Friday, May 11, 2012

Our (Current) Laundry Solution

This is a specific post to aide a friend trying to get ideas for dealing with the "clothes issue" for her growing fam.  So, unless you're interested in how our home for 8 (soon-to-be 9) organizes laundry, ignore this post.

Okay, we've made several changes over the years in trying to manage clothes for lots of little ones.  About 4 years ago we made a "clothes room" for everyone's clothes except Daddy and I.  Honestly, that may change one day! In fact, I'll be needing to adjust our current system to make space for another little one due in July.  This system is always in process!

First, we got rid of the dressers in the rooms.  NOT practical when you need space for sleeping and living.  Right now we've got our bigger kids in one room with a dresser in the closet for their "special" things (Bible, magnifying glass, bracelets, keepsake box, etc.).

Clothes Room - view of baby changing area

Okay, our clothes room is to house all kid clothes for the current season and contains our baby changing area.  During this time of the year, it all doubles as the plant nursery till our seedlings are strong enough to go in the ground!  (Hey, it gets great light!)  We used the 5th bedroom in our house that is on the small side and leads up to our attic to be our Clothes Room.  It also has no closet so it was only used for the occasional guest.  And as you see from above, the kids do play in there!

In the drawers below the diaper changing area, each kid has space for their jammies, underclothes, and socks.  I also keep cloth diaper stuff in some of them.  The basket on top holds all my clean, ready-to-use cloth diapers.  The blue diaper bag hanging up high holds my disposable diapers.

Kid Clothes Baskets

This is where the majority of clothes go.  Each kid has a basket.  The bottom row is for the 2 and 3 year olds.  The middle is for my 5 and 6 year olds.  The highest baskets are for my 1 and 7 year olds.  Everyone except the 1 year old has access to their basket.

The big tub on top holds my cloth diapers I am not using right now.  And on top of the tub you can barely see my buckwheat sprouts looking happy.

I don't care too much about wrinkled clothes.  Sorry.  Not important to me.  I do occasionally have the kids "clean out" their baskets.  I like this system b/c it makes checking on kids' clothing needs relatively easy.

Laundry sorter, Seedlings, Diaper Pail
This laundry sorter was given to me by my mom and we've used it A LOT!  I have one bag for whites, one for colors, and one for towels/sheets.  All the kids except the 1 year old can place their clothes in the right bag.  One bag jammed full and overflowing is 2 loads.  I've got 2 wash machines and one dryer so it's really easy to do laundry.  My two washing loads can fit in my one dryer making laundry relatively fast.  (FYI - if you in need of a new washing machine and you cloth diaper, go for the good ole NON-He machines.  You need LOTS of water to clean dirty diapers well.  In fact, I find our old machine far better at cleaning the our new He machine for all our laundry!)

The kids can empty the bags into an empty basket and I take (or someone takes!) the basket to the laundry room in the basement.

Also pictured, I've got my cloth diaper pail in the corner and my former baby changing table now turned into a seedling table is behind the laundry sorter.

"Nicer" clothes not for daily use
Here's where the kids' church clothes go.  I try to have them select what they want to wear to church on Saturday and simply hang the clothes low for them to reach on Sunday morning.  Below is a basket full of my non-maternity clothing I stopped wearing not too long ago and needs to go in the attic.  In the big tub I keep all the clothes that mysteriously stop fitting the kids during during that season.  They will all end up in the attic eventually.

"Big" kid closet
 See, we've got no clothes in the rooms!  Makes putting laundry away REAL fast.  No worrying about someone is napping!  The kids each have there own drawer to house whatever trinkets they'd like.  The clear tubs are their memory boxes for special things.

Under bed storage
Under the beds we keep the sheets for each bed.  This helps if one has a middle of the night "accident" where they need to quickly get back to bed.  They've got what they need and shouldn't need Mommy or Daddy's assistance. In the corner I've got a big tub filled with blankets.  See, they've got all they need!

That's it!  We're quite simple around these parts.  No fancy nothing!  And I'm sure we look nuts to most people!

So, how do you handle your laundry challenges.  We've all got 'em!

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