I am following in Linny's foot-steps, at http://www.aplacecalledsimplicity.blogspot.com/ and devoting my Saturday posts to ideas for living simply while managing and organizing for a large family. While I have much room for improvement in this area, I have also learned from others as my family has grown to 11! I'm afraid I often see the idea of living simply as a contradiction to being thrifty and prepared. In my mind, living simply means that you just pass on your children's clothes instead of storing them for the next child; being thrifty leans to the idea that you save and store in order to avoid re-buying. Of course, I don't think Dave Ramsey and simple living have to clash, so I am going to do my best to balance continuing to get out of debt, being prepared for the future and living simply.
I'm not sure the path all my Saturday posts will take but I am going to incorporate my best big family organizational ideas. I will label the Saturday posts - living simply, so a search should produce all the organizational ideas for anyone who is searching just for those.
Here's one idea that has evolved into a great system at our house - it's a shoe holder for hats and gloves. For several years, we dug through a box in the coat closet. Then I bought a shoe holder, but everyone dug through each pocket, leaving a pile under the holder. Now everyone has two pockets - one for a hat and one for mittens. (Actually, you can fit more than one pair in a pocket if you'd like.) I simply wrote the names on the pockets and no one has any need to dig in anyone else's pocket. Not only is it much simpler for each person to find what they are looking for, I automatically know who's to blame if there is a pair thrown on the floor.
Since it's now summer, I was considering packing up the hats and mittens and reusing the same shoe holder for summer hats, swim goggles and floaties. The top pockets are also perfect for sun-screen and bug spray right by the front door.
I do keep a rubbermaid container of less-used hats and gloves in my storage room, like snow gloves, etc. Any other ideas in this area, anyone?