This is Day 284 of the Green in 365 series!
By Renee from Joyful Mom, Contributing Writer
Life and laundry was so simple when it was just my husband and I. A weekly load of whites, a load of darks and sheets/towels. I could have the chore of laundry completed in just a few hours. How I long for those days now!
With the birth of my first son, laundry was a increased by the cloth diapers. He was born in August so he really didn’t wear more than a diaper and those gowns to sleep in–he barely created a load of laundry a week minus the every other day diaper wash.
My laundry schedule was to wash clothes on the weekend and diapers as needed. I would line dry the diapers and just fluff them in the dryer (to be honest, I just left them in the dryer . . . that way I knew when I had only two diapers left it was time to do a load).
As my family grew–so did the clothes and the number of times that I do laundry. I still do the bulk of my laundry on weekends and I do two loads of soccer clothes each week.
I have 4 kids in soccer/basketball with an average of 11 practices a week and a minimum of 4 games a weekend (this doesn’t include a minimum of 1 (usually 2) games during the weeknights. The schedule is exhausting not to mention making sure that everyone has what they need!
It could be overwhelming if we didn’t have a system. So this is what we have–a bucket of clean clothes–not sorted by person! A communal bin where the only requirement is that they be clean and fit! We had a family meeting to discuss exactly what the plan is for getting everyone where they need to be with the right gear! (The kids created the signs for the laundry tubs.)
The kids assemble a weeks worth of practice clothes – a grab and go system! No more hunting for the second sock or water bottle. They are responsible for making sure this happens – if they do not have the gear ready . . . I do not help – I wait in the car (listening to calming music). They have figured out really quickly that they are in charge and take pride in this accomplishment.
My next step in mommyhood is to have the kids do their own laundry! I’m not there yet . . . but oh happy day!
We have a bin for dirty soccer clothes–I typically wash that on Sunday and maybe on Tuesday night. The kids have 2 sets of practice uniforms and one game uniform–and of course we have many, many pairs of soccer socks (finding a match is nearly impossible).
I dry as much as possible with our awesome drying rack! (Shown above.) I am amazed at how much it holds! So even in winter I will “pre-dry” the clothes. I cut down my drying time easily by 50%! Then I also use wool dryer balls that I have made.
If you want to make some yourself I have a vlog that explains how to make them (fyi, they are easy and make a great addition to a “green” gift basket!)
Do you struggle with laundry? I can honestly say that I dislike the idea that the laundry NEVER seems to be finished. But then again… it never seems like the dust ever goes away, and my windows have finger prints, and… I love that my life is unfolded laundry, fingerprints, and hours in the car driving to and from kid events. My mentor moms have told me that this precious time goes by too quickly and I will have plenty of time later to worry about a clean house. I find peace in that.
I know my laundry system has changed quite a bit over the last 20 years and I’m wondering about you. What is your system for laundry? At what age do you think your kids will do their own? Do you have a huge pile of laundry like me?
Renee is a wife, mom of 4, writer, speaker, creative artist, joy-seeker, a student of life and a teacher of universal lessons. She writes about it all at Joyful Mom–in everything give thanks.
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