Because it’s pointless.
5 kids means we wear a LOT of cotton. Cotton clothes could totally be folded but why would you do that?! I got really tired of looking in my kids’ drawers and seeing the clothes I had previously neatly folded now all caddywompus and fuckey. It also didn’t matter much if I had shirts in the shirt drawer and pants in the pants drawer, the kids could never keep it straight.
So I looked into how people with a boatload of kids manage this and specifically, I looked at the Queen of Too-Many-Children, Michelle Duggar. They go as far as not even having specific clothes for each kid... they just have a “family closet” for their prairie skirts and polos. I wasn’t about to go that far but I liked the theory and in September of 2014 (when I was pregnant with Elijah and D O N E being functional while I gestated a human), I quit folding laundry.
I ordered those 9-cube organizers for each kid and cloth bins. Then I printed labels for each cube, with an entire set made up of pictures because at that time, Scarlett couldn’t read. Short Sleeve Shirts, Long Sleeve Shirts, Pants, Shorts, Pajamas, Undies, Jackets, “Fancy Drawer”.
As clean laundry exited the dryer, it was piled on a couch and whichever kid was on laundry duty that day sorted the clothes into piles by person, a pile of socks and a pile of linens. Linens were folded and put away, socks tossed in the “sock bench” and then the kid shouts “COME AND GET YOUR PILES!”. Each kid takes their pile to their room and sorts it by type into their square cloth bins. If they want it folded (they literally never did) they could do that themselves. Isabelle eventually got more fashionable teen clothing and opts to hang a lot of her tops. Matthew and I manage our own clothes however we want. He hangs. I occasionally put mine in drawers but there’s also a pretty consistent pile on my floor of clean clothes.
Hey Kate, don't they all get wrinkled?!
Oh they totally do... but that wasn’t different than before and I realized that with a wardrobe that is 98% cotton (and 2% sequin), the wrinkles were gone after sitting for 10 minutes on a 98.6 degree human. #NaturesIron
I also quit matching and mating socks because seriously, who cares about socks?! Not my kids. Every sock is thrown in the “sock bench” and I started buying bulk white socks in the hopes of eventually not having to worry about mismatched socks but I’m not kidding when I say no one cares.
But Kate, what about your socks?
Well, okay, yeah... Matthew and I do care about matched socks. We mostly solve that by buying him black socks so they’re easy to spot in the sea of kid socks. My socks are nearly always bizarre. I have a lovely collection of weird socks that are fairly easy to identify.
I often get asked how I manage to keep up with 5 kids and my first response is either “whiskey” to shut them up, or if the person asking is really looking for tips, I say “I stopped folding laundry 5 years ago” because I did and it was one of the best decision I’ve ever made.