February 21, 2006

Laundry - Part One

Roberta asked me to share how I do laundry for my family since I have 12 children. So, this post is about my laundry strategies. What works for you and your family may be different. This post is NOT about how you should wash your clothes, how to fight stains or what the best detergent is, etc.

**Warning! This is going to be LONG, some might even say loquacious!**


My best kept laundry SECRET is:
I DON'T DO THE LAUNDRY FOR ALL 14 OF US!

I am a firm believer of working smarter not harder. I would never have time to blog if I had to do ALL the laundry! (ha!). I also do not pay someone to do our laundry, in case you were wondering. I didn’t start off using this system, back when I had only one child either. That would not have been possible, as you will see. I hope to show you, gentle readers, how having a vision for the future and training your children all along is a investment that pays off well!


BASIC STRATEGY’S

Strategy #1: Clothing Choices
~Girls~

My girls wear mostly dresses with either tights or shorts underneath. For a while I was finding lots of jumper style dresses that needed shirts worn under them when thrift store shopping. These certainly look really cute and a basic jean jumper can be used with several shirts for different looks. The problem is that the amount of shirts and jumpers really adds up per child. Also, more time is needed to match up shirts to go with the jumpers. (I’ll write more about this in Part Two). Because I have five girls (age 8 and under) I have found that one piece dresses are best. My girls really only need approx. 8 regular dresses and maybe 1-2 fancier dresses for special occasions/church. Whether they have fancy dresses really depends on what I find at the thrift store—I don’t buy anything like that new. Because I can’t always find the amount of dresses I need for my girls in the LENGTH that they need (below the knee) at thrift stores I also look at Ebay and will buy dresses when they are on sale or end of season clearance at Land’s End. Five or six pairs of shorts, tights and pj’s , nine pairs of undies, socks and a slip or two complete their wardrobe needs.


~Boys~
Boys are much less complicated in the clothing department! We usually have 2 pairs of jeans and 3 pairs of shorts for the older/teen boys. The younger boys have a combination of jeans and cords (mostly hand-me-downs as this age group does not wear out the knees!) and several pairs of shorts. They all have approx. 8 short sleeve shirts, a few long sleeve shirts and a sweatshirt or hoodie that can be worn over a short sleeve shirt in cold weather. Underwear, socks and 5 sets of pj’s and the boys are set.


~Babies~
All I’m going to say is that I have more baby clothes than I can ever use. I regularly go through my clothes boxes and weed out clothes that have gotten so old the elastic is shot, is too stained, or is just so out of style (my oldest is 20 and some of his baby clothes are still around!) that I wouldn’t use that piece of clothing again. People have been so generous to bless us with hand-me-downs, plus being blessed with new baby clothes when a new baby is born! I don’t pull all we own out for each size as a baby grows. Just enough to get by with. When I can’t close a clothing storage box (we store them by gender and size)
because it is over full, it is time to go through and bless someone else with some of our bounty.



Strategy #2: When Do Clothes Go Into The Dirty Clothes Hamper?
OR– “Don’t put your pj’s in the hamper yet, you only wore them one night!”
Yes, it is true. I have come to believe that clothes that are not soiled and do not smell can actually be worn more than once. Teenagers do not qualify for this strategy at all! (They will say it doesn’t have spots or smell, but they are WRONG most of the time) For the pre-adolescent crowd, clothes
that meets the no smell, no stain criteria go back in the drawer or closet. This mostly applies to pj’s, shorts and pants. I also have to remember that clothes get dirty faster in the summer than the winter (we don’t go outside much in the winter, living in the northwest).

Strategy #3: A Dirty-Clothes Hamper In Every Bedroom
We use two types of hampers. Bedrooms with younger children use a basic Rubbermaid hamper. Older children and hubby and I use the sack type that attach to a plastic tube frame. The older boys get a sack each for their clothes, and I use two sacks to separate whites and darks for mine, hubby and the baby’s clothes. The beauty of having a hamper in each room is that at folding time things like socks are easy to match up because only one bedroom worth of socks is in one load at a time. I will go into this more in Part Two.


Strategy #4: Laundry Day
I set aside one day each week to do laundry. My day is Saturday, because it isn’t a school day and it is a day my husband works every week, so I’m not taking up one of the days he is home working on laundry. Each of the older children who does his own laundry also has their own laundry day. That way we are not fighting over the washer and dryer the same day.

