Managing a large family series part 3

This is part 3 of our series –managing a large family.

Monday is laundry day

We have chosen to focus this day on doing MOST of our laundry.  Mind you with a family of 12, there is no possible way to do it all in one day.  I actually try and and get it all done today and then on Friday, which you will see later on, I do a few loads as well.

After having the weekend, our house gets pretty messed up.  Laundry piles up from the multiple changes of clothing and the housework backs up as we do not do as much upkeep as we do during the week. Our weekends are spent being together, doing things, not worrying about a clean home.

How I begin my morning on Monday, is I wake up, before the children do and I gather up all of the laundry.  We keep a basket in the main bathroom and then my husband and I have our laundry in our bathroom.  I gather up both of those piles and bring them to the laundry room.

I also have scheduled on washing the family bedding once a month.  Yes, I know I grew up washing it every week, but in our home it is not a reality to wash it every week.  I have scheduled different people’s bedding for different weeks so that I am not overwhelmed washing  multiple loads of bedding on one day.

This is how it is scheduled:

  • Week 1 Dad and Mom
  • Week 2  Evan and Jentzen
  • Week 3  Jadyn, Brooklyn, Autumn, and Madelyn
  • Week 4 Lauren and Collin

I chose this way of scheduling for these reasons:

  • My husband and I get fresh bedding the beginning of the month.
  • Evan is learning to do his own laundry and I have him grab little brother Jentzen’s bedding as well.
  • The 4 girls all share a room–I have the 2 older girls grab the 2 younger girls bedding to wash.
  • The last week are for the two oldest and they do their own laundry as well.

I begin by separating our laundry into 4 laundry hampers:

  1. lights
  2. towels
  3. darks
  4. my husbands dark working clothes



I then start by doing a towel load as I know that will run for a bit of time.  If it is warm weather outside, I always hang our towels and bedding outdoors, to save on electricity.

We use our all natural homemade laundry soap.  I have been using that for for years.


I try and do a load of diapers the night before as I know they take awhile.  If you want to see my cloth diapering routine, click here.  I love to hang my diapers outdoors on a drying rack to help naturally get out stains and smells, but since it is winter time now they go into the dryer.




My next job for the day would be to deep clean our bathroom.  I use our homemade all natural cleaner as well as homemade scouring powder to scrub the tub.  I do this to our main bathroom and to our master bathroom.  By this time the children are usually waking up.


Then we begin our day with the following staying constant:

  1. chore packs
  2. personal grooming chart
  3. school
  4. lunch
  5. naptime
  6. snacktime

Throughout this whole day, I am constantly listening for the washer and dryer to be completed and keep switching the loads.  For my laundry routine, click here.

After snack time we usually all come together whoever is available and complete the “extra chores” I have pre written out and clipped to our clipboards.  I keep a copy of these lists in plastic sleeves and then we clip them to the clipboard and rotate them around depending upon the day.

Download (PDF, 136KB)

At the top I have listed my focus for the day, so that I know what it is I have to do.

I then have listed “Group effort” what that means is that whoever is available to help, does.  We then have children pick and grab a chore to do.  Sometimes some work together, sometimes it is Mom managing a bunch of preschoolers to do it, regardless it takes about 1/2 hour of our day and then we can be ready for Dad.  We also do a run through of the house and pick up floors, sweep if necessary, and vacuum.  That way Dad walks into a somewhat clean atmosphere.

I have highlighted on my list that is hung what the boys are responsible for doing.  They are usually taught to do the outside things as I want them to grow up to be men.  I have them clean the van and take care of all of the yard work.  But the days that it is raining or freezing cold outside, they will willingly help indoors with our “group effort list.”





We have so many towels and washcloths all of the time.  I was finding that we went through so many towels each week it was overwhelming.  My wonderful neighbor, Kathy made each of my children their own towel embroidered with their name.


I then had my husband use a piece of his rough sawn lumber to make a simple hanger, I then hang each child’s towels on the hook to dry.  I gather them up, today to wash and then rehang them on their hooks.  This will come in handy when it is warm and we are using the pool as well.

I have a large drawer in the kitchen and we constantly are using them to wash faces, clean up messes, and dry hands.  We used to run out about every 2 days.  I make sure to purchase more sets so that I only have to do this 2 times per week.



Another area that takes much time is putting away the laundry.  I recently stated how life gets easier, and that included how my daughter enjoys organizing the drawers for me.  But before she started doing that, I would put the items into the lower half’s  drawers and then I would have the 6 and 8 year old start by hanging up some of their dresses.  For the most part it was extra help.  I do remember a time that I had no helpers and this task took a long time.  But those days are gone.

I then quickly go into our bedroom closet and put away our clothing.  We are pretty easy about clothing, I quickly fold my skirts, put our underclothing into the drawers and then hang up our shirts.


