Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Lots of Laundry

With 6 people in the house there is almost certainly a lot of laundry to do each week. Here is how I do it.

There are washing hampers in both my and dh's bedroom and the boys' bedroom. My 8.5yo boy collects them and any stray items left under desk chairs, near the lounge (dh's socks!!) and the kitchen towels. He dumps it all on the floor of the bathroom/laundry.

I sort the dirty washing into 4 washing hampers along the wall and a basin on the floor. My washing hampers are for darks (navy, lots of it, and black); reds and greens; blues; and whites (including grey and other pale items). I have a separate basket for hand washing and the basin is for linens and wet clothes from messes or playing under the hose.

In the morning I put in a light load from the whites or blues basket. When it comes out it gets either hung out or put in the dryer depending on the weather, my mood and how busy the day will be. Next to go in is a dark load from the red, green or darks basket. And it comes out around lunch time to be either hung out or dried.

Each afternoon the washing is folded from the basket near the dryer, which also happens to be next to the back door, where the big boys put it if they had to bring in washing off the line. I sort the washing into a trug per person, and then 2 extra trugs for kitchen linen and baby linen, and, bathroom and bedroom linen. Some days I fold the contents of all the trugs, sometimes one or two, and honestly some days none, but at least the kids are only looking through their own trug for clothes if the drawers or wardrobe are bare.

In the evening just before going to bed I put a load of linen in along with any wet messy things from the basin. I try to get the kitchen towels in but I sometimes forget. I put them on a long hot cycle so all the nasties are gone. All my linen is dried in the dryer. I just like them soft and fluffy.

Now I can get fussy. I do not put either reds or greens into any other load. They are kept separate. I will mix greys, white and pale blues. I will mix navy and black. I don't like putting a dark load in after the linen as left over fluff in the machine may transfer to the darker items.

I wash all of dh's work clothes on one day of the weekend. The lighter work shirts in the morning and his dark shirt, socks and boxers in the afternoon. His shirts are all hung on the shower rail to dry and in the morning he grabs one to iron as he leaves the bathroom. I Do Not Iron. Well, maybe, but not every week, maybe not even every month but certainly not every day.

I have been inspired to share how I do my laundry after reading items here and here.

Best wishes,
Jen
(originally posted on my old blog 24 Oct 2010)

Household Management Goals 2011 (Big Hairy Audacious Goals!!)

It's that time of year again, time to assess how the last year went, what worked and what didn't.

I have some ideas on how to get this next year working better.  After assessing my spending in 2010 and finding out that we had spent over $2500 on fast food I have decided that we definitely need to make some changes in how our household is run.

For me it seems that kitchen chores really hold up preparing food at home and a lack of preparation means that meals are not well thought out.  Also the time of the year that was worst in my assessment is when the weather begins to warm up and  my sinus allergies kick in.  Those days are so foggy.

So on to the solutions:

- My children will all be participating in kitchen chores in a timely manner, as in do the dinner dishes after dinner, not after breakfast or even lunch the following day.  I have routine cards for each of them and hopefully it will become second nature to follow them even when I am foggy.

- I will make a menu plan and follow it by using a checklist that reminds me what to defrost when and what may need preparation earlier in the day before the evening bustle happens

- I will grocery shop in a different manner.
  • I will go one evening a week to the large supermarket to pick up the weekly specials that suit my family and to pick up any marked down meat for variety.  
  • I will shop fortnightly at my local chicken processing plant, buying in bulk to save money, and keep a good variety in my freezer.  
  • I will shop at the local Asian run fresh produce store once or twice a week after dropping my dh to work and only buy exactly the number of carrots or potatoes or whatever that I need.  Often fresh produce is not fresh by the time I get to using it when I buy in the bulk packs the supermarket sells.
  • I will continue to buy what products I can in bulk eg sugar, flour and spices. 
- I will be preparing some family meals for the freezer eg tray of meatballs, cooked chicken pieces, cooked mince and keeping things in a separate storage location that will make the items in the freezer into a meal.  I am thinking of bagging up the tin/s or jars and rice/pasta/corn chips in large containers in my bulk storage shelves.  When we need an "emergency" meal all the bits required will be there, labeled with the meat required from the freezer and the instructions for cooking so that my 12 year old can do this if necessary.

- I will package up or buy suitable snacks that can be stored in the car under a seat in a sealed container to cover those trips that last just a bit longer than expected and I find I have cranky hungry babies and big kids.  We always grab water bottles so that is a good idea to continue.

I am hoping that at the end of 2011 we will find ourselves in a much better financial situation.  I want to pay off our credit card debt fully and also have available funds for a big family holiday to the Gold Coast in September.

Here's to BHAGs.

Best wishes
Jen

Friday, December 24, 2010

Maybe the Busiest Time of Year

This is probably the busiest time of year for most people in the western world.  Maybe not the best time to start a blog, but here goes.

I am a mother of 4 boys, well, some are heading into the young men years.  I love having all boys.  I wouldn't want it any other way.  That seems to surprise some people.  But then the most surprising bit seems to be that I would also want to home school those four active males.

I have been homeschooling in some form for 12 years.  Due to learning delays and other family circumstances we have really only been doing more formal learning in the last year.  I intend to have my boys home all of their school years.  I know that it will be challenging but there are so many resources out there that I am sure we will have no, well, maybe few, problems.

Well, I need to do some craft to prepare for Christmas so I better leave this entry now.

Best wishes
Jen
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