Managing Your Week: 4 Moms and Large Family Logistics

moms of many manage

Welcome to the 4 Moms discussion of the book Large Family Logistics
by Kim Brenneman.

Here are our previous posts in this series:

This week we’re covering chapters 18-27 and talking about ordering your week.

Some of the most helpful ideas for our family are hinted at in chapter 18 (morning and evening routines, meal time routines, table time and chore time), but she doesn’t flesh these out until chapter 28 and following, so you’ll just have to make sure to come back next week.

One of the basic premises of Kim’s book and what she’s primarily covering in these middle chapters, is that it’s beneficial to have a plan to get everything that needs to be done, done. She accomplishes this by having focus days, one day a week where she spends additional time focusing on a particular aspect of running a household.

Kim’s list of focus days is:

  • Laundry Day – This is in addition to doing four loads of laundry everyday. On laundry day you clean the laundry room, wash sheets, towels and other items that need washing, mend clothes that need to be mended and any other clothing related tasks.
  • Kitchen Day – This day includes extra kitchen cleaning chores, extra cooking (i.e. chicken broth, bulk cooking of dried beans, making granola bars , homemade bread, tortillas, etc.)
  • Office Day – Paper work, budget, reply to emails, blog, business
  • Town Day – Errands, grocery shopping, etc.
  • Cleaning Day – Deep cleaning, organizing, etc.
  • Gardening Day – Working outside or planning for the garden, etc.
  • The Lord’s Day – A day of rest and worship
I’ve been aware of this tactic since well before LFL was published and have tried to implement it several times over the last many years, but thus far it simply hasn’t worked for us to the extent that it has worked for Kim. Here is how we manage our week.

Laundry

We do laundry every day and I’ve had great success with a room-by-room laundry system. Since we have bed wetters, having one day to focus on washing those extra linens doesn’t work well for us. (I’m washing extra linens nearly every day.) For those who do not wet the bed, I wash bed and other linens, as needed, on that room’s specified day. Each time I throw in a load of laundry or switch a load of laundry I do a simple cleaning task in my laundry closet. This keeps things clean most of the time without requiring a day to focus on it.
I do have a day of the week designated as ‘laundry day’ and on that day my goal is to be completely caught up on all laundry and to ensure the laundry closet is clean. This has given me more accountability and motivates me to make sure I’m completely caught up at least once a week.

Kitchen

My children love to cook, all of them and they all desire to spend time in the kitchen. Because of this we spread kitchen day out throughout the week with each child or group of children responsible for making something each day. For us the downsides of having one day for all or most of the extra kitchen tasks is that, 1) it ends up taking too much of our time and 2) the kitchen gets too crowded with so many people in there trying to do so many things.

However, this area could use improvement. The disadvantage of having the kitchen see heavy use each day is that it also requires heavy clean-up each day. If we moved everything to one day things would certainly be easier on that score, but so far it just hasn’t worked for us. Perhaps we need to blend the two ideas, have a kitchen focus day, but not drop the every day making of extra recipes. Any ideas?

Office Day

I have a day designated as office day and I should use it primarily for blog related tasks (if you’ve emailed me in the past year or so, you’ll know that I’m very slow responding to email). (Don’t hate me, but Mark handles all our bill paying, budget keeping and money stuff and just tells me what’s happening, so I don’t have many responsibilities on that score.) However, I need to practice the self-discipline part of “Laying the Foundation” and actually tackle the tasks that need the most attention while at the same time not get so involved in what needs to be done in the paper work department that I ignore the children. Balance. *sigh*

Town Day

This one I have down. One day a week to run errands, grocery shop, return items, etc. But I don’t have a SET day each week. Recently Mark and I have been blessed to meet for a lunch ‘date’ each week. Whatever day that we meet is my ‘town day’, but I don’t know what day that will be ahead of time. I just prepare my list of ‘town day’ activities and whenever I get the call from Mark I grab my list and anything that I might need and have town day. Often doing it this way  involves coming back to the house after our ‘date’ to grab any children that want to run errands with me. This currently works because we live in town, just minutes from everything.

