One of the most exciting (as well as practical) gifts I received this Christmas was Large Family Logistics: The Art and Science of Managing the Large Family. By most standards our family is still small (it is just the four of us at the moment), but this book is by no means just for the large family. In fact, I don’t think you have to have kids to be able to profit from this book and the wisdom shared within its gigantic pages (the size of this book is impressive in and of itself!). What this book offers is an insider’s look into one homemaker’s methods and systems as she goes about caring for a large family. It is a textbook of sorts on homemaking, a guide to organizing your life as a homemaker. This is something that I can benefit greatly from. Yes, as the years continue to pass I get wiser in the way I do things and I slowly begin to figure things out (things that usually amount to simple discipline on my part), but how much more helpful is it to have someone show you the ropes before you become overwhelmed? Sure, some days I feel overwhelmed already, but things are tame for the moment with only two children and neither of them homeschooling yet. More than anything I want to master some basic home management skills before my family gets any larger and and I begin homeschooling (this is when hyperventilating my enter into my daily routine). This is Kim’s purpose in writing the book. Listen to her heart:
“…I found that there are many young moms who are in the same position that I was-unprepared for keeping the home with lots of children. While women historically were equipped to be the caretakers of thriving, busy households when they reached maturity, most of today’s women are ill-equipped for such responsibility. this change has happened in the wake of feminism, which teaches young women that they can have a career and be a mom. Guidance counselors in the schools encourage those who enjoy children to be teachers or day care providers. Childbearing is an experience to have after practicing with a dog or cat for a few years. I read recently that in some circles chidden are an economic status symbol along with all the accouterments to buy for them.
When the Internet came along, I met many fellow casualties of feminism. I realized that I was not the only woman who desired to be a faithful homemaker who was crying out to God, “How do I do this?” That realization caused me to begin sharing my ideas through blog writing, articles, and, eventually, completing this book for this moms who were a step behind me in my journey of motherhood and home keeping. I am motivated to take the time to write now because the answer I often heard to my own question of “How?” was, “I don’t know, I just did it.” There’s truth in that answer-there are so many things that we need to just do-but I wanted specifics. the specifics pass into the deep recesses of our minds because often they are small tips, tricks, or ingrained hap its that require little thought. My goal is to write those things down for those who are struggling with “How?”‘
And so, I have been quickly searching through this fabulous resource for the how of actively managing my family. I say actively because it can become very easy to passively manage. You know what this is like: you begin to play more of a defensive role as the home manager, constantly making up for lost time and reacting to the day rather than planning out the day and successfully accomplishing all you set out to do.
Most of what Kim shares amounts to routine and setting a pattern of living and working within your home. She shares specific systems that she uses in order to manage her own large family and persuasive reasons for doing things in a like manner. Because of this I have decided to alter my daily routines to more closely aline with the one she prescribes in her book. She follows a similar “one focus a day” approach, but makes my previous attempts at the same system look pathetic in comparison. Her goals and expectations are much more detailed and assure that she will accomplish a finely tuned home. This is something that I long for. After spending some time in the book (preparing for a new year of homemaking) I typed up some new printables to fill my home management notebook with. They follow her system almost exactly (with a few modifications), focusing on one major household task a day.
Tuesday: Kitchen Day
Wednesday: Office Day
Thursday: Town Day
Friday: Cleaning Day
Saturday: Outside Day (She refers to this day as Garden Day, but I have no garden… so yeah)
Sunday: The Lord’s Day
The biggest difference in this system to what I was doing the past is that most cleaning is reserved to one day of the week. There are daily cleaning tasks to be done, but Friday is reserved for getting down and dirty.
Also, she recommends focusing on one area of your home every week for doing Deep Cleaning (you know, the stuff you never ever do until it gets just terrible). In her family they do one thing in that area every day, but you could also do it all on cleaning day. I have decided to do it every day like she has and then catch up on Friday if needed. Examples of Focus Areas are bathrooms, living room and family room, bedrooms, etc… and examples of deep cleaning to do in those areas are things like declutter the area, catch cobwebs, dust ceiling fans, clean light switches, etc…
I also love the idea of having a day completely focused on paperwork, computer work, budgeting, menu planning and the like. This is what she refers to as Office Day and would really benefit my home management by encouraging me to be intentional and disciplined in these areas.
As the new year begins so does my prayer that the Lord would continue to empower me to serve my family well through the ministry of homemaking. I am thankful for the tips I am learning in this book and look forward to implementing more of them in the future.
If you follow Kim’s plan, or are looking forward to reading the book in the future, you can download and print my printables below for your own use. I am sure that I will be modifying them in the future as I try out this method and tweak it to better serve our family, but this is a good starting point. Please let me know if you find any typos or have any suggestions!
I can’t recommend Large Family Logistics enough. If you are looking for some inspiration and motivation for your homemaking, I would encourage you to check it out!
Also, if you are looking for some less specific printables to organize yourself with this new year, check out these Daily Plan of Attack printables.
Other printables you may be interested in:Websites and Passwords