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Taming the Laundry Monster in a Large Family

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Do you have a laundry monster in your house? With a family of nine, I most certainly do!

Even if you don’t have a large family and the idea of laundry conjures up images of mountains of laundry whether clean or dirty in your mind, you have a laundry monster, and you would not be alone. However, I will show you that it need not to with some of these tips that I have put into place over the years.

It may look a bit different for you than it does for me since I rarely use my dryer but these tips would still all apply even in your home.

Here are my secrets for taming the laundry monster in your family

laundry monster

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Do the laundry for the same people on the same day

For instance, Monday is always laundry day for two of my middle girls, my husband and I have laundry day on the weekend and so on. In my house, kids who miss their specific day after being reminded wait till next week. Especially with diapers to wash, the schedule is just full with no room for added people on any given day.

Start the first load of laundry for the following day in the washer the night before, that way it is ready to go right when you get up

This especially applies if you are hanging laundry.

Kids as young as 4 can sort their laundry here

For me this includes turning everything the right side out, taking pant legs out from inside the pants as opposed to all wadded up into a ball, checking pockets and removing each item of clothing from inside another such as taking underwear out from inside the pants. I have no problem washing things just as they are given to me, inside out, wadded up, whatever. At times I also just throw these items back in the room of the violator if I feel they won’t get clean anyway.

Have a sock day

Socks. They drive me crazy, and sine we are in the North, we wear socks several months of the year. Socks are forever mismatched, which drives me crazy, and smaller ones have also gotten stuck in my washer before. We have a sock day on the weekend, and I do use my dryer for the socks, otherwise I have no idea where I would dry them all.

Have a sock bag for each person

That way they are in charge of pairing up their own socks, or not depending on how lazy they are feeling.  No matter to me. Of course someone older needs to deal with younger kids socks, but you get the idea. Something simple like this will do

Kids as young as 3 are in charge of putting their own socks, underwear, and pajamas away

They can fold washcloths and rags, and they can also help hang laundry on the drying rack I use. My younger boys who are 4 and 2 hang diaper inserts on the rack for me more than I do.

Young kids can also remove things off the drying rack whether diapers or clothes

Younger kids love to help anyway, even with laundry!

Kids as young as 3 can load the washer

Set the dirty laundry basket or pile in front of the washer and let them load it in while you do something else. You will only need to come in and actually start the washer. Voila! Every saved moment counts, and they add up.

By the age of 5, kids around here need to start learning to fold laundry alongside someone older

By the time they are 8, my kids are able to fold their laundry all on their own, and they can load and run the washer and dryer (if needed) on their own, too

From this age on, the only thing I do for the kids is hang their things to dry if they can’t reach the drying bar or clothesline.

Here is my recipe for fabric softener.

Because I buy many of my kids’ clothes for pennies on the dollar, they often have many things to choose from. I have certain kids who are notorious for not getting their laundry done, folded, or put away, and I have been known to pack up everything but a few days’ worth of clothes after looking at it all in a pile whether dirty or clean for days on end.

With a large family, there is just not room for clothes not to be taken care of. If this is done on a regular basis, especially by more than one person, there is no way to avoid having a laundry monster. After some time passes, I give their clothes back, and they are so much more responsible 🙂

How do you tackle the laundry monster in your home?

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