Well, it's that time of year......the weather is FINALLY changing, so I think it's safe to pack away all of the spring/summer clothes and pull out the fall/winter clothes. I'm slowly collecting big bins and sorting clothes by gender and sizes. So far, I've got clothes somewhat sorted by sizes, but have boys and girls clothes in the same bins. My goal is to have MANY bins, one for each size and gender. This way I can grab just one bin as a child creeps into the next size without sorting through numerous sizes like I'm doing now. I'd just like to save any time and effort where I can. I'm keeping an eye out for good sales on those bins....as they can be expensive otherwise. I love to be organized and with an always growing family it seems to be an ongoing process, one that never comes to completion. I enjoy the challenge, though!
Another area in which we are doing some revamping is our homeschool schedule. I have already created a schedule being that we are well underway with our school year. But, with the addition of our sweet little baby boy, I am seeing a lack of continuity in our school day. Now, some of that is to be expected with having a new, nursing baby in our home, but I definitely feel like there are some changes in which we can incorporate into our day to make things run more smoothly.
Part of my difficulty is that Ethan is not yet on a good napping schedule. I'm quite sure the other babies were on fairly reliable nap schedules by this age. However, sweet Ethan has not settled into one yet, and when he does nap, they're much shorter and sporatic. I know in time, though, he will settle into a regular pattern and we'll be able to accomplsh more in our school day.
Aside from a non-existant nap schedule, just the mere addition of one more baby requires some changes. I don't like to have some kids wandering while others are schooling. And I don't like the TV to be the babysitter for the little ones while I'm working with the big ones. So, this will require much thinking and creativity as to how I will come up with my grand schedule so that there will be peace and continuity in our home. I am rereading Managers of Their Homes and will attempt to create a schedule that will work and make us feel like we're accomplishing something each day and not just wandering in the wilderness. This schedule will look MUCH differently than our last few, so I'm looking forward to a smoother and more efficient home in the days to come.
The one area where I have accomplished organization and efficiency is our meal planning. For the most part, I have always planned our meals and and shopped according to our menu. But now, I have completed four master menus with a master shopping list to go with each menu. Each menu covers a two-week peroid, so with four menus, this gives us two months worth of meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner). Once we go through all four, we just start over. I LOVE not having to think about what to eat or what we need at the store. If we want to incorporate a new recipe, I just make the change to the master list and it's done! Hurray!!! One area that has been conquered!! In addition, with two older girls who have been well-trained in the culinary department, mealtime has become the least of my worries, and something to enjoy!
Update: We now have eight menus along with their master grocery lists.