Drawn from my archives
Hello, wonderful blog, very encouraging. I have a question, if you will.
My home is over 3000 sq. feet with 8 children who are homeschooled, so lots of motion all day. I do fairly well keeping up with it at times.
I am wondering just how much home do you have, to take care of? I hope I am not getting too personal, sometimes it is good to hear how other people take care of their size home. Very inspirational words on your blog, keep up the good work.
Our home is 3200 square feet, and I have four children, two birds, three hamsters, and one barnyard spider living near my back door. So while our homes are similar in square footage, I don’t have quite the same size crew as you have. I applaud you for homeschooling eight children! Only those who have homeschooled truly know what a blessing it is.
Now about the cleaning; while I do my best to keep my house clean and presentable for guests, I must add that perfection has never been my goal. I’m often one to have a group of girls over for tea, but any one of them can tell you that my house looks lived in—and that’s okay with me. It’s a home first and a house second.
You can’t expect perfection, but you can turn chaos into organized chaos, and that’s where creative solutions help a house stay ordered. For example, we have a lot of shoes, and so instead of having twelve shoes lining the front entrance, we have bins in our front closet that look organized at first glance. I’m blessed with a 7 x 7ft cloak room which houses a bin for each member of our family. That bin contains their outer gear like mittens, scarves, and hats in the winter, and items like flip flops and roller blades in the summer. Sweaters and jackets are hung on hangers, but if I’m in a rush I might toss a hooded sweatshirt into a bin.
It looks good, but we still need to search through bins to pull out shoes. My ultimate hope is to buy six lockers for the room, but since they are pricey, the bins will do for now.
We also have a sock basket—an idea I got from my older sister, Betty. It saves time on laundry day when I pull out the basket and quickly toss socks into a pile. Since my feet are small, I share a basket with my three younger kids. I try to purchase similar socks anytime I buy new, so that they can be matched up easily when we are searching for a pair.
It’s the concept of a place for everything and everything in its place. If you have congested areas, that’s where you need to get creative. I’ve had a long standing problem with mail being put on the ledge by the door. So I picked up a small-sized wicker basket at Wal-Mart which sits in its place. It looks cute but it’s always packed full of mail. I have two junk drawers in the kitchen. One is for stationary items, and the other hardware related.
I’m also a big advocate on children doing chores from a young age. Even a two year old can slip a sock over his hand and dust a coffee table. It’s not a matter of expecting a young child to do a good job, but rather teaching the child to be a good steward of his or her home. Older children have a heavier homework load, but I still expect all of my kids to pitch in and help.
I have assigned a work station to each of my children. The ultimate goal would be to have the children tend to the station throughout the day, but since I’ve returned from Wonderland I realized that doesn’t happen. I gather everyone together for chore time, and while they are working I move from station to station helping as much as they need. If they are diligent, chore time takes about 15 minutes/day. But when they are slow poking, it can stretch out to 30 minutes.
Music is a stimulant that helps distracted children to focus. When I discovered that, I started to put music on during chore time, and noticed that my youngest, Nathaniel, worked at record speed.
In the links bar above I have posted a Home Maintenance Schedule, which you may or may not have seen. I’ll be adding more cleaning tips and creative ideas to the schedule whenever I can so if you like it, keep checking back.
Hope that answers your question. Keep in touch!
You are loved by an almighty God,