Laundry. How do you feel when you think of that word? Do you feel angry, exhausted, annoyed, like it's a swear word, or all of the above?
We have nine people in the house, holy cow that's so many, and with those nine people/monkeys comes heaps of laundry. As you can imagine when you have gobs of children you have to make a choice when it comes to laundry.
A-Hire it out. It will save time. Because when you have so many kids you have SO much extra money just lying around.
B-Do it all. You'll do it better anyway. You may resent everyone, but at least it will be done.
C-Do it altogether. Nothing says family unity like folding clothes.
D-Teach your kids to do it themselves. It might not be done perfectly or even when you want it done, but your kids won't have full blown panic attacks when they eventually move out because they know how to take care of themselves.
Alright, let's go through these options.
Option A: I never hired out my laundry. The thought of someone going through my undies feels a bit creepy and I am way too cheap to waste my money on a laundry service.
Option B: When my kids were little, obviously I had to do the laundry all by myself. I don't know many newborns who know how to separate their colors. But as soon as they were a little older I did move into option C.
Option C: Doing the laundry as a family. We did this option for many years. Every Monday morning we took everyone's laundry, we sorted it, washed it, dried it, and then folded it altogether. This option worked great when my kids were still younger. I could teach everyone at the same time how to do laundry. There were a few downsides to this method. It was super time consuming because there would be so many loads, so sometimes it took two days to finish everything. And some of the monkeys would throw a lot of their clothes in the hamper for no reason and other kids would have to help them wash it, which did not help bring out the best feelings. Which brought us to Option D.
Option D: Have your kids do your own laundry!!!!! What?!? Kids can do their own? What if they mess it up? What if they forget? What if.... My answer to all the questions is, it doesn't matter. I had my kids start doing their own laundry over a year ago and I love it! I obviously do the babies because he isn't contributing much, and I help some of the younger kids, but for the most part everyone is doing their own.
I have two kids per room, (minus the baby), and they have one hamper per room. Each pair of children are assigned a day of the week. You don't have to do your laundry on your assigned day, but you get first dibs on the washing machine and dryer on your day.
I get the washer and dryer on Monday. I also have the little boys do Monday too, so I can help them if necessary. They are getting better, but still have to be reminded to switch their loads. The big boys have Tuesday, and the girls get Wednesday. Then they have to have their clothes folded and put away by the next day or they lose their privileges. Mostly, that just means they can't play with friends that day.
Now, here is the greatest part, besides not having do everyone's laundry. When they don't have anything clean to wear, guess what? It's no ones fault but their own. It has been such a great teaching lesson. If you want something done, sometimes, you need to do it yourself. Also, I love that my kids are learning how to work. I don't know why, but lazy kids make me think bad thoughts. :)
Also, it is awesome to know my kids will survive without me. I hope that doesn't come across as morbid or mean hearted. I simply mean that I want my kids to be able function without someone telling them what to do and how to do it. That they'll be able to think for themselves and take care of their basic needs.