Thursday, January 17, 2008

Organized Thursdays

This week for Organized Thursdays at Between the Worlds, the topic is laundry. What is the system that you use? Or what have you found to work the best to get "mount laundry" conquered?

When my family consisted of just dh and I, it was sooo easy to just do one laundry day a week! One day was devoted to the whole chore of getting the laundry washed, dried, folded and put away. It wasn't an unsurmountable task because it was just four loads(1 dark, 1 white/lights, 1 towels, and 1 sheets). As we have had children, I have noticed that the mountain was turning into mountains!! Having just one laundry day has come to a screeching halt! It was just getting too overwhelming to go into the laundry room and think that I will get it all done in one day! If I tried to do that I usually would get sidetracked doing something else and never find my way back into that room to even begin the laundry process.

So now what I have done with Mount Laundry is divided and conquered! We live in a 3 bedroom house so each room has its own laundry "basket"(I use plastic milk crates) for dirty laundry. Each day it is the responsibility of my 4yo to collect the dirty laundry from each of the rooms into the big hamper. Then I bring it down to the laundry room and sort it into two baskets. If it is a laundry day then I use the washer as another "basket" so that a load can be started.

My laundry schedule is something like this....
  • Monday--do two loads of laundry
  • Wednesday--do two loads of laundry
  • Friday--do two loads of laundry
  • Saturday--do all remaining laundry(usually ends up being 4-5 loads!)

On laundry days, I start a load at the beginning of the day, by lunch time one load is ready to be folded. Around lunch time, I start the second load of the day, so that by 4pm I am totally done with laundry for the day. I try not to do any laundry after 4pm on laundry days so that I can concentrate on getting dinner ready and the house picked up before dh comes home from work.

Saturday is my day to wash towels, sheets, cleaning rags and any other laundry that didn't make it thru during the week. This is basically my "catch up" day!! During the winter months, the bed sheets only get changed every other week so that helps in not having mountains to do every Saturday, and it also helps with the wear and tear on the sheets.

Now that the laundry is all washed and dried, it needs to be folded and put away! I have a laundry folding table that has 5 small plastic baskets from the dollar store for each of my kids. I fold the laundry on there. The kids' clothes get put into their respective basket and they are responsible for taking care of it! Whenever they come to me and say "I don't have any socks!". My response is, "Have you taken care of your basket?". More times than not, they will find a full basket and socks are in there for them.

Usually the rest of the folded laundry is up to me to take care of it. However, I am working at training them to help take care of the rest of the items that end up folded on the table so that the table is stacked with clothes ALL week long! I am also training my older boys to work the wash machine and dryer!

So this is my way of doing laundry. It is what has worked best for me with having 5 kids. Sometimes I wonder if I could do it a better way! Hummm...wonder what I could change?!

So what is your system? Is there something you would change about how you do laundry? Do you find yourself buried in mountains of laundry?

If you want to read about how others tackle their Mount Laundry, head over to Karen's blog--Between the Worlds!


3rsandahug said...

Training your kids to help - now that's important! I like that you have your 4-year-old collect the laundry and take it down for you. And I really need a folding table or something in my laundry room instead of having to use the top of the washer & dryer!

opheliag said...

I really like how your kids have their own baskets to take care of. What a great idea! Even my three-year old can fold some laundry and put it away. I might have to implement that to my own laundry routines. Thanks for posting. :)

Jen@BigBinder said...

I can't WAIT until my kids are big enough to really put their own clothes away. They are 4 and 2 - they try - but it takes a lot of guidance :)