Friday, May 14, 2010

Piles and piles of laundry.

picture from Lets go cloth

I have so much laundry each and every day.  How could I not?  A family of seven.  Five beds.  Around fourteen outfits each.  Twelve towels.  Table linens.  Kitchen towels and wash cloths.  Cloth diapers.  You starting to feel me?

The only thing that keeps me from running out of my house in terror, at the piles of laundry, is my system. Not my digestive system, silly.  My laundry system. You want to know it? Buy new, throw away the old.  Just kidding.

For starters, each child MUST wear their clothes more than once unless they are visibly dirty or smelly.  The kids just spent some time with their Mimi while I was out of town with Jeff and she washed their clothes each day.  They got a little spoiled to that and were putting *GASP* clean clothes in the washer.

When I asked why, I was informed that Mimi always washes their clothes each night.  I quickly reminded them that Mimi doesn't have six kids.  Then we went back to my way of doing things.  Wear your clothes till you can't!

I also try to cut down on the amount of clothes we have, thereby eliminating the need to wash a lot of clothes.  Each child has two weeks worth of clothes; sometimes less, but never more.  Seven play outfits and seven nice outfits, including church dresses.  They usually only have one pair of pajamas, although sometimes they may end up with two.  They usually have two pairs of socks because they lose all the rest of them.  I don't know how so don't ask me.

We do NOT wash sheets every week.  HOLY COW that would take me all day Saturday. I mean, how dirty to kids sheets get anyway?  They only sleep in them.  They are generally clean when they go to sleep, right?  Well, maybe, not.  But I still don't wash them every week.  Usually once a month.  Ours may get washed more often; throw up, pee, breast milk, and ahem, other stuff.

Towels are the bane of my laundry days.  The never ending need to wash towels. Everyone has only ONE towel except little tiny ones and big old huge ones.  The other kids have their own personalized towels.  And except in the case of one child stealing all the towels to use as curtains, no one uses each other's towels.  However, we don't use paper products, except in the bathroom.  We use towels for sponges, paper towels and napkins.  If I cook something greasy, I use a towel. Need to clean the bathroom?  Wash cloth.  Wipe down counters?  Wash cloth. Clean up spills?  Hand towel.  You get me.  We use towels for all that.

We keep a table cloth on the table to make clean up easier and we use cloth napkins.  So we usually end up washing ALL of the table cloths and napkins each week.

Diapers.  Lots of diapers. I have two in diapers. So that's a lot of diapers.  It's important to wash these every other day whenever possible to keep life of the diapers longer.  And anyway, EEWWW!! Diapers stewing in pee and poop for more than a few days.  We try to always get these on the line to dry in the sun. It gets out any smells and stains. We toss them in the dryer for a few minutes to get the chrunchies out after that.

So as I mentioned.  LOTS OF LAUNDRY.  We hang laundry as time allows.

But I do have a way to get it all washed.  I assign different laundry to different days.  I use my Google Calendar to assist me in remembering, because really, who can remember anything with all these kids?

Sunday:  Day of rest.  However Kori and Kati do their laundry (together).  I've tried other days and they NEVER, EVER, EVER remember to get their laundry switched over and I wait and wait and WAIT AND WAIT and end up not getting any other laundry done that day. So, we go to Sunday, they start it in the morning before church, switch it out before we leave and fold it during rest time.  So far no one has forgotten. AMAZING!


Table Linens




Blue jeans

So that works for us.  What about you?  How do you keep up with laundry? Or maybe you don't. Maybe you feel like you are drowning in a sea of dirty clothes. EW!  Hope there's no throw up in there.  Try my system and see if helps you keep up with your laundry.

Now folding it and putting it away....that's a whole 'nother post.


Tara H. said...

I think laundry is about the worst chore I have next to cooking. I hate them both! Luckily we only have 3, but you would be amazed at the amount of laundry we have to do. My daughter and husband are very much "into" their clothes. they change clothes at least 2x per day and never put anything back I end up washing clean clothes a lot. I start a load in teh morning before work, switch it on my lunch break and fold and put away after work. As long as I do this everyday, it does not get out of hand. I could not imagine with the group you got!!!!
Hope you have a great Friday!

Stam House said...

Laundry story of my life!!! 6 loads/day days/week (Sunday is resting day)Yes we have cloth everything and my husband's small business (pizza shop) have lots of things for me to add to my daily wash!!!

So the washer and dryer and sometime clothes line are always on the go and to keep is I sometime wake up in the middle of the night to put laundry in the wash!!!!

Full time job I'll say!

Yara said...

You didnt cover the PUTTING IT AWAY
Thats the part I hate
heck, the wash my machines do
where do I find a machine to hang it or fold it & put it away???

ps my hubby is buying me a clothesline tomorrow. He just doesnt know it yet

elaine said...

I had to smile when I read your blog.(1st time) Finally I know someone who doesn't wash bedding every week! I never did unless someone had a mishap.I too,did not allow clothes in the laundry after only being worn once.(my 3 children are all married now)Blessings to you!

John, Janna, and Alana said...

I am so happy to read that you don't wash bedding every week. I have been chastised at work when the other girls heard that it's every 2-3 weeks. I agree, how dirty can one child's bedding be?!??!! Now, I have only a family of three, with one on the way, so our quantity of laundry is not as much as yours. But my husband landscapes and mows lawns on the side and is all around a stinky guy, so I have to stay on top of his laundry because they STINK!!

Carolyn said...

Just wanted you to know that I have given you the Sunshine Award! Go to my blog to get it and pass on the love!

Melissa said...

Good system!

I try to do one load every day, not counting dipers. It just depend on what is the biggest pile! Towels, socks and underwear, lights and darks. Ethan's clothes get washed seperatly. I started that when he was born and wanted all his clothes washed in Dreft but now I use the same soap (homemade) on everything except the diapers so I don't know why I still wash his cloths alone. Hmmmm maybe that should change.

Mommy Bee said...

I grew up in a big family--oldest of 9 kids. My mom did a lot of similar things to what you do--wear things more than once, washing on specific days, sheets once a month, etc. She did laundry 3 days a week though--it was an all day thing (she'd do 4-6 loads) but that meant that on the other 3 weekdays she was free to do errands or otherwise be away from home, and nothing got neglected.
I only have 3 kids thus far, but I do use cloth for everything like you do. Each kid has around 7-9 play outfits, then 1-2 dressy/church outfits, and 1-2 jammies. We've never run out of anything. I don't keep a regular schedule like my mom did, but I wash diapers 3x/wk, and on most of those days i put in 1-2 other loads as well.
I hear moms talk about how they always have lots of dirty laundry and the whole idea is just so foreign to me! I admit to often having a pile of CLEAN laundry on the couch or something, but that's because even though I'm very good at washing, I really hate folding. Go figure. LOL!!

Becky said...

I love the way we all develop our own systems, and sharing them helps us get even better ideas!

I solved the "I don't like gathering dirty clothes and returning clean ones" by assigning those chores to the kids. If it doesn't make it to the laundry room on laundry day - which is Monday, Wednesday & Friday because I don't like doing laundry enough to do it every day - it doesn't get washed. We also don't have a lot of clothes, which prevents the piles from getting too tall.

You've put together a great system. Thanks for sharing it.

Mary Q Contrarie said...

My family is not near as big as yours but I actually enjoy doing laundry and I love it on days that I can hang my stuff outside.

However I do not have a dryer so I air dry everything on laundry drying racks in the house the rest of the time.

Did you know that air drying saves 6-10% on your utility bill. That for me is incentive enough to do away with another appliance to buy and maintain.