Laundry with a Family of 8

Hello friends,
So today, I wanted to let you in on how we stay on top of laundry with a family of eight.

I enjoy keeping my home but laundry is not one of my favorite things to do.  Folding is tedious to me and having too many stacks of laundry that are folded and awaiting to be taken care of really stresses me out.  So, I wash, dry, fold and put away a load or two a day.

For me, I connect laundry with a trigger.  In the morning when I come downstairs the first thing I do is start a load of laundry.  Just waking up and heading towards the stairs reminds me to start the laundry.  It has become habit/routine.  So, I grab a bag of dirty clothes (we have this awesome laundry organizer) and pop it in the wash. While I am getting ready for the morning it is washing happily.  Then I switch the load over to the dryer before we eat breakfast, start the second load if needed, and while the children are completing their chores, I fold it and put it on the appointed beds.

I fold laundry immediately out of the dryer so:
a) no wrinkles
b) I don't procrastinate and put it off until there is a mountain of clean laundry taunting me.

Now, I wish I had a beautifully organized laundry room to show you but reality is that we live in a wonderful farm house with cute nooks and crannies.  The laundry area is one of these nooks.

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Yes, the photo above really is where the magic happens in folding laundry for eight people.  It is affectionately called the "laundry hall".  To the right there is a sliding door to a narrow closet space that has a hamper for dirty towels and shelves for cleaning/laundry supplies.  There is also our upright freezer in this hallway.  To the left you see a string with Ziploc baggies hanging from it.  Yes, I am the weirdo who washes and reuses Ziploc baggies that haven't had anything greasy or meat in them.


I love the laundry baskets that collapse in on themselves so you can fold them up and store them easily.  The one in the picture has dividers so I can put each person's laundry in a section.  I have several of these laundry baskets and they are wonderful.  Now, one day when we expand the laundry area, each person will have their own sturdy basket with their name on it and I will just fold, put it in their hamper, and they will be responsible for carting it upstairs and taking care of it and then returning the basket back to it's place in the laundry room.  However, for now, I fold them and bring the large divided basket upstairs, place piles on each person's bed, and then it is up to them to take care of them before lights out.

As far as sorting dirty laundry, I have the laundry organizer that I linked above and it has 4 bags. One bag is for delicates (mostly my laundry) and the other 3 are for everyone else's laundry.  I also have a large hamper for towels and bedding. I do not sort laundry.  GASP! I know... I know.  I can feel the judgement from across the screen but seriously, it's all good.  I use a detergent that is safe for all colors and we just go with it. It is so freeing... I dare you to try it!  It also helps that we do not own many white clothes due to the fact that we are a clumsy lot and they inevitably become unwhite (or dingy gray due to our hard water). 

Once a week I wash towels and any necessary bedding/throw blankets that need to be laundered. 

So, that is my routine and how we keep on top of the laundry monster in our home.  I'd love to hear your tips and tricks on how you tackle your dirty clothes.

Want to save a few bucks and make your own laundry detergent?  You can snag my recipe here that I have been using for almost 15 years. It is WONDERFUL and costs a few cents a load.  

Posted by Dawna