Monday, April 13

Washing the White House Duds

Laundry is kind of a never-ending thing around here….particularly when certain individuals decide they need a new outfit every time they roll out of bed. I’ve tried several systems: I’ve tried the wash and fold a load every day, which left me feeling like I was NEVER DONE! I’ve tried the do it all in one day, which left me searching for clothes for people to wear. I’ve tried the don’t ever do it, which, for obvious reasons, never worked.

I still don’t have a system. If you’re looking for a post that’s going to share a tried and true, perfect for everyone method…you will never find one, because there isn’t. Everyone has to figure out what works best for them, right now, in this season. This is mine…

None of our kids are really old enough to take on the responsibility of “doing” laundry. Yes, they’ll help with little things, when it’s exciting, but for the most part laundry falls to me and Matt {yes, he helps}, and that’s ok. Because in about 3 years I figure I won’t have to do anything {nice fantasy right?!}.

So, what do we do?

We do laundry as it comes in, when we have time, and when the mood strikes.
Wow! That seems rather “whatever” doesn’t it?! 
Yup. And it works for us.Washing the White House Duds: 3 Simple Tips for Not Losing Your Mind When You Are Losing the Laundry War, from a Mom of Triplets+ 1

There are days {and I mean the time frame of clothing lying in the same spot for over 24 hours} when clothes lay strewn about the house before I manage to wrangle them all together and in a pile somewhere near the bathroom or laundry room. Right now…not gonna lie. There’s stuff tossed about the kitchen, the mudroom, the living room, the bathroom, and the bedrooms. Probably a good 5 or 6 loads of laundry. Does it drive me nuts? Yup. But I’ve had to learn how to let it go.

Sometimes clothes are neatly in hampers or piles ready to be carried to the laundry room and washed. This usually only happens immediately following ALL the laundry being washed, and lasts until the first shower.

What usually happens is that we have a mix of these 2 things occurring. Some clothes are neatly piled, ready to go, and some clothes are strewn about. It just takes Matt or I actually getting them into the machine, out of the machine {before they need to be washed again}, and into the dryer.

Once things are dry, they kind of sit in those big blue Ikea bags until the mood strikes to fold them. Usually once or twice a week. Matt and I will put a movie on and sit for the duration folding all those bags of laundry and sorting them into piles of what goes in which draw in whose room {this makes it a lot easier to put away…one pile for each draw…I can put all the clothes away for everyone in less than 10 minutes}. Then put all of the girls’ clothes in one bag, all of the boys’ in another, then put those bags in their rooms to go in the draws.

Washing the White House Duds: 3 Simple Tips for Not Losing Your Mind When You Are Losing the Laundry War, from a Mom of Triplets+ 1

Somehow it always amazes me how much clothing there is. The boys only have 3 pairs of pants each, 3 sweatshirts and a handful of tees. The girls are another story. I’m constantly weeding through to pare down what they have, so I’m not washing the same things that don’t fit over and over again.

Here are my 3 basic tips to help tame the laundry leviathan…


Laundry Tips

Washing the White House Duds: 3 Simple Tips for Not Losing Your Mind When You Are Losing the Laundry War, from a Mom of Triplets + 1

You can only wash as many clothes as you have. What do I mean….if you have 30 shirts, you’ll wash 30 shirts, but if you only have 3, you can only wash 3. It is for this reason that our kids don’t have a ton of clothes, that I don’t have a ton of clothes, and Matt has more clothes than all of us combined {I keep working on him}.

Don’t be disheartened when your “system” stops working. That’s life. Nothing works forever. What works this week, isn’t going to work next week. Do what you need to right now to have clean clothes and not lose your mind. Maybe that’s a wash basket per room, and people live out of the clean laundry in that basket. Maybe things are color coded and perfectly folded in drawers. Maybe it’s walking around in your undies, waiting for clean clothes to dry.

Find a baseline and hold that as your standard, not Pinterest. Whatever it is, figure out what your minimum effort for sanity is and hold that as your bar. Anything above is fantastic! At this you’ll at least be able to focus on doing what you have to do, rather than being overwhelmed with what you think you should have done.

*Bonus: Get rid of your bulky wash baskets! We used to have them all over the house. I invested in about 10 big blue Ikea bags {a whopping $6.00} and it’s great! They’re huge, they crumple up really small, and they’re indestructible.

You can check out what my laundry room looks like HERE!

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