It can be difficult keeping things in order with just one person, so all hell can break loose if you neglect your organisational skills when you’ve got a big family. This is a quick run through of some of the best organisational principles we think you need in your armoury if you’ve got a big family. Get ahead of the game and don’t get bogged down by the menial tasks so you have more time to enjoy with your family.
Tidy home, tidy mind:
The one cardinal sin you cannot let yourself succumb to is… clutter. The be all and end all of an organised home. If you don’t use it, chances are you probably don’t need it. And therefore, it shouldn’t be taking up precious space in your home. Countless parents have stated clutter as the main cause of distress in the home, if it takes you 20 minutes to find your child’s favourite toy then that’s 20 minutes too long. Everything should have a place in your home so you know right away where to find something. Oh, and if you want to step up your game a notch then incorporate labels. You can never go wrong with a label, it just lets you and everyone else know exactly what’s what. This Buzzfeed article gives loads of great tips and tricks you can easily integrate in your home!
Take time to plan:
It can cost to be spontaneous in a large family, so take some time each week to plan some of the routine things like meal plans and schedules. If you plan the meals for the week you can be super-efficient when gliding round the supermarket, cutting the time it takes to do those boring jobs in half. Some apps can be incredibly helpful for those of you struggling to make tasty, healthy meals for the whole family. Mealime is a great choice because it allows you to state dietary preferences and food dislikes, so you’re guaranteed recipes you can get on board with! Also (although easier said than done) try and round everyone up on a Sunday evening and see what everyone’s plans are for the week- whether its playdates, extracurricular, parent date nights, etc. Then write it all down on the calendar to keep everyone’s busy diaries in one place. Then if anyone needs to know the plan they can go straight there instead of the constant calls of ‘what am I doing today?’.
Don’t do it alone:
Whilst you probably could push yourself to the limit and manage to get everything done yourself, you shouldn’t have to. Everyone should pitch in and help in whichever way they can. Obviously if you’ve got really little ones then this is a bit trickier, but as they get older you can start to introduce more responsibilities. For example, give everyone little jobs, like making sure the kids tidy their play area each night before bed or help sort clean clothes. They’ll have to do it when they’re older so why not get some early experience, plus it spreads the work load. Many hands make light work and all that. Reward charts provides printable job charts that have specified age appropriate jobs to suit kids of all ages.
Make time for you:
Too often parents can get carried away with caring for everyone else but themselves for too long and face the dreaded ‘burnout’. Don’t forget to make time to do something purely for yourself, whatever this may be- date night, drinks with friends, an evening pamper session, so you can recharge your batteries too! This works best if you incorporate it in the calendar with everyone else’s activities so it’s blocked out. That way you can organise childcare (we’d recommend using Poppins obviously!) in advance so nothing interrupts ‘me-time’.
So, there are some core principles to follow, but if you have any other tips and tricks we’d love to hear from you!