March 2, 2006

Laundry - Part Two

Laundry day begins.
I take the dirty laundry bags and empty hangers from my bedroom downstairs. I only wash the laundry from my room (hubby, baby and I).

8 y.o. daughter gets her rooms (she shares a room with her three younger sisters) first load out of the dryer. She had one load in the washer and one in the dryer by the time she went to bed the night before. As her loads shift from washer to dryer and dryer to basket, I can start my two loads.

2 y.o. daughter loves to help mommy do the wash! Here she is putting the whites into the washer. With my help she adds the detergent and pushes the start button too!

When the girls laundry (second load here) is done drying, 2 y.o. loves to put it into the basket and then push it to the folding area (the family room).

With the girls two loads washed and dried it is time to sort the clothes. 5 y.o. and 4 y.o. daughters make a pile of clothes for each of the 4 girls.

Each of the girls puts their dresses on hangers, folds their clothes and puts them in piles to be taken upstairs when they are all done. Here is the 4 y.o. putting a dress on a hanger.

During the cold months my girls wear tights with their dresses a lot. The best way I have found to help them store their tights is to match up the tights with a dress and put them with the dress on the hanger. This also takes the guess work out of finding the right tights for each dress in the mornings.

During the warmer months the tights get put away and socks (or mostly bare feet as they like to wear sandles) are worn more.

When the girls are all done folding and hanging this is how it looks: a pile of dresses on hangers for each girl and below her dresses are her pile of folded clothes (underpants, socks, pj's, shorts, etc.)

Now it is time to take the folded clothes upstairs. Even 2 y.o. can do this!

(Did you notice our double handrail? We had this put in so little ones have a rail their hands can reach. After all, they are the ones who need a rail to hang onto the most, to get up and down the stairs safely.)

Meanwhile, back in the laundry room.... my two loads have been washing and drying. I try to fold mine right out of the dryer, to avoid wrinkles (I don't have time for ironing). I have work shirts for hubby that are virutally wrinkle free. If something has a kink in it I will use water in a spray bottle and mist the item as I hang it up.

Notice the shower curtain rod I have to hang my clothes up on? There is no room to hang clothes on the wire racking that came stock with our house. A shower curtain rod put across the narrow part of the laundry room works perfectly. It is high enough that the tall people in the house can walk under it. After laundry day there is nothing hanging on it usually. It is also available to "line dry" any items that can't go into the dryer.

After my loads are hung up and folded (on the top of the washer) I can take them up to my room.

One last thing and that is to fold the socks from my room. I had a total of 24 pairs of socks to match; mine, hubby's and baby's. It took me 3 minutes. No sweat! Because there are only the socks belonging to the person doing laundry (or their bedroom buddies) in a load it is easy to match them up and get them back into the right persons drawer.

After I give the children baths before bed this night, I will do a load of towels. I usually get them washed and into the dryer before I go to bed. Sometimes I will get them folded before I go to bed. If not, one of the children will fold them the next day to earn computer time.


Anonymous said...

We have shower curtain rods in common! LOL! They work great to line dry.

Glad you are feeling better.
Love ya!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for all the great pictures!

Roberta said...

Hey Jer~
Wanted to pop in before bed and say thanks for the post. Love the pictures with your "little mommas" (and the little glimpses of your new home.) I gotta say, you make it look so easy! You got me thinking about what I need to change...Thanks! :)

Mom of thirteen said...

Thanks for the suggestion of this first topic! Glad you like the pictures! It was fun to do! It is easy now, but it wasn't always. Had to learn and adapt along the way to get where I am now. Trying to work myself out of a job...someday! LOL!

Meg said...


What an inspiration! I thought we were lacking clothes for the girls, but we really had far too many things. Today, I have culled 2 large boxes of unnecessary shirts, pants, jumpers, and even dresses. And that was just from the "S" room (Sirena and Sarah). The "M" room will be more of a challenge since 11yo dd has a love of fashion and eclectic clothing combinations.

Now that I see what we really have, I can see what we really need- which is not much.

Mom of thirteen said...

I was just going through my infant and 3mo. size baby girl clothes today, since I was putting items back into them (megan has outgrown those sizes), taking out the horribly stained items, removing items I haven't used with the last 4 girls, etc. And, still had plenty to cloth another baby girl if the Lord blesses us. That was easy. What is going to be hard for me is the sizes that I have 3 boxes worth of clothes for because Liz and Em have been wearing the same size for a couple years now and so we needed twice as much for those sizes! I have to try to cull those back to only enough for one girl per size! So many cute dresses.....

Repeat after me "Less is MORE" - more room in the closet and drawers and more time to do things other than laundry.

Miss seeing you friend!

Courtney Atnip said...


Darlla's SIL here! She forwarded your blog to me, so I've been reading it here and there between following the blogs of my friends adopting from China so I know what we're up for next. Anyway, have a funny story about kids helping w/ laundry, so thought I'd share. Carter loves to help me w/ the laundry. I let him help me put the clothes in the washer, put the soap in, transfer the clothes to the dryer, push the start button. The other day I had three loads of laundry (there are only three of us). I had two going and came back to check to see if I could transfer loads. For the life of me, I could NOT FIND the third load of laundry anywhere. I thought I had lost my mind. I looked in my room, in DS's room, in the washer to see if I had forgotten which load I was running . . . Well, DS had put the dirty reds in the dryer along w/ the clean, wet whites!!! At least I know I'm not crazy!

