Monday, March 06, 2006

Taming the laundry monster

Jump over to see Barbara, at Mommy Life, for some good clean fun! Prepare to giggle.

Now, to answer the ever popular, "Kim, how do you manage so much laundry?"

Taming the Laundry Monster

I get asked “How do you manage laundry with so many kids?” on a frequent basis.

I think I have finally figured out a system. It didn’t happen over-night. There have been several plans that failed miserably before this ‘plan of attack.’

First, consistency is vital. In order for any system to work, you have to work it. Inevitably, life will throw a wrench into your skills from time to time, but the key is to stay on track so you can swerve around the wrench.

I do, on average, two loads of laundry a day, with the exception of Sunday. That is a day of rest, for me and my laundry room.

I am blessed with a large laundry room, upstairs, right outside the bedroom doors. I know a busy mom designed this floor plan!

In the laundry room, there are several baskets on the floor. They are marked as such:

Delicates (sweaters, etc)
Misc. basket for “Mom, where do I put this shirt…it has too many colors”

Everyone is responsible for getting their clothing into the appropriate basket before bed each night.

When one of the ‘dirty’ baskets has enough for a full load, it is washed. Like I mentioned above, I average about two loads a day using this method. The linen basket is done on Saturday, along with all bed linens (bed changing day).
Side note about linens – I only use white linens (towels, sheets, etc.) This makes my life so much easier.

On the built-in table, you will find 7 baskets.
One for E, S, P, G, C/J (they share), linens and Jeff & I (we share a basket as well).

Now, here is the backbone to this plan. When the dryer is done, I do not pile the clothes into a basket and dump it on a bed (a method used long ago). No. Instead, I fold the clothes as I take them out of the dryer. As I fold them, I place them in the appropriate basket (see above). It takes far less time to do it this way – honest! Long ago, I would literally be buried under clean/wrinkled clothes at the end of the day. I hated clothes. I hated laundry. It was a massive chore.

Before dinner, the person with the ‘put away’ chore (for that day) is responsible for putting away all of the clean/folded clothes. It is a quick chore since the folding and sorting is already done. The empty baskets are placed back in the laundry room, ready for the following day.

One little ‘dirty’ secret I have to share….
Socks. They are my thorn. Like linens, we only have white socks (with the exception of Jeff’s work socks). When socks come out of the dryer, they are tossed into a sock basket, unmatched. They stay there until someone needs a pair. It isn’t the neatest system known to mankind, but it works for us. I admit I let out a happy squeal when sandal weather arrives. No more socks!


Blogger KKT said...

go you! i HATE doing laundy. hate it hate it hate it.

pssssst.. the Oscars were on last night. *giggle*

10:33 PM  
Blogger owlhaven said...

Sounds like a good system!


12:30 AM  
Blogger RANDI said...

I blow out my laundry all on one day because I just want to get it over with! I do 7 loads on Monday(my oldest girls do their own) and we put it away on Tuesday. A couple of years ago we bought front-loaders and I love them! They do about 50% more laundry in each load!

9:29 AM  
Anonymous CarrieB said...

My first instinct is to say, "Well if I had a huge laundry room, this system would work for me too", but I know the foundation of this is your consistency, not the nice big room.

I'm still in the "dump it all on the bed and fold it later" camp. Sometimes I have to move it to the floor because I'm too exhausted to fold it before I collapse into bed.

I really should fold as it comes out of the dryer. Thanks for the tips!

9:43 AM  
Blogger Kate said...

I know my washer and dryer are so happy when Sunday comes. They get the day off too!
OOOOO I love the idea of a sock basket. Sandal weather is almost here; I'm so excited too!
2 loads a day
Keeps the pile away!

2:23 PM  
Anonymous HolyMama! said...

wow - you fold as you take them out? that's somehting i've never learned to do. but i do have a sock basket. every once in awhile i put it in one of the kids' rooms to match and put away.

3:30 PM  
Blogger Kym said...

Yeah, I bet you do get asked that question a lot. Your system sounds great, especially the sock solution. Guess you never have to worry about that one that goes missing (usually mine!). Thanks for sharing your system. :)

7:25 PM  
Blogger Kathy Pitt said...

What a great system! I have 3 kidlets myself and I fold their washing as it comes off the line, into their own baskets which they then put away theirselves. I used to dump into basket off the line, then fold it when upstairs, but when folding it straight off the line, it GETS done lol

Thanks for sharing your special way, will have to give it a try :)

1:51 AM  
Blogger texasblu said...

I have to share a tip my super organized mother-in-law shared with me, and it eliminated my sock basket. I keep a bowl of safty pins next to the laundry basket, and as those socks get tossed in, I pin them together. That way when you pull them out of the dryer, you unpin and fold over immediately - no mix matched or missing socks! :D

12:19 AM  

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