When I was a young bride, I was so excited to “play house.” It didn’t take too many children to pop that “play’n house” bubble. Then, it was all about survival. Bringing my home from disorder to order is a relentless job. Though it seemed no matter what I’ve tried, I could never get ahead of it. I needed to get innovative to over come the laundry monster. Giving-up some of my freedom to choose can translate to real minutes…hours…days. I have the freedom to choose where I spend my time. Laundry is not my first choice. It easier, now.
I examined where my current system broke down. When laundry goes into the system it:
- Needs to be separated into colors (unless you are a bachelor :))
- When it comes out of the dryer, it needs to be separated into person.
It always stopped right about there. With 7 people, it is a crazy amount. My husband and I want to start a business (along with homeschooling), not go crazy sorting 50 pounds of laundry each week.
When we traveled across the country for 1.5 months our clothes system was “streamlined.” My travel sorting has changed since then, but it is still simple. I have adopted the Duggar’s family clothes packing system for the young ones. I was wondering if a modified version of that would work in the house? Less choice equals more time. Everyone who wants more “choice” can do their own laundry. I stepped up the Duggar system to include an “already sorted” component. After the days clothes are worn…just throw the whole bucket into the laundry, put it back in the bucket and on to the self when done.
Here of the Nuts and Bolts:
Box of the Day: Each box has a shirt and pants/skirt or dress for everyone who wants to participate. Those who don’t, are opting to do their own. It is best to have a separate box for socks and underwear. **All 4 younger kids wear the same size stretchy white socks.**
Sorting: Sorting happens as you pick the clothes. All the clothes that go into a day’s box can all go together in the same load of laundry. No sorting!!! If you are a smaller family and still want this convenience, have a two day box.
Sock/ Underwear Box: I found it no fun to dig for individual socks and underwear. It is best to separate the undergarments from clothes. In one box I put all the kids underwear, younger kids white socks, older kid’s (different color then white, blue) socks. I still put mine in the dresser. Though, I do participate in the clothes of the day event. 🙂
Number of Boxes: I made 6 boxes. You don’t need 6 boxes. Any number between 4-12 would work.
Day of Choice: Each Sunday is a day of choice. The hanging clothes lend well to this. Many of their hanging clothes match. The kids still feel the freedom when they choose any hanging clothes that they want. (selective freedom)
Have extras: Find a place for two or three extra shirts and pants in a separate box with each child’s name on it. These are extras for when something gets spilled or I can’t find someone’s clothes for a box.
- Buy buckets or find boxes (We have the large Ikea boxes that slide into their own shelf.). Organize a shelf system near the bathroom
- Sort the boxes as above
- Each day place the new box in the bathroom (I found it works best to put it there at night. So that I can get all the used clothes of that day in one box at the same time.)
- Put the already used days clothes in the washer all together.
- When they are dry put them back in the box and put the box on the shelf.
I have kept on top of the laundry this week for the first time since we have our second child!