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Laundry - how do you handle it?

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 

How do you organize and stay on top of all the family laundry?? OMG, I feel like I'm constantly under a huge pile of clothes.. they change from dirty to clean and vice versa, but still.. there's always a pile! We live in a small 1br, there's a small closet for the adults and a small closet for the baby, but no dressers...


I guess I just have to bite the bullet and deal with it more often, but ugh. 

post #2 of 29

At our house, everyone has a basket in their room for dirty clothes. Dirty towels and rags go in a basket in the laundry room.


I do laundry on weekends and everything gets done in 1 day.  I'm not a fan of doing laundry and I don't want to do it everyday so I take one day and do it all.  Towels get done on the weekends too when I clean and put out new towels.  Sheets get done whenever I think about it. 


But when I do laundry, I do it all the way through.  I grew up picking my clothes out from a pile in the laundry room and hated it, so all clean clothes get folded and put away the same day.

post #3 of 29

I have 5 dc and dh works construction. The 3 little boys (who share a room) have a laundry basket in their room, dd and ds#1 each have their own laundry basket, I have mine own, dh's is kept in the bathroom since he goes right into shower when he gets home due to the filth.He has 2 baskets, 1 for the jeans and sweatshirts/work T's and the other is for socks/underwear/ regular day clothes. I also have 2 more laundry baskets in the bathroom (where my washer/dryer are) 1 is for wet stuff ie wash cloths/rags,towels, dirty undies/clothes (toilet training time!) and the other for more little boy laundry (they sometimes get changed in the bathroom if it's shower/tub night or whatever. I also downsized their clothing, I think it helps tremendously!! I wash the 3 little guys laundry twice a week since it's obviously more. ds#1 and dd's gets done weekly and they do it themselves (almost 12-dd and  10 1/2 ds#1) I do mine weekly as well and dh's weekly with the exception of his work clothes which get washed as needed. That said I probably do at least 2 loads a day/4-5 days a week. I do try to have 2-3 days when I'm not doing laundry but sometimes it doesn't work out like that. My dc also re-wear their hoodies and jeans if not dirty. the 3 older dc wear their pj's 3 nights in a row but the 2 little guys (3 and 1) usually need a clean pair every night it seems. I also love that my washer/dryer is on my main floor bathroom. I don't have to lug laundry to a basement! Also I'll admit, I have a sickness.... I love folding warm laundry and putting it away. I always rotate ie put the clean laundry under the clothes that's in their drawers so they're not constantly rewearing the same things but they do have their favorites it seems, lol. I'll fold and put away as soon as it's done so it's not sitting around. CAN'T stand that!!!

post #4 of 29

we also use laundry baskets.  They are pretty wickers, tall with cloth bag liners. I keep mine in the master bath, my husband's is next to his dresser and my son's is in his room. You can grab the cloth bag and throw it all in the wash. Both my husband and I try to stay on top it it during the week, throwing a load in in the am, drying in the PM and folding when catching up on the news or watching a movie.

post #5 of 29

I think I have a different system compared to most houses I hear about and see.


When I was growing up, there were no hampers or baskets in rooms- everyone was expected to take dirty laundry right to the washer/dryer area.  I honestly didn't even know about hampers until I got older.  So I continue to do the same thing in my apartment now.  I can't imagine hampers taking up extra space just so people can store dirty laundry in their rooms.  So anyway, we take laundry straight to where the washer and dryer are (which is in a closet in a hallway).  There is room on top of the dryer for 1 basket for clothes/linens and a small bucket I throw diapers in.  If the laundry pile gets any bigger than that, it has to go on the floor in the hallway, and we'd have to step over it, so it's good motivation to go a load every time the basket is getting full.


Also, less clothes, towels, etc mean less can pile up.  So that is making a big difference for us.  If you have a lot of baskets or hampers, then that's just more room for dirty laundry storage.  I imagine feeling pretty overwhelmed thinking about multiple baskets waiting to be washed.


Maybe try catching up, then switch to less space for it to accumulate. Does that make any sense? lol maybe I'm just weird!

post #6 of 29
We have a family closet and hang up most stuff. Each person has one drawer for socks and undies. I do have a dresser for baby stuff and cloth diapers. We have basket hampers in each room and the main bathroom. My third child has the job of dumping in the laundry room daily. There is a dark and light basket in their under the hanging rack. I have a sink with a cabinet and the diaper pail is under that. I do laundry daily because we don't usually have enough clothes to last a week. Plus, I do not want to spend my Saturday doing laundry. My kids do most of the putting away.
post #7 of 29

