Okay so we when I first tell people that I have 5 children one of the first things people say and often is, 'Wow the laundry you must do!'
And yes, I do lots of laundry, but I am no slave to the laundry room and today I am going to tell you how I stay laundry game strong.
There was once a time I was very much in laundry's deep, ugly, grasps. I was getting so overwhelmed with it that I would bag it up and take it all to a laundry service knowing there was no way I would ever 'catch up.' And while taking it to a service is certainly nice, this is real life and we cannot afford to do that each week with a family our size.
So today I will highlight a few of my 'Pro-Tips' for getting on top of your laundry and becoming laundry game strong! Keeping that laundry monster at bay has changed my homes rhythm for the positive, and it is a simple thing to do once you get in a groove.
PRO-TIP #1 :
My first pro tip for staying on top of the laundry is to to stay on top of your closet. Keeping your closets clean and organized and knowing what you own is the first step to slaying the beast.
When my kids closets and bins are organized I can keep track of the inventory much easier and know when it is getting crowded or depleated. We make it a habit to go through our clothes once a month. That may sound excessive but I promise, at least with my boys, one of their shirts is ruined by the end of the month. (Where are my boy moms at? Ammirite?)
So once a month we go through the clothes and either hand down (if possible) or donate things that do not fit my youngest if it is in decent condition. The rule I give about donating is this: If I wouldn't let my child wear it out, I do not donate it. I like to donate to be a blessing and I want to make sure we are giving things I would be happy to receive.
Once I have gone through their closets with them we make a list of what each child needs to fill their 14 day minimal wardrobes.
There it is, Pro-tip #2. Buy them minimal wardrobes.
If they own the minimum amount of clothing, this equals a minimal amount of laundry.
We decided that since they are kids and often times things happen and they need to change clothes during the day for a variety of reasons that a week of clothes just was not sufficient. Having a 14 day minimal wardrobe allows the kids grace if there is an accident or spill. It also gives me a couple days of grace if I were to become sick or if I decide to take a few days break from the laundry room.
So what does it mean to have a 14 day minimal wardrobe?
The boys -
For us that means that my boys are allowed to own :
4 pair of shorts/pants, 14 shirts, 1 sweater, 1 swimsuit, and 1 winter coat.
This includes 1 set of 'dress clothes.' Since the church we attend is very much come as you are we rarely have a need for dressy clothing. Still we keep one set on hand, just in case.
I do the girls a little differently since depending on the activity they may not be able to wear dresses.
For us that means that my girls are allowed to own:
3 pairs of shorts/pants, 7 pairs of leggings/biker shorts (for under dresses), 7 tshirts, 10 dresses.
As of right now my girls prefer to wear dresses. If this ever changes I am sure we will modify how we buy.
I should also note that the baby also owns several more outfits due to diaper blowouts being common, and general baby ickyness. She never owns more than 20 complete outfits at one time and once she potty trains she will move to the 14 day minimal wardrobe as well.
Have the kids help.
From age 2 or so I had my kids helping in all sorts of household chores. We would put on music and everyone grabs a towel and cleaning spray. It gives the kids a sense of pride in their home and helps teach them much needed life skills.
My kids know that once their basket is full that the oldest child in that room is responsible for taking it to the laundry room and telling me they have a load of laundry to do.
If the washer is free and ready for a load they are too put the clothing in the washer and wait for me to help with starting it.
Once it is washed they either help me hang it on the line, or help me put it away. When the children are allowed to participate in the chores alongside you they start to realize how much time the washing takes and are more thoughtful of what they throw in the hamper bin.
PRO-TIP # 4:
Be disciplined! I know laundry is not the most exciting of household chores. In fact, it is my least favorite. I can remind myself over and over that I am thankful that my children have clothes to wear. I can sing. I can watch my trashy reality tv obessions. Nothing makes me enjoy laundry. Nothing.
But I know all to well how much more I hate laundry when I have allowed the laundry room become a place I tell the kids 'No, don't go in there, it's not safe!'
Kidding. Kind of.
I have learned my lesson and therefore our family has decided that we will do everything we can to complete 2 loads of laundry a day. Of course you may not have a family of 7 like us and you may only need to do 1 load a day. Or if you have a new family, maybe even just a load every other day!
Find your groove, but stick with it!
Want to feel encouraged? Since I have been doing the 2 loads a day system for some time now there are some days I do not even have enough laundry to do a single load. If I could add the high five emoji here I would. So just imagine he is there okay? Because I think every mom everywhere who is caught up on laundry deserves all the things. Dinner, spa, free time, all the orgasms...
ALL THE THINGS!
So, there you have it! That is my simple, easy, stress free way I stay on top of the laundry. Nothing revolutionary, but it works for us! Hope if you are currently scaling that laundry mountain that some of this helped!
Go spread good vibes,