Author Topic: Mustachian family laundry management  (Read 13244 times)

chilliepepper

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Mustachian family laundry management
« on: December 20, 2012, 08:29:04 PM »
I've been trying, for at least a couple years now, to teach my kids what to do with their clothes when they take them off. However, I run into a conflict between creating a routine that kids can understand and follow, vs. adhering to what I think most of us would agree to be the first rule of Mustachian laundry: things get worn several times before they are washed, unless they're exceptionally dirty.

A simple routine for them would be that at the end of each day, they would throw all their clothes in the hamper. But they're often not dirty at all, so I hate to waste time and resources washing them. But on the other hand, my 5 and 7yo don't seem to be capable of keeping track of how many times they've worn something, or discerning whether an article of clothing is dirty or not (of course there are obvious cases but I'm just talking about the everyday stuff).

And having two boys of roughly similar size seems, for some reason, to complicate things. I'm not really sure why.

So I'm asking those of you with kids, especially those with multiple kids: how do you do this? Do you have simple rules that your kids can follow when it comes to having reasonably clean clothes without draining Lake Michigan each week with all the laundry?

Thanks.

N

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Re: Mustachian family laundry management
« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2012, 11:26:04 PM »
I have an 8 and a 5 year old. they both re-wear things. My 5 yo is easy-I dress him, I take his clothes off and either put them in the hamper or put them back for him. At home he mostly wears pajama pants or sweats. My 8 yo would be perfectly happy to never have anything washed, she doenst notice and often prefers well worn clothes. however, they do get stinky and eventually too dirty to wear. at that point (when she appears in a filthy outfit) I do a sweep of her room and round up all her clothes that need to get washed. She either squirrels her clothes in her bed or just puts them back in her dresser.  She also doesnt often wear much at home.

It doesnt seem to be too much of a problem. My husband does his laundry (and whatever random kids stuff is tossed in his hamper) once every two weeks or so. I do mine when I need something thats dirty or if my basket is full. I guess we have enough clothes to make it thru a couple of weeks. I know some of my friends complain about endless laundry, but it doesnt seem to be that big a deal around my house.

We use cloth napkins and kitchen towels, those get washed once a week or so.

Maybe a good policy for your boys is, undies get worn once, everything else gets put back and every week or so you can go thru and pick out any egregious items. :)

bogart

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Re: Mustachian family laundry management
« Reply #2 on: December 21, 2012, 08:27:41 AM »
I forget how old your kids are, but unless they're -- what? -- maybe older than 10? -- I can't imagine them being able effectively to distinguish "dirty enough to need washing" from "clean enough to wear again" reliably.  I handle this 2 ways with my 5-year old:  do it myself (obviously easier with 1 kid), or have him throw his stuff in the hamper (an open mesh box, so stuff tossed on top rarely gets contaminated immediately) and check after he's in bed, pull out anything reusable, and relocate it.

I have at times for myself had a place (often a laundry basket or box) that is for "clothes too dirty to put back in the drawer but clean enough to wear again," often used for play/active clothes, and I'd think you could set up something like this for your kids too, where anything NOT glaringly filthy goes in there but I think you'd still want to check it later, just to be sure.

strider3700

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Re: Mustachian family laundry management
« Reply #3 on: December 26, 2012, 01:35:07 PM »
2 year old and a 4 year old here.   Underwear and socks are immediately to the hamper after use.   Everything else I assist in the sorting as to dirty or not. We still do a lot of laundry.  Enough that it's worked out to 13% of my electric bill so far this month.

twinge

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Re: Mustachian family laundry management
« Reply #4 on: December 27, 2012, 10:38:08 AM »
Quote
I have at times for myself had a place (often a laundry basket or box) that is for "clothes too dirty to put back in the drawer but clean enough to wear again," often used for play/active clothes, and I'd think you could set up something like this for your kids too, where anything NOT glaringly filthy goes in there but I think you'd still want to check it later, just to be sure.

