No, this isn't some new reality show. This is really about doing laundry for a family of six. If you're looking for great tips on laundering such as stain removal, stop reading because I am the worst at stains. Those clothes get tossed in the garbage because even the Salvation Army shoppers deserve non-stained clothes.
Our family consists of Kelly, 15, who throws all of her clothes on the floor whether they are clean or dirty; Reyna, 12, who throws all of her clothes on the floor whether they are clean or dirty; Carson, 5, who is a very heavy sleeper and doesn't usually know he has to pee resulting in daily washings of blankets and PJs; Maisie, 2, who prefers to run around naked thus having the smallest piles of dirty clothes; Hubby, 3?, who doesn't seem to notice his growing pile of dirty clothes until his dresser is empty; and Me, 36, who will wear the same t-shirt/shorts/pants until they absolutely need to be washed (great perk of a SAHM). Occasionally a toy/toys/Barbie clothes/stuffed animal, etc will need a "bath" making more work for me. But since I love my family, I'm happy to oblige.
Currently my system is as follows: wash, dry, throw on the floor (which is clean by the way), wash, dry, and throw on the floor. This process lasts until I can no longer open the dryer door which is usually after 3-4 loads. Then they get moved to The Big Comfy Couch where the next process begins – folding and sorting. T-shirts/jackets to be hung in one pile. Shorts/pants/skirts to be hung in another pile. Towels and blankets in another pile. And a separate pile for each family member. Socks get thrown into a heap which is usually sorted a few days later or until none are left as various family members have walked off with them.
Tip – Newly married couples/new parents: Buy each member of the family different socks and don't allow anyone to buy them socks other than their assigned type. Hanes are great because they have different colors on the bottom. Having to sort through 567,834 different pair of socks is NOT fun!
Tip – After age 10, children are perfectly capable of doing their own laundry. Just leave a very detailed "How To" above the washer and dryer. I started doing this when I found folded clean clothes at the bottom of the baskets. Note- child will ask how to do the laundry even though the instructions are in front of him/her, be patient.
Eventually, the Big Comfy Couch is free of clothes… which lasts less than 24 hours when the whole process begins again. Don't ask me how many loads I do in a week, or how many gallons of water we use, or how many bottles of Tide we go through. It's just too depressing to add up.
Oh, and I do NOT search pockets which is why my clothes are washed separately. If you leave a crayon, lip gloss, gum, etc in your pockets, you better hope they don't stain or stick. And lighters still work after they've been washed which continues to surprise me.
Final Tip – Dance while you fold/hang-up. That's right I said dance. It's a great stress reliever and a good way to burn up the calories you'll consume after you drink the cocktail you must have after doing 439 loads of laundry.