The day I do laundry is flexible. If I know I am going to be doing something on Saturday, I will do laundry on Friday instead. I always move laundry day back a day, not push it farther out if I have to make a change. Also, when life is a bit on the busy side, like now with a newborn, I will start the laundry on Friday night. I will have one load in the washer and one in the dryer when I go to bed Friday night. That gives me a faster start on Saturday and allows for more interruptions to nurse a baby throughout the day. I do two loads of clothes for my hubby, baby and I, and the girls room laundry which is another two loads, plus a load of towels after baths Saturday evening.

Strategy #5: Who Does Laundry?
Remember my secret above, that I don’t do all the laundry? Starting at about age 8-9 I teach the children to do their own laundry, or the laundry for his/her room if he/she shares a room with younger siblings. The child will have watched me do laundry and helped me or an older sibling do it for several years by this point so doing it on their own is no big deal.

On Saturday I wash, dry, fold and put away the clothes for myself, hubby, baby and one load of towels. Also on Saturday my 8 year old daughter washes and dries the clothes for her room (herself and three younger sisters) and I help them fold the clothes. They put their clothes away. My 14 and 11 year old sons (who share a room) take turns every other week washing and drying the laundry for their room and for their younger brothers. Then each person folds his own laundry, except that the 14 year old helps out the 5 year old with folding and is training him to fold on his own. My 17, 18 and 20 year olds are responsible for their own laundry and have been for years.

Strategy #6 - Laundry Is Fun!
I am a firm believer in using the unique window of opportunity that is present in every child from about 1 year of age to 4 years old. Give or take six months depending on the child. They WANT TO HELP MAMA! And daddy too, but we are talking about helping momma right now. When my two year old wants to help put the dirty clothes into the washer (a front loader) I let her. You can be sure she will be right beside me when it is time to transfer them into the dryer and again to put them into the basket. She loves to push the clothes basket to the living room for folding. She will hand me clothes to fold, bring me hangers and can carry her dresses that are on hangers up the stairs for older sister to put in the closet. My four year old also helps in these same ways. She especially likes to pour the detergent in and push the start buttons on the washer and dryer. Can you see how easy it will be for her to do this all on her own in a few more years?

We use this strategy with all household chores by training the young ones while they think it is fun. Then, when they are a little older it is perfectly natural for them to do it on their own. We are careful to start out 3-4 year olds on the family daily chore chart with chores suited to their capabilities.

(Please let me know if you are interested in reading about chores for little people. I could write on that topic next if there is enough interest. You can post a comment below or use the link on the right side of the page to email me directly)

********************************
This is the end of part one. Stay tuned as I will do a step by step photo essay of a typical Saturday laundry day for Part Two.

49 comments:

Roberta said...

Great post Jerri!
It helped to know what aspects of our laundry and what needs fine tuning.
Thanks, I may have a few questions when I have a chance to type with 2 hands. :)

Roberta said...

see what happens with one-handed hunt and peck?! "It helped to know what aspects of our laundry"...are working.

The Davenport Dozen said...

LOL! The one handed typing is so hard to do! Can't wait to read your questions. I just hope this all made sense. Hope I didn't put anyone to sleep that read it! LOL!
~jerri

Jenni said...

I love it Jerri, we do one of these stages at our house at a very much smaller scale. The boys help me pick up clothes every morning and night (they are almost 3 and 16 months with another on the way in a couple weeks). We only have one basket in the boys room and at this point all the clothes go in there so it's simple for the boys to remember where they go. Then When the basket is full, usually every other day I wash and they take turns helping me put clothes in the dryer. They love having a "job" and I love that they are learning to help on a regular basis. Thanks for the entry, it's encouraging to see it work for big families. We would love to have a big family, but one baby at a time is what we tell people :) Or two if God sees fit!

Blessings! Jenni
chrisandjenni.com

The Davenport Dozen said...

Jenni,
We always said "one at a time", until baby number 8 turned out to be baby number 8 and 9! LOL!

It is so wonderful to see the little ones feel so needed and be mama's helper! Their eyes just light up!
~jerri

Jenni said...

