Having a large family comes with the assumptions from others that I must be a slave to the laundry. Actually, laundry is NOT my nemesis. It doesn’t overrun my house, and I actually don’t mind doing it. I have even trained my four and six year old daughters how to do it and they love helping out with this chore. Many people assume that my washing machine and dryer must constantly be running to keep up with all the dirty laundry, and wonder how I manage this chore in our home with such a large family.
I wish I had some magical formula or solution to help every mother tackle the laundry monster, but really, I don’t. But, I can share with you what we do in our home, and maybe you can garner some ideas for yours.
I don’t do laundry everyday. I do laundry about every other day, and usually just one load on the days I do. That’s about 3-4 loads of laundry a week for our family of 9 – I think that’s pretty good.
I think one of the biggest factors of only doing 4 loads per week with such a large family is the size of our machines. When we moved into our house last fall, we bought the largest washer and dryer on the market. We had thought of getting two of each machine, but we didn’t have the space to accommodate that. Another factor is that when we don’t leave the house, we usually stay in our pajamas – yes, we are one of those homeschooling families that likes to school in our jammies – therefore, creating less dirty laundry.
Here is our cozy laundry room. It is on the second floor of our home, which sometimes makes laundry a little more convenient as far as carrying loads of laundry goes.
This rack is in a little niche across from the laundry basket shelf. All of the dirty clothes go in the hanging bags. The kids are really good at putting their dirty clothes where they go, however, occassionally I will have to do a dirty clothes round-up from the bedrooms. We also have a dirty clothes hamper in our master closet; when that gets full, I take it to the laundry room and that’s usually when I do one of my loads for the week. I also use the rack to hang clothes that I don’t want to get wrinkled – I will put them in the dryer for about 15-20 minutes and then take out anything that needs hanging. I don’t have set days that I do laundry, I don’t iron, and I don’t sort clothes before washing (my mom thinks I’m weird).
It’s not a perfect system, but it works pretty well for us. Do I have days, or even weeks when laundry is spilling out the laundry room door? You bet. Are there days when I have kids come to me and say they don’t have any clean underwear? I sure do. But I give myself grace, just as God does, when I get a little behind in the laundry, or any chore for that matter. The little people that wear those clothes and the time you spend with them is far more important than piles of dirty laundry.
That’s pretty much it. Maybe I’ve given you some ideas to help you streamline the laundry process, or maybe not. But hopefully I have at least satisfied some inquiring minds. Do you have any laundry tips or tricks to share? Please do in the comments.