Our Large Family Laundry Routine

Our Large Family Laundry Routine

I know lots of large families.  And they all have different laundry routines.  I finally settled on our large family laundry routine and wanted to share it with you.  After all, I didn’t have it all together and I know some of you don’t as well.  You’re looking around trying to find what will work for you.  If you’re like me you’ve tried so many different things you’re ready to settle for mediocre while wanting fabulous.

I found fabulous ladies!

 

large family laundry routine

 

So what do I do?

First, I found a laundry detergent that works for our hard well water, washing my husbands dirty oily greasy work jeans(he’s an electrician and you don’t want to know some of the places he’s crawled through), as well as my sweet little ones diapers.  Let’s face it, very few laundry detergents can do all of these things.  I though Charlie’s Soap was going to be my go to, but alas it couldn’t handle our well water.  My clothes started to smell, and the stains wouldn’t come out of my husbands jeans. 

So I turned to my essential oil company.  I love their products.  But I’d never tried the laundry detergent.  It was worth a try.  I told myself it couldn’t hurt.  So I went for it.  And now I will never go back!

If you haven’t found “the one” laundry detergent yet make sure to give this one a go.  You’ll love it.  Trust me.

What next?

Okay, so after I found the perfect laundry detergent I needed the perfect routine.  I already has a quasi routine.  Each of the kids bedrooms plus the bathroom has a hamper.  There is a child assigned to bring each hamper to the laundry room and my oldest sorts the clothes.  Clothes are sorted out by jeans, towels, whites, coloreds, and delicates.  Simple.  

I do at least one load of coloreds daily.  Jeans and towels are done every other day on a rotating basis.  So say Monday I do jeans, Tuesday I’ll do towels, etc.  Whites are done once a week or whenever I can get a full load.  How often that is depends on how many breast pads I go through and how many blankets and burp rags the babe spits up on.  Delicates are done whenever needed or every other week.  That’s about the most amount of time I can let them sit on the shelf where they collect without it driving me nuts.

Diaper Laundry too

Cloth diapers get done daily or every other day depending on the weather.  I always line dry my diapers.  When we bring them in at night I like to give them an air fluff in the dryer.  This just takes some of the line dried stiffness out so that they’re super soft on the bitty baby bum.  Check out my post on cloth diapers to learn what kinds I use and why I love them.

Speaking of the dryer.  The only things that get dried in the dryer are my coloreds and whites.  I hang dry the jeans and towels.  Previously I’d hang dry the coloreds and whites as well, but I only have one clothesline.  We use the fence that surrounds our yard to hang out the jeans and towels.  There just is not enough room on it to hang out all the coloreds and whites. Plus some of my kids are old enough they don’t want their unmentionables on the fence for the whole world to see.

Anyway, back to the dryer!  I like to use dryer balls in my dryer instead of dryer sheets.  Artificial smells are not good for you or your clothes.  Instead of those stinky dryer sheets I put a few drops of essential oils on my dryer balls.  Our clothes come out smelling clean and fresh without any harsh chemicals.  Win win for all!  I particularly like using citrus scents or lavender on my dryer balls.  Occasionally I spice it up with peppermint or cinnamon bark.

Where does it all go?

Now I feel that I should tell you about my laundry set up.  First, I have never had a brand new washer or dryer.  We buy used.  Mostly from auctions or friends who decide they want to upgrade.  My husband is a handy man and has rigged up my washing area to allow me to have 2-3 washing machines!  Yeap you heard that right.  I normally have at least two washing machines in running order.  Having two makes it so easy to do laundry.

I used to be overwhelmed with laundry.  Creating a routine really helped but I’d often forget to go switch out loads.  Or I’d go hang up the first load and forget to start a second load.  The biggest problem though was the cloth diapers.  They take a while to wash because you have the first wash cycle with an extra rinse cycle(the first wash I use detergent) and then a second wash and rinse where it’s detergent free.  That’s two full wash cycles with extra rinses.  It takes a while and by the time they’re done and on the line the next load doesn’t have time to get dried on the line.

I’m so lucky.

Enter my amazing husband and his mad plumbing skills.  It’s not pretty but it’s functional guys.  He rigged it up for a second and even a third washing machine to help make my life simpler and to ensure he had clothes to wear to work.  There may have been some times earlier in our marriage where laundry got put on a back burner but that’s a story for another day.  Our large family laundry routine has come a long way from six kids ages 3 and under with four in diapers let me tell you!  Those were the rough days.

Dryers.  I have one dryer.  With two washing machines this might not sound like a good fit in our large family laundry routine, but it is.  It doesn’t get used as much as it could because I do hang out over half of our loads of laundry.  But it does still see some use.  In the winter I don’t use it except for a fluff cycle on cloth diapers because we hang our clothes up from the unfinished ceiling in the basement near our wood stove.  But during the summer when clothes don’t dry as well inside the house and unmentionables on the fence cause tween angst, my dryer gets some miles put on it.

Let me know if you want to know more about our large family laundry routine!

Content or Contention

Content or Contention

It’s just a hard thing to decipher sometimes.  Are we content?  Or are we filled with contention?  Content or contention.  What’s it going to be?

To start off we need to define both the words.

