Renaissance Mama’s Guide to Laundry Management

by Nissa on 30 December, 2013

in Family Centered Home, Renaissance Mama

I have nine children.  Collectively, they make a lot of laundry every day.  I knew this.  It is not a fact fully appreciated until one is unable to do the laundry on a daily basis.  In our case, this was occasioned by our laundry room supply lines freezing, and staying frozen, for days, in the midst of Christmas busy-ness, and coinciding with a round of stomach bug.

This was the result:

This is what twelve loads of laundry looks like.  I started with twenty.

This is what twelve loads of laundry looks like. I started with twenty.

Well, actually this is a little more than half of the result.  Suffice it to say that every stitch of clothing needed laundering.  If you are being swallowed alive by laundry, then I offer here a couple of simple suggestions to tame the laundry tiger.

I had threatened to considered reducing everyone’s wardrobe to just two outfits, but I get far too much pleasure from making new ones for them to wear, so that wasn’t realistic.  I assume that isn’t a realistic option in your home either.

First, catch up all of that laundry!  I know from recent experience that I can quite easily get eight loads done in one day with a single washer and dryer.  If pushed to my absolute limit, I can get a full twelve loads done in one day.  You can do it!  If you have to, drive it to a laundromat, commandeer the entire bank of machines, and spend a rather pleasant, if expensive, two hours reading a good book and sipping an overpriced, but delightful flavoured coffee of your choice before packing it all up to bring home.

About six loads to go...

About six loads to go…

Twelve hours later, all twelve loads done.

Twelve hours later, all twelve loads done.

Now… From this day forward, assign someone (or a team of someones – Team Francis at our house this month) to collect the day’s dirty laundry at bedtime, after the children have changed into their jammies.  Run those clothes down to the laundry room and get them going.  In our house, we can all get into our jammies at the same time (including the adults), I understand that’s not the case for some families whose Mamas or Papas work the night shift.  Just hold their clothes over to go in with the night collection.  After story time and tuck-in, I still have a good three hours before I go to bed, which leaves ample time to get those two loads of laundry done.  One light, one dark.  I even have time to pop a load of towels in from bathtime.  Noooo problem.

You can save the sheets for Saturday morning, or for every morning if you like uber-clean sheets.  If you’ve got cloth dipes, you can run that load during the day some time.  First thing in the morning is the best since they have a chance to line dry all day if the weather is fine.

No laundry build up, nothing for the dog to lounge in (please don’t ask), nice clean rooms.  Peace will reign and all will be right with the world.

Ahhhh, now THIS is what you notice coming into the mudroom.  It is still Christmas here at Chez Gadbois!

Ahhhh, now THIS is what you notice coming into the mudroom. It is still Christmas here at Chez Gadbois!


Please excuse the terrible iPhone images.  I’ll treat you to some better ones again – not of my dirty laundry.   Soon, promise.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Rebecca Hermsen January 4, 2014 at 2:10 pm

Once upon a time I lived in a house that had TWO working laundry rooms. Even for my little family of four, it was nice to get two loads done at once! I’ve also experienced coming home from vacation with suitcases full of dirty laundry to find the washer no longer working. Thank heaven for commercial size machines at laundromats! Hope your pipes unfreeze very soon!


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