I want my boys to play. I want them to play freely, with imagination and energy. I want them to have a childhood where they are free to explore, dig, climb, create and imagine. This is fine but the consequence of this is washing. Lots of it. But I can either relax and let the boys have freedom in the yard or I can hover over them trying to prevent mess. I choose the consequence of the washing.
How do I deal with the washing? Firstly the boys have low maintenance play clothes. They are not expensive, they are not precious and if a stain happens - oh well. They have a few "nicer" clothes but nothing fancy, they are kids. We only ever get them dressed 30 mins before we are due to leave due to their physic defying attraction to disaster. (I'm not joking -these guys are amazing at mess....)
Secondly I have no dramas with the boys wearing PJ's. All day. All the boys wear nappies to bed, even William still, and I feel that the PJ's are stale after a night of wear due to nappies. Also by the time breakfast is had they have usually spilled something on them. So I let them finish "dirty-ing" up their PJ's which often saves on an outfit change. I have been known to take Angus to school pick up in his PJ's but he is happy and doesn't give a hoot!
In summer if I can get away with dressing them in just undies/nappy if it is a hot "home" day I do.
Also in summer I take the quilts of the bed. It saves washing a doona cover and they don't need it. I just leave a cotton blanket and their raggedy quilts on the bed.
I wash a load most days, fold one and put it away. Though Monday is my "catch up" day and often do several loads if I have slacked off. I wash the master bed sheets weekly, they boys alternative fortnightly unless they wet through. Henry's sheets are small so throw them in with towels. If I can get away with it once I strip the bed I hang the sheets and put them straight back on the bed to save folding them and putting them away. They towels get changed a couple of times a week.
I don't iron. Anything. Except sewing! I figure ironing does not contribute to the cleanliness of an item and I really quite dislike it. I would much prefer to spend my spare time sewing or doing something that "fills up" my tank!
I am lucky with the climate where we are, I can line dry most of the year around, though do own a dryer which gets used in winter for finishing sheets/towels. In winter it is a bit trickier but the wood fire helps and everything is dried on big clothes horses in front of it, though there is still a fair bit of time I can line dry. Just not in the middle of winter.
I take it off the line and dump it on our bed to sort/fold and get ready to put away. I like to sit while I do it and often use the time to clear my thoughts and ponder the day.
I sort it carefully into groups so it's in order to make putting it away fast and straight forward. Everything is grouped into what draws they belong too.
I do a load of nappies and cloth wipes every second day, usually at night but they don't take any time. I have a small clothes horse under the veranda specifically for them so I don't have to venture out the back to hang them.
Here they are on their line...
Brought in, ready to be folded. I use liners which saves a lot of water in rinsing.