Monday, November 10, 2014

Laundry & a Large Family

You know what's a fact about large families?  With more people wearing clothes each day, the laundry pile is never bare.  As soon as I think I'm all caught up, it's time for eight people to change into jammies and woolie-oop, the washer is full again.

It's a never ending battle I'm telling you! 

But through the years, I've learned some tips and tricks for keeping the laundry monster at bay.  Here are some of them:

*Doing a load of laundry means washing, drying AND putting it away...

I really struggled with that last part for years.  We'd have a large pile of clean clothes (unfolded) that we'd be digging through to find the shirt we wanted.  Our drawers would be nearly empty.  And when I got the urge to put laundry away, it took at least an hour. 

There was a better way.  It involves enlisting in the kids' help in putting away laundry.  It now gets folded immediately after coming out of the dryer, and hangs out in baskets until afternoon chore time. 

This allows all of the laundry for the day to be put away at the same time (avoiding lots of trips upstairs and waking up a sleeping baby or disturbing school time), but keeps the clothes from getting food all over them or something while waiting to be put away. 

During chore time, I put away Simon and Owen's laundry, along with Bryan's and mine, and any towels.  Ellie puts away hers, Jeffrey tackles his and Jayme does hers and Sydney's. 

Having help is wonderful!

*Washers and dryers don't stand up well to abuse....

Our washer has broken several times, especially in this past year.  Thankfully Bryan has gotten really adept at trouble shooting and fixing it! 

But, it helped me to remember that just because I CAN shove so many clothes in the washer doesn't mean I should. 

I also need to give the dryer a break.  It usually runs longer than the washer each cycle, so by spreading loads out a bit, I can give each machine a little break between cycles. 

*Hanging clothes up on a clothesline makes them smell so good! 

I really enjoyed using the line more this summer and early fall, and look forward to using it again next year.  There's nothing like crawling into sheets at night that smell like sunshine! It also kept the dryer from being used, and heating the house.  Money saved on electricity was also nice!

*Limiting the number of clothes used is important

Little kids (especially my little girls) love to change clothes.  Dress up, just trying something new, etc.  All of that can lead to a huge pile of laundry.  We keep clothes changes to a minimum, and try to only wash things when they are dirty. 

That said, we do dress up a lot, and keep our dress up clothes separate so they don't need washed each time!

*Clothes with evidence of farm chores get put in a special place, and washed ASAP!

A fall in chicken poop, clothes that stink like cow poo or socks that discovered a hole in a rubber boot....yeah--those are gross!  Life on a farm can be stinky sometimes.  It's important to not let that smell permeate ALL of the dirty laundry.  We try to keep the washer open during chore time for throwing those stinky things in.  At the very least, we keep an empty basket. 

What tips and tricks have you picked up over the years for tackling laundry.

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