An Organizational Blog Post…

…about being organized. Or the attempt at being organized. Or wishing to be more organized. Or hoping… anyway, you get the idea.

So, the idea for this post came when we had some friends over the other night and we were talking about things that work (as well as anything can with kids, heh) for cleaning and having a semi organized house, and also disciplining. They asked me to send them the ideas and I got to thinking it just might make a fun, or at least informational, blog post. I mean, we can all use more ideas right? So, I will post some of my ideas and if you all would be so kind as to post some of your ideas in the comments section that would be AWESOME.

So, here we go. Upon moving we realized we had a lot more house to clean. So we decided to simplify it as much as possible and focus on keeping up rather than catching up. We have three schedules:

#1 Kitchen schedule.

I made a nifty little wheel with names on the back and jobs on the turning front part. Laminated it, magnetized it, and stuck it on the fridge. I put only the names of those old enough to really do all the jobs (with a little help) on the wheel. So, James was left off (and of course Robert)- consequently so was setting the table which is mainly James’ job. I thought of six possible kitchen jobs that I wanted done everyday. For us they are:

Load dishwasher
Unload dishwasher
Clear and wash table and counters
Hand wash (the dishes that don’t fit in the washer)
Hand dry

Often they have to do the job more than once in a day. Every morning I turn the wheel one notch and they get a new job – Mom and Dad are included on the wheel.

#2 Daily Chore Chart

We decided that rather than having a day where we do a weekly clean of the house we’d break the weekly clean up during the week. So, our schedule goes as follows:

*Every day from 5-6 (dad gets off work at 6, so dinner is around 6:30 at our house) is family clean-up hour. Everyone pitches in and cleans up toys and stuff that have been played with during the day.

Monday Family Home Evening

Tuesday – Yard Pick UP – a weekly clean of toys, branches and other things that are bad for a lawn mower’s health.

– Floors (vacuuming, mopping, etc.) – Everyone gets a room or a floor of the house to mop or vacuum.

Thursday – Bathrooms – we have three, but instead of assigning kids to clean a bathroom we assign them a certain part of the bathroom – one will do just toilets, another just counters, another showers/tubs, etc.

Friday – Date night or Family fun night

Saturday – floors again – with most of the day being for big projects like leaf raking, in depth cleaning or family outings.

#3 Laundry Schedule

I found that the laundry just kept piling up indefinitely and now matter how many loads I seemed to do, so I created a schedule to try to keep things better under control. I even gave myself the weekend off and it hasn’t backed up much over the weekend. The kids are responsible for bringing me their clothes, sheets, and towels. If they don’t bring them they don’t get washed, and if they end up with dirty clothes to wear to school, so be it. They learn quickly when they go a few days with “nothing to wear” that it pays to get mom the clothes when she asks for them.

Monday – Colors
Tuesday – Whites
Wednesday – Sheets
Thursday – Colors
Friday – Towels

Folding is my huge issue now – I don’t have a good folding plan – I try to do it every day because I wash everyday, but I haven’t been to good at making that work. Any suggestions? What works for you?

So, those are our main organizational schedules. We still have hiccups in the schedules – especially with a new baby – but it does help things move more smoothely most of the time. We try to be flexible too and not panic if something doesn’t get done – and homework comes first – right after school. Our general rule is hurry and get your homework and chores done so you can play and have fun, but kids are kids and sometimes spend an hour complaining rather than working so they work long into playtime – but eventually (hopefully anyway) they learn that it pays to work quickly and happily.

So, what do you do in your families to keep things running semi-smoothely?

*Next post – rules and consequences – what we’ve tried that’s failed and what we’ve tried that works – kinda – some of the time anyway 😀

*Also – I’ve come to love the wheel idea – I was having a hard time finding an FHE (Family Home Evening) board or whatever that would fit our size of family so I created a wheel with all of us on it and FHE things for them to do. We move it one notch each week after FHE so they can see what their upcoming assignment is. I laminated it, magnetized it and stuck it on the fridge with everything else. Our fridge is a very happening place to be! 😀


Filed under Every Day Life, Parenting

11 responses to “An Organizational Blog Post…

  1. Wow, you are so organized! At some point several years ago I had everything down to a science. Not so much anymore.

    Here’s what we do:
    ~I dirty the dishes (cuz usually I do the cooking!)
    ~Nathan cleans them up and loads them (I HATE loading the dishwasher!!!)
    ~Jaedin unloads them
    ~Jenacy does silverwear & sets the table for meals
    ~N’iel cleans floors
    (We don’t rotate chores at all yet)

    All three kids clean their bathroom usually about once a week, whenever it gets dirty. Jaedin does the mirror and faucet, Jenacy does the countertop and organizing drawers, N’iel does the toilet, and they all clean up the floor. Nathan or I will do the tub.

    Each is responsible for cleaning up their own mess throughout the house, every day. I expect bedrooms to be clean before bedtime. The boys just about never have a problem with this, we have to get after Jenacy occasionally. If it’s becoming a problem, I just tell them around 3ish that to eat dinner tonight they have to pass off their room. I don’t nag or remind. I tell them once and then check when dinner is done. If it’s not ready, they don’t eat. They’ve all gone hungry once or twice and know that if they want to eat, they better just get it done. It’s rarely a problem. (I’m big on not nagging about chores. I tell them what I expect and then let them do what they want, but there will be a consequence if it’s not done)

    I do laundry, all on Saturday. Jenacy usually helps sort and put everything in the washing machine (after the car accident in june I couldn’t do anything for weeks so I taught her and she loves it). I always aim to get it folded on Saturday too…usually by Wednesday it gets done haha

    hmm…that’s the only chores I can think of! 🙂

    • Thanks, Timber! I need to nag less – I get too preoccupied that they are going to miss out and I don’t want them to that I nag them too much. I think I’ll pull a page out of your book 😀 Also, I am horrible about their bedrooms – I totally let them slide and I should get in the habit of a daily clean on those too. Though they get done at least once or twice a week because of vacuuming. The kids help me with folding and putting away laundry and Liz can sort and do loads – everything but whites because I don’t want her working with bleach quite yet. I just need to pick a day and stick to it. 😀

  2. I’d love to add something brilliant here, but organization is something I just dream about. I’ve loved seeing the pics of your new place! Any more on the horizon?

