When you have a family of 10---laundry can become quite daunting.
Especially if you would like to have a life and do things like spend time with your family, clean your home, prepare meals and homeschool your children.
I think it is important to know how to keep house whether you have 2 children or 10 because it can make or break a mom. It can become very depressing if you feel like you have a mountain of work to do everyday and feel things are out of control. Not to mention that it can be very discouraging and make a mom want to give up important things like homeschooling.
Never having learned the fine art of doing laundry at this type of magnitude, I knew I had to go to the experts. A few years ago I searched online and found the answer. Here is what we have been doing for the past few years which have brought much peace to my soul...
We used to do laundry every day and try to fold and put laundry away the same day. That never worked for us. We would end up with laundry that never made it to the dressers, baskets in the family room and trying to find an article of clothing would be a challenge if we fell behind during the weekend.
Now the method I use is this:
We do laundry still every day. All of the children take turns throwing in loads--from the seven year old and up.
We have a large, rectangular table in our laundry room with baskets on it.
Each basket is labeled with a permanent black pen: Twins, Janai, Naomi, Stephen and Ravi (S&R), Joshua, Joy, Misc., etc. the miscellaneous basket holds towels, sheets, cleaning rags, etc. We have eight baskets altogether on the table, and three big circular bins to hold dirty laundry underneath.
(I am thinking about painting my laundry room this color)
When a load or two is done we simply sort (not fold) the dried clothes into the baskets. This is wonderful because I don't feel pressure to put it away that day, it is out of sight if visitors come unexpectedly, and it is organized somewhere so that if my son needs to find a pair of socks, he knows they are waiting in his basket downstairs. I also am not worried because I know we have a folding day, so I don't feel like any of the laundry is hanging over my head all week.
So once a week (or twice if there is a lot of laundry) we will have our folding party--usually as we watch educational movie from the library. After they fold, we put all our laundry away and when that is done they simply return the empty basket back on the laundry table, in it's right spot.
(This is from HGTV--they have a nice post on laundry decor ideas here)
I know this will not work for everyone and some of you might read this in horror thinking--how on earth could she do laundry that way? Well, this absolutely works for us (even though you might have another successful way of conquering Mt. Never-Rest), when you have a bigger family and still want to maintain sanity, you sometimes have to resort to different means. Many large families have their own techniques of conquering their daily loads. How we do laundry will not look like how others will with smaller families.
For a long time I tried to do laundry like my mother. She was a stay at home mom with one child who was gone all day at school. So naturally, she was able to get everything put away perfectly before I even got home. For years I tried to emulate her example--but quickly after a few children more began to realize it was something of a 'crash-and-burn' technique for our family. I couldn't keep up and felt like a failure.
Now I have everyone from the 7 year old and up learn how to throw in the loads for washing. I barely step foot in the laundry room these days because I have trained the children to do practically everything, so it minimizes my time spent in there.
This was a life-saver for us, and I just wanted to share it with you so you can 'build up your home' by keeping your laundry under control.
I hope that if you try this method, it blesses you as much as it has blessed me!