We're fans of a "clirty" (cleanish-dirty) pile too. 1 laundry basket for underwear/socks and obviously soiled stuff (I can give my kids a once-over and tell them "all that goes straight to dirty clothes basket") and another for worn items that can be re-worn.  Kids are supposed to look over the latter and make a judgment call, but I often have to sort through and decide for myself. 

prosaic

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Re: Mustachian family laundry management
« Reply #5 on: December 27, 2012, 01:55:49 PM »
What is this you speak of? Children who wear clothing that is semi-clean by the end of the day? Do you own a unicorn that poops Skittles as well? I have three boys (teens to toddlers) and can't imagine any of them, before the age of 11 or so, being able to rewear something. I'm amazed you have kid who can do that!

Now they rewear jeans and sometimes sweaters. Hormones and stinkiness make rewearing tops pretty dicey.

twinge

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Re: Mustachian family laundry management
« Reply #6 on: December 28, 2012, 08:34:38 AM »
Quote
I have three boys (teens to toddlers) and can't imagine any of them, before the age of 11 or so, being able to rewear something. I'm amazed you have kid who can do that!

lol, no skittle producing unicorns here--My son dresses in layers (he's super skinny and gets cold easily) and so the in-between or inner layers are often clean enough to be reworn.  Also, if he wears "nice" clothes for some event he will quickly change out of those immediately after said event and those are usually clean. 

Nudelkopf

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Re: Mustachian family laundry management
« Reply #7 on: December 31, 2012, 08:19:09 AM »
Quote
Also, if he wears "nice" clothes for some event he will quickly change out of those immediately after said event and those are usually clean.
This reminds me of once when I was a kid, I climbed a tree in my "good clothes", and I got in trouble cos then Mum had to wash them :( (Mum used to wash everything by hand.. so that was a big deal)

N

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Re: Mustachian family laundry management
« Reply #8 on: January 03, 2013, 09:50:11 PM »
hah! my kids have mostly clean clothes because they hardly wear clothes!
at home my daughter mostly lives in underpants.  my son wears a pair of sweatpants, and he often sleeps in them too. hes been wearing the same sweatpants all week, I actually put them in the laundry today. but we homeschool-and its winter, so we are home a fair amount right now.

chicagomeg

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Re: Mustachian family laundry management
« Reply #9 on: January 07, 2013, 10:17:08 AM »
I don't know if this will help you or not, but I came up with a solution this weekend for my work pants, which I try to wear twice before washing and can't have in wrinkled piles every where. I hang them back up after the first wearing, but turn the hanger backwards so it's obvious. Then when I wear them again, I can (hopefully) remember I've already worn them and they should be washed. I'd like to wear them three times but I can't figure out how to remember which ones I've worn how many times...

kolorado

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Re: Mustachian family laundry management
« Reply #10 on: January 07, 2013, 02:27:55 PM »
We have the opposite problem at my house. Due to my kids sensory issues, I have to practically trick them to get their clothes off so I can wash them. It's not unusual for me to let them wear an outfit two or three days in a row before I resort to desperate means. ;) And also due to sensory issues, my kids are meticulously neat so the clothes look and smell clean even if they "aren't". DD never wants me to wash any of her clothes. She balls everything up and puts it back in her dresser. I remove all those items on wash days. My kids are still pretty young to understand laundry management and we homeschool so no peers to impress so I don't push the issue.
As for me, I always put undies, socks and tops in the laundry basket but pants and sweaters are draped over the window-seat to air out overnight. In the morning I fold them and leave them there so I know to re-wear them another time before laundering. Dressers and hangers are for first time clean clothes only. That's my system.
We're a family of five and I do laundry on Mondays and Fridays. Our toddler is still in cloth diapers too. I wash about 8 large loads a week. Clothes are only 3-4 loads of that. I wash bed linens a lot. Frequent laundering is better for our allergies and it's just nicer to freshen them often.
Mlipps, how about adding a clothespin or rubber band to the hanger after each wear to remind you when to wash?

Chris Pascale

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Re: Mustachian family laundry management
« Reply #11 on: March 10, 2024, 09:40:04 PM »
Adding to this VERY OLDIE BUT GOODIE

About 2 years ago we put up a chart in half-day increments. It's had some adjustments, and there are some free times, and people have been caught not respecting the chart, but it's been very helpful, overall.

Dee18

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Re: Mustachian family laundry management
« Reply #12 on: March 11, 2024, 07:33:29 AM »
We use over the door hanging racks, so the worn clothes are hanging outside the closet..
clothes ready to be washed go in the hamper.

