September 21, 2010

Speaking of Laundry The Laundry
A laundry system that works!

Having 10 children, there is a lot of time spent doing the laundry.  I usually do 4 loads every day, whites, darks, lights and at least another load, if not more.  Bath towels on Mondays, kitchen towels throughout the week (I wash them separate from the other laundry), bedding, and I do a handwash cycle by colors, several times a week. 

The part I disliked the most and where much time was wasted, was matching the socks.  I had so many different kinds or the same kind of socks in different sizes and I would match and match until it was the EXACT match...My sister in law Kristen, gave me this idea that I have been using for a few years..."buy all the same socks!"  The same size, brand, color etc...So I started with Hanes low cut sock, the writing on the sock was color coded by the size and type.  We use the socks with the pink writing of the word Hanes. (For the girls.) -Hanes Sock
A couple of years ago, the girls wanted KB socks from Costco.  So we switched to these. - KB Sock
All the socks are kept in a basket in the laundry room, turned right side out but NOT folded together, all loose in the "sock" basket. - Sock basket
In the laundry room, there is a basket for each child's clothing.  After folding the clothes on the folding table, the folded pile is then placed in their basket.  Each opening, where the baskets are stored, has the child's name on top and the baskets are situated in order from oldest to youngest.  The baskets are old "antique" locker baskets and are numbered in consecutive order.  Since the oldest two children are now in college, their baskets contain "stuff" in them that I collect until they visit from college, ie; mail, things I find of theirs etc...The first and last baskets have socks in them, boys top left, girls bottom right.  Their shoes are near by in the mudroom, so it makes sense to gather socks here. - Laundry Baskets
The laundry system I use, and have been using for over 10 years, comes from my friend Rashae.  She has 8 children.  I call it "the dot system" and it works very well.  It works best when you have several same sex children.  I have 8 girls.  Taking the clothing of the oldest child, everything is marked with one dot, all of her clothing, including underclothing.  Socks use to be dotted until I changed to the "better" sock system.  The clothes are marked with a Sharpie pen, usually on the tag or near the tag, using small dots.   The next oldest child has 2 dots on her clothing, the subsequent "child" happens to be 3 children (the triplets), so their clothing ironically has 3 dots on them.  They shared their clothing until they were in high school, so this worked.  Now they do their own laundry and keep their clothing separate.  (They have put the first letter of their first name along with the 3 dots to tell them apart.)  Next oldest, 4 dots and so on until we get to the youngest which ends up being 6 dots.   When Kaitlin passes her clothing down to the next oldest daughter, Joslin, on those clothes, another dot is simply added to the clothing. -Dotting Laundry
Above is an example of 4 dots (Hannah).  If a person is helping with the laundry they do not have to know who the clothing belongs to, they can just make piles using the dots!  "I" don't have to think as much either, trying to remember whose jeans are whose, etc. - 6 Dots
So again, as the clothing is outgrown and passed on to the next child, another dot is added to the clothing.  I have a Sharpie marker sitting beside me in the laundry room.  All the clothing is dotted.  If they aren't, a pile grows, that I place out on the stairs with a sign on it saying "Who belongs to me, dot me and take me away". - Marking Laundry
For the boys, I mark their clothing with a letter.  "A" for Alek, the oldest which I can easily change to a "K", Kade the youngest boy. - Laundry Table
Clothes are folded on the table, creating piles of one dot, two dots, 3 dots etc...when done, I roll in my chair to the baskets, placing the pile of clothing in the appropriate baskets. - Laundry Machines
In the laundry room there happens to be two washing machines and two dryers, but the washing machine on the left hasn't worked in a couple of years... - Laundry Soap
The laundry soap is stored in little glass jars. -Antique Laundry Machine
This is an antique washing machine given to me from my good friend Ann.  This is a treasure, it is on wheels and can hold clothing in it and then be rolled out of the way. 

Listening to conference talks on the Mormon channel works great to do some learning while folding!

What do you think?  Any laundry tips?  (The oldest 2 are in college, and the next 4 do their own laundry now, so now I am only doing the parents and 4 youngest kids laundry...slacker!  well, except for all their sports uniforms, soccer socks, practice clothing, towels and bedding :) )


  1. See, THIS is why I need you. I KNOW you already have everything DOWN. Why re-invent the wheel when the Farmers have figured it all out already? Thanks for sharing. Keep it coming...I could REALLY use all the tips you can give. I just wish I had your laundry room.

  2. since i now have 5 kiddos.. i think i will start incorporating your laundry system.. thanks for sharing!

  3. Love it. Do they complain of always having to wear the same socks? I learned all my organization skills from you Laurie, you know that right? You are amazing!

  4. mommm. good work with the post! you are a regular blogger now. loveeee it! :)

  5. I'm just visiting from blogfrog. I love your dot idea and the basket idea. I'm hoping we can make the baskets work in my small laundry room. Thanks for the post.