Taming the Laundry Monster and other thoughts


So we are a large family and we are about to be even bigger in a few months (no references to my size Caleb) I need some help from moms of many or even just organized moms on how they accomplish laundry.

My current system of “hope I got some underwear in there for everyone.” is just not cutting it. My bigs know how to do laundry and I have been having them do their own but they forget, or the day is full of activities and we aren’t home to get any done etc. So that hasn’t really been great, except for the fact that when I find their clothes tossed on the floor I don’t  take offense because I wasn’t the one that washed and dried the clothes.

I welcome any and all ideas on this matter….my husband will forever be in your debt if you can help me find something that works.


The next thing on my list is how to move from complete and total chaos to our day to a flexible routine. I have a 3yo that would benefit greatly and I want to enjoy my day and not feel like all we ever do is clean. We need to do more with our unschooling pursuits and it just isn’t happening because I start everyday in the negative. I have tried to ignore the messes and to some extent I can, but we are in a small space and I feel closed in if all the small spaces are cluttered. I have tried FlyLady and would try again except I can’t keep up with all the emails.


Do you do this by the week, month, day, not at all? I need to have a plan in place so we avoid eating out when we shouldn’t or quick $30 trips to the grocery store. I get an organic produce share every Tuesday and I need to incorporate what I will be getting each week so that it doesn’t go to waste.


Bottom line is







9 thoughts on “Taming the Laundry Monster and other thoughts

  1. Laundry… I try to do at least 2 loads a day.  We don’t wear clothing just one day, either.  As far as I’m concerned, jeans can be worn many times, & unless someone is doing a vigorous activity that results in sweating, shirts can be worn again.  *THAT* really cuts down on laundry.  (My little girls haven’t learned that yet, though, so their laundry is … overwhelming…. 
    Routines…. eh….  We’re not very routine oriented, except that we know gym is on Mon, Tues, Thurs, & Sat. so I guess that puts a bit of a routine in place.  I try to do a little something to the house everyday, even if it’s just having everyone take their stuff back to their rooms.
    Meal planning…. I’m great at planning; horrible at carrying out.  That’s stupid b/c I honestly like to cook, I just don’t like to clean up.  We get paid every 2 weeks, so I plan menus for those 2 weeks & if I don’t use them, they carry over to the next menu list.
    I hate to think you’re stressing over all this instead of enjoying your pregnancy, but I know how easy it is to do that.
    Does Thurs. sound like it might work for you this week?  I don’t have anything going on, so it would work for me.  Just let me know!  ~Lori

  2. I have a laundry problem too(with 3 kids!). I am really trying to make monday my main “close washing day” since we are usually home. If I can get 4 loads done on monday,then I can do the “speciality”(cold,super dark colors)loads and extras 1 load whenever I can. This has helped us!
    My sister has 6 kids,the older ones take turns cooking,they make a list of what they will make for that week and she buys the stuff. My own 8 and 11 year old will sometimes make dinner(easy stuff)and I am trying to get them to make it once a week soon! Give yourself a break,  buy a big frozen already made thing or 2 from Costco and don’t feel guilty your kids got some preservatives/chemicals that night.

  3. This is a constant work in progress especially as we continue to grow in number!  I do try to have a system and try to have some order as I think that is important but like you said I don’t want to clean all day.  When we get up and have our breakfast, then our flexible routine starts.  The children have certain jobs they do as do I.  The kids make their bed(as best they can) or strip their beds if one happened to get wet that night, brush their teeth, get dressed, and bring their dirty clothes basket to the laundry room, they also go around gathering dirty clothes from others baskets too and bring it in. One child usually helps me undo the dishwasher and put breakfast dishes in the dishwasher.  Then someone helps me get the laundry started for the day.  I have 3 baskets on a table in the laundry room for clean folded clothes.  One for me and Matt, one for the boys room and one for the girls room.  Each morning during our jobs time we put up clean clothes.  Throughout the day I will switch over clothes or fold a load or two.  This system of alittle each day seems to keep it managed and addressed daily.  I also have a place that I can hang clothes in the laundry room that need to be ironed or need to “line dry”.  However, I do NOT iron.  Thankfully I have a husband who does! I also match socks immediately and don’t let socks pile up.  I do have a spot for unmatched socks.
    I do mealplan a week at a time.  I’ll write out a general plan of meals we could have for about 7 days and buy ingredients accordingly.  It does save money and save time!
    We try to start some sort of playtime/worktime/outside time/time together starting at 9am.  The housework kinda stops and the youngest children get attention and playtime since they will be napping after lunch and I can attend to the bigger ones.  We then before lunch have alittle clean up, before lunch.  Then again before dinner and then before bedtime.  Just to maintance all the mess throughout the day. 
    Again, this is always going to be a work in progress for us moms and each family has to work at a system that works for their family.  The same system rarely works for every family but collecting ideas is an awesome idea!  And I understand you wanting to get some things in place before the next one arrives! 

