Sunday, March 15, 2009

Multiple Kid Monday...Heaping Mountains of Laundry!

For Multiple Kid Monday, I'm going to share my laundry tips. A conversation with some friends at lunch at MOMS Thursday sparked this entry. Caitlyn (I hope I spelled her name right!) was asking me about how I do laundry, clothes shopping, etc. for a large family. So I thought that'd be good material for this week! Caitlyn, this is for you girl!

Here are some lessons I've learned and some things I do to make laundry easier for a family of six...cause you know we have lots of laundry!

1. First of all, we have SEVEN laundry hampers in our home. Each child has their own hamper. Then Matt and I have one for lights, darks, and towels. We used to combine the girls' clothes into one hamper, but this proved to be disastrous for us! I spent what seemed like forever sorting through socks and panties that all looked the same size. I also match my girls' clothes often, so I had to check the tags on everything to figure out which top belonged to which girl. So about a year ago I decided to give each child their own hamper. This has been fabulous. No more sorting through tiny socks and t-shirts. It also makes it easy to use Dreft just for Grant and no one else...saves money! Having clothes already sorted saves valuable time that I saw my own mom waste as she dumped loads and sorted them. Our kids know which hamper is theirs and they all (except Grant of course) dutifully put their clothes in their hampers on the way to the bath. Ali Kate has been doing this since at least 17 months old!

2. If a child stains an outfit (imagine that happening!), we take that outfit DIRECTLY to the laundry room rather than putting it in the hamper. We stack them on the dryer (not so pretty but very practical). Then I can quickly stain treat (We're addicted to Shout Gel and the Clorox pen) and sort clothes back to their owners. This ensures most of the time that clothes with stains don't get overlooked and that I save time by not having to thoroughly look over each item as I begin a wash load.

3. On the topic of stains, I always buy two bottles of Shout Gel and two Clorox pens when I begin to run low. You never know when you'll need more! Some of the girls at MOMS highly recommended Oxyclean I'll be checking that out soon.

4. The girls help! My kids LOVE to help with housework with the exception of picking up their toys. Abby in particular will do laundry FOREVER. Even very young kids (age 2-3) can find all the socks, panties, t-shirts, bibs, etc. and put them in piles. Abby can fold towels and washcloths (a skill acquired at age 4). She enjoys this. While they don't help every day or every load, they usually do help put their clothes away. I let them put their stacks into their drawers and carry their hanging clothes to their beds. I then put them in the closet. Great training time for your kids.

5. Do it every day! I rarely miss a day of laundry, and I usually do at least 3 loads a day. Some days lighter, some heavier. I always made a new rule a while back that I will NOT run more loads until I've folded and put away the loads already clean. I don't always abide by this, but it reduces stress and folding pile-up. Nothing is more discouraging than a huge load of laundry waiting to be folded at bedtime.

6. Make it fun. For psychological encouragement, I alternate baby clothes loads and towel loads. Since it takes forever to fold baby clothes and no time to fold towels, I alternate these to keep me sane. If I have to do 3 kid loads in a row, I get so friend Jaki shares this reasoning. It works for us!

Thanks for joining my second hosted Multiple Kids Monday. I'm so excited about our new share day! For guidelines, click here. Have any tips or stories you'd like to share? Join in. I'll close the polls around 8 p.m. to prevent spamming. Thanks and enjoy!

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Ashley said...

Great post Wendy; Laundry definitely has to be managed with multiple kids; otherwise there would be clothes all over my house!!

laurenbusbee said...

Thank you, Wendy, for your great tips! I am a very inefficient launderer, so your tips were very helpful. I also LOVE how you get the girls involved!!

Caitlyn said...

Haha!! I loved it, I just read it aloud to my sister-in-law. Thanks sharing a bit or your organizational talents with the rest of us- what fantastic ideas!!!