Laundry at our house…

…is never quite done.

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This is after a weekend (that’s right, two days) of laundry neglect on my part.

Laundry is an ongoing process in our house. The kids are constantly making it, and I am constantly cleaning it. With one baby, I did the one-day-of-the-week laundry system. It worked well. After my third was born, a wise friend and mother of four said to me, “I just do a load every day. That way I don’t have to think about it.” That has been my system ever since.

I know some people are sorters, and use different and varied techniques for getting stains out–but my laundry system has never been that complicated. It starts with the kids putting their dirty laundry in the laundry room. Nobody has bins in their room where clothing could possibly be lost. Every night, after they’ve changed into pajamas, they take all their dirty clothes to the laundry room (which is on the same floor as our bedrooms), and separate it into two categories: whites and darks. Not kidding. In my laundry life, things are literally black and white. Whites include socks and underwear, and white t-shirts. Darks is prettymuch everything else.

Every morning, I start a load of laundry–whites or darks, depending on which basket is more overflowing. White get washed in hot water with Tide and Clorox 2, and darks get washed with just Tide, unless I know there’s something with a stain in the load, and then I’ll add Clorox 2 to the load. When something has a particularly bad stain, I still put a dab of Tide directly on the stain, and then wash it after a few days. I move it to the dryer when I remember, and then fold and sort when there’s a break in the action. My oldest kids help with the folding and sorting, and then every kid comes to put their own piles away. Doing one load a day used to be all I needed to do, but anymore I do two: one of clothes, and one of other things: sheets, towels, whatever.

This system has worked well for me. I fold the clothes on our bed, which motivates me to get them folded and put away, so I *usually* don’t have a mess of clean clothes waiting to be folded. I am not ready quite yet to move to a system where the kids do their own laundry, but it is just about time to make the older girls a lot more responsible for folding. I do sometimes have clothes that get dingy after many washes without any specific stain treatment, but the kids wear through clothes so fast that I don’t worry about that too much.

Anybody else do it this way?

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