An important part of large family logistics is time management. Having said that, laundry seems to be one of the major complaints of mothers. I am frequently asked how I manage the endless mountain of laundry that is ever consuming. Well, I don’t know if I can say “I manage” the laundry. Laundry and dishes appear to regenerate the moment you walk out of the room. I have taken steps to try to control the chaos.
1) Minimum 3 loads per day (we average five). I do wash towels after each use and we change out hand towels everyday. This is not something I’ve always done. Growing up we used jeans, towels and pajamas 3 times (as long as they were ‘clean’) before washing. We decided to wash towels after each use in an effort to minimize germ spread. Linens are washed weekly, Pajamas every 3 days.
2) Storing off-season clothes (this removes temptation and simplifies clothes organization).
3) Storage organization (THIS IS HUGE)! We have totes labeled with size, sex and season. IF (focus word) you take the time to KEEP it organized in this fashion, your season change out and hunting for a warmer jacket will take 30 seconds, not 30 minutes.
4) Limit of 20 hangers per person. I have found that closets full of clothes is simply too much temptation for little ones. After spending hours washing, folding and hanging up clothes, you walk upstairs to find that your precious littles have emptied their closets into a mountain. Clothes have been trampled and perhaps pee’d on my your toddler. Fantastic! Placing the 20 hanger limit on our closets (husband excluded) has greatly reduced the amount of laundry, wear and tear and time spent organizing. Each child was given the opportunity to choose which items stayed. The rest was placed in storage, donated or recycled. Now, I admit to supplementing their choices. If they had picked a cute t-shirt, I may have placed a long-sleeve button up underneath. The reason that my husband is exempt from this household rule is because he has work clothes and everyday clothes…and well, he likes clothes. I think he owns 20 hoodies. The message here is, choose your battles wisely.
In case your curious, here is what is in my closet:
- 3 shells
- 3 t-shirts
- 6 button down long-sleeves
- 8 skirts
We did purchase dressers this year (this is the first time the children have owned dressers). Mine is used mostly for storage, but this is what is looks like:
- pajamas and swim suits
- 6 sweatshirts/storage
- 2 pair sweatpants/storage
How functional is your laundry system?