Yes, it takes a little extra time to include them especially when there are two little ones and now three, we fast moving gals (or used to be) have to decide that it's okay to slow down a bit and not get quite as much done in a day! It's definately not a "career" feel but refreshing when we take time for them and we are all still happy when daddy comes home to a clean home :)

Roberta said...

I had a feeling you were pretty organized too Jenni when I saw pics of your moving boxes. :)

MamaK said...

Awesome idea, Jerri, with your new blog.

I'll check in often.

As for laundry, we are finally remodeling (turning a bedroom into a laundry room) so we'll see how everything works, and I can implement other ideas as needed. As it is, I'm excited for the job to be done, so that I can launch into my new system!!
:-)

~Karen

Jenni said...

I used to be a lot more organized when I was just taking care of myself, there are so many variables with having a husband and children. I remember talking to a real organized lady who had two little ones and she talked about how depressed she was that she couldn't seem to get it together, and me thinking that she was overreacting. But now I understand how difficult it is to give up your life and way of doing things to tend to more important things, it's a struggle to stay organized, sane, and still have a good attitude when things don't get done in the time frame which I would prefer (which is most of the time!). Now I'm getting ready for another one that will interrupt my current schedule.

Here's a question for you Jerri, since you have plenty of experience in this realm. How do you manage to get back into the grove after you've had a baby? Do you allow yourself some time to "let things go?" Do you rush back in and just survive? Remember I have two little ones, almost 3 and 16 months so they aren't the hugest helpers yet. Any thoughts? Thanks!

Jenni said...

I just realized that my last comment might have sounded a bit negative. I will just add that I love the new tasks and the life that I lead now, I wouldn't trade it for any year of singlehood! Living a life with proper perspective doesn't always come naturally though, and my comment was in regards to how I am sure so many other mothers must feel at times-when things don't get done I struggle not to feel like a failure. I thank God that on a day like today where my floor went yet another day without being mopped, my husband walks in the door and says, "wow, look at the clean house hon!" I did some cleaning and he noticed, thank you God for a wonderful husband! :)

jeewbee said...

Great blog Jer! I love your system and cannot wait until my kids are old enough to be even bigger helpers!! lol! Right now they help with putting their own laundry in the basket (and off of the floor!), loading the washer, emptying the dryer, and folding washclothes. They love to be helpers with everything I do, but unfortunately I really struggle with having the patience to let them help. I have a big problem with patience I guess, and need to learn it better! Well got to run- my big potty boy is calling! :0)

The Davenport Dozen said...

Jenni,
I totally understand where you are coming from! And, you are not alone! LOL!

Up until we had the twins I was able to get back into normal life groove by about 3 weeks post-part. That now seems a lifetime ago! lol! The reason I can even remember how long it took is because I had my own stamping and scrapbooking business and I would block out about 4 weeks from doing in home demonstrations (one week before due date through three weeks post-part). We also found out after having #5 and scheduling not to do school for a month, that by 2 weeks after the baby was born we were going crazy cause the kids were bored!

Fast forward: Having twins set me back, wayyyyyyyyy back. We had nursing issues with our girl twin that made each nursing take over an hour for most of the first 3 months! (she had a high palette problem) Had to weigh here before, during and after each feeding, and then bottle her if she just couldn't get enough in, etc. That meant most of my life for 3 months was just nursing. So, things were pretty unorganized as we tried to survive this season.

As it has turned out, my next two deliveries after the twins were pretty traumatic and I hemorrhaged very badly (we are talking blood tranfusion here). That set me back pretty far physically. Add to that we had toddler twins at the same time! My last delivery, last Nov., was a c-section due to a placenta previa. So, recovery from that (and I seem to be aging too, how rude is that?) set me back. Baby had jaundice and got pretty far behind with weight loss, too weak to nurse, my supply went out the window, etc. So, had to work at getting her to gain weight, be awake, pump to increase my supply, etc. In all honesty, we are still not where we would like to be in our getting our routine back to normal as well as school being what I want it to be.

I hope that doesn't scare anyone! LOL! The good news is that most people are not going to have twins or hard deliveries to recover from and that it took 8+ babies to throw off my routine.

