Our No Fold Laundry System for 5 Kids

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If laundry is a struggle in your home, I GET IT. I’ve been a parent for almost 7 years now, but doing my laundry from start to finish was an issue long before the babies came along. Having kids only exacerbated something I’ve always struggled with. So whether you have a large family or not, I think this post will be helpful for you.

Where does your laundry system stop working?

One thing that’s helped me is recognizing where the process stops working. Ask yourself: What part of laundry do I do consistently? Where do I get stuck? I’m pretty good at the washing and drying part. It’s what doesn’t happen once the clothes leave the dryer! You can probably picture it….Mount Laundry happens REALLY quickly around here. Huge piles of clean clothes, never being put away.

Don’t get me wrong, Mount Laundry still happens sometimes, even with this great system in place. Resolving it is so so so much faster now. And it’s not as daunting of a task whether it’s one load of laundry to sort or a huge pile.

My husband could see where I got stuck from a mile away. His job is dishes…by the way. Mine is laundry. And if I’m being honest, we have both struggled in our respective areas. Again, only exacerbated by our growing family. There had to be a solution!

The solution

One day, a little over a year ago, my husband mentioned that if our clothes (majority was children’s clothes at this point) weren’t getting folded anyway, we should just have a basket for each child that we could fill with their items and then they’d be easier to find instead of rummaging through Mount Laundry. Challenge ACCEPTED! And that’s when the magic started…

No Fold Laundry System

1. Each child has a large laundry basket that is labeled with two things: their name and tally marks of the # child they are. So our first born has a I by her name, second born has a II, then III, then IIII, etc… Whether we are sorting straight out of the dryer (ideally, but doesn’t always happen) or sorting out of a basket of clean clothes that has been waiting a bit, it goes really quickly.

2. Every garment of clothing is labeled with tally marks (using a permanent marker) for which child it belongs to. These tally marks match the ones on the basket. Why is this so awesome? It makes it easy for ANYONE to sort the laundry, including the kids! That way, I don’t become another bottleneck in the system as the only person in our house who truly knows which clothes belong to which child. Also, it takes the brain work out of everything. Just match the tallies up!

3. Socks stay OUT of these laundry baskets. Why? They would get so lost and be a frustrating part of our morning routine. So instead we keep them downstairs, with the shoes, in their own basket.

4. Every child has their own sock color. One child has navy socks. One has turquoise. One has pink! They know their color and we don’t have to pair anything up when putting laundry away. They just all go in the basket and that’s that.

5. We have cubbies for their Monday-Friday clothes. We don’t use this every week, but for a week when I’m traveling a lot for work or things are just very busy, this makes things a lot easier on my husband to ensure that getting our kids dressed in the morning takes the least amount of effort.

6. Do a little bit each day. My most important part of the system, and probably the hardest for me to follow. But it truly makes the biggest difference in managing the laundry that flows through our house if I sit down for 15 minutes each day and put clothes away.

Some other helpful tips

Keep things minimal. When the storage baskets start overflowing, I know it’s time to sort through and pull out what is either out of season or they’re just not wearing.

Hampers. Everyone in the family could have their own hamper to make things even faster to sort and put away (my husband and I have our own). I’ve tried this with the kids too and it does work but I just don’t want to have 5 more hampers around the house. So we just have one large one for the kids clothes.

Have a hand me down system. If you have a lot of kids, hand me downs are a must have in my opinion. We reserve one closet in one of the kids bedrooms for hand me down bins. I will do a post on that system at another time. It’s pretty simple but deserves it’s own space!

Two story homes – if you have a two story home with all bedrooms upstairs like ours, keep a basket downstairs to collect laundry in. Ours usually ends up full of kids socks, dish towels, and random clothes that get dirty during the day.



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I’m a mom of 5 in 5 years and an aspiring minimalist trying to simplify my life anywhere I can. I love finding bio-hacks for my health and creating a low toxin home for my family.

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