This post is sponsored by Arm & Hammer.
Ah, laundry. I have a love/hate relationship with laundry. Honestly, it’s my favorite chore because it’s not terribly hard work and it smells nice. But with seven people in our family, the laundry truly never ends! Everyone showers and puts on pajamas, and there’s another load…
Here are some laundry tips for those of you in the same boat with larger-than-average families.
- Schedule a laundry day, or two. We do two laundry days each week (usually Wednesday and Saturday). It drives me crazy to do a little at a time, but it’s also not realistic to get it all done on one day. Two days seems to work well.
- Let everyone help. We all help with the folding and the putting away, even the three year old! Preschoolers can learn to match socks and can put away their own clothes. Dish towels are a great item to start with when learning to fold.
- Keep a laundry hamper in each bedroom. Most people keep a laundry hamper in the bathroom, but that system hasn’t worked for us. The boys’ bathroom doesn’t have room for a hamper, and the one large hamper in our master bathroom fills up after only a day or two! Now we have one medium sized hamper in each of the boys’ bedrooms, plus the hamper in the master bathroom. When I’m ready to do laundry, I just have the boys bring down the hampers.
- Create a spot for lost socks to wait while their match is located. A basket, a drawer, a box – something! We store our socks folded up by pair (one sock folded around the other), and it really works best to not put socks away until they have been re-united with their match.
- Buy a different color of towel for each child. Towels have been another problem. There were dirty towels here, there, and everywhere, and no one knew which one was whose! Well, this summer I had the idea to buy a different color towel for each boy – two different shades of blue and two shades of green. Now it’s easy to tell the towels apart, and I know exactly who left their towel on the floor.
- Try detergent power packs. We have tried saving money by making our own laundry detergent, but after using it for several months it started to leave a residue on our washer. It also didn’t leave the clothes smelling as fresh as I would have liked. So we’ve been using powder detergent. In an attempt to save money, I bought a huge bottle of liquid detergent at Costco, and we couldn’t believe the mess!
It kept dripping on the floor when we had it lying down the correct way, so we started storing it upright after dispensing the detergent. UGH. Anyway, I was thrilled to get a chance to try ARM & HAMMER™ Plus OxiClean™ Stainfighters Power PAKS Laundry Detergent. No more measuring and no more mess! I think that these are going to make it much easier for the boys to start up the washer themselves. Aidan (age 12) can measure detergent, but I think that even my 6 year old will be able to start the washing machine now. (Obviously, do not let a child use these detergent packs who might be tempted to put them in his mouth!)
For our first load, we tried washing my husband’s workout clothes! They came out smelling fresh and clean, and the addition of OxiClean really helps with stains. It’s nice to find a detergent that works well for a lower price than the types we have been using!
- Buy clothing that does not need to be ironed. There just isn’t time for ironing around here, so I’m glad that we live in an age of wrinkle resistant fabrics! In fact, when I got out the iron for one of Jonathan’s church shirts he asked, “What’s THAT?” Ha ha, yes, I don’t use it very often!
- Buy each child a different brand of socks. This helps with easy sorting! This tip came from a friend, and we have not fully implemented it yet. In fact, I think that we own a million different types of socks. It sure makes sorting difficult and time consuming. One day, I’m going to throw out all the socks and start fresh with one brand per child. All the Hanes are Owen’s, for example.
- Mark clothing tags – draw one dot with a Sharpie for the oldest child, two dots for the second child, etc. Then when you hand clothing down, you can just add another dot to signify the new owner. For shirts without a tag, just make a small dot inside the collar or just under the collar.
What is your favorite tip for managing the laundry?
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Arm & Hammer. The opinions and text are all mine.