Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Works for me Wednesday - Laundry for Ten

With six Blessings and four adults sharing one washer and dryer, laundry can pile up fast. Here are a couple things that have worked for me (inspiration thank-you's to Managers of Their Homes and to a fabulous mom of 10 who spoke at our homeschool support group meeting last year).

** Each child has a dirty laundry drawer. Not in their dresser (yuck!), but the plastic kind you can stack atop one another. So there's a stack of three in the girls' room and three in the boys'. I printed out a picture of each child (about 3" by 3"?) and packing taped them to the front of the drawers (yes, if I were really a cool homeschooling Mama, I would have contact paper, but somehow that never gets in the cart...). Anyhoo, the pictures make it super easy for each child to know which drawer is theirs, even the non-readers.

** Each child has a laundry day. The two oldest (who are boys) do the laundry for the two little girls, cause it's easy to sort. So, Monday is D and G, Tuesday is B and K, Wednesday is E, Thursday is E. I try to wash sheets on Friday, if they haven't been snuck in during the week.

** Adult laundry, along with towels and such, gets snuck in when the Blessings aren't doing their laundry - often in the evening or first thing in the morning.

Note - I don't manage to do this consistently every week. But when I do, it makes a huge difference! Hope that helps someone out.

EDIT - I've added an additional thought here.


Larae said...

This is a great tip, thanks for sharing it!

Rachel said...

I love the idea of the pictures and the plastic drawers! brilliant!


shawna said...

Sounds like a good plan!
MK told me the other day, "mom, if you got all the laundry done, then you would just have to do one or two loads a day, and it wouldn't be that big of deal at all!"

I had to laugh, because yes, that is true, but when it comes to practice, there are so many variables!

voni said...

hmm.. Ive never thought to have my older children show there younger children how to do their laundry. Does it really work? Do the clothes really get cleaned and put away? How did you start this? Laundry is a very frustrasting chore for me. And I'm only doing it for six.

Laurel said...

It really does work, though it depends a lot on how consistent I am with reminding them to get their laundry in. Mind you, I'm not one of those moms that has to have everything absolutely perfect, and quite frankly, if they don't have enough for two separate loads, I have them throw almost everything in at once. {Laurel listens for the gasps of horror} I suppose there's the chance that someday they'll ruin all the whites that way, but at this point, they don't have clothes that run. I should think more on that sorting thing.

One thing that might help you work toward them doing the laundry is to start with the oldest, teaching her first. You could have the other two be learning to put their own laundry in their individul spot (and the drawers are a dream!), and you could still do it on "their" day. Once the first one can take care of hers independently, you can move to the next.

If you try it, let me know how it works! When I started this with my Blessings, the older four already had a pretty good gasp of laundry-stuff, so the learning curve wasn't very steep. I just needed a system, because we couldn't get to the toilet (the washer/dryer are in our one bathroom, lol). :-)

Happy Mt Washmore conquering to you!