to have Courage....In Family Life, In Spirituality, In Health, In Living Simply

I'm on a journey...... as we all are. Learning, remembering, re-discovering about health, spirituality, relationships, emotions and the mind.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Family Clothes

Our Family Attitude about Laundry

We teach our children to re-wear their clothes, unless its obviously grubby. There is no need to wash that which is still clean or just slightly soiled. Yes, sometimes they aren't the greatest judge in that department and we have to instruct them to put something in the laundry basket that they thought was fine to wear another day. But they'll learn to be better judges as they have opportunity to practice.

Bath towels are re-used.

Bedding is changed on irregular schedules. When we lived in Qualicum everybody seemed to get sand in their beds, so we had to brush them out daily and wash weekly. In winter when the dc are inside more of the time and less grungy, the bedding gets done less often. But if there is sickness around, we may wash pillow cases more frequently, along with throw blankets on the couches.

We do at least one load of laundry per day, using a front-load washer. Probably 10 loads a week maximum, unless there's accidents or sickness. When we are constantly washing versus letting laundry pile up and doing one laundry day per week, we require less clothes per child. That means that a child like Anders who has a favorite shirt, which presently is his newish yellow shirt that matches Laars', he can wear it almost everyday of the week because it gets laundered almost as soon as he gets it soiled enough to enter the basket! He's a happy boy in his happy shirt.

I know that some large (& little) families have each age-appropriate child being responsible to get their own laundry done and have a day assigned for them to get it done on. We don't own enough clothes for each child to fill the wash with just their own stuff, so we've never done this.

We all take responsibility for getting the laundry done by helping out when asked, and when somebody actually has something soiled that they want cleaned fairly soon, then they take the initiative to get the laundry started, as long as there are enough things to warrant a load. Otherwise, they will just practice patience and wait.

Although I understand the reasoning behind putting one person in charge of laundry, or each in charge of their own stuff, I don't agree with the mentality I see behind those practices. I don't support the mentality of which unions thrive....."I won't do that because that's not my job to do." Argh! Nor do I think we ought to encourage taking care of only ones own stuff. We share the joys and responsibilities within the family, all working together for the well-being of all of us. This works for us, anyways. Maybe not for others.

Anyways, somebody gets laundry started, and somebody gets it shifted into the dryer, and somebodies fold it, and somebodies get it put away!!! That's how it works for us. Really simple! From the littles helping mommy at the machines or folding, to the pre-adolescents who can do it all, we get the job done, and it virtually never piles up.

And I have always refrained from pouring clean laundry on our bed to get around to folding sometime before I am able to climb into bed at night. I have always tried to keep our bed and the room nice and tidy so dh and I can enjoy it, and more inclined to enjoy one another there without vying with clutter.

My dream house would have a big work room where lots of the guts of family life would take place. Maybe that's a whole nother post?!


It's against my religion!! But my friend Denise, its part of hers!!

It's just not something we do. We generally avoid buying clothes that require ironing and/or dry cleaning for reasons of expense, time, and environment. But primarily because I simply hate ironing. I would likely forget to pick clothes up at the cleaners within the month, too. So we let other people purchase those high-maintenance clothes!

When we take things out of the dryer quickly after the cycle has ended, and we deal promptly with the clothes ie, hanging them, then we avoid much of the wrinkles. The other wrinkles.... we wear them out. Works for us.

We haven't owned an ironing board in about 20 years, although until 2 years ago we owned an iron for touch-ups for important occasions and for sewing projects. But presently we don't own an iron. Another thing we don't have to pack with us.

Storing Clothes

Like I mentioned, we try and keep our clothes pretty much to a minimum. This picture is of a 'dresser' for Toveli, Gaelyn and Anders. Each of them gets one drawer for their clothes (underwear, socks, pants, shirts, dresses where applicable!). We have another 'dresser' like this for Danaka, Mitch and Maret to share, but they also each have one shelf in a wardrobe they can use, and they share a rod in that wardrobe for anything that needs to be hung up. Laars' clothes all fit on one shelf in our closet.

I store out-of-season or clothes to grow in to in Rubbermaid tote boxes. And I don't store clothes unless they are in good condition, and applicable for somebody to use within 2 years. Otherwise I will pass them along so somebody else can make use of them during that time while still somewhat in fashion, and so they won't be destroyed by mold or mice or anything like that. They might as well be keeping somebody warm and putting a smile on their faces rather than gracing the inside of a plastic box. How foolish is that?

Question for You: Do you insist on your children wearing purchased pajamas to bed?


  1. As opposed to unpurchased ones?? Sometimes, I wonder where my brain is! Ok, let me you mean like just sweats or something as opposed to 'pajamas'? Funny you should ask as I JUST bought some at Ross's here in the US for a measly $7 (usually do thrift stores), but wondered if I really needed them--could something else work instead. Hence, I have the receipt in the bag and am still pondering...I also don't iron and finally gave it away recently--I kept thinking I would iron ONE DAY! Nope! Not important when your work is in your home! And for us, we operate as a team for all chores meaning that anyone cleans anything when it is necessary. Of course, I will have Kyle clean a bathroom or do the dishwasher or what have you and Cory does what he is able, but no one has a particular job per se. We find this works best. The 'job' is simply the family functioning well and whatever that entails to ensure it is done for the day. Plus, variety is the spice of life!

  2. Well, few of our dc own pajamas, usually only if they are given as a gift or when ppl give us pile of clothes.

    Some of our dc actually sleep in clean clothes for the next-days wear. Sorta, get-up-n-go wear!

    Yrs ago Everette started talking about jammies late one night, wondering why ppl wear them, etc. Since things are so much easier today than yesteryear when ppl owned less clothes and washing was a bigger chore, we don't see the insistence on having jammies/clothes specifically for sleeping in. So those of our dc who were a real challenge to get up and moving in the morning, we actually allowed them to wear clean clothes to bed at night and then in the morning changing wasn't one of the chores they had to do. Its worked for us great, other than the disgusted looks some ppl give when they find out. But really, what's the big deal?

  3. You go Mom!
    I totally agree with you about the "get up and go" clothes. I find it works great when need or laziness gets in the way of jammies. I will say though that despite clean jeans and shirt are fine for sleeping in, I haven't quite gotten comfortable with wearing my sports bra to bed although the rest of my running gear is quite comfy. The bra is just too itchy!