Two big laundry helps...
My Blog Adventure!
Welcome to my blog! It's high time this 46 year old ventures into blog world and joins the ranks of you intriguing bloggers. First off, you should know I love the Lord Jesus Christ with all my heart. I love His Creation, His Word, His forgiveness, His mercy, and His being the Savior of my life. He is my reason for living! After the Lord, my next love in life is my outdoor-lovin', prankster pullin', hard workin' man I've called my husband for 22 years and counting. My 3 sons - to whom this blog is dedicated - have the next piece of my heart, and they fill my world with laughter, love, and laundry. I am calling this MY BLOG ADVENTURE... so hop into blog world with me... let's get to encouraging one another... this could be fun!
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Laundry is like the Lord's love... it's everlasting. I used to do a little here and a little there, and it felt like I was eternally doing laundry. We are a family of 5, which isn't that large of a family, but 4 of the 5 are male... and we live in the country... and they're avid outdoorsmen in any given weather... and we have 2 labs that love to jump... You get the picture! Imagine me with just my head peeking out of piles of laundry - not a pretty picture. BUT, the good news is I do believe we finally have the laundry monster tamed here!
Two big laundry helps...
Two big laundry helps...
The first item is where we sort our laundry. I have a label on each bar for what is sorted into each bin: whites, colors, towels, and dress clothes. The second item is a drying rack. This is useful for many, many reasons, which I'll get into later. Both of these items are in our laundry room.
The Laundry Routine:
Each of my sons has a clothes hamper in his room. We do laundry 2 times a week, on Wednesdays and Saturdays. It is listed on their chore chart as a reminder, but they know first thing in the morning on Wednesdays and Saturdays, they take their laundry downstairs and sort it. Each son is responsible for sorting their laundry. We practice this when it is first a new skill. My dh and I sort our laundry right into the bins rather than having a hamper in our bedroom, but that's because we have a small closet, and a hamper just takes up too much space.
I put a sticky note on the washing machine that says the settings dc should choose for each bin of clothes...
Colors: Normal; Warm/Cold
Whites: Normal; Hot/Cold
Towels/Bedding: Heavy Duty; Warm/Warm
Dress Clothes: Permanent Press; Cold/Cold
It is important to write down the exact wording of the settings, or they will be confused.
Then, we train each child the steps of putting the laundry in, adding the appropriate amount of detergent, following the sticky note to choose the proper settings, and pushing "start".
I put a sticky note on the drying machine that says the settings dc should choose for each bin of clothes...
Colors: Normal; High; Smooth out on drying rack
Whites: Normal; High
Towels: Heavy Duty; Maximum
Dress Clothes: Permanent Press; Medium; Hang or smooth out on drying rack
Then, we train each child the steps of putting the laundry in, adding a dryer sheet, cleaning out the vent, following the sticky note to choose the proper settings, and pushing "start". We all listen for the buzzer then, and try to respond promptly so clothes don't wrinkle. If the laundry is still damp when the buzzer rings, we teach the dc to run the dryer for 15 minutes more. Prompt response to the buzzer and use of the smoothing out/laying on drying rack has made it possible for us basically never having to iron clothes. While laundry is still hot, I sort it. Anything that can wrinkle (i.e. pj's, towels, washcloths, undergarments, etc.), I toss into an empty laundry basket. Anything that I don't want wrinkled I snap, smooth, and lay flat on the drying rack, or in a pile on top of the dryer.
We all keep the laundry going throughout the day. At the end of the day when all the laundry is either in the basket or on the drying rack, one child folds the basket items, and the other child folds or hangs the drying rack items (after they've cooled). The child that folds the laundry rack items places them on each child's "step" to be taken upstairs. The child that folds the laundry basket items places the items on the person's bed to be put away by that person. Usually my oldest son does the drying rack items, and my middle ds does the basket items, as they don't need to be folded all that neatly anyway. My 4 yo has exuberantly joined in by asking to fold the washcloths. So, he does that now and has also become the "runner"(the child who runs the folded laundry basket clothes upstairs and puts them on each person's bed).
We do this all again on Saturday. It has worked well. Everyone helps, we always have clean clothes and towels, and we never iron. On a side note, the drying rack is also wonderful for putting soiled wet washcloths or towels, wet swimsuits, damp mittens/hats/scarves, etc. Then when these items are dry, they are sorted into the bins and washed on the planned laundry days. We have tried many drying racks, but our very favorite has been this one because it is metal. The wooden racks break under the weight of too many clothes.
I hope something here can help as you try to tackle laundry in your home!