    • eventually, Lindsay – there are pictures of legs dangling out of our front tree in the last post 🙂 heh. Maybe we’ll do hands waving out of bedrooms since they’re too messy to photograph. ha ha 😀

  3. Thank you! We just moved into my parents house which is twice the size of our old house and hence the need to be more clean/organized, but my kids are still pretty little (6 & 3) so they set the table, put the dishes away and of course clean up their room/ toys. I need to have more of a system so I will in theory meet less resistance. I appreciate your blog post and look forward to your next one on disciplining (because that’s where we’re really struggling!) The only thing I have to add is the only way I can get myself to fold laundry is to sit down and watch a TV show after the kids go to bed. I do pull all shirts out of the dryer and immediately hang them up (so they’re not wrinkly and don’t take up an extra dresser drawer) so folding laundry isn’t so bad with what is left.

  4. When I was a kid I did my own laundry starting at around 10 yrs old. I washed and folded all my stuff and if I had nothing to wear it was my fault!! Now with my family since non of my kids are old enough I have a system where I do it by room. Mondays-Boys room,Tuesdays-Daughters room-Wednesday-our room and Thursday sheets,towels and blankets. I do most of our laundry in the morning or at night after the kids are asleep. I fold the clothes as soon as they come out of the dryer and that helps me. The nice thing about my system for me is that I have Friday and Saturday to do catchup if I need too.

  5. Catherine

    I think I am going to do your kitchen wheel thing! That’s great! I hate being the one that makes supper and then cleans up supper while everyone else goes and has fun! I wanna have fun too! 🙂 I think I do pretty good and keeping up with the laundry. However, I do have the problem with folding – and getting the kids to put away! I usually end up waiting until there is a mountain of laundry on my basement couch before I get the courage to tackle it. But I just grab my computer with my ear phones in tow and watch a movie – NOT A CARTOON! – by myself! It ends up being quite an enjoyable time. Thank goodness for Netflix!

    I don’t do well with clutter. My house is usually clean – just not tidy. I need to do something about that.

  6. moniquel319

    I wish I could offer some tips on the folding bit. I have my daughter fold all of her own stuff but there is almost always a heaping pile waiting for me. As the kids get older I’ll make them take over more responsibility for it and maybe someday we’ll actually get to sit on that couch!:)

  7. I appreciate your posts on organizational ideas… something I’m always looking to improve upon. As far as bedrooms go, my kids all share a bedroom so dividing the jobs to make it “fair” is a concern at my house. What I did; I made a list of tasks that would create a clean bedroom, split it into two lists, one being “red” and the other “blue”. Then each child can look on the master chart to see if his name is in red or blue under “bedrooms” for that week. On one side of my chore chart is a “quick clean” that is done daily and the other side is a list of “good clean” tasks done once a week. In cases where there are more than two children in a bedroom some jobs are repeated; once early in the week and then again late in the week. Each of my children are assigned a different day to “good” clean their rooms. That way they all contribute to a clean room and I don’t get overloaded with helping younger ones on the same day or having a whole mountain of sheets to do all at once. I am an advocate of pictures next to the task as well, so young children can “read” it themselves and they know what to do.

    My other rooms in the home are assigned to children for one week before we rotate. I like them to take some ownership for the room and their job and I like them to feel like they have “completed” a job. And it makes it easier for them to remember that they have a certain task to perform without having to look all the time. I do assign older children to “help” younger ones on certain tasks but my three year old does not clean the bathroom at all. And my 8 year old still has a few limits on what he cleans in there as well. I do try to group chores so that one child one week will have chores that all need to be done around dinnertime, and the next week a different set of chores assigned can all be done before school (but must be done before computer time or tv time is granted after school).

    Thanks for your ideas. You’ve got some great ones.

  8. Pamala

    Hi Julia,
    Sounds like things are going well there! For folding I often will put on a movie for the kids. The first half or 30 min. is sort of free. Then I pause the movie for piles to be put away (before the 2 year messes them up) and have any non-folders go to a different room with their clothes. Then we turn the movie on again and either fold more clothes or get to just sit and enjoy.

    If there’s complaining then they “get” to help with some of the family/parents’ folding.

  9. Rachel Young

    I do the kids’ laundry on Tuesday. One day a week so they better have everything in their laundry baskets. By doing this I limit the number of rooms I have to take laundry to. They each have a laundry basket and all their clean clothes go into it. If I have time I fold them or if not I have them fold them. Either way they have to put them up. The way I really eliminate all the folding is by hanging almost everything up. We fold underwear, socks, pajamas, shorts, and skirts neatly and hang everything else up. I do the same thing for Brett and I on Wednesday. I don’t enjoy the laundry as much this day because I have to put it up. I do hang up our shirts when they are damp dry. Sheets, towels, etc. I do on other days. I love all the suggestions! Keep them coming.

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