Ah, taming the beast. I would venture a guess that MOST of us *love* laundry, no? Well, I do love laundry – instant gratification you know – I just hate folding it and putting it where it belongs!! As a busy and involved family of 7, we have a fair amount of laundry swishing through our washer and dryer each week. To make it a little easier on the two most beloved appliances in my house, behind the dishwasher of course, here’s a few things we do:
1. Monday is laundry day. No matter what. The kids gather up all their laundry and hangers on Sunday before dinner (see chore chart responsibilities HERE) and bring it downstairs. I sort it and usually do 2-3 loads on Sunday evening before we go to bed and then finish it up on Monday. Don’t kid yourself. I do more loads throughout the week, but the bulk of the job is done on Monday. I’m pretty much a hermit that day. But, I always set a goal to be done before Scott gets home.
2. We follow the following philosophy ’round these parts: Everything has a place and there’s a place for everything. The kids’ closets are organized and accessible for little hands which means that they can put up most of their clothes. Bonus! I’m all about teaching responsiblity. It may not be put as perfectly as I would do it, but they’re learning. I usually straighten it all up a couple of times a month, but it sure beats putting it all up myself.
3. Speaking of OCD tendencies, the kids’ clothes are also in rainbow color order. I know, I know. Call the geek police. It’s what happens to a girl when her dad is an Army guy. It sure does make it easier when you have this conversation with your child:
CHILD: Mom, I can’t find my red heart shirt.
ME: Did you look in the red section of your closet?
CHILD: Of course not.
ME: Do it.
CHILD: Oh, there it is.
4. Because the kids are in Catholic school, they wear uniforms every day. Can I get a hallelujah for no wardrobe arguments in the morning? Let’s see, do you want to wear navy shorts or pants? White shirt or… white shirt? In an effort to keep from washing TWO sets of clothes a day, they choose something to wear after school and they wear it all week. Obviously, if they have a sports practice, I’m not that Attila the Hun. I do wash that and they can choose something else. But, after instituting the play clothes rule, we have cut the laundry crazy way down.
5. The hook idea. A long, long time ago, a baby book I read had this really great idea. It suggested putting up a set of hooks in your nursery, near the changing table. That way, when you baby wore something but it fell into no-man’s-land, i.e. it wasn’t really clean, but far from dirty, you could hang it on the peg and wear it later. Brilliant. We now have the pegs in all the kids’ rooms.
6. Have a laundry room you love. Before, I H-A-T-E-D our laundry room. The linoleum, the horrible white walls, the no personality room. A little peel and stick “wooden” planks, some paint and a trip to the Container Store and I love it. It makes walking into our house and “Launday Monday” way more fun.
Gotta run. A load of laundry is calling my name 🙂