In reading over April's blog, I could commiserate with her laundry woes.
Laundry (and dishes, and cooking, and grocery shopping) receives much disdain because it is never done. Unless you and your family do your chores au natural, you are simultaneously doing laundry and making more of it. The cycle never ends.
Aside from joining a nudist colony, I did not think a solution existed to this dilemma at various times in my life.
The other complication is that life changes. You find a system, you tweak the system, then something comes along to require dramatic change in the system. Usually that something in our household came in the form of another child.
I appreciated April sharing her laundry plan, and it prompted me to share ours, because there is definitely no one-size-fits-all laundry plan and maybe between the two of ours, you will find some inspiration to come up with your own perfect plan. Or, maybe at least fold a load while you think about it.
Laundry in our house started with two loads a week as newlyweds. Then three loads a week as new parents, then four, then five, then I lost count.
When we still fit in four loads a week I stuck to a laundry day and washed, dried, folded everything at once. I loved forgetting about laundry 6 days a week as long as no one was puking.
Now, even in our Texas-sized machine we need about 6-8 loads a week. But, I don't like doing laundry on weekends, I don't like laundry sitting around in baskets (or doing laundry and not having any empty baskets to empty the dryer into), and my kids started thinking that their opposite gender siblings had cooties.
Hence, the new plan:
We have a laundry hamper in the master bath, one in the bathroom the girls use, a laundry bag in the young boys' room (really need to get them a hamper . . .) and one in the oldest boy's room.
Monday: Blake (14 yo) does his own laundry. 1 load, everything together -- sheets, towels, clothes, everything. He wears mostly old jeans and the color gray so this works.
Tuesday: my laundry day. I wash my husband's, mine, and the two youngest boys (6 yo and 16 month old). This takes me about 3-4 loads depending on how often I neglected to notice my 6 year old wearing the same clothes day after day. He helps me fold the two to three outfits he wore (but 7 sets of pajamas, how does that work?) and the rest doesn't seem so bad.
Wednesday: Girls' day. The three girls (12-10-7) do their own laundry. Takes 2-3 loads. I help fold and put sheets back on bed, but for the most part they take care of their own stuff.
Thursday and Friday: catch up days. I usually run a load of towels, napkins, bibs, stuff that needs it, etc. Some weeks I don't.
Everyone helps put away their own laundry, and it is usually done by the time they go to bed on "their" day. Now and then a partial load gets left unfolded, but gratefully that has become the exception more than the norm around here, at least in my room.
For us it has really worked to have designated laundry days. Rather than just a random load each day, I know who is doing laundry when and so does everyone else in the house. We have used this for close to a year now and it is really working for us. Love when a plan comes together and stays that way for more than a week. ;)
How many loads do you need each week? Do you have a plan? Do you enjoy doing laundry? What age do you expect kids to do their own?
Would love to hear your thoughts. :) And, for more great tips on various topics, don't forget to check out WFMW.