Even better is that God is teaching me to just rest in Him. I can't control how my recovery is going to go, but He knows all about it, even ahead of time. Having my children at home with me means that even if they aren't doing book work every day, they are still learning a lot of things at home. I am learning to let go of my lofty expectations and my perfectionism and just go where He leads me. It is sure a process.

My friend Jeni M. is convinced that God gives us Type A personalities twins (hers were born 11 months after mine) to get out attention and our focus on Him! We are such "capable" gals that it is sometimes hard to learn to lean on God and His plans for us. I am sure guilty of plowing ahead because I can, without praying about something first. Ugh. Anyway, twins really showed me (and my friend Jeni) how weak and helpless we really are! We so need God's direction and help in so many areas, but the day to day trials we went through with twins, bedrest, nursing problems, etc. really got our attention!

I like to think that I am depending on Him more for strength each day, because I am no longer as capable on my own and that I am a little more relaxed in my expectations of life. Like all trials He blesses us with growth through them, if we let Him.

Okay, back to your original question. When I was expecting #3 I pretty much planned to lay low for a couple of weeks and then gradually added back "normal" life slowly. My oldest two were 3 years old and 22 months old, so they didn't help much either. My husband helped out more around the house toward the end of my pregnancies (before we had children old enough to help that is) and usually stays home for a week (or more now) if he can. This last pregnancy he stayed home for a month. Since we knew I was having a c-section we could plan ahead for that. It was such a blessing! I couldn't have done it without him!

I can see how God provides what we need when we need it. It would have been awesome for hubby to stay home for a month when we had our 3rd child, but I didn't REALY need that. Now that I am older and having a harder time with recovery after a baby, God has provided older chidlren who can help out (and they are such a huge help!) and my husband to have a schedule that is such that he could take a month off. What a glorious thing it is to see God's plan for families at work!

Ju,
Being patient comes with time I think. As I have relaxed a bit over the years, it has become easier to let the little ones help me. Sometimes I want to say no to their offers to help, but then I remember the good it will do them. Patience, like many things, gets easier with practice! There are still times I am in a hurry and I have to let them know they can't help me this time, but next time they can help. Letting go of perfectionism goes hand in hand with letting little ones help. Sure, spoons end up in the forks slot when a 2 and 4 year old unload the silverware, but does that really hurt anything? Is it really that hard for me to resort them later? Anyway, keep at it, you are doing a great job!

~jerri

The Davenport Dozen said...

Karen,
Please tell me how you have designed your new laundry room. I would love to hear all about it! What is your new system you are going to implement with it? Sounds intriguing! David has this awesome idea for a laundry room that would have the washer and dryer and everyones drawers and hanger space would all be in that room. It would also have a couple of changing "stalls" like at a clothes store. Also, most of the linens would be stored in this room. Plus some counter space for doing folding onto. Well, until we get to build our own home so we can design it from the start, it isn't going to happen for us. But, it is a cool idea!
~jerri

Jenni said...

Thanks Jerri, that was encouraging. Wow scrapbooking business with little ones?! I don't know how you did it! I can't even manage to get mine out to do a page let alone run a business :) Some day!

Blessings, Jenni

The Davenport Dozen said...

Jenni,
I haven't even gotten pictures printed since the new baby came in Nov, let alone work on any scrapbook pages! Oh well. It will still be there when I have some time for that again, and it will for you too! I have to remind myself that making memories is vastly more important than recording them. =)
~jerri

My Boaz's Ruth said...

You mentioned where you get little girl dresses -- how about big girl dresses? I agree about the less stuff - but have a real hard time finding casual long dresses.

The Davenport Dozen said...

My Boaz's Ruth,
My oldest daughter is 8 years old, so I don't have any practical experience yet in big girl dresses. However, whenever I see bigger sizes at thrift stores that are of good quality and are long in length I will go ahead and get them and put them away till they are needed. It never fails that if I pass up those larger sizes thinking I will be able to find similar items when I actually need them, I won't be able to find anything as nice sd what I passed up. And sometimes, I can't find anything at all! I have to be careful and choose colors and patterns carefully when buying for the future. Don't want to have a dress that the patterns are too out of fashion by the time my daughter fits into it! LOL! I always love finding a Hannah Andersen or Lands End dress at a thrift store! They are usually long, good quality and have bigger girl sizes too. I am also, slowly, teaching my daughter to sew. My hope is that someday she will be able to sew dresses or skirts for herself in the length she needs (she is pretty tall for her age, so long enough lengths are going to be hard for her to find).

