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Large Family Logistical Tips

At times I feel that running a large household is similar to being at the helm of a large corporation, or a major in the military.  Over the years we have devised strategies or gleaned ideas to aid in running a smoother household.I have shared in detail previously how we shop monthly  but thought I’d share a few random tips we have learnt that work for us.

Appliances
1. Buy ‘daily use’ appliances of semi-industrial strength. ie. Washing Machine, Dishwasher, Stove.  You will save $ in the long run.

Laundry

2. Designate each child a towel colour. Our children each have two towels of their colour, ie. red for one, blue for another etc.  As we are a family of ten we now have a few with certain shades too.
Having your own colour cuts down on someone ‘borrowing’ your towel, which cuts down on washing.

3. Assign your children sock colours too.  Admittedly a little easier to do with male family members. ie. One child has white, another black, another sports socks with stripes.  Far easier at sock folding time.

4. Buy each child a different brand of underwear.  No need to stand there pondering at folding time or peering at faded size tags.

Shopping
5. When shopping be alert for items which could be suitable either for either your own children or as party gifts, buy it and put it in the birthday box.  Saves $ and time.

6. If you notice a big reduction on clothing or shoes, and yet it may not be the correct size at present, grab it as it will fit someone at some stage.

7. If passing an end of season rack with clothes, be sure to grab some items in the next size up.  Come that season again you will have saved $.

House Design

8. Plan a loungeroom with a door, very useful on movie nights when your older children want to watch a movie not suitable for your younger ones.

9. Plan a study with a door.  When younger children become too noisy your older children can retreat and work in quiet.

Organisation
10. Lists, lists and more lists.  Excel is my friend! Menus, shopping lists, chore charts, lesson timetables, holiday packing lists etc.  I type all, save and re-vamp and re-use.  Streamlines my life.

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13 Comments

  • Mrs B

    Love these! Especially having just come back from spotlight with 3 different coloured fabrics for making the children's art bags… yet to choose a colour for our April baby though… the children have the same colour for the magazine holders for their independent home ed work, for their binder, coloured tape around pencils etc… I think we will migrate to the towels as well – makes so much sense!

  • Rosario

    thanks for sharing your tips. I only have two children but sometimes I feel I have more. I learn so much from Mom's that have more children. If you can have an organized home, why can't I.

  • Erin

    Narelle,
    Thank you and welcome:) Thrilled to 'meet' another Aussie, just added you to my sidebar:)

    Rosario,
    I must confess when I had 2 children I was hopelessly disorganised, it was only when I had No.5 I realised something had to change, I was drowning.

  • Anonymous

    Don't forget coloured cups for everyone.

    When shopping I find stocking up on certain items saves brain power. For example buy a dozen toothbrushes, 10 boxes of soap and a dozen bottles of shampoo at a time. (Oops, that's for my family of 6 but I just realised a dozen toothbrushes in your family is just one each so you may need to adjust the numbers!) You run out a lot less often this way and only have to remember to go to the cupboard to get more rather than constantly having to remember if you need to buy more half way round the store.

    Love your tips Erin, I think I need to pick your brains more on this one.

    Missy

  • Mrs B

    Yes, we've got the coloured drink bottles happening for the kids, and hubby and I have a glass each with 'mine' and 'yours' written on them… saves a bunch of dishes. Without this we'd be washing a couple of dozen water glasses a day!
    (the 'mine' glass is mine and the 'yours' one is his LOL)

    Thanks for the welcome Erin :o)

  • muminsearch.com

    I only have two kids and I already have the coloured towels thing happening! Not intentionally, they just got attached to their colours and would get madly upset if they have to use a towel that doesn't match.

  • georgi hampton

    this list is so practical and useful. so know what you mean about a present box. mum used to have a box of cards, mostly without messages inside that we would dip into for things like thank you cards to teachers etc. it was so useful! visiting from the rewind. x

  • MultipleMum

    What a fantastic, practical list. I am always looking for ways to streamline the household. Even with four kids it gets pretty crazy! Any suggestions for the folding side of the washing equation? Thanks for Rewinding x

  • Erin

    How amazing that you are already doing towel colours! My husband really has credit for our system though.

    Alison
    It took me far longer than you to get smart about underwear.

    Bron and Jane
    Welcome to my blog:) and true, useful to all:)

    Georgi
    I forgot a card box! great idea, my mum used to have one of them.

    Coo
    I have several ideas, (learnt the hard way) I'll try to write a few posts soon. re folding I'm just in the midst of trialling a new system, each child from the 9yr old up is doing their own wash, but that doesn't help you. However I'm planning on writing about that sometime soon too. Just have to have success first;)

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