Ah yes. My old arch enemy. Laundry. We meet again.
As one might imagine, laundry with five untidy little boys, one untidy big man, and not the most type A mom, is an absolute certifiable nightmare.
I hate doing laundry, and I particularly despise putting it away only to have the little heathens darlings dump it all out of their drawers onto the floor with the rest of their smorgasbord of shtuff.
To add insult to injury, we are a veritable haven for hand me downs and used clothing by the garbage bag full. We love the hand me downs, they are amazing, but I’ve learned that I have to have a plan in place to tackle them or they will CONSUME ME.
Now, my wonderful, dear husband truly does not understand the amount of physical and mental energy that is required for this task. Not only to manage the ridiculous masses of clothing that pile up, but to switch seasonal clothing out, and keep all the kids in clothes that actually fit. Honestly, it’s practically a full time job.
After we moved into the farmhouse, I immediately began gestating our beautiful daughter and was so ill with nausea and vomiting that I could only lay on my couch and dream about what our laundry system could be.
How could I possibly tackle this gargantuan monster?
So, like any mom with a dream, I went to Pinterest and started drooling over gorgeous laundry rooms that we could never afford.
There were so many great ideas, but what would fit our lifestyle?
I decided that before we settled on a design, I needed to tackle the really hard part first. Reducing the amount of clothes.
Between the mounds in the laundry room and the mounds on the bedroom floor, there was no way all the clothes actually fit into the dressers if everything was clean at one time. Which it never ever was. (Except when I was so stressed out and overwhelmed that I got fifty dollars worth of quarters and headed to the laundromat. That my friends, is true desperation.)
How had we let this get so out of control!?
So it was finally time to take top to bottom action.
The first thing was to start with a mostly clean slate. I had darling husband pull out every single tub of clothing we had stored. Every. One. And we brought down every last piece of clothing in the bedrooms we could find.
Then he put a child gate around the ‘work zone’, in a futile attempt to keep destructive hands out.
Meanwhile, I caught up on as much laundering as I could as quickly as possible. In my experience, if High-speed and perseverance aren’t maintained, everything falls apart quicker than you can say “dirty undies”.
“Dirty Undies!” –You
This was the beginning of a multiple day process of sorting through every tub from newborn size up. Stained, holey, stretched out and de-elasticised things were tossed. Then I was left with the good condition clothing.
This naturally led to the next question.. How much clothing do they really need?
I managed to get my kids down to three laundry baskets each of designated clothes.
- One basket for socks, underwear, belts, hats, swimsuits, and pajamas.
- One basket for play clothes.
- One basket for nice clothes
At the same time, I was pulling out new sizes if needed and making sure everything was seasonally appropriate.
It was massive.
When it was all said and done I threw away three packed bags of clothes that were no good, and brought nine full bags to our local thrift shop. It felt better than eating an entire pan of brownies in one sitting!
Stay tuned for… Large Family Laundry Solution- Part 2: How I finally tamed the laundry monster.
Or How about: Easy Lemon Pepper Tilapia