Hope that helps some!
~jerri

HomeJewel said...

I'm up late nursing my newest addition and stumbled across your blog. Looks like we are practically neighbors. We've visited HOFCC a few times, too! I'll bookmark your blog - I'm sure you can teach me a thing or 2!

The Davenport Dozen said...

homejewel,
Thanks for stopping by! Send me an email as I would love to chat with you. Wondering which HOFCC you visited? We used to attend Gresham, but now attend Milwaukie (live closer now). I peeked at your blog and am happy to know that I can tell people there is someone who had a bigger baby than I did at home! LOL! #10 was 11 lbs 1 oz, 10 days late. Your "little" guy is sure a cutie!
~jerri

MamaK said...

Jerri,

In a nutshell, we have converted a spare room into a laundry room. So far, we've stripped it down to four walls, painted, re-plumbed, and put in flooring. We have installed our washer and dryer, and have created a hook-up for a second dryer, to make things go faster. All we have left to do is install molding and the shelving. We will be creating a similar room to what you described above (but without the changing areas...hadn't considered that one!): one wall is the washer/dryers, one wall is a sewing/mending area with a table, sewing machine, and such, and the remaining two walls will be the shelving for ALL of the children's clothes (and shoes, and whatever else I put in there!). When the shelving is done, my dreams will all have come true!

The boys' clothes will all be on the long wall (being that we have 4 boys to our 2, soon to be 3, girls), on 3 levels of shelves, with everything on hangers except for shorts, socks, and unmentionables, which will be in baskets on the shelves themselves. All of the size 2 clothing will be together, the size 3's will be after that, then the 4's, etc. When Roo, for instance, outgrows the 4's, he'll simply start wearing the 5's. Everything will go from the dryer to a hanger (or basket), and into it's own section.

Hopefully.

The girls' wall will have 2 levels of shelves, because they have dresses and skirts, and those take up more hanging space. It will be sweet to see New Baby's little pinks there hanging with the big girls' things! (And there will be a big jump from baby sizes to my girls' sizes! Because I didn't really save anything girl-wise once we got on our boy-track, we'll have to start stocking up on those in-between sizes again!).

So that's my plan. It's almost done except for the shelving. I blogged about this back in June, thinking that it would be done by July. Then we got really busy on it in November, and it's STILL not finished. We're raising kids, you know, not building houses! So I told Erik last week that I wanted to split the cost with him - half from my grocery budget and half from him. His eyes lit up. (Do I speak his language or WHAT?!)

Of course, this week our deep freeze decided to go kaptutzie...figures, huh? And who could live without a deep freeze!?!??! Hello! We'll just have to wait and see what gets first priority. I have a sneakin' suspicion I'll have to wait until next month for the laundry room. That's okay...I've waited this long anyway.

SPEAKING of LONG...So sorry about the monopolizing "comment"! This was so NOT a "nutshell"! Just get me going on my Dream Laundry Room, and see what happens?!
:-)

Blessings,
~Karen

Roberta said...

I was curious...and yes, I AM up way too late tonight!...do you ever find you run out of clothes for any child with the allotted amount? Do you ever have to do "in-between time" loads? Did you ever use cloth diapers? If so, how did you manage that aspect of laundry?
I was playing "laundry catch-up" this week, and now my girls dresser drawers are stuffed! Now...what NOT to save? (you know I don't like to make decisions. ;))
And Karen and Jerri, I like the closet room idea.

Meg said...

Roberta,

Are you using cloth? Good for you! I am too. Started in Aug. for $$$ reasons, keeping at it because I prefer them to disposables! Right now I do a load of diapers every other day. I try to time it to start the diapers on prewash with oxyclean about 1/2 hour before bed. Then, I start them on a regular/heavy duty cycle with extra rinse as I head off to bed. Poopies and morning diapers get rinsed ASAP in the toilet- this keeps the smell down. :~)

The rest of my laundry is getting out of control, but I am handling the diapers on time. We were home from church with a tummy bug among the littles today so I am taking the opportunity to cull some clothing.

The Davenport Dozen said...

