The best laundry tips for large families
So I’m 4 months in of being a mom of 5. Crazy! The one thing that has threatened to snow me under more than anything is the sheer amount of clothing that has to be washed, dried, folded or hung on hangers, and put away. I’ve been honing down my method and have finally come upon a system of my idea of the best laundry tips for large families. Of course, pick and choose what you like from my list- all families are different! But for now I’m NOT overwhelmed with laundry – for the first time in a while! In fact, laundry day has become a bit of a game for me- how fast can I finish? 😉
Designate a laundry day (or two)
I’ve tried several methods- doing one load a day, doing all the girls’ laundry one day and the boys another, and then doing it all on one day. After reading Large Family Logistics and paying attention to how our weeks go, I’ve settled that for us, doing it all in one day (or two) is most efficient.
Here’s why: on “laundry day,” laundry is on my mind. It’s that simple. I don’t forget to flip loads. I set a timer on my phone in addition to my dryer’s timer and go flip the loads as soon as it goes off. I know that it’s laundry day and it’s a race against the clock to get all or most of it done that day.
I start a load as soon as I get up and keep going until it’s done. I personally chose Tuesdays because my older kids have a pretty intense homeschool day that day and we are for sure home all day.
This also frees up the washer the rest of the week for sheets and other incidentals (stomach virus, anyone?) that come along with kids. I don’t have a designated day to wash sheets- I just do them as needed.
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Don’t fold your younger kids’ laundry
There, I said it. Yes, this seems crazy, but we recently stopped folding our younger kids’ clothes. After they’re washed and dried, I have hired my 6-year-old daughter to separate them into everyone’s own baskets. She also folds the towels. Sometimes her payment is $1, sometimes it’s a brownie.
I (or my fantastic mother’s helper) folds mine and my husband’s. The kids just put theirs up unfolded because let’s be honest, that’s how they’re going to end up in a day or so anyway. I don’t like wasting time and it seemed that spending hours folding was turning into a massive waste of time. The way we’re doing it now, the laundry gets washed, dried, separated and put up all on the same day. (we do still hang their dress clothes.)
This is one thing I’ve known for years and try to do at least a few times a year. Guess what, if your kiddo has 10 pairs of jeans, most likely, all 10 pairs are going to end up in the laundry each week. If they only have 3-4, even if they wear all of them, you’re still saving half a load a week! That adds up when you have multiple children.
Don’t use cheap detergent.
This may sound like a silly tip, but cheap detergent can just cause re-washing and as we all know, ain’t nobody got time for that.
I know that good detergent isn’t cheap but buying the cheaper stuff and then having to re-wash, thus using more electricity, detergent, water, and most of all time, isn’t really less expensive in the long run.
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