Google: Decko Bath Products 38500 Over Door Hanger, 14-Inch
a 2 pack is about $9

Kmp2

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Re: Mustachian family laundry management
« Reply #13 on: March 13, 2024, 02:09:58 PM »
Honest answer:

My kids wear the same clothes every day, until we ask them to change. Things get worn 2-3 times each, when we (parents) notice they are dirty they take it off and put it in the laundry.
2/3 kids sleep in their clothes - the other in his underwear. DH does insist on new underwear every day - so that's good.

I have no idea if anyone at school has noticed yet.

Today my 10 year DD, wore leggings and t-shirt she wore yesterday - but added and styled a skirt. The leggings have very LARGE holes in the knees. She's like 'Don't worry mom, it's in style).

Sigh. I clearly let this one go, I'm expecting the 10 year old to start wanting to do her own laundry soon, and teaching her the smell test - as well she's starting to smell. (And she's starting to get frustrated with Dad's management of her laundry - lol)

My boys will probably do better with a wear once rule when they start to smell, but we'll figure that out soon.

Boys are 6 & 8, DD is almost 11.

YMMV

edit - I just noticed how old this thread is, I wonder what the OP's doing now about laundry!
« Last Edit: March 13, 2024, 02:11:45 PM by Kmp2 »

shelivesthedream

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Re: Mustachian family laundry management
« Reply #14 on: March 22, 2024, 08:26:53 AM »
@Kmp2 LOVE to hear that your toddlers sleep in their clothes too. We started it with our third and it's been  great. Fresh set of clothes before bed then she sleeps in them and is magically pre-dressed the next day. Kids that age get a lot of "external" dirt (food etc) but not a lot of "internal" dirt (BO). Takes a whole morning chore off the table. Wish we'd done it with the first two!

GuitarStv

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Re: Mustachian family laundry management
« Reply #15 on: March 22, 2024, 08:48:45 AM »
We go with three questions:
- does it smell?
- does it have visible dirt/stains?
- Is it underwear or sock?

If yes for any, wash.  If no, wear again.

charis

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Re: Mustachian family laundry management
« Reply #16 on: March 22, 2024, 09:31:00 AM »
I don't have the bandwidth to assess whether the kids' outfits are okay to re-wear (they are elementary/middle school age).  I've noticed that if something cleans ends up in a pile of clean and dirty clothing, it doesn't smell great anyway.   If it is in a ball on the floor, it gets tossed in the laundry pile.   Occasionally, I'll grab something I know hasn't been worn and stick it back in their drawers, but that's if I happen to be around/aware of it in the moment, which I typically am not since I don't dress my kids anymore.  I know it's not mustachian but some things I have to let slide.

PHAT

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Re: Mustachian family laundry management
« Reply #17 on: March 26, 2024, 10:05:52 PM »
My 5yo and 7yo basically never have clean clothes by the end of the day.  They are usually smeared with yogurt, boogers, and/or dirt.  (we have napkins, but somehow they feel that a mostly-clean shirt does a better job?).   If they are wearing a difficult-to-wash item (like a handmade knitted sweater), I try to remember to tell them to take it off when eating, but that's rare.  So pretty much everything kid-related goes directly into the dirty hamper. 

For myself, I have been using a "wear again basket" for several years, and love it!  Mine is just a small basket that lives in the corner beside the bed, close to the dresser and where I get changed.  It does tend to accumulate, and I need to make a conscious effort to wear only items from that basket for a week or so in order to get it back under control.  And it needs purging a couple of times a year after a season change (eg: if there is a pair of shorts in there that got worn at the end of the summer, they won't get worn all winter...so I just throw them in the wash and put them back in the dresser until spring)

shelivesthedream

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Re: Mustachian family laundry management
« Reply #18 on: March 28, 2024, 09:10:45 AM »
I wear my "wear again" clothes the very next day. No accumulation, no ambiguity. Wear it or wash it. Same for my children. They have a "wear again" spot to put clothes that are clean enough and must wear them again the very next day. (Sometimes special pleading means they can wear something else, but then the wear again clothes get washed.) Don't overcomplicate the system!