4 Moms Talk Dirty, Laundry That Is

Today the 4 moms; KimC, Connie, Deputy Headmistress and I,  are talking about laundry and how we keep up, or in my case how I plan to not get too far behind.

Being completely caught up with laundry in our home is a reason to celebrate.    With two adults, ten kids, daily cross-country runs, a dirt filled back yard with a sometimes creek,

"Wading" in our back yard creek

bed wetters, boys

Nick can find a mud puddle when no one else can.

and a world class spitter (2 month old Isabella), our laundry seems never-ending.   Add to that cloth napkins, cleaning cloths and sometimes cloth diapers and it is not uncommon for me to do 3-4 loads of laundry during the day and still not get through it all.

This is what our laundry area looks like before breakfast every morning.

Our laundry area in action.

I consider this basically caught up.   There is a hamper for dirty laundry in each of the bedrooms that you can’t see, this is only today’s laundry and by the time I took this picture I’d already started two loads, so both the washer and the dryer are running.  The laundry on the table is the boy’s clean laundry that they left unfolded from yesterday.

Yes this is what I’m faced with this every single morning (and because of what it represents, I wouldn’t trade it for the world).

Since this is all there is to our laundry area and you’ve seen it before.  I thought I’d share some  laundry management tips and ideas and a few links from my series of posts on laundry management.

  • Choose a  laundry system.   (We are still using the room laundry system, but considering switching to one of the others listed.)
  • Make your own laundry detergent.
  • Consider a family closet.
  • Set some clothing limits.
  • Minimize what you need to wash.
  • Use Dawn to remove grease stains, even old ones that have already gone through the washer and dryer.
  • Pre-treat stains and teach your children to do the same.
  • Make sure that everyone who may touch or move laundry knows the system.  I can’t tell you how many loads of clean wash we’ve re-washed because someone moved them into a dirty laundry pile, added dirty laundry to them or in a gesture of pity for their poor-more-behind-on-the-laundry-more-than-usual momma threw them into the washer.  That’s not considering the dirty laundry that may have been folded and put away.
  • Make folding laundry fun.   When we have marathon laundry days, we will all race to see how fast we can fold and put away each load as it comes out of the dryer.  At other times the children fold while I read aloud.

Now it’s your turn.  How do you manage laundry in your home?  Write a post and link up here or leave your best laundry hints and tips in the comments.

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22 Responses to 4 Moms Talk Dirty, Laundry That Is
  1. Stacy
    September 9, 2010 | 8:39 am

    I am really enjoying your blog. We currently have “only” 4 children and I consider myself fairly organized but have found some wonderful ideas on your blog. We recently implemented a family closet. We have a large laundry room with a wall of built ins that are perfect for the kids clothes. My 10yo and 8yo do their laundry (and they each have to do a younger siblings as well) on Mondays and Thursdays. I try to do at least one load a day of whatever needs attention. Diapers get done every other day either first thing in the morning so they can dry outside or last load at night and I hang them inside to dry overnight. The kids put their clothes away imediately…from the dryer to their drawers and shelves. Mine and hubby’s clothes tend to hang around in our room folded for a while. 🙂 This works great for us right now, I am sure the system will change as our family grows. We are also military so we may not be so lucky to have a wonderful laundry room/ family closet in our next home!


  2. […] Laundry area and tips […]

  3. […] Laundry area and tips […]

  4. […] Laundry area and tips […]

  5. Anita Chamblee
    September 9, 2010 | 10:45 am

    linked up today…I hope!


  6. Sara Povich
    September 9, 2010 | 10:46 am

    Thanks so much for the helpful info! I have eight kids also!! Laundry is interesting, lol! Unfortunately, my dryer is making a horrible noise right now! Not looking forward to fixing/replacing that.


  7. Courtney
    September 9, 2010 | 11:09 am

    I think those are great ideas. Here are a few that I have implemented; (I have soon to be 4 children and the oldest was 4 in May- so very young)
    1)I have taught them very young how to tell the difference between clean and dirty
    2) Taught them where to put their clothes- dirty in the hamper, clean by their closet door
    3)I have front load washer and dryer so they switch the laundry (since this is fun, they remind me to do it)
    4)When something is stained by food (organic) like fruits and veggies, ketchup- to get the stain out you just hang the garment in the sun

    I would like to know how to get mud out of clothing? I have never had much luck with that stuff. Do you have certain clothes for playing in the mud?


