About Me

South Louisiana
I have been married for 20 years to a great husband and we have 8 children ranging in age from 1 to 18 years. I am a homeschooling mom, which can be very challenging. I love sewing, knitting, reading, gardening and have recently started oil painting. I love to create. I really want to have a blog to show off some of the stuff I create, but I also want to share about my life and family. email me at ctrich8@bellsouth.net

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Laundry Tips

I just finished writing all of this out and realized it isn't a very interesting post LOL I am keeping it though, because it took a long time to type out! I hope it may help some of you, but if you are bored to tears reading about my laundry routine, please feel free to skip this entire post LOLOLOL Just scroll down to the bottom, I am adding some pretty new blooms from my yard, and pictures of the kids ; )

As you can imagine, doing laundry for 9 people is a monumental task. It used to leave me with a sinking feeling in my stomach every time I thought about it. A couple of years ago I had an idea that has made this necessary chore much easier, at least for me. I thought I would share, in case it could help anyone else. I still have times when things get out of hand, but for the most part my laundry has been under control for the last few years, and that is saying a lot! My method is obviously for a large family, but anyone could take elements of it to make it work for them. Also, I have older children, so someone with only young children couldn't use my tip of making them wash their own stuff! LOL

Before my epiphany LOL I used to only separate the towels from the clothes. Everyone's clothing went into a huge pile in the main bathroom. This worked fine when it was just me and dh, but as I kept adding children, it got crazy! I was never good at doing laundry everyday, I have to have days when I don't have to do any, or at least hardly any. First, all the children that were over the age of 8, learned how to wash their own clothing. I showed them how to separate the darks from the whites and how to spray any stains with Shout. Then I showed them how to put the detergent and Downey into the machine and how to set it and turn it on. They each have their own laundry basket in their room and are responsible to put their dirty clothes into it. Since they are only doing laundry for one person, they only have to wash a load of darks and a load of whites about once a week. I used to have a day assigned to everyone, but that didn't work out. So now, I look at their baskets and when I see they are getting full, I tell them to do laundry. The two older teenage boys pretty much keep it up on their own now. I am sure their wives are gonna love me : D I have had some people look at me like I am cruel or something when they hear that I make them wash their own clothes, but I don't really care. I am having them wash THEIR OWN CLOTHES for goodness sakes, I think this hardly amounts to child abuse :::eyeroll:::

So, I am only responsible for dh, Samuel, Ava and of course, myself. I also wash all the towels and sheets. This is still a good bit of laundry, so I have made this easier on myself as well. Samuel shares a room with Savannah. So, I put his clothes with hers. I have found it is so much easier to wash all of the clothes that are stored in the same room together. This way when they come out of the dryer, I bring them to the room they have to be put up in and fold them there, on the bed. I don't know about y'all, but putting the clean folded laundry away is the worst part of this chore! If everything is folded in the room it goes in, you just have to open drawers and stick it in, or open the closet and hang it up. This tip itself has made my life SO MUCH easier! I keep Ava's clothes in my room just so I don't have to bring her clothes somewhere else. I do help Savannah with her laundry because of Samuel's clothes being with hers, but she folds and puts away all of her own stuff.

I am very blessed to have a Whirlpool Cabrio washer and dryer, the washing machine has a 4.5 cubic foot capacity. This means I can fit A LOT of towels and sheets in at one time : ) I still have several loads of towels and sheets a week though. What I do is put a load washing at night before I go to bed, that way they are done in the morning and I can just stick them in the dryer when I wake up. It keeps the washer and dryer open for washing clothes during the day. I do have a load of towels or sheets to fold most days, but folding towels and sheets doesn't bother me as much as a load of clothes for some reason.

With this routine, I am only having to deal with washing clothes two or three times a week, and the older kids can't blame me if something they want to wear isn't clean : ) And in my humble opinion, it is good for children to learn to take care of their own things. I would do this even if I only had two children. I only had one brother, and I was still expected to help with the laundry and housework, and I think I am the better person for it.

Oh, I forgot to add, if there is a really nice outfit or dress that has to be washed on delicate or is just something that I REALLY don't want messed up, I have them put it in my closet. I will do a small load of delicates once a week.

Now, here are some pretty pictures to help with the boredom LOL

My only pink lilies

This is a hibiscus, Chad says it looks like a giant boobie LOL

Every morning, Samuel and Ava follow me out to the yard to see what has bloomed, they are still in their pajamas

Our recently planted green beans are just coming up, yeah we are a little late LOL

Samuel planted something in these cups, he waters them several times a day, I doubt they will grow LOL


Hannah said...

I've been mulling over teaching our oldest to participate more in the laundry process and I think I'll have a go at it this summer.

Lola said...

Thanks for your suggestions on laundry. It is one of the hardest things for me every day!
I was planning on teaching my older ones to do more of it...I'm going to start that tomorrow!

Marie said...

