Monday, June 21

More Hours in my Day

I grabbed an old favorite off the shelf yesterday for a browse while we were out at the beach. More Hours in my Day, by Emilie Barnes is a must read for moms. I'm realizing that now is the perfect time to be working on structuring and organizing my time and our home, before we start up lessons again and our new sweet seventh arrival comes in October and Emilie's book is a great refresher in prioritizing.
A pack of 3x5 cards and a pen handy, I skimmed through the book, jotting down what caught my attention and making a list of the things I sense God placing importance on in my life as well as practical homemaking, nesting things that have been piling up needing my attention.

I'm the type of person that gets discouraged by areas of homemaking that I can't keep up on and I find myself neglecting them further out of frustration, which just complicates and makes it worse. Laundry is one area in particular that frustrates me to no end. Because our washer cannot handle the size loads I need to get done for our family, I'm constantly running to switch loads, tote laundry to the line or tapping my foot waiting for the dryer to finish and then dumping the dry stuff in a massive pile to be attended to when time allows. Annaliese does the majority of her laundry, which is a help. Off my laundry rampage, I'm sure there has to be a better solution somewhere but I haven't found it yet.
This morning I set to work, washing a sink full of dishes first thing (dishwasher repairman due tomorrow!) and hanging out a load of laundry. I'm mercilessly scrutinizing each item as it comes from the wash and have a small pile already for give away and garage sale or swap.

Sean helped me hang new curtain rods in the girl's room, checking off another item on my list, and I began purging the boys room at nap time, pulling out a full kitchen garbage bag of broken toys, ripped books, and general garbage. That felt good.

The cupboard where our drinking glasses are stored was cleared and organized and our two glass fronted cupboards cleaned and organized as well, two more to-do's off my list.

Folks always ask what I the kids are doing while I sew or tidy or clean or bake and the answer is that they are always just nearby. The toddlers were playing with cars, then puzzles, then having lunch and the older kids were playing just outside, working on a computer game, or looking at books on the kitchen hired hands bed. Anytime they needed me, I was able to stop and tend to them and it all works very well.


Cindy said...

I remember those days when mine were young. I felt nothing was ever completely done which at times made me feel like I failed but in hindsight I'm surprised I got as much done as I did! I always remembered a Chinese proverb that says "any job left undone only gets bigger" so that's how I tried to see chores.

Esther said...

SEVENTH??? Did I miss something?
I too struggle with pulling it all together, I'm every much a all or nothing kind of girl:)

Me said...

Hi Esther, We count Natalie (or Paris or Kaleb before her) as our child while here, so Natalie is currently the sixth child in our home and the new babe will be the seventh if Natalie is still here. :)

Sandpiper said...

I love Emilie Barnes' books. It feels so good to be organized.
One thing I did this year that has helped with laundry is I made up a schedule. I do 2 family members per day(and we just had our 7th baby) and Fridays & Saturdays are for bedding & towels etc.

Anonymous said...

I love the curtains.. I like how you hung them high above the window. Gives me a great idea.. my girls room window is a problem well the wall around the window is... (lets say too many prior owners put up curtains wrong.) So the wall area around the window is done !

sue in NJ

Me said...

Cindy, great quote, how true!

Sandpiper, I like your laundry idea but I have no place to store dirty laundry while it waits for its day. Our washer and dryer are in a little closet off the main hall. Love that they are upstairs but not that there is no room for folding or laundry baskets.
I've managed to keep on top of it for the last few days, which is encouraging. :)

Sue, I had curtains hung lower in the girl's room with a tension rod but because the upstairs windows in our home are at floor level, it made the whole room feel hunched down and short. I really like how hanging them high brings your eye up to the ceiling.

Julian said...

i know. i have 4. Life gets busy, and the laundry is compareable to tackling Mt. Everest. lol
The room looks beautiful, and so do the cupboards. I went thru the little boys room last week, and threw away, and saved some away for garage sale. I am NOT a clutterbug, so it is always a big deal for me!
Nesting instinct, how well i remember. Now that I am no longer having babies, this instinct hits me at different seasons. It always makes me feel good when everything is organized. But remember to sit down, ok:) God Bless, chirstina

Joy said...

I love that Emilie Barnes book. I've been reading it since I was 10 (my mom had it), and I still get inspiration from it (and I have a 3x5 card file full of cards detailing what is in all the bins in our garage!).

Enjoy your nesting! :)

Diane said...

Slow and steady wins the race. You're doing a great job! :O)

Kim said...

I like to do a load of something heavy (jeans or towels) then a load of light weight items. We have 7 total and 4 are above 13. I know what its like to have a lot of laundry.
I also start a load before bed and early in the morning.
Pray that God will give you insight on what will "work" for your family. He is faithful and will give you wisdom on what will
Blessings to you,

Corinna said...

My Mum gave me that book years ago. I flicked through it and put it aside at the time. I think now is a great time for me to pull it out again. Perfect timing.

Patricia Bunk said...

I love the picture of your jars in the cabinet. Storing items in jars is what I love to do in the kitchen.
Since, I buy in bulk it seems I am always looking for more jars.
Have a blessed day.

Jaime @ Like a Bubbling Brook said...

People ask me, too, what the kids are doing while I'm baking and doing things around the house... and I only have two kiddos :o)

Like you, I say that they are playing nearby...or seated beside me, having a snack...or helping me with the baking somehow...

Love this post!


Karen G. said...

We went on vacation and I didn't get a chance to read your blog for the week. Just catching up now. You are a great mama to your kids! Kudos to you for working on your to do list. I am going to do the same this week....

Nurturing Faith and Family said...

for as much as you are able to get done in a day sometimes, it seems you already have more hours in a day than i have!
do you get up early? before the kids?

Michelle @ Give a Girl a Fig said...

Your daughters' room looks so pretty and have a great style.