Wednesday, March 12, 2014
From Average to More Series: Laundry
I am starting with the worst! It's the worst to me that is and I have found it to be a common theme of large families to focus on this area of home management. Every family does it a little differently and are often fine tuning it until they die, but a few things have stood out as obvious guidelines.
#1: Schedule different items on different days and do small loads in between as needed. For us this will look like:
Monday: kids' clothes, diapers
Wednesday: Mom's clothes, sheets/towels, diapers
Saturday: Daddy's clothes, diapers
I based this schedule on our current lifestyle and activities as these are the most open days to be chained to the machines. I will probably need to reevaluate this after the baby is born but right now I see it working for several reasons. Starting on Monday sets a productive tone, Wednesday is a pretty open day, and Saturday allows for MM to get his work clothes washed before he needs to pack on Sunday but isn't too many days between washes for the diapers. It also spaces things out enough that we aren't doing more than three loads a day.
#2: Dirty laundry storage. Currently Puzzle Boy has his own hamper, Mini has a section of the big 3 space hamper in her room (aka the laundry room) and Montana Man and I have no hamper and pile ours in a designated spot on the floor. This neither works well or encourages me to stay organized! I would prefer if we each have an open basket near our bedroom doors so that I can clearly see if that basket needs attention before its laundry day and also have one in the bathroom closet just for bath and kitchen towels.
#3: Teach Puzzle Boy to put his own laundry away. This seems minor, but it truly would help me greatly! Also, teaching him to bring his basket out of his room and load the washer will just be the beginning to eventual laundry independence. There really seemed to be recurring theme of having the kids take responsibility for their own laundry and I have to agree. With more than one or two kids, the children's laundry quickly can outnumber all others. I don't know about you, but I didn't have children to become a slave! When they are young, yes, I need to do it for them. When they are older it's just another thing to teach them to prepare them to be responsible adults.
#4: Folding laundry right out of the dryer. My mom always did this and while this would be ideal, currently the laundry is in a room nowhere near where my children play. It is also my daughter's bedroom. See my issue here? In our new house the laundry is in the center of the hall and I can easily see the great room and the kids' rooms from it's location. Problem solved!
#5: Keep things weeded out! This is a big one I need to work on. While I have pared my own wardrobe down quite a bit and continue to do so, I need to do this more consistently with my children's wardrobes. It is never ending at this age! They are always growing in and out of sizes, staining and ripping beyond repair. Along with this goes having a good storage system for those clothes that are not being worn at the moment whether they are not the right size or seasonal. I am a fan of totes for the children's clothes and we sort them by age/size and gender. For the hubs and me, I use my cedar chest for our seasonal clothes and my maternity clothes/regular clothes depending on if I am pregnant or not. When I pack my regular clothes away this time I'm sure there will be a bag to be going to Goodwill.
And, for some things that are personal to our needs:
#6: A new diaper pail and liner. I have never had a real and truly functional diaper pail. Shocking, I know, but as it is I always just made do with what I had. I do not recommend it. So I will be getting an open pail and a liner that can comfortably hold three days worth of diapers most likely in the 5-6 gallon range.
#7: Storing clothes only in our closets. I have a thing about cluttered bedrooms and under utilized closets. I do love my antique dressers but I would rather see them store things like sheets and the kids personal items rather than their clothes. I love to have a small section of drawers for underwear and bathing suits, bins for socks and tights and shelves for shirts, sweaters/sweatshirts/ and pants. Everything else is hung up. This I have found is a great way to nto alienate your hanging clothes from your regular wardrobe as well as making getting dressed a snap. No drawers to open and close and get messy from getting the shirt at the bottom. I find it also helps me keep weeding constantly as I can see immediately all my clothes and what I clearly keep avoiding.
Before the baby arrives I will also be making a double batch of laundry soap and buying cloth diaper soap. Once we are in the house I will also organize the laundry closet as well as implement the above to the fullest.
Til next week!