Content: a state of peaceful happiness, a state of satisfaction

Contention: a striving to win in an argument or a heated state

These two words don’t sound anything alike.  In fact, they sound like opposites.  And yet sometimes it’s hard to tell them apart.  It’s hard to know if we’re living in a state of content or contention.  What is your home life like?  Are you content?  Or do you live in contention with your family?

Content or Contention

Taking a moment to find beauty in the hectic everyday life.

 

I think all of us would have to truthfully say at some point that we were living in contention.  It’s so hard sometimes to stay out of that pit.  It seems to just suck us in and want to mire us down in the mud.

Personally, I can confess that there have been more times than I want to recall where I have been filling my house with contention.  Contention with my husband, contention with my kids, even contention within myself and with God.  I’ve wanted what I wanted and I was going to fight for it.  I wasn’t content.  Deep within myself I wasn’t content.  

How can we become content when deep within our beings we’re not happy?  Where can we find contentment when turmoil rolls?

I had to do this.  I had to find contentment.  Life was rough.  It felt like I was out to sea being tossed to and fro by merciless waves.  What I needed was some contentment and to let go of the contention.  I wasn’t happy with myself.  Because I wasn’t happy with myself, I wasn’t happy with my husband or my kids and it showed.  Because I wasn’t content I was making everyone else around me live in a state of contention instead of contentment.  More about how we as moms rub off on and set the tone for our houses in another post.

So what did I do?

I made my mornings count.  I started getting up earlier which was a huge issue for me. I’m not much of a morning person.  Not really because I don’t like mornings, but more because I’m up half the night feeding a baby.  Adrenal fatigue is also a culprit for me not sleeping well at night and not wanting to get up in the morning.  But I made myself.  I made myself get up and spend time in the Word.  I started a good Bible study.  Just by myself.  I have a need to do a Bible study with others, but so far my life hasn’t given me that opportunity so I do them alone.  Even though I don’t have the input of others, it’s still good for me and my life so I highly recommend this.

 

Content or Contention

Never alone, not even to go to the bathroom.

 

So, make the mornings count.  Step one for me was to dig into God’s word just by reading.  Step two was adding a Bible study on my own.  The next step, step 3, was to set a better tone for the day.  Instead of waking up kids with come on it’s morning get up, I started playing praise music.  I diffuse happy oils in the mornings.  I’ll elaborate more on that as well in another post, but think mood oils that uplift and invigorate you.  Basically, I set the atmosphere of my home into a peaceful one.  I set us up to be content.

Contention can sneak up on us and steal our joy.  It makes us feel bad about ourselves and it makes others feel bad about themselves and our relationships.  We can ruin friendships and damage growing emotions of our children.  This didn’t hit me until one day I heard my words coming out of my children’s mouths.  Wow.  Talk about face-planting into a brick wall.  I didn’t want my children to feel that way.  I wanted them to be filled with satisfaction and happiness and peace.  Content.  I wanted them to be content.

Content or contention.

This is going to be a two part-er.  Or maybe you can just keep reading.

Another area of contention in my home was the fact that I was home all day everyday.  My life was and is spent with little people.  All day everyday. Normally this is a wonderful blessing and I love it.  But I’m an introvert.  I need to at the bare minimum get to go to the bathroom by myself, completely and utterly alone, at least once a day.  This was not happening.  I was to put it nicely going crazy for want of a few seconds where there weren’t ten sets of eyes on me or ten sets of hands reaching out to me.  I needed a bit of alone mommy time.  It didn’t have to be much just some.

 

Content or Contention

Stealing a moment alone. On the floor in my room on the far side of the bed.

 

But the big area here was that in needing that me time, I didn’t know how to tell my husband.  He is self employed and gone during the days working.  When he got home he wanted peace.  He wanted(and wants) a bit of quiet time of his own to do his paperwork and decompress from his day.  But I wasn’t giving him that.  I wanted him to put my needs first and give me that five minutes to lock myself in the bathroom and go potty in peace. 

Again I didn’t know how to tell him I just needed that five minutes.  So we got into a time on contention.  We fought.  We weren’t happy with ourselves or each other.  I was struggling with anxiety and depression and was not content with myself.  I had feelings of my body failing me.  And I had feelings, in all honesty, of my husband failing me because he couldn’t see what I needed.  He couldn’t see because I couldn’t tell him.  

We’ve since begun to communicate better.  But to get to this point there were some major blow ups.  I cried.  I’m not ashamed to admit I cried a lot.  But it was a cleansing crying.  It allowed me to voice my feelings and needs.  In return my husband felt able to voice his as well.  We grew as a couple in ways we hadn’t before.  And that’s saying something because we’ve been married for 12 years now and have 10 kids guys!

Content or Contention?

What are you going to choose?  I had to take a long hard look at myself and what I was portraying to my children.  I had to set my day up and go into it with an attitude of content. When I made my mind up that yes I was content.  That yes I was at peace and satisfied, then my attitude followed.  And when my attitude was set it was easier for my children to adopt this new attitude.

Life is still rough sometimes.  But I’ve learned to express myself better.  I’m not bottling(oh whole lot could be said about bottling ladies) as much and I’m learning to help my children express themselves better as well.

What about you?  Are you in a season of content or contention in your home?  In your life? Or how about with yourself?