Thursday, April 26, 2012

Thoughts on laundry

If you have more than 2 children, you have sentenced yourself to spending half of your life doing laundry.

If you have more than 6 children, the laundry will start to swallow you up.

If you have more than eight children, many of whom play sports, wear school uniforms, find it amusing to change clothing several times a day, love to sneak snacks in their beds, and haven't learned how to keep clean clothes out of the dirty clothes basket, I feel for you.

If one of those eight children has autism and enjoys chewing on clothing, wiping her face on clothing, taking off clothing, and finding every possible opportunity to escape when you aren't watching, find a bed (any bed will do) and strip down and use the bathroom on the bed/sheets/blankets/pillows, then you are doomed.  Realize that you will rarely look cute or trendy again, because you'll seldom find time to do your own laundry and will spend most of your days in your endless supply of grubbies.  Make peace with it.

A few tricks I have learned:

Always, I repeat-- always, use a generous scoop of OxiClean stain remover in each load.  I learned this from Mama Mary and it is up there in the best advice I've ever been given.  I swear that it makes a huge difference.  I hardly ever take the time to spot clothes before I put them in the washer, and with OxiClean, they still come out clean.  I have had times where I'm out and have done a load and there really is a big difference.  Go get some today.

Never, I repeat-- never, take time to iron your kids' clothes.  Ever so rarely iron your own.  Take the clothes out of the dryer right when the dryer is done and fold them or hang them up.  If they have sat in the dryer for awhile and are wrinkled, put a small wet towel in with them and turn the dryer on high for 20 minutes, or use the steam setting for 15 minutes if you have a fancy dryer.  It will fluff those wrinkles right out.  Perfect.

Put the spin speed on low if you are washing clothes.  It will make a big difference in wrinkles.

Liquid fabric softener, people.  It does the job better.  Took me half of my married life to figure that out.  No more dryer sheets (unless you want to throw a couple in for an extra fresh scent.)

If you have a lot of people to do laundry for, consider getting a high efficiency washer and dryer.  The biggest you can find.  Go without food if you have to.  You won't believe what you can fit in these things!

If you have an actual laundry room, however small, count your blessings.  I myself have a "laundry closet."  It opens up into the busiest hallway of the house.  I have tried to make the best of it by telling myself that it forces me to hurry and put the clothes away, but what I would give for an actual laundry room!

Color coded towels.  I think I have blogged about this before.  Each person in the house gets their own color.  If you can teach them to actually hang up their towel after using it, you can get away with washing towels once a week.  Bonus points for you.  Now come on over and teach my kids, because they won't listen to me.

Why am I blogging about laundry?  Maybe because the laundry in my house is so piled up so high that I cannot stand to face it.  I'll just write about it instead.

Any tips to share with me?

Happy washing!

P.S.  The surprise I blogged about will come Monday.  (:


  1. Have you ever watched this YouTube video of Hilary Weeks?? If not, you should :)


    We stopped using laundry softener years ago because of its link to prostate cancer.

  3. I could blog about laundry too. Only 5 kids. Love the school uniforms.. I just know that I have to do laundry every day except Sun. or I will be up to my eyebrows. No advise though. I'm gonna try the oxi clean thing...white school shirts

  4. going to get myself some oxi clean. I don't use fabric softener (kiddo with asthma) but Trader Joes sells lavender dryer bags, just lavender no chemicals. Love them. I too don't take a load out of the dryer unless it is wrinkle free and I am ready to fold or hang.

    Fun post.

  5. Rosemary has taught me a few tips: 1) Don't use fabric softener when washing towels. It decreases their absorbancy. 2) When washing colored items, use OxiClean, and don't eliminate bleach completely. Dilute it instead: 1 part bleach to 3 parts water, then pour the solution into bleach dispenser as you would with whites. Your colored items will smell much fresher this way. 3) When washing whites, use bleach undiluted, of course, for brightest results.

  6. Love this post :) I just found your blog when your adoption announcement was shared on a yahoo group. :) It's the cutest announcement video ever! :) My kids are begging to copy (we are adopting our 8th child, a 5yr old from China) but we are no where near cool enough to do it justice. ;)

  7. Mother of four under five, I can not thank you enough for this blog! Just what I needed today as I am surrounded by sick kids and laundry that could literally swallow up all six of us! Thank you for your inspiration

  8. Routine routine routine! Wake up to someone screaming for juice, cereal or Caillou. Calm children down.
    Pour BIG cup of coffee
    Put a load in wash and dryer
    Feed starving children while trying to eat a piece of toast
    Fold last nights load from dryer
    Dress and hair kids and me
    Put away laundry
    Begin day remembering to maintain sanity at all times in public lol
    Try to figure out how long it will take to dress everyone so I'm not late for something
    Attempt to clean the room that is assigned for cleaning that day
    Break up fight
    Bla bla this sounds horribly boring out loud but it's just life
    More fight break ups
    More screaming commands at me
    Supper (it's almost over!)
    Drive someone somewhere to something
    Bath littles
    Bed littles
    Laod in wash and dryer
    Fold to put away with tomorrow mornings load
    Yup two loads a day every day min.
    God bless you.
    The Pope
    Said and I concur
    "large family's are a testimony of Gods love".
    You will survive and just a quick tip if
    They can they should so in my house at nine they are responsible for their own laundry

    1. Wow! I am exhausted just reading your schedule. Life with kids is a busy life:) We have discussed having the kids do their own laundry, and we may start doing that. The biggest problem is that their available time during the week is extremely limited. So that leaves basically the weekends. And with several kids trying to do laundry on the same day, it could get quite challenging logistically. Anyway, when we get our dream house (fingers crossed and prayers being offered!) hopefully we'll have a large enough laundry room for two washers and dryers.



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