As our family has grown, we’ve gone through many seasons of laundry schedules. When it was just the two of us, doing laundry on Saturday in a big “catch up” session worked. Depending on our work schedules, that usually revolved around a few trips to the dry cleaner each month as well. Adding in babies, well…you don’t let that sit until Saturday…just sayin’.
Laundry can generally be spaced out a little bit when your infants move to toddlers. (Except for that one kid that doesn’t like to wear a bib, but then it was easier just to strip him naked and give him a bath after meals.) However, that only works until the potty training stage and then the washer can end up being used a lot.
*disclaimer* I often get teased for my bloodhound nose. I can smell a perfectly clean article of clothing and everyone else in the house thinks it smells fine…but I can still smell the lingering smell of urine…or mildew…or something. I’m not saying everyone needs to do laundry on my schedule, that’s just how it worked in my house.
As we added more kids to the family, I was surprised to see that I was no longer sorting clothes into whites and darks. Now, there were whites, pinks (esp after that 2nd girl came along!), blues and everything else. Eventually, the colors evened back out after the kids got a little older, but now…JEANS! It’s just crazy the amount of jeans a family of 8 can wear!
When I was growing up, we did laundry mostly on Saturday. Everything was clean and put away and ready for the new school week. If something needed washed during the week, ok, but otherwise it could wait. We don’t have school outfits to worry about, but due to the sheer amount of wash a family of 8 can generate, we do some laundry every day. I’ve found that if I can stay on top of things (or my current laundry supervisor pays attention) we can get mostly to the weekend and only need to do one load on Saturday. Then all the laundry is caught up! That’s really REALLY a good thing!
There’s a problem with that though. Do you know what happens on Saturday evening? I know most of the people who read my blog and I know they are smiling and possibly laughing at me right now. I have a lot of friends with big families. They know what I’m getting ready to say.
Saturday is the day that EVERYONE gets a bath…whether they need it or not. Everyone gets ready for church on Sunday. During the week we currently rotate bath days for the younger ones. The older two – one takes a shower in the morning, the other in the evening. If we have days, especially in the summer, where they are outside and get dirtier etc, then they obvious get one then too, but Saturday…everyone gets a bath.
So that NICE, CLEAN, EMPTY laundry basket from Saturday afternoon???
And really…it’s double that because of towels and wash cloths. I’m not complaining…not anymore. I figured out how to take care of it and not feel like I’m already piled up for the new week. I’m a little embarrassed to admit that it took me this long to figure out. This probably isn’t news to anyone else, but I thought I’d share just in case.
So, here is what I do. Everything is all caught up on Saturday, or at least mostly caught up. The washer and dryer are both empty and ready for the evening bath routine. When we start baths, I put two baskets outside the kids’ bathroom. When a kid is finished and ready for bed, the dirty clothes they just took off AND their dirty PJs from the night before get tossed in one basket. Their towel and wash cloth get tossed in the other basket. When everyone is finished, The clothes get taken straight to the washing machine and put in and started. When those finish washing, I move them to the dryer and put the towels in the washer. Normally the kids are in bed when the clothes finish drying. I take them out, fold them and put them in piles on the table. (The kids put them up when they get up the next morning.) The towels are moved to the dryer and on Sunday afternoon, they’ll be folded and put away.
Again, I have NO idea why it took me so long to figure this one out, but in the last few weeks we’ve been doing this, it has made things SO much easier. I don’t like spending Sunday doing laundry and I don’t like leaving all of that for Monday because then we start the week and we’re already behind.
Now…if I could just figure out how to make the rest of the week go as smoothly!