  4. First off-congratulations! I’ll confess, my hardest transition as Mom was from 4 to 5. I have no idea why.
    My laundry changes that have helped me immensly:Each bedroom gets a laundry basket for dirty laundry. Training them to use it is another story entirely-it seems they delight in removing CLEAN laundry to the dirty laundry baskey just to fill it. Wry grin.I bought two of those baskets that are seperated into 3 sections for the laundry room and as each basket gets brought to me I sort it right there with help fro the “owner” of the clothes. Three loads a day-one reds, one blues, one colors on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.  Two loads on Tuesday and THursday-whites and whateer is the largest. I fold right at the dryer, because if I don’t it sits for DAYS. My darling hung a rod up in the laundry room to hang things straight from the dryer. THOSE don’t always get to the rooms they belong in, but they are at least hung up.
    Declutter. I may sound totally callous, but the best thing that ever happened to our chaos was the house fire we had last year. We took 8 people from a 1600 foot space to a 750 foot space(house to apartment) for 9 months. We lost all the kids clothes, toys, a very large portion of their books, almost none of our school supplies. Happens I knew the firemen who responded that day and they moved my school cabinet and computer before the water was turned on! I’d been debating getting rid of a lot of stuff as it was, and that fire took care of it for me. We got rid of things that the kids have never missed. No mounds of stuffed animals, we’re down to wooden blocks, math manipulatives, Duplos and Little People for toys now and it’s made a difference for clean up and for the kids. They do more with the toys they’ve got, use their imaginations more, and I have less to clean up. I’ve also made the rule that if they lose a piece, the game goes out. Period, end of statement. We had SO many games and toys that were not complete.  One Rubbermaid tub for each type of toy and they get ONE tub a day that rotates in and out. Little People on Monday, Lincoln Logs on Tuesday, Duplos on Thursday, random toy box on Friday. Wednesdays are gym and AWANA day, so I try to keep them out of the toys. Saturday is a random pick, Sunday is family time, so we choose games often on Sundays.
    I’ve got DRAW-ERS. They all go through a ream of paper a day if I let them. I started a filing cabinet of folders for each child. Their pictures get put in there. Each child has a drawer of their own and Mom has the rest for printed stuff and records. Eventually I want to buy each child a scrapbook for just their art work.
    We do a 15 minute sweep in each main room every day, and a 15 minute sweep at the end of the day on the bedrooms. It’s a hard habit to get into.
    I’m not very organized either. Little reminders for me helped a lot last year and this year I’m trying the Motivated Moms planner. A friend was kind enough to send it to me and so far it’s REALLY helping. I don’t get everything on the list, but I feel like I’ve accomplished something. Flylady was too much and I spent too much time with the cleaning and not the kids. Doorposts.net(?) has a really good booklet on making Sunday a day of delight and I use a lot of their ideas through the week too. I’m trying to build a dress up box now that they can use in place of a toy box on any given day(mine ADORE dress up!)
    Start the routines now if you can. I lost steam about my 2nd month and am just now getting it back in time to lose steam again as I grow large. LOL
    I’m not perfect at it…but I’m trying! I will be praying you find your groove. It may be that you have to pick and choose from different styles to make what works for you. I don’t think there’s just one perfect system for anyone. I’ve tried a lot of them and end up feeling like a failure when I can’t do it “their” way, so I am making my own. Seems to be working to some degree.OH! One thing that has REALLY helped me is to choose one room to focus on until it is habir. The family room is my habit room right now, and has bled over to the laundry room. It gets a thorough pick up/vacuuming/dusting EVERY day. One room that is “perfect” makes you feel so much better! And once you’ve got the routine of it, you can slowly add other rooms in, one at a time.
    Menus-I write down a full month worth of breakfast/lunch/dinner and we buy for two weeks at a time. That way I have it available. I use a menu sheet from Cindy Rushton for my plans. Her Ultimate Mommy Menu Planner helped me a lot two years ago and I’ve been pretty good at it, minus the time in the apartment-we didn’t have the space to store two weeks worth of stuff in the apartment.
    I hope that helps!

  5. LORDY, GIRL!!! I THOUGHT YOU WOULD NEVER SHARE YOUR NEWS! (A little birdie told me months ago!) I’m soooo excited for you! I will be praying for you too! (I just happened to check your site. Not sure why your updates are coming to my email?) Glad you’re feeling good! (I was deathly sick with my boys so yeah, don’t get your hopes up!:0

  6. The best thing I have done…. is to buy everyone their own basket (accept for hubby and I) and then have a separate household one as well.Wash one basket at a time.Dry one basket at time.Put everything back into that one basket and get the child if capable to fold up their clothes and put away that day.

  7. I just read this in a parenting mag the other day: “Put a basket in each bathroom to hold clean towels – and drop them in straight out of the dryer. Same goes for undies and baby’s one-piece suits: Stick them in a shoe box in a drawer, no folding or sorting necessary.” I actually hate the idea of all those mesh laundry bags for each child. It’s too much. I just have a basket in each bathroom and they can ONLY put dirty clothes in those baskets. Then I ask one of them to bring them to the laundry room when I am doing laundry (@ least 1 load a day) and I also fold them right when they come out OR throw them in front of the bigs when they are watching a tv show. The tv goes off if they don’t fold! Mean momma! When they were little and I was working, I washed EVERYTHING together on cold. I knew it was wrong, but it was all I could do most days. Now putting them away…well that’s where I need advice!

  8. I have a pretty good laundry system. I do a load every morning, first thing. I fold the clothes as I take them out of the dryer, and dry the wet stuff that is in the washer. I put the folded clothes away, and am done till the next morning. It works well for us, the laundry never gets insurmountable. Of course, my family is smaller, and the addition of diapers adds another load on it’s own every two or three days. I am so excited for you!

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