Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Large Family Laundry Room

Okay, those of you who know me or have been in my house are going to laugh at this entry because you've seen my laundry room and usually you can't walk through it without climbing a pile of laundry.

But there is a system in place that I've been tweaking for years and it works well when I'm working consistently.

If only there was an invention that would wash, dry, press and fold clothes all by itself, but there is not (sigh). So this is how I handle clothes for 9 people.

Having to change my three youngest children often twice a day, I've purchased 3 drawer plastic bins for their clothes which are under the folding counter. I undress/dress them in the laundry room. That way I can get their clothes (often stained or wet) right into the washer. Likewise I can take their clothes right from the dryer and put them away without taking a step. No more going up and down the stairs or "folding"but never putting their clothes away. No more finding the drawers emptied by little hands all over their bedroom. On top of their dressers I place their little shoes and a basket of socks to be matched.

The other children keep their dirty laundry upstairs in small individual baskets (Okay, they are supposed to do this). They are responsible to bring their basket down first thing in the morning if they need clothes washed. I return the basket to them with clean clothes for them to fold and put away. This ideally happens on a weekly basis.

We've slowly been doing away with dressers. I think they take up space and end up being a big mess anyway full of clothes that don't get worn. So we have hanging dividers in the closet (we affectionately call these "holes" for some reason) in which we place a "match". A complete outfit or sometimes two is placed here. It makes dressing easy and thoughtless. So when they cry, "I don't have anything to wear", they're not kidding. Time to do laundry.

Of course this does limit the number of outfits that they have, but that's not such a bad idea either. What do they say? "People where 10% of their clothes 90% of the time" I believe it. I stash away clothes in totes in my closet and will replace what is worn out or outgrown. They think they get new clothes all the time:)

I purchased some shoe storage (we also refer to these as "holes") at a garage sale. Each child has their own row in which to keep their shoes. This is helping to keep the front door clear of 18 shoes.

We use inexpensive wooden peg hangers purchased Menard's for their jacket and swimsuit in the summer and coat in the winter as well as purses, book bags and the like.

Gloves, hats, and scarves are on the back of the laundry room door in a hanging shoe organizer.

There is no area for ironing because I believe ironing should be reserved for special occasions only.

My laundry room is also serves as our pantry and craft/game storage. I'm still working on that.


Cindy said...

Great ideas, girlie! I love the littles' clothes being right in the laundry room. I can't believe I've STILL never seen your house. Fabulous laundry room!!! :)

peppylady said...

I'm impress with your laundry room

Mrs. Brownstone said...

OH, MY WORD! After reading that you do laundry for nine people, I will never complain about doing laundry again!

Angie Hopkins said...

I have been getting rid of dressers too! We just use our closet with stacking drawers. I love the idea of the kids bringing a basket to you when they need clothes washed. I think I will try that with my older kids. Thanks for the great tips!


Thia said...

I agree with your ironing philosophy!!!!

Mel said...

I am with you about ironing!
We usually don't have laundry back ups but I LOVE your idea of keeping the toddler's clothes right in the laundry room! I am also learning to loath dressers.

Great ideas! I think I may implement some of them soon with my 6 kids!

Carrie said...

With a family of just 5 we don't have a big laundry problem , YET. But I love your idea of storing the clothes in the laundry room. But I have solved the 'shoe problem'. Each of my 3 girls have their own tub of shoes under their own beds. That works great for us!!

Anonymous said...

Okay, we have four older boys (school aged) and I am wondering...because boys like things easy...when they take a bath or shower do they go in their towel to the laundry room and do they actually take their dirty clothes with them? Or do you just keep a hamper in the bathroom?