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.