Because this is where my mind is these days...
(THIS Mom is my hero... but my living room is NOT that big)
Lots of great ideas here (why did I never think of storing the sheets for each room in the end table for that bedroom?)
I would LOVE (I mean really really love) to hear your tips for keeping up on the laundry with big(ger) families.
Do you use detergent (powdered/liquid), pods or make your own. If you make your own does it really work? Currently we use tide pods and it IS much easier.
Here's our current laundry situation and it's pitfalls for us personally.
- Washer and dryer are in the basement (which means I have to leave 4 little kids who have a track record of being creative with their use of time when I am out of the room... or even in it for that matter ...unattended.)
- We do NOT have a laundry room, so things usually end up in the living room (where kids like to dump and "help fold"... or pretend laundry baskets are boats or rocket ships or beds for baby dolls and stuffed animals. It is not uncommon to come into a room where a number of baskets were recently folded and find them dumped out and the toy bin full of stuffed animals "sleeping" in said baskets and each animal "covered up and tucked in" with all those clean laundry items... "shhhhh Mom, the babies are sleeping!")
- We have two floors in our (smallish) house and not enough room in the bedrooms for everyone's clothes, so we store in bins in the hallway too.
- With stairs, we have tried laundry on the stairs for each child and that has not gone over well. They are still much too curious. (We have tried gates to keep them away... they are great climbers. GREAT climbers. NO gross motor skill issues here.)
- With four VERY mobile littles four and under we don't have "bigger kids" to help out with laundry (that being said, I still have the "big girls" who are just newly 4 and 2.5 help sort towels, washcloths, bibs, panties and socks. Ava folds the washcloths and handtowels ...and big towels sometimes and they help put the bibs and panties away... with a LOT of prompts. ...in short sometimes I'd rather just scream and do it myself, BUT we're teaching lessons right? Goodness I hope so!)
- We always seem to be ending up with "interesting" laundry messes that don't end up in the regular "catagories". Pillows, comforters and mattress toppers are often in the laundry pile. With two potty training... it doesn't matter if they wear diapers. Lots of stomach bugs and throwing up ...and too young to have great aim. I regularly have bathmats that are soaked from exhuberant baths or more potty training accidents. Even towels when kids don't quite get the hang of the toilet paper it seems that 's the next best option. Ugh. So happy they're learning... so hating the laundry, lol.
- My husband works looooong hours, so when he gets home he has enough to do with helping with bedtimes and other tasks around the house, I don't want him to have to add laundry to the list. I want him to enjoy his time with the kids since they are the ones he's working so hard for. (that being said, he actually does help a LOT, but I'd love to be able to manage it and not have to pull him away from other things for something so trivial as laundry)
- I am TALL. I have genetically passed down my tall-ness (both Ava and Clara are on target to reach 6ft) which means I'm pretty much blowing through clothing sizes in record speeds (My toddlers are not beyond wearing size 6's) and since we are leaving our family size in God's hands, I am reluctant to get rid of too many of the clothes we have acquired because I don't know if we'll need them again in the near future and don't want to have to buy them all over again. I also don't know what "seasons" we'll need. Those with big families close together, I'm sure you "get it". The problem lies in that if we weed out and don't have "enough clothes" they beat on them and wear through them quickly (we actually let our kids "play" and get dirty) too many and I feel like a hoarder. Having clothes ready in the next size up has really often come in handy, but it's hard to keep on top of it all.
- We do not presently live in the type of neighborhood where I could say... send my kids outside to go play for a while and lock the doors behind them and know they're safe while I get caught up on things. We also do not have a "play room" That means they are ALWAYS with me. If they're not with me and are say, "playing in their room" the child locks on their drawers are nothing to those masterminds of imagination and all the neatly folded clothes that might have been there before I was trying to "catch up on something" are often no longer there and have been used in some magical pretend play experience.
- My children are NOT good sleepers (they're getting there), so I don't have a group "nap time" (except for very rare occasions like today, where I'm blogging instead of dealing with the laundry beast) or kids in bed by a reasonable time to allow me to get caught up on chores. By the time everyone is actually asleep, I'm usually too tired to even look for a wine glass, so I'm looking for tips that are manageable to do with kids crawling and climbing everywhere around me, ha!
- I'm ADD ...for reals. (aka: I'm easily distracted)
- Practicing nudity is starting to become more and more appealing.
Ok... so that's my "keeping it real", but seriously, I'd love to hear your input on how you keep on top of it all! Send those tips my way and enjoy the links I found that seem to have some good tips.
All that being said, I would STILL rather have all the kids than a clean house with no "laundry issues".