I've had a few years now doing family laundry, weeks where I cannot keep up and get overwhelmed and others where I'm on top of my game and feel like a super mum. I am not however, a super mum. I wash socks just like the next person.
I have learnt a few helpful hints along the way, hopefully they can help you too!
1. Implement the rule:
If it's not visibly dirty or smelly put it away- not in the wash basketWhen you have newborn babies you get into such a habit of having to wash everything constantly. They wee-poop-spew-drool-food spills on everything and everything in a 1m radius of themselves. So that season is about washing lots and lots. But it can become a habit. Once your kids start growing a little and being a little less poopy/drooly and generally can contain their bodily fluids a tad more your washing loads should decrease.
I was doing daily loads and couldn't keep up with the washing-drying-folding-putting away.
Then one day I watched myself clean up the bedrooms by putting all the clothes from the floor into the washing basket, telling the kids before their showers to "take your clothes off and put them in the washing basket"- regardless of if they were dirty or not! -- I was making the floors clean but creating hours more work for myself! Dah! So now I am teaching my children...
- Underwear/socks always in the wash
- Shirts and pants etc check if it's visibly dirty or smelly- put away or wash depending on what you see and smell.
My weekly washing has decreased to almost only socks and jocks! With just a few odds and ends. Rather than excessive piles and loads.
2. Wash in the morning.
That way you can utilise as much sunshine as possible. Cut down your electricity bill by using the sunshine. Not only is it cheaper- but a lot of stains will come out with the help of the sun! It bleaches whites real good. It also gives you the best opportunity to attempt #3 below.
3. Try to complete your washing cycle all in one day.
Having a load of dry washing to fold and put away from yesterday isn't very appealing or motivating to do. You will be more likely to try and avoid it as long as possible and then continue to add to the pile until it becomes so over whelming that you will need a giant block of chocolate to motivate you to sit for hours and fold. yuck.
Give yourself some head space, complete it in the same day- you will feel better!
4. Skip steps!!
The main step that can be skipped is folding. You can cut out extra effort and time by cutting out unnecessary steps.
- If you have just washed your bed sheets (that morning obviously) instead of folding them... carry them straight off the line or drier and put them back on!!
- Towels once dried can go back on their hooks in the bathroom- no folding
- Undies can go straight back on-- jokes!
- Don't fold clothes that need to be hung up. Put them on hangers instead.
- Buy everything that doesn't need to be hand washed or ironed especially for the kids!
- Don't bother treating stains on run around kids shirt, hey, its only gonna get worse!
5. Fold Strategically
There are 2 options here.
- Fold the clothes as you take them off the line. When I do this I take the clothes off the line by person, as in: all of Davids clothes folded into the basket, then take all of my clothes off (Ha! Don't be rude :) then Milla's and then Phoenixes. That way when I go inside to put it away there is no sorting, I just go to their rooms in reverse order: Phoenix, Milla, Ours, or whatever order I did it in that day.
- Fold on the floor where there is lots of space (just swoosh the crumbs to the side) Fold clothes and stack them into piles relating to where they will end up. So one pile of Milla's is undies and singlets because they are in the same drawer. Cuts down more time sorting once you get to the room.
6. Incorporate Others!
Hey! You know where it belongs, put this away please!... It takes a team to make a family work. Lets do this together. Teach your kids how to do things for themselves.
Happy laundry Day!! Hope this too cuts your work load down a bit so you can enjoy doing other things like playing games with your babies xx