Great large family laundry system that keeps the baskets empty and shares the large family laundry chores with everyone in the family, even the kids.
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When my husband and I were newly married, we shared most of the household chores, and we usually did our own laundry. We weren’t opposed to helping each other out, if we just happened to be tossing in a load anyway. When we were a smaller family of four and both of us still working (me from home), I did most of the laundry chores, and it really didn’t matter if all of the laundry waited until the end of the week. However, nothing in our teenage years of laundry training or our early years of marriage could have prepared us to conquer the large family laundry beast.
Large Family Laundry Problems
I’ve heard lots of moms talk about having a “laundry day” wherein all the household laundry is done once a week. There are a couple of reasons why that system would never work in my home:
1) There are so many of us that it would truly take an entire day to wash, dry and put away all of our clothes, towels, bedding, and martial arts uniforms, and
2) I could not stand looking at the baskets piling higher and higher as the week went on knowing what was waiting for me on Saturday or whatever day was designated.
Books and posts outlining methods that work for others are great. However, everyone must find the system that works for their home. Through lots of trial and error and many tried and failed systems, we finally came up with a system that works for us.
Our Large Family Laundry System
Our laundry system is pretty simple. Here is how it works:
We use smaller baskets on a shelf in our laundry room for pre-sorting to make laundry chores faster. You would be suprised at how much these baskets can hold, especially when they are emptied daily.
Pre-sorting also allows our some of our younger children to be part of this chore process. Download a free printable copy of our list of age appropriate chores below.
Do one complete load of laundry each week day.
- A complete load of laundry means: washed, dried and put away.
- The day’s load should be comprised of whatever you have the most of (e.g.,whites, brights, darks).
Do 3-4 loads on Saturday(depending on your family size).
- This includes the regular daily load of clothes, 1-2 loads of bed linens, and a load of our martial arts uniforms.
- Some families will not need an extra load of uniforms, but they may need the extra load for towels.
Note: It is helpful to make sure all rooms are clean and all dirty clothes are gathered before sorting out the day’s load of laundry.
Benefits of a Daily Laundry System
- The baskets are not piled high, waiting for you to spend an entire day doing laundry.
- Everyone always has clean clothes.
- The bed linens are done on a regular basis which reduces allergen exposure while sleeping, thus reducing occurrence of illness.
- It’s easy to toss a load of laundry in the washer first thing in the morning, move it to the dryer when you have time and have everyone put their own laundry away before bed.
- Smaller piles of laundry to put away are less overwhelming for small children, which means they can take responsibility for putting away their own clothes.
- You can accurately predict the number of loads of laundry you will do in a month. This allows for pre-purchase of the correct amount of detergent (unless you make your own) and other supplies, which saves money.
- If something goes wrong and you miss a day, you are only one load behind.
Please don’t think this system works perfectly all the time. It doesn’t. There are days when things spiral out of control and and load of laundry that I washed first thing is still we in the washer the next morning. There are nights when we are all completely exhausted and the laundry sorted on my bed is piled back in the basket until the next morning. However, for us, this system works most of the time, and that is good enough for me.
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Free Printable Age Appropriate Chores List
Most of our children are capable of doing more than we expect of them. I am constantly tweaking our family chore system to keep everyone doing as much as possible to evenly distribute our household responsibilities. I often refer to the list of chores below, especially for our littles.