10 Parenting Shortcuts for Raising a Large Family


Remove the clutter

Ben Franklin knew the answer to large family clutter: "A place for everything and everything in its place." You probably agree it's good advice, especially if you've experienced the frustration of searching for wrapping paper you know is somewhere in the closet or keys that are covered by the newspaper.

Teach your children at a young age to put things back after they use them or at least sort like items into baskets to find them quickly. Have your older children pass along toys they no longer play with or books they've outgrown to their younger siblings. When the youngest no longer has interest in the items, it's time to purge. Do so regularly.

Clutter has a way of building up quickly. Commit yourself to doing a 20-minute pick up every morning to keep the clutter down. If you don't have to pick up toys, shoes, or half-eaten sandwiches off the floor before you vacuum, or remove mail from the top of the refrigerator before you dust, cleaning will be much faster.