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Tips for large families

 
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Ribbie Danzinger









  


Post  Tue, Oct 09 2007, 5:21 pm
For all of us who have large families or came from one, can we share some tips for coping with all that we have to do?

Some ideas for relevant topics:

Coping with mounds of laundry/ironing
Coping with mealtimes (what to make, how to clear up after meals...)
Helping everyone to do homework on time
Spending quality time with dh when there are older kids at home
Organizing all the clothes
Keeping childrens' rooms tidy

Some things that work for me:
I keep meals very simple but try to keep them healthy too. Even over yomtov for Simchat Torah I made the same dishes for the night and for the morning, which made life a lot easier!

I let my children start cooking simple things in the kitchen from a relatively young age, boys and girls alike. They all enjoy cooking to the extent that they are able and both my DS (14) and dd (12 yrs) are pretty competent cooks. DS (10 1/2) and DD (9) are also capable of making basic things like frying an omelet etc.

Ditto minding babies, including diaper changing.

One important gadget that is a must for large families with school aged children is a desktop pencil sharpener. You can buy them quite cheaply and they save a lot of blisters from sharpening with normal pencil sharpeners. In fact they are also far more efficient!

What works for you?
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Squash









  


Post  Tue, Oct 09 2007, 7:08 pm
I'm still searching for the answers myslef, but some things I do:

buy less clothing. solves laundry and space issues.

do laundry more often - a little bit at a time, it's much more manageable that way.

also, when you do have tons of laundry (like after succos), don't take a load out of the dryer until you've folded and packed away the previous load.
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Ribbie Danzinger









  


Post  Sun, Dec 16 2007, 8:49 am
Just reviving this old thread.
Any ideas anyone?
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Squash









  


Post  Sun, Dec 16 2007, 8:55 am
I recently installed hooks in my kids room. every night before bedtime I prepare e/o's clothing for the next day. it makes a tremendous difference to my efforts to stay calm during the morning rush. no browsing through closets - where's the top to this skirt, where're the tights that go with it, etc etc etc.

everyone gets up and takes what I put out for them. and if they have a preference they can let me know the night before.
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gryp









  


Post  Sun, Dec 16 2007, 9:54 am
I don't have a large family yet, IY"H B"AH one day. But I find it's such a lifesaver to have every single object in your house have a designated spot. If not, it gets dumped. It makes the house so organized and free of clutter, never mind it's so easy to find something when I need it. Tidying is much easier too, very simple to pick something up and put it right where it belongs.

Taking out everyone's clothing the night before, like Squash wrote, is a must also.

Sometimes during busier periods I make a double dinner one night and eat the leftovers later on in the week.
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mommy24









  


Post  Sun, Dec 16 2007, 10:06 am
Here are some tips I have been given that I have tried for a while and seem to be working, except when I get lazy:

each child chose a color and then I bought them hangers in that color. this makes organizing a closet (if your kids share) or putting laundry away so much easier.

after I take clothes out of the dryer I make different piles:
1)clothes that needs ironing (which I never get to Embarassed )
2)clothes that can get hung up and are ready to wear, these I put on each childs special colored hanger
3)I make a pile of folded clothes for each child

I then put the neatly folded clothes in a basket with the hung clothes on top.I bring it to the hallway upstairs and put away all the hung up clothes- becuase it is color coded it gets put away so much easier. then I take the folded clothes out of the basket adn in the kids rooms, they then put it away in their drawers.my kids range in age from 8 to 3 so thier drawers may not be hte neatest but at least they are learning to put away their own clothes.

when everyone is ready to go to sleep they take out their own clohtes for hte next day, even my 3 yr old chooses what he wants to wear so it ready for them when they wake up. this saves time in the morning.


no toys are allowed in the kids room, unless they ask before. toys are kept in the playroom/living room. usually I will let them take it in as long as they make sure to put them away later. they do have a bookshelf in their rooms, for books and little prizes htey like to keep separate from the regular toys.

also it used to drive me crazy that I would find wet towels after shower time all over the place and everyone would deny it was their towel.so, I went and bought towels in colors to match their hangars, this way I know whose towels always ended up on the floor and worked on them to put the towel where it belongs.

for mealtimes I make a schedule of meals for an entire month at a time. I also prepare the shopping lists, divided byt each week when I put all the meal plans ito the calander.

each month a different child is in charge of setting the table. the kids eat mainly on paper, so even the 3 yr old can do this, with help from his siblings. each kids is responsible to clear his/her own plate. as a rule I try to give hte kids the same meal I have made for Dh and myself, but if htey don't want it they can have crackers, sandwhiches, yougurts,eggs etc- they get it and make it themselves though (except the eggs). if I am too lazy or had a really hectic day I alsways have a standby of noodles and sauce or eggs or even cereal and milk for us to eat instead.

homework I cannot help you, I am looking for ideas for that myself. since my kids all coe home at different times and they are hungry by hte time I give one a snack and want to do hwk the next one comes home and I start hte routine again.
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gryp









  


Post  Sun, Dec 16 2007, 10:13 am
I love that different color hangers idea! What a great idea! Thanks a ton!
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mommy24









  


Post  Sun, Dec 16 2007, 10:20 am
you're welcome!

