We turned to women at every life stage to learn their system for handling those overflowing hampers
Young Couple with One Baby
I try to do all my laundry earlier in the week, and finish on Wednesday, so I can leave Thursday and Friday for Shabbos preparation and house cleaning. I also have two sets of linen and change the linen every other Friday. I try to cut down on my workload by only washing the dirty sheets right before I need them. That way, they just sit in the hamper, and I don’t have to fold them and use up precious closet space to store them. I wash and dry them on Thursday night and then put the fresh sheets straight onto the bed.
I have small children, so I don’t have any helpers. On the other hand, I don’t have a lot of laundry to do, either. I keep all the dirty laundry in a large hamper in the bathroom, and two to three times a week, I divide it into darks and lights and wash a load. I only wash linen and towels every other week, so each week I end up doing another load or two of those.
I don’t wash anything on more than 30 degrees Celsius, because otherwise the colors run. How dirty the clothes are is very dependent on the personality of the child. One of my children manages to get his clothes quite filthy, so I’m constantly washing his clothes. Another one of my children keeps so clean, I often can let her wear things twice before they need a wash just to freshen them, without any extra treatment or warm water.
I’ve found that certain brands of clothing, mainly European brands, hold up really nicely in the wash, while other brands pill and fade and look old even after one season. I make sure to treat the better-quality clothing more carefully, spraying it with stain remover, washing it cooler, so they can last for years. I’m a bit more lax with the other clothing because I know even I treat them well, they won’t be in good enough to save for another child.
We’re a family of ten, and I’m always trying to improve my method for laundry management. I just splurged in Ikea on a new laundry basket system, and I’m loving it!
I’m a fanatic about separating colors and washing nice clothes in cold loads and hanging those to dry. I also hate to be busy with laundry all week, so I make sure everyone has enough clothing for a full week plus a day or two.
On Sunday I wash bath towels or sheets. I try to do tablecloths too. That’s about three loads altogether. (Every week I alternate between doing all the bed linens or all the bath towels so that each is done only every other week. I wash kitchen, hand, and floor towels constantly).
On Sunday night I have my kids sort all the hampers from the bedrooms and bathrooms. We use my stacked Ikea baskets for the job divided this way: cold whites, warm whites, warm darks, cold darks, and socks and underwear.
On Monday, I wash all dark school clothes that can get tossed in the dryer. This is about two loads.
On Tuesday, I wash the more delicate darks on cold (Shabbos clothing, uniforms, undergarments, etc.) and hang them out to dry. 6 or 8, based on personality and where they are in the family) This usually makes up two loads.
On Wednesday, I wash all darks that can be washed in warm water (such as dark underwear and socks), whites, and whites what can be washed warm, such as undershirts and white men’s shirts). This usually takes two to three loads.
On Thursday I do whites that can only be washed on cold, such as tzitzis, and finish any other loads that didn’t get done. I try not to wash laundry on Friday!
Each load goes into the basket it came out of to wait for folding. We fold two to three times per week, and I join in helping the three of my kids who actually help fold. We fold on my bed, and put on music and chat about life to make it more enjoyable. Then all of my kids are responsible for removing their folded clothing from my bed so I can sleep. In case a child was unable to collect their clothes, I put the piles in a basket in the hallway.
Are your dining room chairs or couch looking a little worse for the wear? Is the upholstery ripped or stained, or the material out of date? Here’s great news. You can update your living room furniture for less than $20.
Good ol’ Ali Express sells elasticized slip covers for couches and chairs for a few dollars apiece in a variety of materials and patterns. You can even get coordinating couch, pillow, and chair covers.
I recently bought elegant chair covers for the dining room set, to protect the pleather and wood from damage from the kids, and it looks as if we bought a new dinette set. Everybody who comes into my home comments that they love our new furniture.
- Measure the space and purchase a mesh screen and spline (the thin black rubber that holds the mesh in place) in a slightly larger size to your measurements to allow for some overlap. You’ll also need to purchase a spline roller (it looks like a two-sided pizza cutter) and a screwdriver, if you don’t have one.
- Remove the screen door and lay it across a table.
- Using a screwdriver, pry out the old spline from the edges of the door frame and then remove the old mesh.
- Clean the frame with a small brush.
- Lie the new mesh over the frame, leaving a third of an inch (a centimeter) overlap all around.
- Using your spline roller, insert the spline along the edges of the frame, on top of the mesh screen, starting from the short side of the frame.
- Once it’s all inserted, cut off any excess spline, and trim the mesh so there’s only a tiny overlap around the frame.
Based on instructions from Bunnings.com.au
(Originally featured in Family First, Issue 703)
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