Monday, July 27, 2009

The laundry system that works

If any of you are like me, you find that a growing family requires tweaking the systems that keep everything running. Cleaning, laundry, cooking, etc all look different now than when I was first married. I used to do pretty much all the laundry in one day from washing to putting away. I think it was somewhere around the time that Maddie was born that I realized that wasn't working anymore. So then it became a two day a week chore- one day at the beginning of the week and one day at the end. I could still get it "done" in those two days. Add a couple more kids and homeschooling in the mix and I knew that wasn't going to work anymore either. Trying to get everything from hampers to drawers in one day was a task that consumed pretty much the entire day. I didn't want to miss out on the fun of being mommy and just focussing on being laundry lady those two days so I tried a few different things and here's what has been working really well for us:

Looks like a mess doesn't it? I know that it would drive some of you crazy to have to look at this for a few days (I don't actually enjoy that part of it either), BUT it is so worth it. So what I do now is on Mondays I JUST wash sheets. Rather than filling the first work day of the week with laundry, I concentrate on getting a good start on other things for the week. And soon we'll be leaving bright and early for Classical Conversations every Monday so I'll throw the sheets in before we go. Tuesday afternoon I sort all the clothes and start washing. I line up the baskets along the wall in the school/play/guest room and as things become dry I sort them into the baskets- one each for the 3 oldest kids, one for the 2 little girls, 1 for Pete and me, and one for towels. Wednesday and/or Thursday (depending on what else we're doing that week) I do the rest of the washing. On Thursday afternoon Peter, Kate, Maddie and I listen to Jonathan Park and fold. The goal is to get everything put away Thursday afternoon and have THREE FULL DAYS OF NOT DOING ANY LAUNDRY!
I'm sure at some point this system will fail and I'll have to change it, but I'm thrilled to have found a way to not be so overwhelmed and discouraged by all the laundry!
Okay, time for you to share how you keep the laundry chaos to a minimum at your house.


Daniel's Helpmeet said...

Sounds like you have a great system going. We revamped ours a few months ago also. Ashly does all the children's clothes and I do our and Sara's. When we hang things on the clothes line, everyone is responsible to retrieve their own. Jesica is in charge of making sure everything get ironed. It's working pretty well so far. We usually do laundry 4 days a week. It all depends. Sometimes we can get it done in 3.

brookebrownell said...

We love our new system that we learned from a famliy with nine kids: We are a little more casual about times and days, so we just cycle wash through whenever we get a moment (the girls- 6 and 3- do one full cycle every morning) and we sort them out of the dryer onto a folding table with baskets: one for each person, one for large linens, one for small linens and one for socks. We bring these upstairs to fold and put away as each basket gets full. For someone whose not really great at assigning specific days to things, this seems to keep things moving. And when you need to find something that's not folded, you just look in that person's basket. Voila!

Chrysanthemama said...

I am going to try this system out. We have a Maddi too! I love your blog and can't wait to check out more of it. :)

HeidiD in CT said...

Hi Rachel - thanks for asking. I actually got that off of another fellow blogger's site (it's been passed on thru MANY bloggers), but I don't know the origin, unfortunately. Obviously, you are welcome to copy it off of mine, I just hope all the stats are accurate!