March 8, 2006

Laundry - Part Three

There has been quite a few good questions,( SOCKS!!), come up in the COMMENTS sections at the end of each of the Laundry posts. Be sure to look at the comments section for more laundry information. (Also, thanks to all who have put in suggestions for future topics!)

Couple of things about Laundry that I didn't explain fully:
1. When the little girls are doing their laundry I am with them the whole time helping to keep them on track and I also fold the 2 y.o.'s clothes.
2. Dish cloths, bibs and rags get taken to the washer as soon as they are dirty (this is usually several times a day). Whoever uses the washer next just includes them with their load and brings them to the kitchen after they are done drying.

For those of you who are despairing of ever catching up on your laundry I recommend two things:
1. Set up a new laundry routine that you think will work for your family. Use some of the ideas I have shared and try them out. Put it in writing. Try it for a month and then re-evaluate and fine tune it to suit your needs.
2. Set aside one day, the whole day, and work on the laundry until it is all caught up. Yes, even if you homeschool you can do this! This is your Home Economics class for the week/month/year. Set aside all the usual school subjects. Use this day to teach the children how to sort clothes, load the washer, set the washer settings, add the detergent/fabric softener, clean out the dryer lint catcher, start the dryer, fold clothes and put them all away. You might be thinking to yourself that there will be too much time while loads are running with nothing to do. Ha! Get out all those unmatched socks and have a game of "match the socks". The person who comes up with the most matches wins! If you still have excess time, have the kids go through their drawers and see if there are more unmatched socks hiding and also have them reorganize their drawers. Really ambitious? Have the kids go UNDER THEIR BEDS and pull out everything: toys, books, rubberbands, school books (so THAT is where that book went!), SOCKS, pencils, and don't forget the dust bunnies. You should also use this time to TEACH the children the NEW laundry routine/schedule. Fill the day with fun and prizes! Be creative! Give prizes for best attitude, fastest worker, tidiest drawers, best folder, etc. Don't forget that your GOOD attitude will go a long way in teaching the children that doing laundry and your new routine will be a benefit to the whole family.


Karen said...

GREAT ideas, Jerri. I will do your "catch-up" idea tomorrow! While my girls are pretty adept at laundry, the boys would actually love to learn, and I think it would be valuable! We only have half a dozen loads to catch up on, but with all of us working on it, how long could it take?

Roberta said...

Jerri~ (I am taking a blog break "break", and peaking in...glad I did.) :)
I was going to ask about your laundry separation, but saw you answered it in the comments of the previous post. I think we'll put the whites of dh and ds together on ds's laundry day...YES!...we are getting a plan in motion. Ds will start doing his on Thurs., and he's pretty excited about the responsibilty.
But I gotta say, I chuckled at you suggestion to take a "whole day" to catch up! ;) Try a WHOLE WEEK!!! LOL We "less-naturally-ordered-and-just-buck-up-and-get-it-done Mommas" are not quite on the same page...but I'm learning and just "Gettin' it done!" :)

Mom of thirteen said...

You are too funny (a break from your break!)! If you have a week worth of laundry to wash, do you have anything left in your drawers to wear? ;)

Seriously, I have a friend who a LONG time ago, with 3 children at the time, had almost her whole 2 car garage floor covered, and up to 3 feet deep in some places, in dirty laundry! How did it ever get this bad you may ask? She got behind and instead of working to get caught up, she bought more clothes. This became a cycle and the mound on the garage floor grew and grew!

Most of us do not have the money to buy more and more clothes, thankfully! But, it might be tempting to have 2 weeks worth of clothes per person in the drawers and closets, right? I have found the more clothes in the house the more laundry to do and the easier it is to get behind. This cycle is hard to break, but it can be done!

I'm not sure if this helps at all, but I store summer clothes in boxes in the garage during the winter, and winter clothes are stored during the summer. That helps reduce the amount of clothes in the bedrooms and helps me see how much clothing each child really has. It also means we don't have to have tons of dressers in the bedrooms for clothes.

