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3 Bumps

Does anyone have any tips for organisation in big families? I'm just so overwhelmed and feel I can't cope anymore.

My sister and her husband passed recently and so I took on her 7 children along with my 4 and although we are coping financially I just feel everything is falling apart around me.

I find it hard to spend any time with anybody but the children had nowhere else to go and I felt I owed it to my sister. They are lovely children and are well behaved but with this many children in the house things are getting crazy.

Tips? Please help, I just feel like crying.

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 3:06 PM on Apr. 18, 2011 in General Parenting

Answers (9)
  • Hire an organization consultant to come to your home and help you.

    Answer by Kari727 at 3:07 PM on Apr. 18, 2011

  • Bunk beds, under bed storage


    Answer by L0vingMy3Girls at 3:09 PM on Apr. 18, 2011

  • What kind of organization? Organization of THINGS, or time management?

    Answer by gdiamante at 3:10 PM on Apr. 18, 2011

  • family in the van

    You can try using storage bins, go through their toys/clothes ever couple months and get out thing that are too small or broken


    Answer by L0vingMy3Girls at 3:12 PM on Apr. 18, 2011

  • What are the ages of the kids? Have you thought about assigning the oldest child to the youngest, then 2nd oldest to 2nd young, etc. so whenever you are going to go somewhere you have help getting everyone ready. In big families, it's almost always necessary for the older kids to help with the younger ones - mom can't do it all!

    Answer by missanc at 3:12 PM on Apr. 18, 2011

  • Get a big calendar and fill it out with everyones stuff. Write anything on it from "wear red shirts to school" to pack a lunch to when bills are due. Live by the calendar. Get a chore chart where everyone is responsible for soemthing and is reawarded for it. It can be a rotating schedule. Assign each kid one night to clean up dinner dishes. A routine goes a long way for menu planning, grocery shopping laundry and such. Type a list of meals you like and stick it to the inside of the pantry door. You can refer to it when you are too busy to make menu for the week, just pick 7 things from the list.

    Answer by ria7 at 3:15 PM on Apr. 18, 2011

  • Firs of all you are an incredible person for taking on such responsibity. Totally admire you for doing this for your sister!
    When I worked in a daycare we had an area for each child to have all their items for the day. I usually put them out the night before. It helps to have each child have one chore and rotate them weekly so noone feels like they had the worse one. Make sure the one with the worse chore, gets a special treat and do the same each week. Could be alone time with mom/dad, ice cream or just something fun. This way each child will feel special. Best to have them pick numbers so it doesn't feel like you choose it for them. Hope this helps some.

    Answer by TwinkleLites at 3:16 PM on Apr. 18, 2011

  • Spend a weekend putting all toys in storage bins, get the children in bunkbeds, put all books on shelves where the smaller children can't get to them and rip them apart. As far as time management, I only have 5 kids but, I set one hour every day after school for homework, nothing gets done except for homework at that time, I try fix dinner while the kids are at school or at least make sure everything is set out and can be put together quickly. No one starts eating until everyone has been served food and no one gets seconds until mom and dad have eaten. After dinner is quiet book reading time so, I can clean up and while reading time is going on everyone is taking turns in the shower. Of course smaller kids get baths when I can sit in there with them which is usually the mornings.

    Answer by matthewscandi at 3:20 PM on Apr. 18, 2011

  • Wow - that is a house full! But Thank You for being an awesome Auntie and bringing her children into your home! First and foremost, everybody needs to be on board and everybody needs to take care of their own "stuff". Everybody needs to have their own space as well. Sit down and create a chore board - all of those Must Do things. Chart how often they need to be done. Your spouse and all of the children who are old enough to help will need some assignments every week. I was blessed with kids who willingly did chores. We divvied them up and assigned what they were capable of. As they got older, the chores got more or should I say different, but we did also change things up a bit so they didn't get the same ones repeatedly. My biggest challenges were dishes and laundry. Getting it all down in writing and posting it where family members can see it helps! You can't take on the role of Wonder Woman too.

    Answer by mrslabel at 3:23 PM on Apr. 18, 2011

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