feels that I have company coming over tomorrow and my house appears to be rather cluttered and messy right now, but I WILL have it cleaned up and presentable by tomorrow morning.

 

Six months ago, I would have had to start two weeks out just to get it to where it is now, with a mad rush at the end to finish up. I'm not going extreme minimalism (although I use that type of stuff for motivation), but I am aiming for "Zen" - my "Zen", which is will be different from anybody else's. I don't know for sure what it looks like, but I have a fair idea and will hopefully know when I get there.

 

ETA: The largest help so far, aside from getting rid of excess household clutter, is cutting down on the amount of clothes and doing laundry pretty much daily. I don't sort unless something is new and needs to be washed separate because colors might run. Other than that, I just go around the house, gather up whatever needs to be washed to fill a load and turn it on. I fold into piles for each person and everyone is responsible for putting away their own clean clothes. I put away my clothes, plus towels and blankets.

Edited by fraidycat
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I took all the food out of our pantry/laundry room. Hung two closet rods up on the wall. And added some shelving. Dh, ds1, dd2 and 3, and I all have one laundry basket on a shelf. The girls also have joint smaller baskets for undies, socks, jammies and uniforms. They are required to empty their baskets daily. I keep all the youngest 3 kids' clothes in the laundry room. The little boys have joint baskets for undies, socks, jammies and uniforms. Then they each have additional baskets for tops and bottoms. Leah has a basket for tops, bottoms, dresses and jammies/socks. I also have a family swimsuit basket (so they're all in one place), a kitchen towel basket, an upstairs towel basket and a sheets basket. I sort all laundry directly from the dryer into the right basket. Or hang it. And I only do two kinds of laundry: clothes (warm) and towels (hot). That's it.

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Giving each kid a zone downstairs. Oldest does family room, laundry room, and hallway. Kitchen is mine. Sarah is responsible for the dining room and office/schoolroom as well as taking care of the garbage/recycling, and Mia does the living room and stairs/landing and entry bathroom. Collin keeps up with the playroom area and kitchen table area. Everyone knows to straighten their zone of clutter before school and in the evening after supper. Zones are dusted, polished (inc windows and sills), and vacuumed after lunch each day. Each person has a high use area and a low use area to keep track of. The whole house stays relatively clean that way and if one area of the house gets cluttered or grimy, I know who's responsible. The kids all love the zone method. Somehow we seem to keep the house cleaner in less time each day.

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My solution is to NOT allow laundry baskets in rooms LOL

 

I have a laundry center outside my laundry room. It's kind of long and narrow but outside is a huge landing type area. I have a large 3 bins sorter for lights, whites, and darks. A basket for hand washables, and also I have a small table for ironing, and some stain pre-treat products with a small basket to toss those in to.

 

I streamline by buying white undershirts for DS and DH, all matching white socks, dark colored boxers, things like that. I wash our laundry by color not person.

 

The other thing that has helped is the kids have their own desk downstairs and bookcase. DH has an office, I have a sewing room. They have a smallish play room, instruments upstairs and their own room. There is no reason to have a trashed main living space since we all have our own rooms to trash :lol:

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I have a centralized laundry system set up too.

 

Probably the biggest things are:

 

1. Hiring help to come in and deep clean every other week. Not a solution for every family, I know, but for us it's money well spent and it motivates me to stay on top of things, especially clutter, in between visits.

 

2. Having an evening pick-up session. Toys and school supplies put away, dishes taken care of, counters/table wiped down, vacuum run through high-traffic areas. If all 5 of us pitch in, this is a 15-min operation max. Then kids go to bed, DH and I relax together, and the house is ready to start school the following day. This also helps with #1 :D

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Throw away unnecessary mail and papers instantaneously.

 

I wish I would practice what I preach about that. :tongue_smilie: I have some strange going-through-catalogs addiction. I keep begging my husband to just throw them away before I have an opportunity to look at them.

