Managing the laundry of a large family household is an everyday task, but creating a room-by-room system makes Mt. Washmore manageable!
Laundry has been a big deal in my life for a very long time! Depending on the home we’ve lived in and the ages of my children, we have had many different systems that worked to varying degrees.
A few of our laundry systems over the years:
- Shelf & Basket System (worked really well when all the kids were little)
- Room-by-Room (mom in charge – could have been better)
- Laundry Tubs (worked for the lady in the post – flopped big time for us)
- All laundry, every day (It worked, but it wasn’t worth writing about.)
Also see: Large Family Laundry Systems (huge list of ideas!)
Currently, our laundry room is on the main level with all of our bedrooms upstairs. We decided to purchase XL hampers with mesh bags for each bedroom.
Mom & Dad have a brown hamper, the Boys have a grey hamper, and the Girls have a blue hamper. These hampers have plenty of room for all the laundry each room creates! And here’s where I admit we have NEVER had hampers. NEVER. *gasp* And here’s where I also admit, I should have done this YEARS ago! *sigh*
Originally, I had hoped we could get by with each room only washing once a week, but it quickly became apparent that was NOT going to work.
We also needed to have a couple of days of towels and/or sheet washing, so the schedule I came up with (and the one we’ve been running with ever since) is as follows:
Monday – Girls (18 year old in charge)
Tuesday – Boys (13 year old in charge)
Wednesday – Mom & Dad (Mom in charge)
Thursday – Towels and/or sheets + matching socks (14 year old in charge)
Friday – Girls
Saturday – Boys
Sunday – Towels and/or sheets + matching socks & Mom & Dad
Basically, the oldest in each room is in charge of the laundry for that room (yes, I am the oldest in our room). They gather it in the laundry bag, take it downstairs, wash, dry, fold, and put away. (more on the putting away in a moment…) Then, return the bag to the hamper, and the cycle starts all over again.
I do have to remind the kids that it is their day, and I do have to follow up with where they are in the laundry cycle, but even adults struggle to remember to finish their laundry!
This system typically equals only 1 load of laundry each day, except Sundays when I do a load following my daughter’s towels/sheets load.
As for the putting away of the laundry, this is unique to us because of our closet organization. But, I want to share it because let’s face it – we all like looking into other people’s closets!
The little girls’ clothes are in my room, but when they change at night, we put their laundry in the girls’ hamper. So my oldest daughter washes, dries, and folds all the girls’ laundry, but she brings the little girls’ laundry to my room and I put it away.
(Curious about the little door in the photo? It’s our Narnia room! Watch our New House Tour to see more!)
In the boys’ room, my 10-year-old son helps the 13-year-old put away the laundry into their different baskets. Check out my post on Large Family Closet Organization to see more photos and explanation of our closet system.
As for the towels and sheets days, here’s how that works…
The 14-year-old gathers towels from all of the bathrooms and puts out new ones. I decide which beds need to be changed. By the way – if there is an overnight accident, it doesn’t matter what day of the week it is – the sheets are getting done so they don’t sit. (Just FYI in case you were wondering.)A
You might have noticed the “sock matching” listed on the two days for towels and sheets. We keep all of the mismatched socks (which are considerably less since we went to this method) in a tub near the washer and dryer. If a matching set of socks doesn’t make it out of the dryer, the extra sock goes in the tub. On Towel Day, my 14-year-old goes through that tub and matches as many socks as she can and takes them to their rightful owners to put away. I often have to help with discerning who the rightful owner is, but that’s a pittance to pay for actually having matching socks!
So far, this has been one of the best laundry methods we have ever had! It is so much more efficient than any other method we have had over the years.
Now, if you only have little ones, this method could still work for you! It will just have to be YOU who does the laundry this way day after day. Try it and let me know if it works for you!
Check out my Large Family Washing Machine >>
(someday I’ll get a review of my dryer up too!)