With a large family, it’s easy to become disorganized. With everyone going in different directions all at once, staying organized can be a Herculean task.
The following are some ways you can stay organized with a large family:
Each day, make a list of things you need to do. You can either make it in the morning for things to do that day, or make one at the end of the day for things to do the next day. Include appointments, play groups, errands, things you want to clean, and anything else that is going on each day. As you complete each item on the list, make sure you check it off.
Some people find it helpful to break the list down into two categories-Things I Have to Do Today and Things I Want to Do Today. That can help you prioritize your tasks, and you can tackle the things you need to do before the things you want to do.
Use calendars and planners.
For large families with different schedules, a calendar is essential for coordinating schedules and staying organized. Instead of trying to fit everything on the small spaces of a small paper calendar, get a large dry erase calendar or desk calendar. Check your calendar daily, and update it as activities come up.
For your own organization, you may consider getting and using a planner. This is a helpful way to keep track of appointments and personal things you’d like to get done.
If you tend to forget appointments or lose track of time, set alarms or notices on your cell phone to alert you when you need to get to an appointment, pick up kids, and so forth.
Use a file system.
Instead of allowing papers, forms, receipts, and other items to gather in unorganized piles, develop a filing system. This doesn’t necessarily mean folders and a filing cabinet:
If you can’t bear to throw away A papers and art projects, organize them into three-ring binders, with one for each child. Use paper protectors that already have holes punched in them. Keep receipts in envelopes. You may want to separate them further into grocery receipts, bill receipts, and miscellaneous receipts.
Have a spot for bills. Designate an area, or basket, or envelope for bills that need to be paid. Open and sort them immediately. Throw all other junk mail away as soon as you get it.
Delegate housekeeping chores.
With a large family, it’s impossible to keep the house clean and pick up after the kids on your own. That’s why it is important to assign chores to everyone. Even young children are capable of putting their toys away.
Make a chore chart with each child’s name and responsibilities for that week, including taking out the trash, dishes, vacuuming, and so forth. Alternate the chores each week, so no one gets stuck doing something they hate for long. It’s also a good idea to consider having a specific time set aside for chores.
Keep messes contained.
It is easy, especially with several young children, for toys to take over the house. You can stay organized and clutter-free by making sure the majority of toys are left in the bedrooms. In addition, designate specific eating areas, like the kitchen or dining room only, to prevent messes.
These are just a few tips to help you stay organized with a large family.