The ideal family size varies greatly in the United States. Some say none some say six or more. According to the United States Census Bureau, the average number of children in a marriage is 1.9 and single parents is more like 1.5. A lot of people I know have three or more children. My husband, Steven, and I have four kids. Maintaining a home with even one child can be difficult especially if both parents are working. Imagine having six kids with both parents working, I don’t know how they do it.
After moving so many times for different reasons, most of them jobs, and adding children every other move, we had to become more efficient with our space, time and stuff. I have some tips to share that have helped our family of six to stay fairly organized and clean. Disclaimer; we are far from perfect and haven’t kept to every one of these. Life happens and organizing systems alter on the number of children you have and the living situations.
Let us start in the kitchen
1. Have you ever noticed that the cups multiply like rabbits? I swear, my kids use at least 3 cups each a day. To help with the abundant cup usage we bought coasters for each family member. After using one cup we put it on the coaster and use the same cup again later.
2. Run the dishwasher at least 1 time a day. Now not everyone uses this many dishes, but if my family doesn’t run it every night then I get behind on dishes. I don’t mind washing some bigger items, but I have a dishwasher for a reason.
3. Mealtime: Make simple meals and only go shopping 1x per week. Try to go shopping on the same day each week. Have your kids set and clear the table. You don’t have to do everything.
1. Unfortunately this is one of those things that I keep telling myself, “It has to be done, no matter what for the rest of your life, stop complaining.” Ha Ha! I do laundry two days a week. This really helps with not feeling like I must do laundry all day and do a million loads. I like to make my cleaning days the same as my laundry days.
2. Every family member has their own laundry baskets. My husband and I have three baskets and share a basket for the whites. If I have the time, I will wash each kid’s clothing individually. I love most of the KonMari method, however, it is unrealistic for most to fold six people’s laundry and put it away all picturesque. And I’m not making my kids fold it that way. I do make my kids put their own clothes away. And as your kids grow, they can do it all themselves. Crazy, I know!! I have similar baskets below and really like them.
Family and home tips
1. Create a home for every item in your house. This will help so your children can make little habits like putting their shoes away much simpler. This will create a routine for them and keep it tidy for you.
2. An easy way to keep things organized in your home is to have clear containers with labels on them. This allows for everyone to know where the food containers go, and the toys go, and the medicine goes, and you get the gist.
3. Assign chores to your children. If you stay consistent with them, they will end up not complaining! This is true. They might even do them without you having to ask. You also don’t have to do it all. You’re a family and can share the responsibility of maintaining a home with all who live in the home.
4. I love this one! We have a 10-minute clean up time, right after dinner. Everyone participates in tidying up in the main living areas. This is clearing the table, starting the dishwasher, putting the couch back together for the nth time, and putting the toys away. This helps the house sleep better; I mean me sleep better.
I hope these tips help you in your journey of creating a House of Order. We are all learning and growing at a different pace. If something doesn’t work, change it. Don’t throw in the towel and get down. Every family is different, and everything takes time. Be patient and kind with yourself.
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