All the Dirt on My Big Family’s Laundry: Parenting Tip of the Week

Lisa Cherry —  February 28, 2011

By Lisa Cherry

I’ve got a big family, and I’ve got LOTS of laundry. To give you an idea of the scale, here’s some numbers:

10. That’s how many family members live in our home right now. We have ten children; two are already married. So we’re down from our all time high of 12. That’s still a lot of people to keep in clean clothes.

18. That’s the average number of loads we do every week. That’s 78 loads per month; 936 loads per year. And that’s in a high-capacity machine. And I don’t do any small loads. I never need to, because at our house there is always enough to make a full load.

100+ is the number of times that I have been asked this question: How do you ever get all that laundry done?

So here’s my answer: I don’t. How can one, when people are constantly making clothes dirty?

I can say, though, that I sure have worked hard over the last 26 years at this mothering/laundry thing. I have been through more systems than I even care to admit.

Don’t you just love the sense of hope that surges when you think your new idea will suddenly make a seemingly insurmountable mountain disappear?

I finally figured out that my mountains of laundry will never disappear until my last child launches. My youngest is four, so I’m in this for the long haul. The real place of victory is taking dominion over the mountains instead of letting the mountains dominate me.

So here is the latest Cherry Family Laundry System. We hit on a couple of years ago and it has worked well for us. I believe it’s a keeper. Maybe it will work for you too. Or maybe it will inspire you to create your own new system.

Cherry Family Laundry System #793 ☺

1. Put laundry hampers in each bedroom and one in the kitchen.

2. Have children who share a bedroom place their dirty clothes in the hamper in their room. No community dumping spots! This includes their assigned towel which, by the way, is hung in their bedroom.

3. Designate one day of the week for each room’s laundry. For example:
          Friday: Doug and Lisa
          Saturday: Matthew and Ethan
          Wednesday: Hannah and Lydia
          Etc.

4. On the assigned day, wash and dry the clothing from the designated room. Then take it back to the bedroom for the family members to fold and put away. This eliminates sorting of clothes as they come out of the dryer, since the day’s laundry all belongs in one room.

5. Wash kitchen and mop-up towels in a separate load from the kitchen hamper.

6. Train a teenage girl to help with this system.☺

7. Smile and laugh with joy when you run your own system and it works!

My tip is this: Use your God-given problem-solving abilities to conquer life’s challenges. And keep at it until you find a creative solution. Your children are watching to see how you deal your mountains—laundry and other kinds too.

You are teaching them how to face their own mountains someday. So face yours with confidence, joy and anticipation, instead of discouragement or resignation. Your attitude is contagious!

Teach them to say with faith: …The LORD God is my strength; He will make my feet like deer’s feet, and He will make me walk on my high hills. Habakkuk 3:19

Photo courtesy of lusi via rgbstock.com

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  • Trina

    Thanks for sharing Lisa! Something I will always remember!! You and your family always encourage me in the Lord!

  • http://www.fingerclicksaver.com Susan Woods

    Love your system....I say whatever works. My dream for years has been to own two washers and two dryers...and there are only four of us. However that being said, my son who has multiple handicaps has lots of laundry (lots of bedding) and my other half is ill and wears multiple (I mean multiple) layers of clothing. Luckily for me, my daughter isn't one of these girls who has to change her clothes several times a day ;-). And although, my machines are larger machines, I still wish I had 2!

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