Cleaning Day

I enjoy cleaning and organizing and this is another task that we spread throughout the week. We do chores daily and while the children do most of the routine maintenance type cleaning, I tackle the deep cleaning projects during chore time each day. As we’ve been focusing on simplifying, I’ve additionally been taking some time each afternoon to go through a small area of our home and evaluate what we can give away and how we should store/organize that which we choose to keep.

Garden Day

We have a very small garden that doesn’t require a whole day of focus, however, I wonder if I took divided kitchen tasks between both ‘kitchen’ and ‘garden’ days, if that would solve some of our problems…..

The Lord’s Day

This we do each week. We typically invite a family over for Sunday lunch and enjoy visiting with them for as long as they will stay. When we don’t have company over on Sunday, we spend the afternoon reading and/or listening to CD’s together. We also have a lovely collection of nature DVD’s that we enjoy watching on Sunday.

The other Moms of Many:

Now it’s your turn, I’d love to hear how you manage your week. And please leave a comment if you have some tips for me, pretty please. :)

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13 Responses to Managing Your Week: 4 Moms and Large Family Logistics
  1. Celee
    August 11, 2011 | 8:22 am

    I’m going to be working in my “office” today : ).

    [Reply]

  2. Jarnette @ Seasons of Life
    August 11, 2011 | 1:33 pm

    I, too, have found room-by-room listed in Large Family Logistics not to work for us…but instead arrange our chore chart/tasks by frequency needing to be done each week. This method has worked well for us for many years and it seems the larger our family, the more it works. Kim’s book, provides a wealth of knowledge and ideas for ways to do things, time management tips and basics for how to manage a home well. Thanks for hosting the link up ~ I have joined in with a “How We Order Our Days” post focusing on Chore Charts.

    Blessings ~

    Jarnette

    [Reply]

  3. Gena
    August 11, 2011 | 3:50 pm

    Could you share what your nature DVDs are?
    Thanks,
    Gena

    [Reply]

    Dana Reply:

    I’m interested to know what the nature DVDs are, too. Thank you for doing this blog series!

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    I posted some of our favorite nature DVDs below. Just wanted to make sure you saw them. :)

    [Reply]

    Dana Reply:

    Thank you, Kimberly!

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Hi Gena,

    Here are some of our favorite nature DVDs.

    Moody Science Series A classic set. Each DVD focuses on a different aspect of creation and/or the world around us and demonstrates how this brings us back to God, His love for us and His amazing design in creation.
    Incredible Creatures that Defy Evolution
    Planet Earth: The Complete BBC Series This is from an evolutionary world view and is not Christian. However, while there are a couple of references to millions of years it is not overt or the focus of the set. We’ve watched these over and over, wonderful set.

    I’ve probably forgotten some, but these are the ones that come out most frequently.

    [Reply]

  4. Gina
    August 11, 2011 | 6:29 pm

    I don’t have the large family but I’ve tried, and failed, many times to have a set schedule like this. I think it required a type of personality to be able to do this…I just don’t have the correct genes to do this!

    I do have a thought about your kitchen focus day…..what if you alternated children each week so that everyone had/got to help on a focus day but not everyone was in there at the same time? I don’t know your layout but I’m thinking the kids would all want to be together and make it fun, is there any way some could sit at the table so they’re out of traffic but still part of it?

    [Reply]

  5. Gwen
    August 12, 2011 | 12:51 pm

    With kitchen we definitely take the clean-as-you-go method. I always cook/chop freeze meat in advance (ground beef, roasting a big turkey, ham, etc) so mealtime prep is always quite simple, it’s just a matter of adding a few sides or ingredients for a casserole.

    Although we have regular housekeeping a.m. and p.m. jobs we rotate who cleans off the table, deals with leftovers and empties the dishwasher (I run breakfast and lunch dishes before supper so it’s done in time for post-supper jobs).