=) Courtney

Anonymous said...

Okay, I'm inspired to have my kids do their own laundry. Sometimes one or two help here and there and my 13 year old does his now and then but I see that I should be having them all do their own. I am, as we speak, loads behind and am wondering when I'll catch up. It's discouraging, as you can imagine.
The only question I have is, how do you separate the whites? If I have each child do their own coloreds, they won't have enough whites of their own to make a load. Do you combine whites? And who does them? I can hear it now, "why do I have to do the whites? why can't he do them?"
Ugh. :)
(By the way, I'm here from LFL, Kim's blog. I love the idea for yours-posts on managing a home. Your home is obviously new, and is beautiful. Love the pics-please keep them coming!)

Anonymous said...

I feel guilty having my boys do their own laundry. They are 10, 12 and 13. Shouldn't I do it for them out of love? After all, I hope someday their wives will be doing their laundry-shouldn't they go from their mom to their wife? I think this is a part of taking care of them. And I don't mind doing it-except I do get behind on a regular basis.

MommyLydia said...

What if they don't get married right out of home? and have to go off to be policeman in a foreign city with neither mom nor wife to take care of them?

What if they marry a woman who ups and dies on them after ten years of marriage, and suddenly they are caring not just for themselves, but their surviving son as well? Or if she's in the hospital/bedrest for months on end and thus can't do the laundry.

There are some things all people need to know how to do, even if it is not expected that they normally will.

Anonymous said...

I would love to hear about your little ones chores. I have a 2, 4 & 6 yr old. I love the laundry posts! Lots of help for me!

Mom of thirteen said...

Teaching Sons To Do Laundry: I think MBR (My Boaz's Ruth) has very valid points. A few others that came to mind were if sons went to college, when future wife has a baby, even without complications, she will need some time to recover, later on if mom is out of the house and dad is taking care of the kids and the kids throw up all over themselves, bedding, etc. or a child spills all over themselves, well, it sure would be great if dad could get those things into the wash right away!

Annon. I think that if you love to do all the laundry yourself that is great! I also think that sometime before sons leave home they should at least KNOW how to do the laundry (amongst other things), regardless if a son moves straight into his own home with a wife or not. Doesn't mean you have to make them do it, but they should know HOW to do it. You might even find they LIKE to do laundry for themselves!

There are many things I feel I need to teach all my children, yes, both the boys and the girls, how to do before they leave home. I will go into this in more detail when I post about chores.

Mom of thirteen said...

About separating colors and white: My boys do not separate whites and darks. Horrors I know! So far, the laundry police have not come to my house and made any arrests! LOL! My boys laundry is mostly darks anyway. Socks are their only white items at this time. I am not too concerned about socks that are not brilliant white as they get stained and get holes fast enough that they get replaced on a pretty regular basis.

My girls do separate their whites/lights and darks. There is enough of their dirty clothes (4 girls laundry in one bedroom) to make one load of each every week.

I also have a high efficiency front load washer that you can put any size load in. So, if I need to run a small load of whites, for instance, I can.

I'm sure there are many creative ways to meet your laundry needs. My methods will not work for everyone. Try some different ways and see what works best for your family. One idea :If you need to save up whites to fill a load then do so and have the children do their own darks.

Mom of thirteen said...

So glad you stopped by! Love your laundry funny!

Mom of thirteen said...

The comment below was left after the laundry part three post but refers to the question she posted here, at laundry part two.

No one was trying to hurt anyone's feelings, but rather broaden the questioners horizon as to the benefits of teaching sons to do laundry. We all need to be careful about the questions we leave and the answers we write.

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Anonymous said...

I commented here last week (I think it was) about not exactly wanting to stop doing my boys laundry. I felt hurt by the comments after I posted that.
I was going to try and begin training the children but I felt very depressed. I couldn't quite put my finger on it.
I found myself at a new blog by a mom of 12 who just happened to be posting other moms laundry room pictures and one thing she said freed me from my depression. She proudly admitted that she actually enjoyed doing her family's laundry and had always done it through the years. She said she found it...I think the word was "relaxing." I felt so much better after reading that. I came to realize that I enjoy doing our laundry. I do get behind at times and my boys throw a load in on their own once in awhile but I am by nature an organized person and I just really enjoy doing the laundry myself. Maybe someday I will hand it completely over....but then again maybe not. I am definitely planning on teaching my children to do laundry at some point and to do it well. But, with only five children keeping up with it is not really terribly difficult. I have a system that really works for me.
I just wanted to post this because there may be other moms who read this and think there must be something wrong with them, as I did, because they aren't ready to pass on the laundry baton and I wanted to let them know that it is OKAY to do your family's laundry all by yourself if you want to. We are all different and should impart grace to one another instead of judgment which I really felt last time I was here. I came back to see part 3 that LFL posted on her blog.

Roberta said...

You touch on a good point we all need to remind ourselves of whether we are reading blogs, books, or talking with others in our *real* lives, that God has given us our own families and heads of households to submit to, all under God's authority and for His glory. The ways our homes run will all look very different. I know Jerri in *real* life and can "hear" her tone in what she writes, and looking back at her comment it seems to me as though you both enjoy doing the laundry and provide your children with life skills. What a blessing that you enjoy serving your family in this manner. I am sorry you felt discouraged, and glad you also found encouragement (I'm guessing that was through Mommy-Life?)
And yes, may we extend grace to one another as God, through Christ Jesus has done for us. :)

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