Large Family Logistics, Our Tribal Tips

Laundry Days

278BE5AB-C3A6-4EE9-8108-0564CA54096FYears ago when I was newly married to my second husband, I was doing laundry one day for the 5 of us and I was completely frustrated, and grossed out by the huge mounds of laundry that had accumulated in my tiny laundry room. “I’ve had it” I said, “Why is there so much laundry and why am I stuck doing it all weekend?” I had an 11 year old from my first marriage and 2 new stepsons. The stepsons had major issues with toilet training right up to double digit years and they always showed up in their freshly smoked in clothes. They were dirty and they reeked. My son was always changing his clothes whenever he got a spot on him, and my hubby was working outside all day and his clothes got very very dirty. I worked about 70 hours a week outside of the house and spent all weekend sanitizing these kids and washing everyone’s clothing. I can say that I remember myself saying “I hate laundry”, on several occasions. I really think I did too.

Fast forward about a dozen years, add 5 more kids to the family and subtract a few that don’t come around too often. I was 7 months pregnant 🤰 with my 6th at the time, was expecting my first batch of hens to arrive any day. I had a broken foot that wasn’t healing and might need surgery.  I was watching the house fall apart, the laundry piling everywhere, the garden becoming overgrown with weeds, and my church was trying to keep up with some basic cleaning and bare necessities for us.  I was staring to feel down about the fact that I really couldn’t do anything as per docs orders  as I had actually rebroken the bone after a couple of weeks of healing. He told me to pretend I didn’t have a foot any more.

I had to let almost everything slide but I begged my husband to not let anyone do our laundry. That sweet hubby of mine tried so hard to keep up with it for a while too, even though he was working full time, but let’s just say that laundry really isn’t his thing.

So I rigged a way to hop my huge Preggo body down the stairs to the basement and I stared at the huge mountainous mess before my eyes. I knew it would take a while to catch up but I was determined to do it my way because I loathe  stains and wrinkles. I know they can be avoided and I save a lot of clothes from the garbage bin because I pretreat stains so they don’t  set in.

I was determined to change the way I was feeling about the huge mounds of laundry every week so  I pulled out a few home management books and started to read. I hoped that I could figure out a system. Then I called all my friends with 6 kids or more (one has 12) and asked them their systems. I did a lot of adapting because I don’t have the same amount of space that some of my friends have and started implementing some of my new ideas based on my research.

I made a lot of changes and have done some minor tweaking here and there according to our ever changing schedules. I’d like to share some of the majors so they may be of help to you.

1. Sort the Laundry

Teach your family your sorting system so it’s never just dumped in your laundry room.

Do this right away as the laundry enters your laundry room. Sort by colours and pre-treat  stains so nothing sets in. I have a majority of boys clothes so there are a lot of dark colours. I actually have seen somedark blues leech into my grays ,so I have gotten quite particular in this first step of the process. Here’s how I sort mine.

😎All grays and blacks together

💞All pinks and purples together

🙎‍♂️All navy and assorted blues together ( I find blues just never stop leaching

🐑 All bleachables Together

🐩All very lights together (creams beiges and yellows)

🛀🏻All towels and sheets together but also like colours together

2. Start your loads Monday morning. Try to get four loads done before supper

This is pretty much mandatory around here because we  are a busy family and very social and so we spend the whole weekend usually doing things away from home or entertaining other people, So there isn’t much time for laundry on the weekends. My goal is to have all of my clothes folded and put away by Friday evening so that I can be laundry free on Saturdays and Sunday

3. Fold clothes into personal baskets

We use the largest non commercial  laundry machines on the market which require the largest laundry baskets to carry the load.   These are heavy  for even this mama, so we purchased many miniature baskets from Walmart and we sort children’s clothes into their own baskets so they are physically able to carry them into their room and start putting their clothing away.  I like to bring all of my laundry baskets in the living room where the light is the best and do all of my folding there.

There is lots of room for me to spread things out and for people to come along and help if they like.

4. PUT THESE LOADS AWAY PRONTO

This may seem like a no brainer but believe me it’s easy to let things pileup but it’s best not to. Get those four loads put away before they are a few heavy to carry and you can work on your next for thos this may seem like a no brainer but believe me it’s easy to let things pileup but it’s best not to. Get those four loads put away before there if you have me to carry and you can now put a load in Monday night to wake up to it on Tuesday morning and now you are ahead of the game.

A couple of other pointers: make sure you always pre treat your stains. Spray n wash is amazing and when used  along side with Tide it can bust pretty much any stain.

Also for tough grease spots you can take dish soap mixed with warm water and rub that spot and rinse it before it goes in the wash. You may need to repeat that step a few times before it totally comes out.

Don’t let laundry get you down. It’s such a great way to love and serve your family and also a good way for your siblings to learn to bless their brothers and sisters. Do it well and you will feel so satisfied.

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