I have five kids. That means I do laundry for five kids. Pretty soon I'll be doing laundry for six kids. Yikes! That's a lot of laundry. It would be very easy for the laundry to control our home, and there are times when it does. For the most part, though, I am in control of the laundry, and here's how we do it.
Every child has his/her own laundry basket. It lives in the child's bedroom. They are much better at putting their laundry on the floor than they are at putting it in the baskets. I do not understand this. On laundry day, if there is laundry all over the bedrooms, I require the kids to sort it into their own baskets. They bring their baskets to the laundry room.
I wash all the kid clothes, sheets, and towels on Saturday morning, first thing. I do Matt's and my laundry on Monday mornings. I also wash karate uniforms on Mondays.
I can usually fit two kids' laundry into one load. I wash Snapper and Piper's clothes together because they share a room. I wash Sunny and Bubbles' clothes together because they share a room. Pepper's load is usually almost a full load on its own because his clothes are bulkier. I do two loads of towels each week and two loads of sheets every other week.
I make my own laundry soap. It's a simple recipe that I got from my mother-in-law. It works really well, but I don't love how it smells. That is easy to remedy! I love the scent of Arm&H@mmer's Fresh Burst liquid laundry soap. I have a huge jug of it, and I put in two cups with the laundry soap I make so I can still enjoy that smell. I used to separate my laundry into different loads based on color, but I no longer have time or energy for that. I wash new things in a cold vinegar wash to set the colors. From there on out, everything gets washed together. Except for the karate uniforms, which get their own bleach load.
When each load comes out, I call the owners of the load to come help me. I sort the load into two baskets, one for each child. Snapper and Bubbles take their own laundry from there. They follow the same process that I follow for Pepper, Piper, and Sunny's laundry. I fold it, match it into outfits, and bag it in gallon ziploc bags. This gives me ultimate control over the outfits. I can make sure things coordinate and are weather appropriate. Then the littles come and put their bags away in their drawers. They can choose whichever bag they want on any day.
My kids do the folding and putting away of towels and sheets. I have taught them exactly how I want it done, and if they get lazy about it, I make them do it over. They usually do a great job.
So that's laundry at our house. I hope my process gives you some ideas. It works great for us!