“I’m never folding laundry again. I’m done. The kids go through at least 6 outfits per day. We use at least 3 towels a day. You use an outfit, I generally get spit up or food hands on me at least twice, so I go through more than one. I spend hours and hours of my life on a hamster wheel of perpetual piles of laundry, and I’m done.”
I had stomped down to our unfinished basement where hubby was sitting on his old plaid loveseat, working in the quiet, and I was dumping my frustration all over his serene existence.
He blinked at me.
“Okay. I didn’t marry you so you could be a maid. I understand.”
So, yeah. I still fold his laundry. How could a girl not, with a response like that? But he gave me full blessing for finding a “stop gap measure” to get us through this phase of having lots of little children who cannot help around the house. (The six year old does have chores — I’ll write about what we expect from him and why we feel it’s more than ok to require the children to help with housework at a later date)
So I went to Lowe’s and picked up some plastic drawer storage dressers that would fit under my laundry table.
Which was an adventure, because having twin almost-3-year-olds and a baby in the cart meant that I had no room for the storage containers, which were, of course, fully assembled.
So the 6 year old got his own cart and followed me with two of the storage containers in the main body and a smaller one underneath. He couldn’t see a thing, so I pushed my 80 lbs of children in the cart in front of me with one hand while pulling his cart behind me.
We made it out of the store with all four children and all three storage units, so I’m calling it a success, all drama aside.
But I ended up needing another one, so we went back three days later and played it on repeat. But I tried to baby wearing the infant so a twin could sit in the cart seat and a twin could walk.
But I let the wrong twin walk. Which got interesting. A little hairy, to be honest. But not literally hairy. Until he laid in the aisle and found dust bunnies under the shelves. That was literally hairy.
Anyway, now all three of the older children have all of their laundry in the laundry room. I don’t fold any of it.
That means I’m still folding linens and clothes for two adults and a lot of the baby’s laundry, but I cut a solid 50% of the item count (so many tiny pieces of clothes!) and they can’t empty their dressers when they are bored at 5am, so no more REfolding.
I’m thrilled at this point. I feel like so many problems have been solved with this. With all of their clothes always in one room I no longer:
- struggle to find all the pieces of an outfit.
- struggle with knowing which child needs what and when.
- have to refold laundry in the dressers after the kids try to find their own outfits.
- have piles of clean laundry getting mixed into piles of dirty laundry in the bedrooms.
- have to fold literally dozens of outfits every couple of days.
We haven’t moved the twin girl into a “girl” bedroom yet because we haven’t wanted to seperate her from her brother, but that day is coming soon. I feel like this system is circumventing so much chaos because we were about to go to TWO closets and laundry going to TWO childrens’ rooms.
I have seen people go to a full “family closet system” where all of the laundry for the entire room is stored in the laundry room. I think my husband and I would both hate that so much that we might burn down the laundry room, but if that’s for you, go for it!
Especially if you are a single parent trying to simplify your chore system, it’s an idea to consider.
I’ve also seen where people put “clean” and “Dirty” towel hamper spots in their bathrooms and don’t fold their towels, but simply wash the contents of the “dirty” hamper only when it’s full, and put the clean towels directly from the dryer into the “clean” hamper without folding.
I don’t care for that idea for me, but I might get that desperate someday.
For now, I’m going to go empty the dryer and NOT fold my kids’ clean clothes!