My husbands jeans, which he wears everyday to work I hang on this homemade pant hanger that we made.  Makes it much easier, he did not like having to fumble through a drawer full of jeans to find which pair he wanted to wear.

That is how my Laundry day goes.  I have trained and taught the four older ones how to do their own laundry and that is working out wonderfully.  Laundry used to be this enormous task that was going around the clock.  I realized that I needed to teach my children responsibility in doing their own laundry and they do it willingly.  2013-11-11_00001

This help cut down on the amount of towels and extra laundry that I was washing each week.  They seem to enjoy it as well, because there are never any little children’s socks mixed up in their baskets:)2013-11-11_00002

At the end of my day this is how our hampers look:)



We then have dinner with Dad, clean up, and spend time together as a family.  We either goto the park, go play in the pool, or help Dad out in the garage–for our family business.  

I made sure to plan out on Mondays to make a casserole type dish for this day.  This day is usually the busiest and having something that I can just throw together quickly is a great meal planned for this day.

We then come together around 8 and  pop some air popped popcorn.  We will watch a movie together or spend time talking and sharing things.  Then it is bedtime around 9 pm.  It is lights out for the little ones, the older ones will either read or watch a movie to fall asleep to.  I then do my blog time when everyone is in bed.

That is our Monday.  This day used to be the busiest and craziest, our home would be a mess from the weekend and I would spend all day doing everything, no more.  I use my schedule and keep to it.  It allows me time to get everything done and free time for myself later on.

Up next….Tuesdays plan…..






5 responses to “Managing a large family series part 3

  1. I think your teaching your children to do laundry is great. My husband, bless his heart, did not know a thing about doing laundry. I swear he did not do laundry at all. He went to the store and brought more clothes. His job requires he wear a uniform. That he sent out to be cleaned. However socks, underwear, sheets, and towels………..he went and got new ones. When we married he had enough socks and underwear that I did not buy him any for 12 years. That is the truth so help me. He could have taken his clothes home to his mother but he did not want to bother her. When we were dating I taught him how to do laundry. Then we married and he has not done any laundry since. That was 31+ years ago.
    I love the Duggar’s idea of a family closet. That seems a great idea to me to have by the laundry area. If I had many children at home I would sure try to do that.

  2. Amy, thank you for taking the time to share all of your recipes and tips. I love your blog and have tried many things already.

    My daughter is fourteen, and I have started her on your home-Ec too.

    I should back up-
    I have 4 children we homeschool, and my aunt who has down-syndrome. (Two dogs, a cat and an open door policy that many people enjoy.)

    Anyway, I just wanted you to know how much I appreciate you sharing with us.

    • Dawn, I am happy to hear your daughter will be doing the course as well. Let me know how she likes it and how she does. I look forward to more insight:)
      Blessings, Amy

  3. Amy,
    Thank you for posting this series. It is really helpful! I have three children and have a lot of trouble being organized so I am always looking for good information from people who have figured it out. 🙂 I am wondering if you have any suggestions for those of us with just younger children who can not help out as much. I have two with special needs and so they are not able to actually make a big difference helping. We are teaching them but they need 1:1 help when doing any chores. I am probably in the same situation as someone with many very small children who has to do most of it herself. I really like that you have taken into consideration that things change and your schedule has to allow for that. We have behavioral therapy in our house about 35 hours a week and so I often feel like I do not have a lot of control over what happens at what time…sometimes I am participating in some of the programs for therapy or they need supplies or we have to go on an outing to practice skills in a generalized setting. Right now I use a loop schedule so that I can just stop when I am needed and go back to it when I can. But I am not getting everything done. Or even close! Thanks again for your blog and all the information you have provided.

    • tamie
      wow you sound like a very busy mother, bless your heart. I know personally I have not had to take care of a special needs child but I do have friends that have and it takes ALOT of work. I would relate it to having very small children who cannot help and I remember that part of my life. Most of it was a blurr:) No in all seriousness I would say, right now do just the minimal that you have to do. Find out what sort of things your husband would like to see done in your home and focus on those. If he is happy that you just make meals and who cares about the house, then YEAH for you!! Then think minimal, basic floor pick up, vacuum, sweep, dishes, and quick bathroom wipe. Save all the dusting, window cleaning, refrigerator cleaning for when life slows down. If it really bothers you make a list of the things you really want done, like oven clean, walls wiped, etc. Then see if your husband can watch the children or maybe a close friend to let you get the things done that you would like to see done. And if that is not the case and it is just you, which I can understand, then focus on 20 minutes a day. Set a time during the day, maybe during naptime, before children wake up, right after lunch, whenever it isn’t super busy and focus on one of your chores for 20 minutes and that is it. If it doesn’t get all done, continue with it the next day. Eventually you will get it done if you work a bite at a time. Don’t set standards too high right now, life will get easier, even if it doesn’t seem it will. Eventually you will be able to clean your refrigerator every week:)
      Sending God’s blessing for a peaceful day,

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