Thursday, April 8, 2010

Laundry Madness!!! (and management)

***No children were harmed in the making of this laundry managing development process***

I've been saying I was going to post this for a while now, so I'm finally getting around to it! :)
One of the biggest things to manage with a large family is the laundry...not complaining, simply stating a fact! I struggled for years at how to simplify the process. My family continued to grow and therefore, so did the laundry! We finally developed a solution that has made the whole thing so much less of a never ending battle for our family and wanted to share. Albeit, we do have a rather large laundry area in the unfinished part of our basement, so for those with less space, you may have to tweak accordingly, but here it is...and yes, I DID wait until it was all caught up and the bins weren't so full they were spilling over into each other to take this picture! :)
We've taken plastic storage bins and labeled them with colored construction paper squares. I also wrote the name of the color on each square so that depending on the age/reading level of each of our children, all can participate and learn....even the 3 year old! These are the "dirty" bins where the clothing gets separated. When full, the whole bin can simply be dumped straight into the washer.
On the opposite side of the room there are plastic storage bins labeled with each family member's name. As the laundry gets removed from the dryer it is placed in it's "owners" bin. The older kids are responsible for folding and putting away their own laundry. The younger ones (and mommy & daddy)....well, let's just say our dressers/closets aren't used as much as before. ;) I do cave and fold it all once it becomes so full I can't find anything anymore! lol!

The only thing that has made the laundry process for our family easier than this has been the over-sized washer and dryer we had to purchase when our old ones kicked the bucket last year. They cost a little extra, but we went with the HE Maytag Bravos series and the capacity is amazing! Really! I can have ALL the bins overflowing and get it all caught up in a single day! (oh yea, and they are both see-through which has provided hours of entertainment for us all! lol!)

So there you have it. One of the sanity saving survival tips of a large family.

1 comment:

  1. I was just directed to this by a FB friend. I only have 2 kids but since we will be adding a couple more hopefully in the next couple years (through adoption) I would like to get a better handle on the laundry now so it isn't as much of an adjustment when the new kids do arrive. :-) So you sort by colors instead of fabric? That is genius! I look forward to implementing this laundry tactic soon!

    Carmen D.