Friday, September 21, 2012

Living in a Large Family

Or perhaps more accurately, surviving in a large family. I'm speaking more from the mother perspective than anything, but I thought I might do some posts on how to survive as the mother of a large family. I really only have just over a year under my belt, so I am certainly no expert on this at all, but I'm learning -- and really some days I still wonder if I'm surviving ;o).

Here's a few simple things I learned very quickly:

-- When you cook or bake, always double the recipe at the very least.

-- Keep each kid's things separate as much as possible. For example, colour code towels. The same child always gets the same colour towel. Each child has their own laundry bag, laundry basket, drawer in the bathroom, coat hook, back pack hook. You name it. If I can separate it, I will. It just makes life simpler when there is stuff lying around. For example, I can pretty much guarantee you if there is a towel lying around, it is Peach's. She is famous for it. The nice part is, I don't have to go asking each child if it is their towel. (I'll show pics and more ideas of how this works in a future post).

-- Now I'm going to contradict myself by saying, group like things. We are big time book people, and there are several of us who read more than one book at a time (sadly it's hereditary :o)), so I have a basket in our great room that holds any stray books lying around. Right now that basket is a complete disaster, but everyone knows where to find their books.

 We also have a basket for flip flops. Everyone in the house, but the Engineer has flip flops and some of them have more than one pair. So to keep the closet neat(er), they go in a basket, and really it's no tougher finding them in the basket than digging through the pile on the closet floor that would have an even greater area to spread.

-- Label the female crowd's socks and undies. There are just waaaay too many of those things to be thinking, "now, who is it that wears the pink with purple polk-a-dots?" (Please note: that fabric choice is made up to protect the innocent. How dare I mention their unmentionables on the blog!)

I know this is only four things, but if you look at the top of this post I did say, these are the few things I learned very quickly.



  1. I think those can be great tips regardless of the number of children in one's household. :-)

    Love the updated pix of the kids, too. You have such a lovely family!

  2. You certainly caught onto some of the organizing part! :) You're a great mom to all your kiddos!

    Hope the school has been going well so far! The routine can be so hard to get back into.


  3. My mom used to use a sharpie to put one dot on the inside band of my sister's socks and two dots on the inside band of my socks. She got the ones with the pink toes. :)

  4. I can''t even imagine I only have half as many as you and the laundry has me completely stumped especially now that the kids clothes look like adult sizes lol!! May the force be with you!! Your an awesome Mom!! ~Love Heather

  5. LOL, We have a box her for flip flops, but I like your basket idea better!!

    Yes, we always double recipes here too. :)

  6. We had 4 boys and 1 daughter so when the boys were old enough to be sharing some clothes, I bought all the same brand of socks, same color, etc. and then I didn't have to sort socks. I just divided the sock pile between all the young men's laundry. Often we girls shared the same style work socks and we could share. Even better -- have the kids help fold and sort their laundry!


  7. We are a family of 7 and I can testify to the fact that all of those ideas work. I do the shoes a little differently (each child has their own shoe bin) and have thought of but haven't quite got the towel thing in place, but basically use all those organizational techniques as well. With a larger family good organization helps a lot. Another thing I use is a tall 6 drawer shelf bin from IKEA for outdoor accessories like hats, mitts, sunglasses etc. Everyone has their own bin, and it's easily accessible for getting stuff out of and throwing things in.


Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I love to hear from my readers!

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