Streamlining the Home With a Big Family: Make It Easy On Yourself



Keeping on top of kids, work, home and studying is not always easy when you have a large family although that is not to say that it is impossible. The years have taught me that the key to staying on top of as much as possible is by not unnecessarily over complicating things and by trying to stay organised.

Staying organised in the home means making the running of it as smooth as possible. Knowing who is supposed to be where and when helps to keep track of quieter and busier times (as well as when the chauffeur service will be required). A family calendar where everyone writes down work shifts, clubs, activities, travel plans and appointments allows us to keep track of where we all are at any one time. A larger household shop where all cupboards are well stocked up is carried out once a fortnight, meaning we only have to top up on the fresh goods in between and the laundry basket is worked through to the bottom every single day, preventing a backlog of dirty laundry from building up.

Just before Christmas we redecorated the living room. The aim was to make it quicker and easier to clean, given the number of people plus the two dogs. Replacing the no-longer-as-white-as-it-should-have-been carpet with wooden flooring means we can easily sweep and mop it regularly, and I don’t have to worry about washing the carpet every six weeks. Repainting the woodwork freshened up the room as a new coat of paint always does. As before, we used gloss on the lower panels, making them easily wipeable. We also removed the unused gas fire and replaced the curtains with a thermal blackout pair instead. The next thing is to replace the sofa. Despite the removable, washable covers and the repeated attempts at keeping them covered with throws, I was still spending more time and effort than I would have liked on keeping them looking good. After considering the options, I have now decided on a more child and pet-friendly replacement. My decision is to support Fenetic Wellbeing’s campaign and to save on the cost of a faux leather suite and #GoFaux.

Of course, the decision to opt for faux leather rather than real leather furniture could be for its ethical reasons in a ‘no animals have been harmed in the making of this sofa’ kind of way. However, if I am honest, the reasons behind my decision are based more on practicality and finance than ethics. To begin with, the cost of a faux leather suite is far lower than a real leather one which. When you still have many very young children and a couple of still-a-little-bit-chewy dogs (as in ‘the dogs chew’ not ‘the dogs are chewy’) under the age of two, means I have to be realistic and not expect that this is the suite that will last a lifetime. I don’t want to spend a fair amount of money on something that might well not be around for very long until children and dogs grow up a little more.

Faux leather is highly durable which, in such a busy household, is a great advantage. With so much use, we need something that will be resilient as well as comfortable. And of course, I would like it to look good.

But mainly, it is for the time it will save me on its upkeep that I am opting for faux leather. I will no longer have to spend time removing, washing, drying and replacing covers regularly as the material will be wiped down in just a few minutes every day. Smears and the inevitable bit of mud or food from little hands will not be an issue as they can be removed as quickly as they came. And when the kids fancy helping me clean (the younger children of course, the desire wears off when they hit the tweens, I find), they can each go armed with a cloth and do the job themselves! Hurrah!


This post has been brought to you in collaboration with Fenetic Wellbeing.




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