Friday, May 4, 2012

Laundry and Dishes are KILLING Me

3 kids. 2 adults. A never-ending pile of laundry and dishes. It’s one thing to groan and bang your head on the table and complain about it. It’s something else altogether when you actually have to DO it. 
Between running to dance and tae kwon do, work and wading through homework every night, along with the never-ending fun of a gluten-free lifestyle (which means no pre-made food), we’re low on time as it is. I’ve talked about my house being a wreck, and giving up on trying to keep ahead of everything.

There’s only so loose everything can get though. Kids still have to have clean clothes to wear to school. Can’t eat without dishes to eat on. And pots and pans start to seriously stink if you leave them lying around long enough. The question then becomes, how do we manage to stay on top of everything with a minimal amount 
of time or effort required?

Hint: This is the part where all of you who actually manage to keep ahead of your housework hop on down to the comments section and share the awesomeness of your expertise.

I don’t have much to ante up here, obviously, but there are a few things that are helping us keep our heads above water in terms of organization.

 M&M plates went on sale not too long ago. We bought a full set of plates, cups and bowls in each color. We let each of the kids pick what color they wanted to be “theirs”. They use those for each meal, and wash them when they’re done. It doesn’t always work out like that, but most of the time it helps make sure the kids always have dishes to eat their diner on.

2)      Each kid has a laundry basket in their room. They put their own clothes in their basket. Once or twice a week the baskets come downstairs, one at a time, to be washed, dried and filled with clean, folded clothes. All their clothes, all in one load, and back in their rooms. No sorting required.

3)      We have a big basket in the front hallway for hats and gloves to land in on the way in the door. Suddenly I’m not spending 30 minutes every morning (and missing the bus) because I can’t find the other half of a pair of Transformer gloves.

4)      Shoes come off in the front hallway or land in the shoe closet. Not a perfect system-I dug my daughter’s out from under her bed yesterday. And my own are forever making laps around the house. But again, it increases the chances that the kids will have both a right and a left when it’s time to walk out the door.

5)      The swim bag stays packed. If I had a dime for every swim trip we’ve had to cancel because I couldn’t find a bathing suit, only to have it pop to the top of the laundry pile two days later, I’d be a very, very wealthy woman. As soon as my daughter started dance and I realized her dance shoes would disappear at the drop of a hat, we started packing a dance bag. We do the same for swim. Swim clothes and towels go in. They get used. They go straight from the swim bag to the washer to the dryer and right back into the swim bag.

6)      We finally mastered the socks.

Yup, that’s it. Except for that, I’ve got nothin’. What have you got?