Karen,
You are too funny! Your "Dream Laundry Room" sounds wonderful! Too bad about the freezer.

Roberta,
Sorry, no cloth diapers here. My husband feels strongly about filling up land fills. That is what they are for, right? Seriously, he told me 20 years ago he wouldn't change diapers if I used cloth, so we have always done disposable.

No, we don't usually run out of clothes unless I don't get laundry done on Saturday. Of course, if we have a case if stomach flu you can bet I am doing an extra load to take care of any soiled clothes or bedding. I will go into a little more detail in part two about things like towels, bedding, etc.

Meg,
Hey, I'm not sure if my feelings are hurt that you posted a comment that is directed to Roberta on MY blog! LOL! Seriously, I am happy you stopped by. =)

Sorry to hear you kiddies have a bug. Yuck. If you get a chance click on homejewel above and go to her blog. She had a 13 lb baby boy at home, water birth. Awesome!

~jerri

Anonymous said...

it would be great to hear about chores for little people. thanks for all this input.
Lisa

Kim C. said...

This sounds almost identical to our new system, which was entirely hubby's idea. It's working very well for us too!
Socks are one of our last battles...my Grand New Sock Idea did not help a bit, and no matter what we do, socks are always a crisis! I know the answer lies in more oversight on my part no matter what "system" we use, but don't we all want the answers to involve *less* work on our part rather than *more*?

MamaK said...

SOCKS!!!!!!!!!! YES, Jerri, socks!!!!!!!!!!

The bain of socks!!!!!!!!!!!

We have a basket. You want socks, you match a pair from the basket. But like Kim lamented, I really do want the solution to involve LESS work, rather than more.
*sigh*

My husband is the only one who doesn't have a sock crisis. He puts his so faithfully into a zippered net-bag, and when I do a load of our laundry, I just toss it in. I put the bag into his drawer, then, and he sorts them himself (I know...some helpmate I've turned out to be!), and puts the empty netted bag into our bathroom (where he takes off his socks each day). What a great man. If only the rest of the kids would have used THEIR netted bags as faithfully...
*heavy sigh*

The Davenport Dozen said...

Socks???

My husband just walked in and I said "the lament of the day is SOCKS!". He said " Life is too short to worry about socks!". **smile**

Anyway, on to practical solutions. First, with our method of laundry done by room, there are only the socks that belong to at most 4 people (our 4 oldest girls, ages 2,4,6 and 8, share a bedroom) in the basket to be sorted. Most rooms are have two people so for them to sort their socks is pretty easy.

We occasionally have a left over sock. Socks do get misplaced for a time, some get tossed due to holes and so their is an odd sock until another sock goes in the trashcan and some get sucked into an alternate dimension (this is the only reasonable explanation - where else could they possibly go?). All in all, we don't have that many loose socks. I do keep those odd socks in the laundry room so they are handy when I find a match!

Second, if you have a reasonably good system and just are lacking compliance, try rewarding for a time (a month or two) for each week that a child follows the sock rules. A special treat, an outing with mom or dad, or cold hard cash! LOL! Be creative.

Hope this helps!
~jerri

The Davenport Dozen said...

On Kim C's (she has the link above about socks) blog the following comment was left by Tammy… ( sorry I don't know how to do all the links within this comment area yet!)

My mom's favorite cartoon was:

a lady, standing over a pile of socks in the back yard, holding a match over them.

Her neighbor asked her what she was doing.

"I'm matching my socks.


~jerri

Roberta said...

Socks! I remember when I first started reading Kim's blog "LargeFamilyLogistics" (I too am "comment-box-link-inept") lamenting over the socks! Has it changed...no. We do own MORE socks, but alas that only means MORE mismatches run amuck!!! To quote Karen "*heavy sigh*"
Soooo...Jerri, can it really be that easy? Am I just suffering from "working harder not smarter syndrome" when it comes to fabric footwear?
I've said it before, but you know Einstein found socks to be a waste of time...I'm kindof inclined to agree with him. ;)

Meg~
Thanks for the cloth diaper info, I'll have to email you about it as we go along. Hope you are all on the mend. :)

The Davenport Dozen said...

Roberta,
I think I am going to do a "sock" edition after Part Two. I would have to agree with Einstien,to a certain degree. Don't want to put the cart before the horse, so you'll just have to wait for Part Two for some of my sock strategies! Hate to leave you hanging....
~jer

Titus-II said...