 

I open the mail over the kitchen trash can/recycling can. Junk mail is put in, unopened. As soon as I open each envelope, it goes into recycling, along with the return envelope (if it's a bill, b/c I pay my bills online). That way, I read it, deal with it (if necessary) and immediately get rid of it. This is extremely stress-reducing for me, b/c for *years* I dealt with my dad's estate (read: reams of paper that had to be dealt with and filed in case I needed them later), and it felt like it was taking over my life. So, putting most of my mail directly into the trash is very freeing!

 

I also switched to e-bills for as many accounts as possible, so that I don't get bills in the mail as often.

 

For every new clothing item I buy, I get rid of one. This helps keep the closet monster under control.

 

I fold sheets and store them inside the matching pillow case. This keeps the linen closet organized as much as possible.

 

I keep "like" with "like" as much as possible -- i.e. all batteries in one place, all window cleaner together, all tools/sewing supplies/school supplies, etc., together.

 

Lisa

Edited by Lisa in Jax
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I open the mail over the kitchen trash can/recycling can. Junk mail is put in, unopened. As soon as I open each envelope, it goes into recycling, along with the return envelope (if it's a bill, b/c I pay my bills online). That way, I read it, deal with it (if necessary) and immediately get rid of it. This is extremely stress-reducing for me, b/c for *years* I dealt with my dad's estate (read: reams of paper that had to be dealt with and filed in case I needed them later), and it felt like it was taking over my life. So, putting most of my mail directly into the trash is very freeing!

 

Lisa

 

 

Oh, yes, I understand the theory. I think this is the perfect way to do it. I just very often don't. Seriously - bathroom breaks are so perfect for looking through the L.L. Bean catalog. :tongue_smilie:

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I hope your 8, 12 and 13 year olds have regular chores.

 

What I used to do was at 5:15 EVERY day we'd all go through the entire downstairs of the house and make sure everything was put away in it's place. The rule was that it didn't matter WHO took it out, we all were putting stuff away. That way the entire house was clean (I made them regularly clean their rooms) before I started on dinner.

 

I made the boys start to do their own laundry by the ages of your two middle kids.

 

If an item hasn't been used or worn in the past year, it went. This doesn't hold true for some kitchen items.

 

After ANYONE makes a meal or snack, they are responsible for putting the stuff away AND cleaning up their mess.

 

weekly chores were divided up between all of us. What a HUGE burden was lifted from when I started to get the kids involved with the house cleaning!

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I do this and it does help tons!

 

Never, ever ever going to bed with the kitchen a complete wreck makes a big difference. I do try to get all the dishes done each night, but sometimes I will leave a pan soaking overnight. However, even if I can't get every single dish done, I wipe up counters, clear off the table and neatly stack the few things in the sink. I've found that most kitchen clean-ups take less than 15 minutes. (I have a dishwasher and seldom start cooking supper without clearing up dishes from earlier in the day)

 

:iagree:YES!!!! I hate to come downstairs to a messy kitchen!!!

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Laundry in our house =

 

daily load of clothing (all washed together on cold)

wash towels (M & F)

wash master bedroom sheets (T)

wash kids' sheets (W & TH)

 

We hang all our laundry outside, so everyone having a personal lalundry day just doesn't work for us. Everyone is taught to do laundry from about age 8 & I often deligate the job. I put little stickers on the dials to show where the dial must be set.

 

Dishes in our house =

 

empty the dishwasher every morning

dirty dishes rinsed & put into the dishwasher ASAP

handwash items put in the yellow dishpan on the counter to be washed after dinner.

lunches made as I put away left-over from dinner & placed in the fridge.

Once or twice a week I prepare containers a-la-Subway to help streamline making lunches.

I try to menu plan dinners but that has room for improvement ATM :tongue_smilie:

 

Other organizational ideas in our house =

 

My dc have a separate bag for each activity & clothing / gear needed is returned to that bag as soon as it is washed. (i.e. a swim bag, a music bag, a sailing bag, a scout bag, a hockey bag, etc.) Yes, that's a lot of bags, but each dc keeps them on the floor of their closet, easy to grab when needed.

