Managing a large family series part 4

This is part 4 of our series –managing a large family.


 Tuesday is office day

Like I have stated before, I love lists.  I love lists of things that I have to do, lists of things I have done and want to remember, lists, lists, lists.  All that is good, but what happens when your toddler takes that list and your plans for the day are gone???  This has happened to me on more than one occasion.

I would have a notebook that sat on my counter top and I would just keep adding to it as I thought of something I needed to remember for a later time.  That was all good, until that list disappeared.

I have also had my list get so long, then I was having the problem of staying up late getting bills paid, ordering library videos, or planning out monthly menus.  I did not like this method at all.  Now that I have a day dedicated to getting our paperwork in order, my weeks run much smoother.

I have an area in my home that is dedicated to “my office area,” it is a little part of our kitchen counter.  It is safe, I am near it almost all of the day and I do not have to worry about little ones getting into my things.


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I don’t begin my “office tasks” until the afternoon naptime.  We get up and do our daily routines of morning chores, personal grooming, and school lessons.  Lunch, clean up, spend time together and then naptime.  During the naptime is when I can get all of my office work done.

One important thing I recommend everyone to do is get rid of clutter.  Clutter will overtake you, you will have files and piles of paper in your home.  There is no need for any of that.  As soon as we get mail I sort it immediately.  I take out any important papers, throw away any junk mail, and put papers in appropriate places.  I have my household binder in my office area.  It is purple, inside of it I have tabs and pockets for different household operations. If I were to get a bill in the mail, I would put it in the “bill paying sleeve.”  I would not lose it and I know that every week I will check to see if I have any bills to pay.

We have also signed up for automatic bill paying for most all of our bills.  The electric, insurance, internet, cell phones, and trash.  I know already which pay periods that they come out of and that makes doing one less task.  My husband has his check automatically deposited into our bank account, that helps from not having to worry about getting to the bank in time.

We also have a filing cabinet that I keep any other important papers.  In this I keep any business receipts, warranties, insurance papers, anything that I know I have to keep.  I have done away with bank statements, I view them online.

During the week as I get a business receipt, I place the receipt under the “business tab” in my binder.  Then on my office day, I would record that amount under the appropriate account and then file the receipt in the filing cabinet.

I also order many library books for my children, I have just started keeping track of the titles of ones we enjoyed for future reading.  After I read books for the day, I write the titles on a small piece of paper, put the already read books into the library return bags, and then put my slip of paper in my household binder sleeve under school.  On my office day, I would record the title of the book under a Microsoft word program that I have made to keep track  of titles of books that I want to use again.

If during the week I think of a job that needs to be done in our home, I put it on a slip of paper and immediately put it on the child’s clip board that will be doing it.  During our “group effort” time they will always check their clip board to see if there is anything extra that they need to do.

If I have something I want to blog about, I write it on my ideas page under my blog tab in my household binder.

If I come across some new food idea, I will write it down on my ideas page under my meal tab in my household binder.  When I goto plan my next monthly menu, I will incorporate that new idea into our monthly menu.  If it is something we enjoy, I will add it to our master menu food list ideas.

If I have something that we have run out of during the month like light bulbs.  I add it under my shopping tab in my household binder to our paper shopping lists.  Then when the time comes that month to do our paper shopping I can quickly add light bulbs to the list.  I have preprinted lists for all of the stores that I shop at once a month.

I have written them up according to the stores layout.  I print a few of these up at a time and place them in my household binder.  I keep one on top and as I run out of things during the month, I just add it to my list.

Here is one for our paper/personal supplies list.

Download (PDF, 41KB)

This list also has our bulk food store shopping on the right side.  I usually cut this part off and keep this until we go there.  It is usually once every 3 months that we goto that store.

Here is for our grocery shopping.

Download (PDF, 171KB)

All of the above things were things I might have written down on my notebook lists.  I would of then crossed off and eventually rewrote the list to make it neater.  I do not have to do that now that I put the information where it needs to go.

Anything I have to do before a certain date, like purchase birthday gifts, or mail a letter out by a certain date, I write that on my calendar that is hanging above my office area.

Now I do not have a notebook list.  Everything that I need to remember goes to its respected area.  When office day arrives, I look through my paper work and do what it is I need to do.  For the most part, I have minimized this area, so that on this day, I usually do not have to do much organizing and sorting.

My usual routine for this day is….I usually quickly add my library books to our book lists, add any information for our business to its accounts, and look for any bills to pay.  I can usually focus on larger tasks like planning monthly menus or planning my errand day.

My errand day, which we will talk about for Thursday is the day that we do all of our errands for the week.     I make my list for errand day and all of the stores that I need to stop at in order to help make that day go smoother.

Here is our Tuesday list that I hang on our clipboard:

Download (PDF, 284KB)

As you can see it gives me lots of things that I can do on office day.  It gives me ideas for looking up recipes, planning our menu for the month, planning out what groceries are needed, making homeschool plans,  and ordering library books for the month.

There is plenty to do on office day.  I make sure and plan to make a pot of soup early in the day so that my afternoon will be free to get all of the paperwork that I need to get done.  I then usually enlist a child to make some sort of sandwich for the day to go with our soup.

We then come together for group effort.  As you can see it is pretty self explanatory.  We do these, do a quick pick up of the house and wait for Dad to come home.

I have also listed on this day to do baths for the younger half.  If I do not write it down, I guarantee it will probably be a whole week and then I realize that they haven’t had one.  I make sure to write down to cut nails.   Nails can be overwhelming around here, there was a time when I cut 120 children’s nails!!!!  We would definitely run the vacuum after that:)

We then spend our evenings as usual, spending time together, working on the business, and having fun.

Our night ends with togetherness and big bowls of popcorn.  Do you know we own 2 air pop poppers and run them together to get a huge bowl of popcorn to eat???

Up next Wednesday

3 responses to “Managing a large family series part 4

  1. I am loving this series! As a mommy of 5 nine and under I need all the help I can get. This series encourages me that there is a light at the end of the diaper tunnel. God bless you!

  2. Pingback: Simple living lifestyle challenge 22 write a letter |

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