Thursday, June 21, 2012

Taming the Laundry Monster

On a laundry theme here.
With six of us in this house I really have to stay on top of the laundry. I have developed a routine that works for me and keeps clean socks in the drawers at all times.

I find that it has to be my number one chore in the morning. After dealing with the animals I always start a load of laundry. That load is usually already in the washing machine ready to go in the morning.
As I finish that load and start a second one, I fold the loads that are done for the day and put away. I must do at least 2-3 loads a day to keep laundry from over flowing the hampers. 

I rotate the kids rooms and check their hampers about twice a week and make sure I am always washing full loads. No sense in running the washer unless it is full.

To keep laundry piles from growing too rapidly I make sure the kids know to hang up their towels and use them a few times between washing. This may gross you out but none of us have ever developed any weird skin diseases so I think we are okay. 

I do my bedding weekly and rotate the younger kids the same day. The two oldest are responsible for their own bedding. They are old enough. For the most part they can do their own laundry and often do but I will wash some of their clothes to make up a full load.

I try to get the laundry done early and put away as I just hate looking at it piled up.
Not a chore I love but if I stay on this routine I can keep it under control.

Here is a tip for you. I keep an old plastic trash can next to the washer in the laundry room. It is for all those wet rags that build up between bleach loads from cleaning and wiping up. I toss the wet rags in there and when I do a bleach load I just toss the entire can into the washer with our other whites. No more wet rags laying on the floor and strewn about waiting for wash day.

Don't forget the try my homemade laundry stain remover. Here is an e-mail from Holly about how well it works. Here is the recipe for the stain remover.

Hey Girl:
Just a short note.  I made your stain remover and used it.
The other day I splattered spaghetti sauce on my white t-shirt (why do I always wear white when making sauce???).  I put some on the stain and meant to wash it shortly afterward but forgot all about it.  This morning while sorting laundry I found the shIrt with the dried stain remover on it.  I squirted a little more on the stain and rubbed it a bit, threw it in the washer and you know what?
Thanks so much, my t-shirt and I are forever in your debt.


  1. I really like your tip about the little trash can because I am constantly using cleansers and also cleaning-up mediums and other toxins in the studio. I don't want them to ruin anything, and right now I have a large plastic laundry basket for that purpose next to my laundry sorting station, and it takes up way too much room in my small laundry room. I am definitely going to get a small tracy can next Target trip....

  2. we have been hanging up and reusing our bath towels for years, it works for us too.
    now kitchen rags and towels, i am sure I change those too often though, I may use a dozen a day.

  3. Your wash routine is much like mine. Although I am not doing nearly as much laundry as I used to, I like to keep up on it, and it is never piled up in the laundry room. I start a load first thing in the morning too, and now, with the weather and my new line, I am hanging most everything to dry. In fact I have only used my dryer twice in about a week and a half. For towels!!!
    Have a great day!

  4. Your so organized! I hate to do laundry at home because it is in the basement. At 1515 it is all on one level and I do the same as you do, I even have an old wire egg basket to throw the kitchen towels in for washing.

  5. We also have (had -- we'll be down to only one at home in the fall!) 4 kids. We assign days for laundry to each person, with one extra day as a "catch up" day, with the schedule posted. Husband and I have our clothes together so ours are done on 2 days (husband works in an office, someone in the "field" would need more washing I'm sure). Each child started learning to do their own laundry at about age 5 (with help of course), becoming completely independent and responsible for getting their own done by age 9 or so. Each person has their own laundry basket and is responsible for getting their stuff into the washer and dryer and back into their room. Each would have their own set of towels (different colors for each) which live on hooks in their rooms -- so no confusion, no excuses. With fewer people living at home now (and our youngest 14) -- we are not as "rigid" on all of this anymore -- but it really helped when there were 6 of us in the house!

  6. It seems we are both in the laundry mode. It is never ending, isn't it? Patty

  7. Oh how I remember all that laundry when all the children were small and home. Now with just two of us there isn't so much so once a week will do. Great tips. Hugs, Marty

  8. I really liked it when my kids started doing their own laundry (w/supervision) when they were about 9/10. Really helped a lot. Getting ready to make my first laundry soap soon...

  9. I thought it would be easier once my kids started doing their own laundry. Not so. I am always finding clothes in the washer that need rewashed. Or they leave them in the dryer for me to fold. I love the trash can idea.

  10. You are such a well organized person. Love that.

  11. you are so clever, and tidy too!! Great tip, I remember having loads and loads of laundry, not anymore, believe times will change and it happens so fast, before you know it they will be all grown up and on their own, I still need stain remover, I also made yours and it also works great on coffee and mustard, thankyou for that,

  12. I really wish I could do all of my laundry in one day. We have a well and can aonly do one load a day. There is only 2 of us now but even at that, I am never caught up.
    Good tips.

  13. "To keep laundry piles from growing too rapidly I make sure the kids know to hang up their towels and use them a few times between washing. This may gross you out but none of us have ever developed any weird skin diseases so I think we are okay."

    I had to laugh a bit at this... when you dry off after a bath or shower, you are as clean as you're ever going to be! So bath towels DON'T get dirty... Once a week is good for me!!

  14. there is only 2 of us and I feel that laundry is always piled up.
    I too use towels more than once you are suppose to be clean when you get out of the shower.

  15. I reuse my bath towel for close to a week. I spread it out over the shower curtain and it dries out thoroughly. You know, I read that in just a few hours, wet clothing left in a the washer can get mold spores. So I try harder to get mine into the dryer more quickly.

  16. There are only hubby and I and I don't know HOW HE goes through so many clothes. It is a job and I well remember when I had 4 kids at home that it was never ending- xo Diana

  17. Great tip for the cleaning rags. I'm going to do that one too. Keep the tips coming, love them all! Just made laundry soap, fabric softener, countertop spray (love it!!!!) and dish soap. I'm on a roll.

  18. Hi!
    You and me girl... in the trenches together :)

    Actually, I love doing the laundry.. I'm a little OCD about it too :)

    Thanks for sharing the way that it works for you.
    Going to check out your stain remover.

    Have a great weekend.

    Smiles :)

  19. Laundry has always been the bane of my existence BUT I have found taht time has take care of that -- empty nests have a lot less laundry :)

    When all 4 kids were home a system was always in order AND towels were hung for reuse :)

    Have a great weekend!


  20. Great ideas, here. My daughter has 4 kids and son has 6...laundry is the biggest monster in their houses, too. :(

  21. Hi Elaine, my routine was very similar when I was raising my five children. Although, I never had them do their own wash. I think it's a great idea and I should have done it. I don't mind doing laundry and still do two loads about every other day for hubby and I. We still reuse our towel a couple times. I'll have to try your stain remover. Thanks for sharing with Share Your Cup.

  22. Hi Elaine, Thanks for the laundry tips and for sharing this at the Open House Party!

  23. Yup, we reuse our towels here. Great tip about the waste basket for those cleanup towels. Thank you for sharing at TTF and I hope you are having a great day!

  24. We are doing a lot of laundry too. probably 5 loads a day. That is awesome your stain treatment worked!
    Thank you for joining me for Home Sweet Home!

  25. You are clean when you use the bath towel, right? So what's the problem with reusing it? I don't put the hand towel in the laundry every time I wipe my hands LOL I have much better things to do. After reading your post about how much laundry you do, I am SO thankful I live alone.