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The life and times of a home schooling mom of se7en + 1.

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Saturday Spot: The Laundry…

February 1st, 2009 · 15 Comments

Last week on the Saturday Spot I did a tour of the kitchen and in the corner you may have spotted my friend: the washer.

With se7en kids this is the one question almost everyone, even perfect strangers ask: “How do you cope?” long pause, sigh…”With the laundry?”…

Why anyone wants to know about our laundry I have no idea and I for one don’t want to know about theirs! Needless to say, they obviously think laundry is a huge problem for a family with se7en kids – nope! No problem… I pretty much have chores automated so that we have time for more important things.

So here it is – the laundry:

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The tumble-dryer: This is not my friend – I loathe it… its the biggest one I could find. It munches electricity like you cannot believe and it twists everything into knots and so takes hours to dry things, but luckily we live in sunny South Africa where it hardly ever rains. I shouldn’t say loathe, too strong a word, since it has saved my bacon so many times! But I use it as seldom as possible for laundry. That being said, it is very handy for holding all our science projects… not a whole lot at the moment just a couple of plants and something lurking in a bug box – but during term time it can get seriously burdened.

The washer: Now this one is my friend, a loyal friend who has stood by us in sickness and in health. We don’t have a laundry basket, we have the biggest washer I could find and a top-loader, which is great for slam dunking – a common sport in our house. Basically if you are old enough to remove your clothes and you can stand then you can slam dunk your laundry into the washer. I have never had a kid not want to score their laundry – long may it last!

So the washing goes in. Every Day. Never miss a day else we would have no where to hang it. I pop the washer on when I wake up in the morning and the machine does the washing – not me – that’s how I cope!!! An hour later I have to stop surfing and get going… and all the Hoods have a chore: Hood #3 has the wonderful task of sorting the washing into four piles. Bottoms (shorts and trousers), tops (shirts and dresses), undies and dish cloths.

I hang the washing out before breakfast. If it doesn’t happen then I get caught up in the day and it can get completely forgotten. But we have to eat and so clear the table.

Now there is a whole system to hanging the laundry that you probably won’t believe… It all began in the olden days when we were newly weds and we had no washer. I would do our laundry in the bathroom sink and then drag it dripping to the line and pop it on the line randomly. Then I would pray for clear skies and a gentle breeze. Well the first time the father person saw me hang out the laundry their was an audible gasp of horror…I had hung a pair of socks apart. The two socks were separated by a couple of yards and a series of other items. It was then that I realized that the honeymoon was indeed over and I mended my ways and developed a laundry strategy of note!

So here is my next laundry item and stirling friend:

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On the left hand side I hang the “bottoms” oldest to youngest working in. On the right hand side I hang the tops – also oldest on the outside working in, towards the middle, undies get fed wherever they fit and dishtowels underneath.

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You might ask at this stage about socks – I only have socks on a Monday (and then 18 of them!) because the only time my kids wear socks is with shoes to Church on a Sunday. The thing I don’t understand about socks is why don’t they have a hidden magnet somewhere on board so that you can just fling them at your wash line and they stick. Seriously `i think about this every Monday when I am hanging socks.

So why am I so picky about how we hang the laundry? Because it is very easy for even the shortest people to help with the sorting at the end of the day. There is a handy, low table right there. Chores again before supper and someone short pops a row of bottoms on the table, a row of tops on top of that and undies on the very top. And then I whizz down the row and fold it all up!

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Finally, one of the Hoods, carries the washing to the clothes drawers – everyone has three: the bottom drawer for shorts and trousers, middle drawer for shirts and tops and top drawer for undies. the girls have a towel rail behind the bedroom door for all their dresses as well.

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So that’s clothes. On Wednesday I do one extra load with all the towels in it. And Thursday one extra load for all the sheets, thank heaven for a huge washer!!! These loads don’t fit on the drying rack but for them we have a handy pool fence!

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That’s it. Se7en do Laundry.

I popped this post onto the Works For Me Wednesday Site – go and have a look there for all sorts of tips on absolutely anything.

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Tags: House Tour · Inside · Organizing Se7en · Saturday Spot

15 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Christine // Feb 1, 2009 at 3:05 pm

    You know, we had a "super-sized" washer / dryer in England. They were TINY. (Everything is so relative.) But the dryer was absolutely worthless! Just like you said, twisting everything in knots and taking an unholy forever to get them done. I love my American dryer!!! (Course, it’s probably made in China. . .)

  • 2 Amy // Feb 1, 2009 at 10:20 pm

    I’ve been asking my husband to hand a laundry line for me for ages. We do get lots of rain… but it’s fairly hot here except for a few months. And there is nothing like the smell of line ‘dried’ sheets. It smells like sunshine. I don’t know why he won’t hang the line.. I think he doesn’t believe I’ll really forgo the dryer and hang the clothes.. but I would. I’m with you.. the dryer consumes too much energy and it generates way too much lint/dust and heat!

    I liked your recap of the week as well. Have a great evening.

  • 3 se7en // Feb 2, 2009 at 10:46 am

    Hi A, We had a lovely long line until we had builders who were so helpful and took it down not… I also couldn’t get the father person to raise a new one and resorted to drying racks instead – they are quite handy, sometimes when it is hot and rainy I just bring them in – awkward but worth not using the tumble!

  • 4 Katie Cottrell // Feb 2, 2009 at 9:02 pm

    Sigh, you have this way of making everything so simple. I think most of us get bogged down in way to many details and excess.

  • 5 se7en // Feb 2, 2009 at 10:12 pm

    Hi K, Often times just getting started is more than half the battle!

  • 6 Naomi // Feb 6, 2009 at 8:32 am

    Luckily over here in Australia we have the good old ‘hills hoist’ – or washing line. We have a dryer but it only gets used if we absolutely HAVE TO. I personally am not a huge fan of the dryer. It shrink things, twists things and make other thing pill. Not to mention that the sun is an excellent way to kill germs and also gets rid of that last bit of stain that t-shirt that just wouldn’t come out in the wash.

  • 7 se7en // Feb 6, 2009 at 4:27 pm

    Hi N, nothing beats sun dried… I wish all the tumble dryer companies would ask moms what they want in an appliance ! You know one that dries, doesn’t twist, wind etc!

  • 8 Marcia Francois // Nov 9, 2009 at 1:26 pm

    Oh, I LOVE this post! I think I would kill myself if I had to do laundry every day though :) When the babies were proper newborns, they peed through everything about 4 – 5 times a day – babygrow, vest and receiving blanket. And I didn’t have the nanny then – can you imagine the level of grump in this house? I did the happy dance when they moved to Pampers :) from the prem nappies

  • 9 se7en // Nov 9, 2009 at 4:33 pm

    Hi M… I am so laughing at your comment… kill is a very strong word!!! You should stop by the day we do all the sheets and towels as well!!! I am so glad to have moved from the days of doing the laundry by hand in the tub. I popped over to visit your cute babies… and boy can I relate to the ching ching of your wallet to visit the doctor. We had one that needed six monthly visits to the eye man for years and talk about financial hemorrhaging!!! So glad your little guys are doing so well – thriving in fact! Have a good week!!!

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