Please blog about little people chores. I am delighted to find you all lamenting socks. I am a mom to 9 children and we usually live in Hawaii. We don't usually wear socks. We are spending the winter on the East coast and I keep thinking there must be a better way to keep track of socks. I'm beginning to think they are disposable and that you just keep buying them!!!! God bless, MT

My Boaz's Ruth said...

By big girls' dresses I'm sorry, I meant adult.
I'm having a hard time finding casual dresses for ME. Everything is shirt+skirt or pants!

Anonymous said...

I'd love to hear your tips on chores for littles.

The Davenport Dozen said...

titus-ii ~ I have some kids who's feet I'm convinced sweat an acid of some sort. They get holes so fast in their socks! So, yes they are disposable to a degree. =)

my boaz's ruth ~ What I do is look at thrift stores for clothes for myself. I don't always find something, but if I do and if I really like it I will then look for it on Ebay also. I might be able to get the same item in another color to add to my wardrobe, or another size (I always need a couple different sizes to take me from right after a baby is born to my "normal" size). I also have found dresses and overall dresses I really like from Eddie Bauer. I shop their sales and outlets. I can also find those on Ebay sometimes. Knowing what I like so I can keep on the lookout for them when they are available is key for me.

Meg said...

Oh most gracious blog hostess, I humbly beg your forgiveness for my comment faux pas and will restrict further non-hostess directed responses to email.

Thanks a million for the photo essay and for the chance to sit at your feet and learn. I probably don't tell you often enough how much I admire and respect you. You are a blessing in my life and now, through this blog, you are richly blessing the lives of so many others!

p.s. Another birth last night! Daddy caught baby but I caught the placenta! We midwifery students get kicks out of the strangest things. :~)

The Davenport Dozen said...

Meg,
You are forgiven! LOL!

Such sweet words, don't make me blush!

Great catch! How long were you at the delivery? Get a nap today to catch up on your sleep?
~jer

Meg said...

This was a long delivery. After a very long and busy day on Wednesday, the phone range at 11:15. I packed up Mara and Mason and hit the road. (Mama lived an hour away.) We spent the night at the mama's house but it was a false alarm. So home again by Thursday, 9:30 a.m. I was very surprised to sleep thru the night Th! She began contracting again on Fri morning. We arrived back at the house around 4:30 p.m. and baby girl was born 6:53 p.m. There was a bit of excitement right after baby was born and we ended up staying until almost 10 p.m. We caught a bite to eat and I was home with my chillens by 1 a.m. Sadly, no nap on Saturday.

Anonymous said...

Please do talk about "chores for little people", as you put it.
Thanks!

covenantmama said...

About socks . . . something that has worked for us has been to clothespin them together and then run them through the washer and dryer like that. When they come out, they are still in the matched pair and you just take the clothespin off! We even use the wooden clothespins and it seems to work just fine. Hope this helps!

Kim C. said...

Living in South Texas is the only thing that helps our sock situation. We simply don't wear them 9 months out of the year (we live in sandals instead). But as a result, we have no sock habits for the 3 months that they are needed. Socks somehow don't end up with the rest of the laundry. I'm not sure where they *do* end up, but it's not in the laundry basket.
I laughed myself silly over Tammy's description of the cartoon about matching socks -thanks for reminding me again!
Like another mom said, I'm beginning to consider them disposable. I've nearly resigned myself to buying them monthly when I buy diapers and groceries.
We have already reverted to a common sock basket for the little girls' room, which contains just 2 sizes of socks (in slightly different styles to make matching easier). I'll plan on replenishing as necessary and see how that works. The older girls can keep track of their socks or suffer the consequences. [evil laugh]
Hubby has no trouble since his socks are utterly unlike any others in the house, and I guard my own jealously.

The Davenport Dozen said...

Kim,
Being in the Northwest, we do have to wear socks at least half the year. But, we too wear sandals in the warm months so socks are used less and that helps a lot. Also, the girls wear tights a lot in the winter and they are much easier to keep track of then socks are! LOL!

We have opposite problems, since you have 7 girls and I have 7 boys (plus the 5 girls) - we have men/boy socks for so many that if I had to wash them altogher we would probably never know which ones belong to whom. Poor hubby would probably end up with none! LOL!
~jerri

HomeJewel said...

