Monday, January 3, 2011

Getting Stuff Done

I was up so late last night with my sick 5 year old.  Since she was feeling a little better, I was able to make my first blog entry and get it set up, so that was cool.  Here it is 8 am and my other 2 are on their way to school, my baby is playing with his toys and my poor sick girl is sleeping soundly.  Such is the life of someone with 4 kids.  It is never boring, and there is always something going on that you have to do multiple things at the same time. 
So, that brings me to something that I am asked all the time - “How do you do that?”  How do you get anything done with 4 kids?  The answer:  you find ways to accomplish things in all the little pieces of time that you can find.  You have to become good at multitasking.  So, right now, I have a load of laundry washing, watching my baby and the news for the day, having my coffee, listening for my sleeping 5 yo and here I am writing to this new blog (and checking e-mail, Facebook, checking my favorite websites and researching the Project 365 thing).

Laundry (aka the job that never gets done)
I though that I would share my laundry process.  Some of that is easy, put in laundry when you first wake up so that it is going while you "get going".  By the time that you are awake and ready to go out the door, your clothes should be ready to put in the dryer.  In my case, I drive my kids to school normally (today, I had the luxury of a hubby still off from Christmas and he took my older 2).  When I get home from dropping off, I put in a second load and the clothes should be close to dry.  The laundry never seems to get done with 6 of us.  Part of my process is to lay out the clean clothes from the dryer on my bed.  There, I sort by person, lay flat the ones that will need to be  hung, and fold the clothes that will go in a drawer.  Later, I have my older 3 kids put their own clothes away.  They are even in charge of hanging up the ones for the closet.  I have found that if kids are responsible for their own clothes, they are less likely to make extra laundry.  
How do you get your kids to put away their own?  I start having them help with their clothes around 3.  They each will help with the sorting and washing.  At 1, they can sit with you and throw clothes in a pile that you tell them.  You can also have them walk with you to their drawer and lay the clothes in their drawer as you hand it to them.  As they get older, they can do more and more of this process.  One thing that you need to be okay with - their drawers will not be "neat".  You just have to accept that mostly, they will cram everything in their.  Every once in a while, my 5 yo will still just take her clothes to her room and dump them on the floor by the dresser and I have to check on her.
I still am working on improving my system, so if you have a trick, please share!  Right now, the job just never gets all the way done, while still having time to spend with my kids and do all the other stuff that has to get done. 

On an ironic side not:  Here I was blogging about laundry and in my second load, I tried to wash one of my couch pillows since my sick little girl had been on it and we were trying to save the rest of us from getting sick.  Murphy's Law strikes - The washer overflowed!  I even checked on it 3 times, but it slipped up and got stuck under the water sprayer and water was EVERY WHERE!!  Ugg!  

Good chance for hubby to use his new shop vac, though.  He keeps asking if I did it on purpose to get him to clean the floors.  Boy, are they sparkling clean now :)

Anyway, talk to you later,

on a side note, I found this pic.
See, you can get kids started REAL early helping with laundry!

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