Saturday, September 5, 2009

How the House Ticks

I like things a certain way. I have learned to be more flexible. I am sure I will have to bend some more as time goes by. I am not a neat freak. I just like to be organized. I don’t feel the need to vacuum everyday. I have always been ok with leaving clothes in the dryer for who knows how long. I would say that we have never lived in chaos, but with a 5 year old, 4 year old, 2 year old and 3 month old living under one roof it is becoming more of a realistic option. That simply is not my personality, so……each time we have welcomed a baby home, more structure/organization seems to have come with it. I am aiming to avoid chaos.

These are some things that happen with the Lino Six to make our house tick. Some have been done for a while. Some are new features. Some we are returning to the list of ‘must make happen.’

Make lunches at night for all three of the older kids even though they don’t all go to school. The girls and I just pull the lunch boxes out of the fridge each day at lunch time and ta-da… mess, no work, no clean up, no deciding what we’re eating.

Clothes for me and four kids are laid out a week in advance. Hanging in my closet are the ‘day of the week’ type organizers (only mine are the cheap version without the day written on it – really, I can talk myself through the boxes and know which box is what day – all to save some bucks.) I load them up after the laundry is folded.

Shoes that are found out of place (i.e. the living room floor, the bathroom, the playroom) are taken away and they can’t wear them for a while. We don’t have time to be looking for 10 shoes every time we head out the door.

Crock pot. I am getting much better about this out of necessity. Not just grandma’s roast anymore.

My planner. Each week, NL and I compare calendars and make sure everything is written down. I am not a fan of surprises, but we can usually accommodate them.

Days look the same. This is much easier when school is in session, but I try to make every Tuesday look the same, every Wednesday look the same, etc. I block out time each Tuesday for errands or lunches out; Thursdays are laundry and grocery store; Wednesday are meetings at the church. You get the idea. Summer is hard and I don’t yet have a solution to making it not so crazy. Well, hopefully most want be as crazy as this last one with a newborn.

Things we need often are kept in more than one place. To avoid the upstairs, downstairs, upstairs, downstairs cycle, I keep things on both floors and multiple rooms. Things like diapers, wipes, hair bows, brushes, socks, books – all have a home upstairs and downstairs.

Cubbies in the laundry room. Everybody gets their own cubby to put their backpack/napmat/whatever in. Those things don’t come out of the laundry room.

Schedule. Schedule. Schedule. From the time we brought CSL home from the hospital, there has been a schedule. I have always kept the babies in a routine. This has become even more important in recent days as the older kids are more involved in extra curricular activities.

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