  8. Laundry Day « They Are All Ours
    September 9, 2010 | 11:23 am

    […] you into their laundry areas too.  Don’t miss it!  Kim C.@ In A Shoe, Smockity Frocks, Raising Olives, and The Common Room .  I couldn’t link to the laundry post on the Common Room, but you will […]

  9. Celee
    September 9, 2010 | 12:02 pm

    I can’t link up today because my laundry room is “under construction”. I finally broke down a bought a front load washer. Not sure if it was a good idea, yet since it takes about 3 times longer to do one load of wash! I’ve still got my old one in the garage, just in case. I have a small laundry room and have asked my husband to install a hanging rod and also to build me a shelf for my laundry baskets and to fold clothes on. I have the “vision”, I just need him to make it a reality.

    I love your shelf and cubbies!



  10. Heidi
    September 9, 2010 | 2:30 pm

    We just switched to a type of family closet and LOVE it!!!


  11. Aron
    September 9, 2010 | 3:15 pm

    We have 2 laundry baskets that live in the bath tub of our main bathroom. One for diapers, towels, underpants and the other for everything else. We are limited on space and this is a huge space saver. We are never caught up on laundry either. Family of 7 over here, 1 in cloth diapers.

    I do try to line dry blankets and heavy jeans, but sometimes that takes too long.


  12. Serenity
    September 9, 2010 | 3:45 pm

    Yesterday I FINALLY got “caught up” on laundry!!! When my husband left for work he had on his LAST pair of clean scrubs (YIKES!) so I knew we had to get caught up 🙂

    Right now I use the room system and when I remember to do it, it works well… It seems to be easier to know everything you are washing goes to the same room.

    Thanks for all the tips!!!!


  13. mary beth
    September 9, 2010 | 4:10 pm

    I am so loving this open house you are doing. I reread your homemade laundry soap instructions and I am definetly going to try that this week-end. I’ll let you know if I did it right and how it turned out. Thanks 4 the tip.


  14. Amy (Super Healthy Kids)
    September 9, 2010 | 5:23 pm

    I can’t link up,for I have no great ideas for getting laundry done. I’m certainly going to snag some of yours. I can honestly say it’s my least favorite chore. I’ve made many deals with my husband over the years that if he would always do the laundry, I would literally repay him with any favor’s he desires!
    …. I’m still doing the laundry.


  15. bunny
    September 9, 2010 | 7:34 pm

    My main laundry goal was not to do any on Christmas day, if I could do that it was a success!


  16. Becky
    September 11, 2010 | 8:11 pm

    I guess my laundry tip would be to follow the advice you give here about clothing limits. I can’t wait to start at my house and see how it goes. Thanks for the great site and great tips!


  17. Toni
    September 13, 2010 | 9:25 pm

    My friend, a mother of 9, does her laundry once a week (A-L-L day!)

    I have 4 children, ages 11 through 3. Here’s what we do;
    -Unless the clothing is very soiled (and it sometimes is, especially with our 3yo), I have my kids wear an outfit for 2 days before placing it in the laundry (socks and undies are the exception, lol)
    -Everyone has their own mini basket with soft handles, purchased from Walmart. They must bring it to the laundry room with dirty clothes in the a.m, then take it up and put away any clean clothes they find in the p.m.
    -my 8yo son transfers clean clothes from washer to dryer (on a step ladder, tossing wet clothes on a basket, then moving them from basket to dryer when ready). He also cleans the lint trap and starts the dryer (I have to tell him when he’s needed for this chore).
    -Everyone folds, even the 3yo.
    -All color sorting is done in the laundry room. When any one pile is the largest, it becomes the next wash.



  18. Toni
    September 13, 2010 | 9:32 pm

    p.s. I just read your “Minimize what you need to wash.” Our “wear it again” rules are nearly identical. The kids cannot put a worn outfit back in their drawers. It gets folded and placed on their dresser for the next day. They cannot wear the same outfit more than twice. And they cannot rewear outfits that received too much soiling in one wear.


  19. Elizabeth
    September 14, 2010 | 2:27 pm

    Drat! I thought I had two more hours before the linky-thing closed. Evidently I’m no good with deadlines. Here’s the link I would have added:



  20. keeslermom
    September 14, 2010 | 9:13 pm

    I’d love to see the moms-of-many do a Christmas toys list of their favorite toys for long lasting play, durability, creativity, etc. What toys are worth the money and space? Which ones get played with consistently, by both your kids and visiting friends?


  21. 4 Moms: Storage Solutions | Raising Olives
    September 16, 2010 | 7:14 am

    […] Laundry solutions […]

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