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!
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.
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 vented integrated tumble 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!