    I’m six months pregnant with #8 so by the time supper is done, I’m ready to just SIT. So it’s nice to establish these clean-up habits with the kids already.

    Often I do the cook/freeze meat in advance on Saturday when my husband is home and that makes it much simpler.

    My oldest is 13 so I still have lots of younger ones – so he does most of the errand running for me on his way home from work. How can I complain about that?? :)

    Clutter is my biggest enemy – if you have some great suggestions on this I would really appreciate it!!

    [Reply]

  6. Karen
    August 12, 2011 | 3:46 pm

    I got this book (LFL) and love it! I’ve been really encouraged to “pull up my boot straps” and get myself and my kids on to a regular cleaning schedule. What I had tried to do before was to have a regular schedule throughout the week where I did only one or two house chores each day so that everything got done at least once througout the week – but it seemed like I still got to Friday and had to play catch up. The way Kim lays it out allows me to really focus on one thing each day and make sure that THAT gets done (plus daily laundry, diapers, meals…etc…)no matter what. And the 4 loads by 4:00 and having a “quick clean” time at 4 p.m. has really eased up the “bottle neck” that seems to happen around supper time. My husband is coming in the door to a clean house, a tidied up wife, and calmer kids. It’s changing our lives!
    I’ve never had a need to be particularly organized until now, when I find myself in the pot with 5 children under the age of four. Also, some of the ideas she gives for keeping “littles” busy have really helped. I had already implemented some of her ideas before reading the book, but she really encouraged me to see how much potential an almost-four-year old (or two) can have when it comes to chores. My boys feel quite satisfied when they know they’ve helped me, and I feel satisfied knowing I’m teaching them something they’ll carry with them for life.

    [Reply]

  7. Lisa
    August 13, 2011 | 5:30 am

    I got this book and love it! I am a lot like you in that I do laundry every day. We live in the UK and I have a tiny washer (7 kg or about 15 pounds) and a little larger tumble dryer (9kg). I have a schedule and didn’t realize it until I read Kim’s book! LOL! Every day is a certain member(s) day…Mon. my 14 year old, Tues is me and daddy, etc. The machines get a break on Friday (our family day) and of course, Sunday. I have tackled the clutter like you wouldn’t believe..it is so liberating getting rid of things that have sat in a drawer or a cupboard, unused in the 3 years we’ve lived in this house! Table chores have been great. My littles love helping now and my big kids love the help, and are enjoying teaching them. My house cleaning is finally getting better, and my husband said, What a great first week of school, the house looks great! The kids and I are BEAMING! Thanks for sharing! Finding these blogs has been a blessing!!! PS. We only have 6 kids-3 teens,preteens, and 3 littles (under 7).

    [Reply]

  8. michele
    August 14, 2011 | 10:06 pm

    I think it is up to the individual how they run the house. Each of us is different. I prefer to keep things tidy and not let anything build up for any particular day except perhaps paperwork once a week.

    [Reply]

  9. Lorna
    August 20, 2011 | 7:44 am

    I haven’t read the book, but this is what we do in our family of 9.
    Monday is floors.. vacuum and mop.
    Tuesday is wet areas… bathroom and laundry cleaning.
    Wednesday is dusting and windows.
    Thursday is clean the car and catch up on anything missed the previous 3 days.
    Friday is our town day.
    Saturday is Preparation Day where I do extra cleaning and cooking.
    The children and I do chores each morning and some again just before the evening meal to maintain order in the house and I do 2 loads of laundry daily and focus on one room (or 2 people) each day Mon-Fri. I don’t have a kitchen day as our kitchen is tiny (if you blink you’d miss it!!) and it is in almost constant use, so it is constantly cleaned as we go! :) I give it a 5 minute power clean after breakfast every morning to keep on top of spills etc…
    It generally works ok for us.

    [Reply]

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