I'll share what works for our family as far as socks go (well, at least the oldest children - the little ones are still learning the process).

I give each member of the family two lingerie bags (you can purchase a 3-pack of lingerie bags at the Dollar Store). I write the initials of each member on the lingerie bag with a permanent marker. One bag contains all the clean socks of one person. When a pair of socks gets dirty, they are put in the other lingerie bag (dirty sock bag). When the lingerie bag is full of dirty socks, it is thrown in the laundry to be washed with other clothes. (It usually takes a bit longer than one normal dry cycle to dry the socks.) If there were any remaining clean socks, they are transferred to the "new" clean sock bag that just came out of the dryer and the other bag becomes the "dirty" sock bag. Clear as mud? So the idea is that socks can only be in 3 places: in the dirty laundry sock bag, the clean sock bag, or on the feet :) And no more mating of socks - woohoo!!

Mommaroo2 said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you! Finally I found a blog by someone with a TRULY big family who is sharing tips!! I just had my fourth child (my oldest is not quite four years) and I've been trying so hard to get my act together. I finally realized that I was trying to live like a mom of one or two kids, instead of a mom of three with one on the way! So a few months ago I tried getting more organized and have been searching the net ever since to glean tips on how to run a large household. It doesn't make any sense to wait til I have a ton of kids to get organized.

I'd love to hear about training little ones. I'd also like to hear how you made the transition from "normal" size family to "big" family, to "huge" family! What lessons did you learn, what accomodations did you have to make, and what changes did you have to make in order to keep things running somewhat smoothly?

Thanks so much for the insight!

Mommaroo2
www.journeytohomemaker.blogspot.com

The Davenport Dozen said...

Mamaroo,
Welcome! I don't know that I could write just one post to answer how we made the transitions. I think you will see/read over time in my posts. So, stay tuned!

One thing to keep in mind is that "most" of the time, baby's get added to our families one at a time (yes, sometimes two at a time), so it is a much easier adjustment than you may think. We didn't go from 4 to 12 in a day or even a year. There were lots of little steps along the way where we made little changes here and there and when the next baby came along we made a few more changes, etc.

I know how overwhelming it can be when we start to think "I am so busy now, how could I ever have a larger family?". God gives us the strength and creativity to find new ways to do things along the way. He promises to equip us for the task He gives us! He also warns us not to worry about tomorrow. I know I have had those worries about adding another child and if "I" could do it. I have had to learn that "I" can't do it, but He can! I have to rest in the Lord and trust Him to provide what I need to get the job(s) done.

It is a wonderful thing to be thinking in advance of what to work on now, changes to consider making, etc. You are absolutely right that waiting to get organized till after the family is large is the more difficult way of doing it!

Blessings,
jerri

Kendra said...

I just found this blog. Please, please blog about little peoples chores. I have 5 children that I homeschool ages 8,6,4,2, & 4 months. My 4yo wants to help with chores. But I simply don't know where to start training him. I have noticed that he beams with pride when he does get to do something. Your idea about letting your 4yo put in laundry detergent is good. I need to try it. I'm usually in too big of a hurry to even think of things like that.

Anonymous said...

yes, please post on young people's chores!
Pamela

The Davenport Dozen said...

Pamela,
I have already started the posts on little people and chores. Hopefully you have found them already.

Thanks for stopping by too!

~jerri

Mahriah said...

What a blessing your site is. We are a home schooling family of 13
(2 biological and 9 adopted, ages 4-13). We are going to see Dr. Leverett on March 18th for a vascectomy reversal (vas. done 12 years ago). I found your information on his website. If you have any tips, please feel free to share them. We are taking all of our children on this adventure from Lubbock Tx, and they are all very excited about the reversal. We are so thankful to finally be able to put the number of childen we will have back into Gods hands.

Thank you,
Mahriah Dickson

Mom of thirteen said...

Mahriah,
I hope you check back here, because I cannot email you back as you didn't leave an email address in your comment. Please go to my profile page and there you will find my email address. That way you can contact me directly and I can reply to you privately.

Very exciting to hear you will be seeing Dr. L next month!

blessings,
jerri

 
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