Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Mom tips (first edition)

I love Large Families on Purpose's Mom Tips and so I am borrowing the idea in hopes of igniting a little inspiration into your housekeeping journey. Hope you enjoy the first edition!

Socks have been a huge issue in this house. It's sad how many times those little buggers have almost brought me to tears. It seemed inevitable that socks would either never be clean (because they we're put in the hamper) or sock matches would mysteriously disappear. I finally made a resolve to invest in white socks for all of the children. I found these with the grippy bottoms for my 1- and 3-year old. And then these for my 5- and 7-year old to share. I decided on white because I have both boys and girls and don't really want to invest in different colors for each sock size. Plus I thought they'd be easy enough to bleach once and awhile. For the younger ones, I put a red dot with fabric marker on the 2T/3T size and a green dot on the 4T/5T size to make identifying the sizes easier.

I also have a mesh lingerie bag hanging on the hall linen closet devoted to dirty socks. Dirty sock pairs should be placed in here after being worn so they don't get lost in the mysterious-hamper-abyss. I can also grab the lingerie bag and throw it in the wash as often as I do a load so that we always have clean socks (gasp!). Sock pairs stay together through the washer and dryer and this makes me happy. So far these two methods are helping big time!

As for laundry, my dear friend helped me begin to tame this monster with a very simple method: wash each child's clothes separately each week to avoid the unnecessary step of sorting through a big pile of wash to find each family members clothing (and then having to go to all ends of the house to put clothing away). Since my kids are still pretty little thus their clothing is still pretty little, I've decided on this specific method: girls wash on Mondays, boys wash on Tuesdays, adult wash on Wednesdays (yay! Hubby gets clean underwear tonight!), kid bed sheets on Thursdays, adult bed sheets on Fridays and towels on Saturday. Phew! Of course there are those random Tuesdays when someone wets the bed. What I usually do then is, not fret, but do kids bed sheets that day and look at this Thursday as a day off from laundry (woo-hoo!).

It also has been helpful that we've instated the family closet! We are fortunate to have a walk-in closet directly off of our main floor bathroom. It is supposed to be for my husband and I but with a closer look I discovered that a lot of it was wasted space being taken up by clothing we just didn't wear any more! After sorting out what we didn't want/need/wear, we actually had about one-third of the closet left for the kids clothing. I bought two weekly clothing sorters-- one for the girls and one for the boys. I've always found it easier to organize their clothing into outfits so these sorters are perfect for that. I have a plastic 5-drawer organizer in the center to store undergarments. Right now each child has one for socks/underwear/stockings with the exception of the baby. She has one for socks/underwear/stockings and one for onsies.
pink/blue baskets below for pj's
a small area for clothes that need to be hung
Let's get into two more quick mom tips.

I've adopted a sort of knock-off of FlyLady's 27 things clean-up method. It's called Just Five Dishes. That means that when I've fallen behind on dishes-- which happens often-- I tell myself, "just five dishes". I'll stand at the sink for 2 minutes and wash five dishes and then move on to something else. Since doing dishes is a chore that I particularly don't enjoy, I can quickly become overwhelmed with the idea of standing at the sink for hours. But when I take on just five dishes the mountain somehow seems more achievable. And a lot of times when I'm there I wind up doing 7 or 9 or 12 dishes and not just 5. By the end of the day the pile may still be there but it usually looks a lot better.

And finally--

A weekly meal plan has been a tremendous help to our family. It has taken a lot of the guess work out of both meal planning/prepping and grocery shopping. I talked about it before here.

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