Call me crazy, but I like doing the laundry! I get such satisfaction when the hampers are empty and I love the warm clothes out of the dryer. I do laundry everyday, but I firmly stand behind you on teaching your older children to do their own laundry. They should learn to take care of themselves at some point...and you're right-their wives are gonna love you for it. My hubby was taught these things as a child, to help clean and do chores, including laundry and to this day he is meticulous, neat and helps me with all the household chores when he's not at work.

suzof7 said...

I have five kids, so this really helps. My kids do alot of laundry already, but they don't all do their own, so we have the basket that stays out in the living room for a week or two with items in it that no one claims.

Anyway, my only two concerns are: it seems like you'd use more water and energy doing it this way, and also; I'd like to set up a clothesline at some point, but I can't see five kids making use of it. Oh well, maybe the clothesline will be just for me.

lera said...

I still do all the laundry in my house. I don't even trust my husband to sort anymore. He and the 5-year-old are the worst offenders. We have a laundry sorting bin in our laundry room. There are typed laminated signs above each one telling the children (AND dh, who refuses to read it) where to put what. I use colors and words so even the littlest ones can use the chart. When I walk in the laundry room, I can see which bins are full and what needs to be done. I am surprised that a whole bin can fit into my washer pretty easily.

I fold the laundry and either divide the clothes into separate baskets for each child (if a lot of clothing) or sort them on my bed in stacks. They know to clear off their clothes when they see it.

I can't wash laundry at night (espeecially at this time of year) and leave it until morning. It gets musty smelling.

Tine said...

I think it's a great idea to have the older kids do their own laundry! I'll try to remeber the age, because I have been wondering when it would be appropriate... 8 sounds like a good time!
I am going to do the sorting of clothes to fold, so I fold it in the room where I need to put it away! I really don't like putting it all away, weird how that works....
We can only do laundry during the day, as we don't have our own washer and dryer....

Tonya said...


We only wash full or almost full loads. The children share rooms, so there is the clothing for two children in every load. So, no energy wasted : ) I know alot of this works only for me, because of my children's ages and how many I have.
Let me know if you figure something out for the clothesline. We hang dry a lot of our nicer clothes, but we just hang them on hangers on a rod hanging above our washer and dryer.

LOL Lera, what is it with dh's, mine never manages to get his clothes in the hamper, if he had to sort it, it surely wouldn't happen.

hautemommy said...

Ok, I only have Andrew and my laundry to deal with and I still hate it haha!! It always seems to pile up so quickly with a little boy getting dirty ALL THE TIME :) But good for you girlie!!!! Kids should learn how to take care of their own things, i completely agree and I think it is great that you are teaching your kids responsibility. Now, do you think I could teach my 4 year old to do all the laundry????? hehe jk!! :)

ladydi said...

I enjoyed your laundry tale, and didn't find it boring at all. We moms are easily amused, you know! I am ashamed to say that I still do everyone's laundry; my two adult sons, as well as Larry's and mine. The only thing I really hate about it is when I have 43 white socks to pair, but none of them match! :>}

Suzanne said...

This was fun to read, maybe I should be doing my laundry but I need all the help I can. In our family I get distracted easily so start to fold washing and then get back to it 2 days later.
Thanks for the tips.

Trish said...

A hamper in each kids room...hmmmm. Right now all three put their clothes in a hallway basket. My 9 year old can do laundry and the younger two can get clothes from the dryer. I teach them slowly, one step at a time, loading the washer and soap at the end. Thankfully, hubby is a good laundry rotation man too. He just washed up everything - Boy did I have a mountain of clothes to fold!

thriftymrs said...

Great ideas. I don't have children yet, but when I do I will certainly implement similar rules.
I did all of my washing when I was a child, when I moved away to university, so many people hadn't a clue where to start with washing that I gave them a short masterclass. lol.

Anonymous said...

Wash...it's a never ending story when you have lots of kids. I seem to subscribe to the never- ending wash cycle. My universe is out of tilt if the dryer is not humming gently in the background. I am tempted to let my girls start doing their own wash so that they know how, but I think I would miss it. Folding clothes is the only excuse I have to sit down during the day! At our house, I usually fold the clothes and put them in a basket, the girls take the basket upstairs and sort the clothes into piles on my bed according to who they belong to. At the end of the day, everyone grabs their own pile and puts it away. It seems to work. It helps that Mr. Handsome will also throw a load in or fold a dry one when it needs to be done. What a guy!

Jill said...

I taught our oldest how to do his own laundry when he was eight and our daughter learned hwen she was seven.
Our third child watched the other two, and taught himself how to wash his clothes at age five.
I will usually take care of the three year old's clothes, but sometimes I will get the older kids to help with his.
I have also used the "laundry basket per room" method. It took me a while to figure it out, but it made things so much easier.
My biggest problem with laundry is that our two middle kids like to use the laundry room as their personal dressing room, and will leave clothes all over the floor.
Thanks so much for stopping by my blog and leaing a comment!