Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Simplify-Great, But How?

I have had this little cartoon sitting on my desktop for awhile because I love it! The caption under the picture, if you can't read it says, "Today's lesson is on the Gospel in it's simplicity." This is hilarious to us Latter Day Saint women because this is so true to life! Since the birth of baby #5 I am constantly trying to figure out how to live a simpler life. I have made some progress in that area but still have so far to go! Let me give you a little list of things I have done that have worked and then if you would, I would love to hear your suggestions for simplifying-heaven knows I could use them!
#1 I put all of my boys (except baby) in one room. We tuck them all in at the same time, get family prayer and scripture time in and read from our on going chapter book (at the moment it is the Little Britches series). Many people think that putting our five sons in one room is going to stunt their growth or something, but I can't disagree more! Some have even suggested that our oldest should have his own room. Why should he and not the others? Talk about learning conflict resolution! My take on that is, will it ever be a big deal to have room mates or mission companions when they have shared a room with 4 brothers, yeah I didn't think so!
#2 We have no gaming system and just recently decided that we wouldn't turn the TV on until the weekend. Sometimes this feels like more work for mom who misses the babysitter! But, then you don't see me trying to figure out how to regulate the amount of time they spend parked in front of said objects. We do use the computer and they each get two 30 minute chips per day.
#3 My boys own roughly 5 shirts and 5 pairs of levis. They don't accesorize, there are no coordinating shirts to go under or over other shirts and they pretty much all share the messy pile of socks in our laundry room.
#4 At a recent stake conference our Stake President suggested that we shouldn't be packing tons of things for our kids to eat or do at sacrament meeting. My first thought was, "does he hate me?" But, we decided to give it a go. They are allowed to grab one book to look through quietly while they listen, but that's all. It has been so great! I am not saying they are perfect (this is 5 boys 10 and under in church mind you). But, it is quieter. No one fighting over the crayons, no spilled cheerios, no trucks being supplied with sound effects. Plus I don't have to try and pack a big old bag for church.
Anyway, that's just a few things we do that work for us. Tell me what do you do to simplify at your home?


EE said...

I really believe in the simplify Sacrament Mtg as well. When Ty was in the Bishopric we were asked to do away with snacks for our kids. We're in a different ward now but still never bring food in the chapel. It helps. And the church bag can get enormous if you're not careful. Another thing I do is get rid of toys often. We don't have a play room, so all toys have to fit in a relatively small space in the closet. I figure the fewer toys there are the less mess. I put my girls in the same full bed. Wasn't sure if this would be good or not at first, but there's only one bed to make between them and it's platform so nothing can get lost underneath. And they can snuggle if they're cold or scared. Hmm..I'm going to have to try to find a few other ways to make things simpler.

Mike and Alleen said...

Great ideas! I wish I could combine kids in rooms, but the boys don't sleep well so they'd just wake each other up 20 time a night. I love the sacrament meeting plan. My kids are allowed one fruit snack and one book and they have to sit quietly until after the sacrament or they don't get their book. They get frustrated when they see other kids with a bag full of toys that the other kids get to play with. I've found a simple chore chart helps simplify our home. My kids love chores.

Brent and Lori said...

Great ideas, H! I think this is awesome.

I don't have kids, but I'll give a couple of thoughts...

I avoid "anything that would have to be dusted" - meaning, we don't really have knick-knacks in our house. I don't really see the point. For a similar reason, we don't "collect" anything - those sorts of things always LOOK cluttered, even if they aren't.

Perla said...

its kind of funny about your boys because my life has suddenly become so much simpler now that my kids have their own rooms. it has been so heavenly now that i have things set up in each of their rooms and feel so organized on that front for once in my life. yet i totally believe you that for you that is what is perfect for your kids. thank goodness we can each get revelation for what will work for our kids. sometimes my line is fuzzy, but for now it has helped to avoid so much fighting, unhappiness, and difficult sleeping. we'll see how it goes. maybe in a few weeks it will be a nightmare and i will change it all up! i like all of your ideas. we have just recently simplified our sacrament mtgs, too. i am trying to think of other ideas but right now my only thought is to simplify, "today i will get this room cleaned and organized" as our house is pretty much in total chaos since getting the basement done. but its all good. i always love your posts, friend!

Rachel said...

Hey Heather, your ideas sound great! I don't have kids, but as a college student I definitely have a lot to organize and balance and I'm working on simplifying, too. I've been using springpad to help organize everything I've got going on - assignments, meals, appointments, dates. Check it out, I think you'd really like it!

Rachel @ springpad

Kristin said...

Good ideas! I have to say I admire you. How do you do it with five kids? My husband is already talking about our next kid (he really wants a boy.) I am just laughing at him, two kids are overwhelming me. I seriously wonder how anyone could handle more! I am pretty sure they are superwomen! I guess patience and organization is key, I need to work on those! Keep your pointers rolling!

Perla said...

ps sorry that i have the same blog background as you. but it is too cute!

Laura said...

Great ideas. I hope Talon will finally give up his snacks....but it's pretty hard to do when you have been accustomed to them for almost 16 years. Dang---he's not gonna like this, but I think you are absolutely right. (Hee-hee)

darl_jo said...

I TOTALLY thought of you when i read this this morning:

It's a new site so there isn't much on it but so far it's got a lot of good ideas.

As for personal simpification... you know from first hand that simplifcation just isn't my strong suit... i'm getting ideas though!

LC said...

Love this post!
We have our 3 girls all in the same room (think Brady Bunch). It sure doesn't leave a lot of room for toys or clothes (good thing). All of their clothes stay in the laundry room. I fold them right out of the dryer and put them on their shelf in the laundry. They get dressed and undressed in there. We have one communal drawer of socks/underwear/t-shirts. I love your 5 outfits each idea! yeah!
We just recently bought hooks for their P.J's. to get hung up.

Each girl is in charge of her "zone" each week i.e. bathroom, office, etc. and we rotate weekly. This helps me because I can't seem to keep up with the whole house. I get to check their zone and pass it off before they can play with friends.

Also, we've assigned each kid a special day of the week. (wednesday Brynnsday)That means it's their day to choose what we're having for lunch (from my limited menu), say the family prayers,set the table, etc. This could work out perfectly with your 5 boys-- you and Lindon take the weekend--ha ha!
Keep posting great ideas. You're awesome!

Scott n' Jennifer said...

Hey, Hey, Hey!

Love ya, you're brilliant!

I don't know if y'all ever heard of "flyLady". It's a website that most of the women in this community go to for advice.... She's even got a "Control Journal" (print at home) you can get from her sight that takes you through all the things that might possibly invade your life... Very easy to read and "make your own". Everyone has different ways they like to do things, so she's made it simple -

Here's the Control Journal-

Or just go to www.flylady.com

Luvs & Prayers

Scott n' Jennifer said...
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