 

I have a A3 whiteboard on my pantry door on which I list my menu for the week & my shopping list. I have another A3 whiteboard that is divided into 7 days that I list the next seven days' activities. When today (friday) is finished I erase it & mark next friday's work. This way I always have a week's obligations clearly marked.

 

We use an old microwave timetable as a lazysusan for our sauces, jam, peanutbutter, etc.

 

Blessings,

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We live in under 800sqft, so there is just no room in my life for nonsense involving people's stuff. People in my house KNOW (like they know that the sun is yellow and the sky is blue) that there's about a 90% chance of me tossing their stuff in the garbage if it's left out in public spaces.

 

lol! I love this! :D

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There have been lots of little changes over the years and I'm sure more to come- what I can think of:

 

1) kitchen cleaned and dishwasher started at night

 

2)dishwasher unloaded in am

 

3)pick-up times- around lunch, before supper, and bedtime everyone picks up

 

4) we all clean together, everyone pitches in and has a job. I don't clean by myself.

 

5)we do laundry together- I don't have the kids wash their own(they don't have enough clothes to just wait once a week for a load) but they bring me their basket. When washing is done someone puts it in the dryer OR we all hang it on the line together (since school started back and I'm huge it has been the dryer).

 

When it is done all get clothes off lines(the 5 and 8yo have their own lines they can reach) or someone is assigned to get them out of the dryer. Clothes are dumped in the living area and we sort and fold together. Usually we watch a short show or such while doing laundry. Everyone puts their own clothes away. Dd5 sometimes does dd2.5 or sometimes I do. I do have to hang church dresses for the girls as they cannot reach the rod but they take care of everything else.

 

6) toys do not go in common areas

 

7) the kids keep their own rooms clean- including beds made, the 8yo has his own room, dd5 and 2.5 share. I remind them of this at least daily that way they never get very bad. It has just always been that way so it is expected and not seen as torture but a fact of life. I don't expect white glove perfection and sometimes they arrange things in ways I wouldn't but I expect the floor to be clear and stuff to be reasonably organized.

 

8) We purge often. If ANY area seems to be reaching trouble spot status it gets re-evaluated. I generally purge a few times a year at least.

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This is why my kids don't do their laundry. Obviously, lots of people like for their kids to do their own laundry, but I tried it once and hated it. Dd's clothes were always in the way and it made it twice as inefficient. I'd rather have the kids help me to do all the laundry; they take part in folding or sorting or whatever some of the time.

 

:iagree:

 

My kids are involved in the laundry process to varying degrees, but with 8 kids, it definitely would not work to have the washing machine tied up with each individual's laundry. They learn the skills by learning to help out with the family's load... (pun intended ;) )

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When they were older: Come up with a chore system and teach them how to do all the chores as quickly as possible. Then, get out of the way and let them do them.

 

:iagree:

 

It really is worth it. Before we start our morning time at 8:30am the kids have already:

- unpacked dishwasher

- cleaned bathroom and toilets

- hung out clothes to dry (we use a clothesline)

- vacuumed living area

- made beds

- wiped down dining table

- taken out garbage and recycling

- repacked dishwasher after breakfast and wiped down kitchen benches

- swept kitchen floor

 

The kids each have their own jobs to do and they rotate weekly so they get experienced at all the different tasks (except for the younger ones who can't yet reach the clothesline.)

 

This gives us an organised start to our day. If we don't do this it feels like we are on the back foot all day.

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ALL my boys toys are in labeled totes- in the basement. They can take out 1 at a time (sometimes 2 if they ask) and they get nothing else until the tote is picked up and put away. They only have a bed in their rooms. Their clothes are in the closet and so are their books.

 

We have minimal furniture and knick-knacks. Less to dust and less to pile stuff on.

 

I am one week into actual meal planning which includes: cooking/chopping/thawing as much as possible on sundays

doubling 1 meal a week for the freezer

making meals around all the junk currently in my cabinets

 

I am trying to find systems for paper clutter, school, and my dh's junk :glare:

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