Really quick SOCK funny today: I was digging through the box of snow boots in the garage this morning (it snowed today!) and inside one boot I found a sock! It has been in there since Jan. 2nd when we went up to Mt. Hood to play in the snow. Socks, by nature, can find great places to hide in, can't they?

Anonymous said...

thanks for the great attitude reminder as we need to teach especially our girls the good attitude we need to have when doing laundry and the other sometimes monotonous household duties. I know the boys need to know it all too which mine will be taught to help. Lisa

Roberta said...

Well...*blush*...we DO have too many clothes. If I could caught up in one day I wouldn't need advice now would I? ;) (said in a silly loving tone).
I think the most helpful was to see how many items your girls have, and to simplify that, and also to have specific days of the week for particular loads. I think this will help me to see what is really being used and how much is actually needed.
Breaks over! :)

Jenni said...

Thanks Jerri, I finally had a few minutes to sit down and read your posts about laundry. I'm inspired for when I have more kids! Although I was just realizing that my oldest-3 years- can help me by pushing the basket to his room or carrying things, I need to be more creative in how he can help. They both help in different ways but my youngest -16 months- has a totally different personality, not a people pleaser at all and I really have to work at getting him to want to help. He gets excited about it like if I tell him to go put something in the garbage (which he knows how to do quite well) he will head to the garbage and then at the last minute put it in the sink or the laundry basket. So I find that I have to constantly direct him which I get a little tired of (I'm due with baby number 3 tomorrow so getting up is a little challenging, especially when I know he knows how to do it:). Anyway, any suggestions about directing your littlest ones help? I think I probably know the answer, just being consistent with directing him. I've tried spanking and speaking sternly and speaking with an energetic positive voice and I seem to get the same response, he wants to do his own thing :) Thanks for the posts, those are great!

Julie said...

I have to agree about having too many clothes! I can see that this is probably the source of many laundry issues! Also putting away winter clothes during the summer, and summer clothes during the winter. My girls have all their clothes stuffed (and I mean stuffed!) into their dressers, and most of the time during the winter they are pulling out summer clothes to try to wear! It would be much easier to keep those clothes somewhere else and not have to fight over what is appropriate to wear during the winter and how a bathing suit is not one of those things!! lol! I recently went through the drawers and pulled out clothes that no longer fit- which helped greatly also! They grow so fast it is hard to keep up with them! Our kids are blessed to have their own rooms, so we are faced with three different baskets of laundry for them all. I have actually found that it is so much easier this way, because I know who's clothes belong to each of them and they don't get all mixed up. I just wash their colors and whites all together for each kid and haven't had any problems with bleeding etc, I think because I only use cold water?! Ethan(2) is usually the only one around to help with the washing part, and he loves to help put the clothes in the machine. The girls are usually home in time to help with folding and putting clothes away in drawers. It's not perfect, but it is a system. I'm sure it will change as the get older though. Yeah!! :-)

Anonymous said...

To help with outgrown clothes, I have a box in my storeroom marked "Outgrown Clothes" (makes sense, huh! LOL). If I notice a child wearing something that is just not right, I'll just pop it in that box until it comes time to box up the end of season clothes. Until I started doing this, I was either annoyed to see that they were still wearing something that was too small or I would "lose" the piece of clothing because I didn't have a good place to put it. Maybe this will help someone.

Great post. I only have 6 (9 down to 8 weeks) and I will begin to work on training them following a similar theme to yours. Up 'til now, I've kinda enjoyed doing washing (call me weird, but it's okay so long as I stay kept up - or my MIL visits and does all the washing!) but I'm finding that folding and sorting clothes is just one more thing to do in the evening. I have plenty of other stuff!

In Him

Meredith in Aus

Mom of thirteen said...

A comment that was left here by anon. has been moved to part two's comment box.

Kim said...

Just wanted to say how much I am really loving these laundry lessons! I have a mountain of laundry I am trying to get out from under and will be making up a schedule as soon as we get back! Thanks.


Anonymous said...

I totally love your laundry idea - I am going to start this with my 6 kids. I look forward to reading more about your large family. I need ALL the help and ideas I can get.

Take Care,

Mom of thirteen said...

Thanks for stopping by Shannon!


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