I don’t think I’ve participated in “Works for Me Wednesday” all summer, so I was excited to get back into that routine. However, as usual, it was hard coming up with an idea to share. Then I went to start laundry and remembered that we have a system that has worked for us for years on our annual national park camping trip.

Anyway, we don’t have enough clothes to go more than a week without doing laundry, which means that it must be done on vacation. I don’t like the idea of buying mini boxes of detergent from the laundromat (and I’ve learned from experience that those aren’t always available), yet I don’t want to drag my 20 pound box of detergent along on our trip. (I don’t even want to drag it out on regular laundry days, so tip #1 is that we transfer it to a smaller container that fits in the cupboard over the washer. The large box is in a nearby closet.) So, before vacation, we prepare several little ziploc bags of soap, toss in the quarters we’ve saved and a few dryer sheets, and throw the whole thing into the suitcase. Then if there are any leftovers, I just use them up at home. “Pre-packaged laundry soap” works for us!

This year “laundry day” was after we hiked to the highest point in Big Bend National Park – Emory Peak.

That’s the destination!
It’s getting closer!
Made it to the top!
We had actually planned to do laundry the next day, and while Michelle and I were gone doing that, Steven and Wayne were going to do another long hike. When I realized we’d be back from hiking Emory Peak in mid-afternoon (instead of dinner-time), I suggested the boys take over dinner preparations and the girls could go wash clothes. Steven was thrilled with the idea, because it got him out of a 14-mile hike the next day. Michelle was thrilled, because it meant she got to take a shower. (The laundry/shower facilities were 45 minutes from our campground.) So, that’s what we did.
When we returned a few hours later with clean clothes and clean hair, dinner was simmering away.
Steven enjoying the fruits of his labors.
So, here are just a few things that work for us:
  • annual camping vacations to a different national park
  • putting laundry detergent in smaller containers
  • taking our own laundry supplies to the laundromat
  • limiting the amount of clothes we own
  • letting the men cook dinner occasionally!
To find more ideas for things that could work for your family, visit We are THAT Family today. (Kristen’s tip of the “brown sugar bear” is another thing that works for us too!!)