Saturday, August 13, 2011

Laundry, Laundry and More Laundry

So with 9 kids who don't do laundry and a husband who only does if he needs something, I was excited to read an article on laundry on the circle of mom's website that had ideas laundry routines.

Here is the article:  (my comments are in black and my comments are made for a family of 11.  I know I am not normal.  So even if I put down an idea, that doesn't mean that it won't work for your family.  I would love to hear your laundry routine.)

Wash, dry, sort, fold, repeat, repeat, repeat … sound familiar? The never-ending deluge of dirty clothes and linens can easily be overwhelming. To help get your wash routine under control, we’ve rounded up 10 mom-recommended laundry tips for an efficient system.

1. One Load Per Day

“A load a day keeps chaos away,” says online housekeeping coachFlyLady, and many Circle of Moms members couldn’t agree more. Aiming to compete one load of laundry per day can prevent huge pile-ups and stave off laundry-related stress. As Sarah H. shares: “I make it my goal to do ONE load a day…By doing at least one load a day, I find that I don't really get behind.”  (I love FlyLady, don't get me wrong, but this is a great idea for only 1 or 2 people.  Throw any kids in the mix and you will be forever buried if you only did 1 a day.  I do about 5 loads a day.  Some days I am busy or lazy and I don't do any.  But then some days I do 10 or more.  So this tip is closest to my laundry routine.)  

2. One Day Per Person

Assigning a different day of the week to each family member’s laundry is another way to keep the washroom under control. As Pene M. explains of her seven-person laundry plan: “Each person has one day assigned to them to do their laundry. This includes their towels and bedding. If they don't do it on their day they can do it on another day after that person is finished.”  (This just sounds like chaos to me.  This would work if you have teenagers or older.  I don't think my 2 three year olds are going to have an easy time reaching the buttons.  There are not enough days in the week for me to do this.  Maybe 2 people a week, but then every single day I am washing sheets or every single day I HAVE to do laundry.  What if I am sick?  There is no leeway. You would just be behind.  This idea would not work for my family.)   

3. Separate Loads for Each Person

If your kids are young, delegating wash responsibilities may not be an option. Still, divvying up loads by person may work, as Shannon G. shares: “I do each child's laundry separately. That way when it comes out of the dryer, I can fold it and put it in the right room.”   (This also is a no-go for us.  My kids are regular, messy kids.  Sometimes their pants end up in the playroom, their shirt in the bathroom, one sock outside and the other under their bed.  So just finding someones clothes to keep it sorted is just not an option for me.  I do see if you were an organized person with 2 kids that this could work, but I am to unorganized.  bummer.  I think I would like this one.)

4. One Epic Laundry Day Per Week

Could you do the entire week’s laundry on one day? Moms like Kandi K., a mother of three, find one blow-out laundry day—supplemented by a few loads throughout the week—is an efficient system: “Wednesday is laundry day here and that's an all-day event! Then I usually need to wash 1-3 loads throughout the week...That includes work, school, play, baseball clothes and the 50 times in a day I have to change my two-year-old’s clothes!”  (This was my method up until after I had child 4.  Back in the day, Thursday was must see tv night with friends, survivor and CSI so I would wash all of our laundry then put the kids to bed and sit on the floor and fold all the clothes into piles while watching tv and put them away in the morning.  But after kids #5 it got to be too much laundry so I had to start doing some every. single. day. uggg.

5. Schedule a Category Per Day

Assigning various items to different days is another system that works for many moms. Danielle M. breaks down the details: “Each day I wash something different. Monday is whites, undies, socks. Tuesday is jeans and darks. Wenesday is reds, browns, yellows and khakis and Friday is towels, sheets and blankets."  (Way to organized for me.  I wouldn't remember from 1 day to the next what I was supposed to do.)

6. Fold Immediately

Yeah, we know it’s hard. But tackling laundry-folding when the clothes are freshly dried one of the top laundry tips offered by Circle of Moms members. Jenny S. shares: “I always fold the laundry as soon as I take it off the line or it’s dry from the dryer. I just pause anything else I’m doing and just quickly get it done. If my husband is around i get him to stop what he's doing to help.”  (This is part of my plan but doesn't necessarily happen.  I have a table set up in my laundry room with baskets so when the laundry is dry, I fold it and put it in that persons basket.  Then they can never put it away and treat their basket like a changing area until I lose my mind because they are knocking their clothes in to someone else's piles.)  

7. Folding Parties

Other moms make folding into a family event! “We take all the clean clothes to the TV room, turn some music really loud and fold all the clothes together,” says Angie C. “It's kinda like a clean clothes party—and the kids really get into it." (Maybe, but then the TV room would have to be cleaned and vacuumed and you have to have kids home to do it.  I hear a lot of complaining and trips to hide out in the bathroom.  It might work for a week or two!)

I am having a flash back to living in Married Student Housing at BYU and pushing my double stroller with 3 giant bags of laundry and 2 kids sitting on top of them up to the laundry mat.  Oh, such fun memories.  

8. Re-Use Towels

Are you running several loads of towels each week? Re-think your family’s towel use, advise moms like Kathy P.: “A towel can be used several times...after all, you are clean after a shower when you use have each family member use one towel at least twice, hanging it up to dry after each use, preferably in their rooms.” (We tried this. But then Mr. Not Me pulled the towel rack in the kids bathroom off the wall and I haven't fixed it yet.)

9. Division of Labor

With older kids, why not get everyone involved? Sarah H. stations laundry baskets in each kid’s room and requires them to bring full baskets to the laundry room, while Karen L. taught her kids to do their own laundry at age 12!  (Age 12 is when my kids get busy.  Plus I am kind of picky about drying thing and making sure I get stains out.  This sounds expensive.)

10. Amazing Sock Solution

One of our favorite laundry tips is Kerri D.'s system for keeping socks connected to their partners: “Each person has their own lingerie bag to put socks in!  Makes it sooo much easier to keep them together and matched." Lingerie bags for each family member's socks? Genius!  (I would like this, but as soon as the socks come out of the package, they are no longer matched. I do need to figure something out with socks.  We have tried initialing them, a boy box and girl box, lots of things, but I have yet to figure out how to make the whole sock thing easier. I don't think my kids would do this longer than a week.  But I think I might try this.)

So, what are your strategies for laundry?  I would love to hear your routines.   Pretty Please with cherries on top will you comment?

Here is where I found the article.


Anonymous said...

I heard Marie Osmond (who has like 8 kids or something) say that if she gets behind, they load up and do several loads at a time at the laundry mat. Might be annoying to cart it somewhere else but it would be nice to get it all done in one shot!

Anonymous said...

Socks...they are a problem for any family, I have a pile of singles from every family member, there is only 4 of us, and I have NO idea where the mates are! Melissa you need 2 washers and 2 dryers! Simple but expensive solution.

rubyann13 said...

I have a hard time with just the seven of us. We have boxes of mismated sockes, I have tried matching before washing and pinning them together with a safty pin sometimes this works.

Jen said...

for the socks, it was a little expensive at first, but I got rid of all the random socks and I only have one brand and style of sock. There are two sizes, one for bigger kids and one fore smaller kids. Makes matching very easy, and it doesn't matter if we lose one because they are all the same.

Anonymous said...

I like Jen's idea on socks