Posts Tagged ‘Family Closet’

Flylady and Snow Days

December 9, 2009

I had the best day yesterday! First, because of the snow, everyone was home all day (except Amelia, Stephen and Levi, of course). Since quality time is my primary love language, just having everyone home to interact with and talk to all day was heavenly. Oh, my! What bliss!

Second, I got to complete a chore that I have difficulty chipping away at 15 minutes at a time: entirely switching out the seasonal clothes for everyone. I love our Family Closet and the way we have all of the clothing (current- and out-of-season, fitting- and waiting-to-be-grown-into) in one, easily accessible, clearly visible location. Theoretically, I should be able to grab the box of winter, size 6, girl’s tops and just plug it into Charlotte’s tops slot. Inevitably, though, there are tops in there that fit the last wearer (Lydia, in this case), but just don’t work for the current wearer. (This example is perfect because Lydia is very, very slim and Charlotte is of average build.) So, I really need to quickly go through each box as I trade it out and make sure that the clothing in it will work for the current wearer while filling the Goodwill bag with the rejects.

Because all of the kids were home, I could start at the top, passing down out-grown clothing that had strayed from its appropriate box, double-checking for fit, etc. If I were to try to do this 15-minutes at a time, it would take me, let’s see, twenty-two sessions. In between sessions, those clothes that were being passed down would be sitting somewhere in the Family Closet room. When I finally got back to them in the next session, I would forget where they were supposed to go, or they would have been strewn about by some innocent by-stander. I’m not saying that someone else with better memory couldn’t do this task 15-minutes at a time, I’m just saying that I can’t do it efficiently in spurts. SO, Joey and I had already planned to do this on a day when he was home and could supervise and tend to the small folk while I focused on this job for several hours. That day was yesterday. Everyone’s clothing is now tidily returned to its appropriate spot and the Goodwill bag is ready to be delivered.

The third thing I got to do yesterday was listen to Flylady’s 10th anniversary show on blog talk radio. Usually, I would have been at Jazzercise during the show, but, due to the snow, I was, obviously, home. That was the first time I’d logged in to the show. For some reason, I thought our slow internet connection would make it no fun to listen to, but it was as clear and consistent as any regular radio reception. (I’m probably showing my ignorance of technology right now!) It was fun to hear people’s comments and to participate in the chat. I’m going to try to participate more often, now.

The fourth treat of the day was more Family Fun. After supper (and after I had practiced my piano part for the church Christmas program — that’s a 15-minutes-at-a-time project, for sure), Joey got out the Bingo game. Oh, my. You should hear Anne holler out random letters and numbers and squeal. It’s hilarious. So, the day ended with everyone (except Amelia, Stephen and Levi, of course) gathered around the table playing Bingo and laughing.

I love snow days!


A Little Laundry Experiment

October 17, 2009

It works best for our family for me to do all of the laundry, so I am always thinking about ways to streamline the process. Washing, drying, folding and putting away clothes for 11 people (now that Amelia is in her own little home) is potentially time-consuming. But, we’ve implemented some pretty great ideas through the years that make the whole chore less daunting.

For example, all of our clothing is contained in one room that we call the Family Closet. I have a 20-foot-long wall of heavy-duty shelving that holds seventy-eight 58-quart plastic storage bins that serve as our “drawers” for our seasonally current clothing as well as storage for our out-of-season (or waiting-to-be-grown-into-by-the-next-sibling) clothing. My washer, dryer and folding table are within steps of this wall and that makes it very easy to keep Mt. Washmore under control.

Well, I have greatly digressed because what I was going to describe was a little experiment that we did the other day. I had noticed that I was spending a considerable amount of time turning the kids’ shirts right side out to wash them. So, after supper the other night, I brought out 20 shirts from the dirty clothes that were turned wrong side out. I gave each child ONE of his or her shirts and I kept a pile of 10 shirts. Joey then timed each child (and himself) as he or she turned his or her shirt right side out, not rushing or racing, just keeping a natural pace. The average time was about 20 seconds.

Then, Joey timed me as I turned all 10 shirts right side out. Now, I am an expert, right? So I was pretty dexterous at my job. But, still, it took me two and a half minutes to turn every shirt right side out. The older kids quickly realized that I then spent about 30 minutes a week turning shirts (pajamas and t-shirts included, basically two per person per day, 6 days per week) right side out. That added up to 2 hours per month or, obviously, 24 HOURS per year. A whole day!

Let’s just say that I haven’t had to turn any shirts right side out since we came to that conclusion. Don’t I have some clever children?