So there was a discussion on a discussion board I read about “what is working for me.”As I thought about that topic, I realized that this is something that I used to struggle with, but right now I have a routine and a plan that makes it work pretty well. (But this may change next week. . . you just never know!)
There are five of us who live in the house and I figure I do at least a load a day to keep up.
That gives us Saturdays and Sundays off, yippee!
What I do–and why:
- Kids clothes (all three of ’em together): Soak in cold water overnight (between food stains and urine, they just need a little more time in the washer)
- My clothes (wash in cold water then soak in liquid fabric softener; I like ’em soft and nice smelling)
- Hubby’s clothes (the only load I don’t soak, and he doesn’t like the fabric softener, so it’s just a cold water wash)
- Whites (including kitchen towels, socks, unders; hot water with lots of bleach, and an overnight soak)
- Towels (soak overnight in hot water with lots of vinegar to remove smells; then a hot wash with detergent; then soak in liquid fabric softener)
I do NOT separate colors from dark clothes. Most of my clothes are dark colors anyway. And I just don’t worry about the kids’ clothes. I have heard that a product called “color catcher sheets” (I don’t know who makes them) works really well but I don’t use them. I do NOT wash jeans separately, because I think a full load of heavy jeans would overtax our poor washer and dryer.
How I do it:
Generally I start a load in the evening and let it soak overnight. In the morning, before the kids wake, I will run the load through so that when they are ready for chores the washer is ready to be emptied. (If laundry is stacking up, I will start another load right then.)
Probably my biggest “trick” is that the 7 year old and 5 year old help with the laundry. The younger boy moves dry clothes to the bedrooms for folding. Then the older boy puts clean, wet clothes from washer to dryer and starts the dryer. They each fold and put away their own clothes and the towels; the older boy also folds and puts away his little sisters’ clothes. The Bull folds his own clothes. I fold mine and the sheets.
And yes, their dressers look like it. This is something I have been willing to “let go,” though occasionally the overflow and mess makes me think that I need to take matters into my own hands. But I figure when they are old enough to care about such things as wrinkled t-shirts they will learn to fold them so that they don’t wrinkle. 🙂
I also *gasp* *shock* *horror* wear my jeans and t-shirts several days in a row. If it’s obviously dirty no, but. . . c’mon, I am home with the kids and go nowhere several days of the week!
I put some tags on the kids’ dresser, too, so they sometimes have all their shirts (etc.) in the same drawer.
Like I said, this may change soon. But for now, this is keeping me sane and the laundry baskets under control.