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It appears that we are all intrigued as to how other families complete the everyday chores. I know that I am always looking for new ways to complete things. The hints and tips gleaned from both similar size families but also the fascinating world of larger families.
To some, our family appears large as we have three children. With the average family stopping at two children. Although I know more families with three children than two. So for us, we don’t feel like a large family.
How do we manage the family laundry?
One of the questions I’m often asked or seen asked on parenting forums is how we manage the family laundry. So I thought I’d share with you what we do in our home from laundry baskets to putting clean clothes away.
- Laundry baskets – We have multiple dirty laundry baskets around the house. With each bedroom housing, its own basket. It is then the responsibility of that person to fill their basket throughout the week.
- If it isn’t brought down, it isn’t washed – This one is going to divide opinion on whether I’m a mean mum or teaching a valuable life lesson. With five people in the house, generally speaking, I don’t miss things that aren’t put in for washing. As in uniforms, hoodies etc. So it is the responsibility of each person (Piglet currently exempt, although she does help me) to bring their washing down on a weekend. If they don’t do it (I do remind them – once!) I don’t wash it **. I bring my own washing down so it is not me that will be affected by not having clean clothes.
** Roo has learnt the hard way through not a) putting clothes in the wash and b) failing to bring her washing down.
- Sorting dirty laundry – In the utility room, I have an IKEA shelving system, which has baskets on the bottom half. A shelf in the middle to act as additional worktop space. Plus hanging space above this for wet laundry. With towels and bedding in one, whites in another and colours in the third basket. Whichever one fills first is what gets washed first.
Washing the laundry
- What gets washed first? – Washing is sorted into white, colours/darks and bedding/towels as it comes into the utility room. With the washing completed depending on which basket fills first.
- Loads per week – We only have a small 6kg built-in washing machine. So I have to complete smaller loads than I used to do with our 9kg washing machine in our old house. This being said I do around five loads of washing a week. Sometimes increasing to seven depending on whether the children are off school on half term or we’ve been away etc.
Although our washing is a combination washer/dryer, I rarely utilise the dryer. Only freshening up the towels to fluff them up every other wash. So I rely on the washing line during the dry days. Failing that I hang the washing on the airer on my IKEA unit. With the extractor fan switched on to ensure that the moisture is taken outside and not causing window condensation or mould.
- Hang by person – As I hang the washing up to dry I hang each persons washing together. Making it easier to fold and collate once dry.
- Dealing with the smalls – For socks, underwear and bras I utilise a multi-peg hanger. Pairing socks up as they are hung up to make folding easier once dry. These hangers are great for getting all the smalls organised, I also used these when the children were babies to hang babygros and sleepsuits.
Now that the washing is clean and dry. The items are folded as they come off the washing line (or clothes airer) into the basket. In order of person, so that once in the utility room they can be placed into the left-hand baskets on the IKEA storage system. With two people sharing a basket and a smaller size one for Piglet.
- I washed, dried and folded, you can put it away – Having completed the bulk of the washing. From sorting. washing, drying and folding. It is now down to the individual to put it away. With the clean baskets brought upstairs for them to empty and hang up their clothes.
- Ironing – Generally speaking, the only items that are ironed on a regular basis are the children’s school uniforms along with What The Dad Said‘s work uniform. Everything else is ironed on an ad hoc basis – although we don’t have many items that require ironing (I take this into consideration when buying clothing).
Family laundry management
So there you have it our family laundry management. I tend to do a load of washing every other day with the weekends seeing the bulk of the washing with all the school uniforms added in (although they have enough uniform for two weeks). Ensuring that the bedding is changed during the week to avoid peak washing times. The same again with towels.
How do you manage your family’s laundry?