I have 3 kids in one closet and 2 inanother it makes putting things away so much easier that I won't even procastinate putting it away.

its also great bec my kids like to dress as "twins" a lot so I have the same shirts in many sizes and there are so many hand me downs from years before I never remember who it belongs to. now all I have to do is look at the color hangar and I'm set.
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greenfire









  


Post  Sun, Dec 16 2007, 10:22 am
teach kids to do their own laundry - or if younger at least take their own laundry when done and fold it themselves - you can have a folding party ... includes ironing themselves when old enough ...

have separate laundry baskets for white, lights & darks - whenever one is full - pop in a load cause it's already separated ...

kids wash up dishes after themselves ... then hopefully they don't collect ...
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Marion









  


Post  Sun, Dec 16 2007, 10:25 am
I always overcook for Shabbat, so we usually eat leftovers most of the week. I promised DH that we'd get 1 fresh item each night (either a new main, a new side, or a new veggie), so it doesn't get totally boring and stays manageable. DH is in charge of the nightly toy roundup downstairs; DS#1 is in charge of helping to pick up his toys in his room. (There's a limit what I can expect of a 22 month old.) We only own one laundry basket, so there's no chance of leaving stuff in it for too long.
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amother






Post  Sun, Dec 16 2007, 11:31 am
Hire cleaning help Exclamation
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TzenaRena









  


Post  Sun, Dec 16 2007, 11:48 am
Store things at their point of usage, so you don't have to search for them, or go to the back of the house to get it when needed. For example, gloves and scarves are in a drawer next to the door, so when kids are leaving the house, they can reach in and take one.

The phone directory (Tzach list) is in a drawer next to the phone.
Dvar Malchus (shiurim booklets) are in drawer next to the dining room table. and so are tablecloths and plastic tableliners.

A wastebasket in every room, so nothing ends up on the floor bec. someone is too lazy to come to the kitchen.

Lots of folders for organizing school papers, so they aren't floating around the house. Plastic sleeves for organizing all kinds of papers, photos in binders.
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chocolate moose









  


Post  Sun, Dec 16 2007, 11:59 am
Mommy24, what did you do with all the old washcloths/towels, in other colors?

TR, who empties all those trash cans?

Green, I ever let anyone touch the washer or dryer....I don't need expensive problems to fix. Sorting helpever, is appreciated.
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Tefila









  


Post  Sun, Dec 16 2007, 12:10 pm
Quote:
each child chose a color and then I bought them hangers in that color. this makes organizing a closet (if your kids share) or putting laundry away so much easier.

after I take clothes out of the dryer I make different piles:
1)clothes that needs ironing (which I never get to )
2)clothes that can get hung up and are ready to wear, these I put on each childs special colored hanger
3)I make a pile of folded clothes for each child


I do that with their laundry baskets. Wink
1. I do a laundry every day!
Organize it and unless it needs to be hung asap to prevent wrinkling I put in color coded baskets so each one of the kids knows which is theirs and needs putting away. My kids even at 3 yrs can do that. Though it's not folded the way that I like thay atleast put it into the right drawers and fold to the best of their ability.
I also am not flooded with clothes, I hate clutter more then anything else!

2. I also prepare their clothes the night before and table for breakfast aside from milk is ready for them when they wash and are dressed and come down.

3. I have hooks put at their level so when they come nto the house mummy does not need to hang up their coats they can do it themselves.

4. I do not own for any of my kids under six lace up shoes, anymore. It's velcro only now a lifesaver for me.

5. Shoes and boots are always put on the shoe rack as soon as they come in so no need to look for shoes last minute.

6. Backpacks are put into a closet or taken up to their bedroom. And as soon as mummy has time usualy after supper they can show me all their paraphonalia which I let them hang in a designated spot themselves with masking tape which is easy to tear, even for them. and keeps them busy having fun with it.

Will think of more as my day progresses Razz
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Pickle Lady









  


Post  Sun, Dec 16 2007, 12:17 pm
Tefila wrote:
4. I do not own for any of my kids under six lace up shoes, anymore. It's velcro only now a lifesaver for me.


I totally agree and do the same thing. My 22 month old is then able to put on her own socks and shoes or her 4 year old brother helps her. Such a lifesaver with my current large belly.
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