My system is more of a "out of sight, out of mind" type deal.  lol  I have a hamper in the linen closet in the bathroom for clothing and a hanging wetbag in the bathroom.  Also we have a small diaper pail under the sink in the kitchen for wipes and kitchen cloth.  When the hamper is full or the diaper pail is full, we run a load.  There's a separater down in the basement with 3 sections for clothing.  2 are for clothing, because I don't separate colors and whites.  1 is for towels and sheets.  I run a load every day, either wipes/diapers or clothing.  Because we have no dryer and have to line dry on lines in the basement exclusively we have to keep on top of it.  I throw in a wash after getting home from walking to the bus stop and it's ready to hang at naptime so I don't have a 3 year old "helping."  I find that one load per day keeps me up on laundry and it's usually pretty manageable.  The laundry takes about 24hours or slightly less to dry so I typically take up the dry laundry when I hang the wet stuff.  That way I can put it away pretty quickly one load per day.

post #8 of 29

I do laundry daily.  I keep a row of baskets in the laundry room - each basket is for a different type of load.  Everyone puts their dirty clothing in the appropriate basket.  As baskets fill I throw them in the wash.  Bedding is normally pulled from the beds, washed and put back on.  (I have many sheets and blankets so if needed, the beds can be made w/out the laundry completed.)


My biggest laundry 'issue' was putting clothing away.  I used to fold it and leave it on the dining table and leave hanging items in the laundry room.  Reducing the number of items in the closets helped a lot.  Also, I've stopped using the drying rod in the laundry room as a family closet and started putting the clothing away.  Folded items are put in piles by the stairs and taken up and put away the next trip upstairs.

post #9 of 29

I do laundry daily as well. I put in a load at night after the kids go to bed. I mix everything together and wash on warm. The next morning, I throw that load into the dryer as soon as I wake up. When it's done, I drape the clothes over the couch so they don't get wrinkled. Then I have the whole day to get them folded and put away! This is the only way I can make sure it gets done.


On Sundays, I wash either our sheets or the kids sheets, so that each set gets done every two weeks. 


I wash a towel load as needed or put one towel a day in with my regular wash if there's room.


We have one laundry basket in our room, and everything goes in there. If something is super dirty it goes in the bathtub until I do my nightly wash.


Good luck finding a system that works for you!

post #10 of 29
Thread Starter 

Thanks everyone! It seems like i just need to do laundry more often.. We've always been the type to let it pile up and then do a huge amount at once, but that's just not cutting it with a little one around. We're keeping up really well and have found a pattern for the cloth diapers, I think we lucked into a diaper pail that fits exactly 2/3 of our diapers.. so when it's full, we wash, and we have enough still clean to make it through til the others are clean...  

But with the everyday clothes, it may be a long road until we find a system! So far we've shifted to where clothes of any sort are never allowed in the bedroom unless you are currently wearing them, or they are your pjs under your pillow (our closets are outside the bedroom, near the bathroom).  That seems to be helping the massive pileup of "semi-clean" laundry. We may not figure out the sweaters/hats/mittens/coats piles until spring though!  

post #11 of 29

We are a family of 5 and I often find myself doing 10 loads at a time. Then we have 5+ baskets sitting around the house for WEEKS!  All 3 kids are in school and DW wears office attire to work.  So, that is 4 outfits a day (sometimes more depending if spills happen! UGH!).  I'm not sure how I would even do a load a day because I separate the loads (whites get bleached, light colors, dark colors, kids clothes, towels/bed linens).  I bribed our cleaning lady to help me fold for an extra $10/week. ;)  At least I know she will come in and help me get it all folded so I don't have baskets of wrinkled messes!!

I don't have any advice...just sympathy! LOL!

post #12 of 29
I have a laundry basket that fits one load when it's full I wash everything together all on cold diapers I wash when I'm low and sheets and such get thrown in has needed I also have a bag of rags that gets washed either when it starts to smell or when im low on rags
post #13 of 29
I do laundry (not counting diapers) at least every other day. I have to because our house is so small, and our only laundry hamper is in the hallway. Once that hamper is full it has to be washed or dirty clothes will pile up on to the floor heater grate which would be hella dangerous. I'd love to meet the genius who came up with floor heater grates...in hallways no less!

Its a pretty big hamper and fits about three loads of clothes: lights, darks and reds. DS goes through a ton of clothes since his diapers leak fairly frequently.

Once the clothes are dry there is no place to put them except onto the living room floor (did I mention my house is tiny) so they have to be folded and put away right away. And so on, over and over, week after week hang.gif.
post #14 of 29

I have completely changed my laundry system.


1.  Get rid if excess clothes.  Come on, a 3 yr dd does not need 29 dresses and 20 pairs of pants!


2.  Do laundry whenever and never put it away.  I have just got to except that it wont get back to the drawers.  So in the laundry room, I have 4 baskets.  One for all towels, 1 for dh, 1 for me and 1 for the kids.  If the baskets get too full,  I may put stuff away.   But dh hates ging through his drawers making noise (kids are asleep in the same room) when he needs to get out the door in the morning.  This way, it is in a spot that he can get to.  I am even somsidering makig the laundry room one big closet and moving our dressers in there.  But I do like them in the bedroom for now.

post #15 of 29

I do laundry every day. One day I do a load of mine and DH's clothes, the next day a load of the two kids' clothes. I usually do at least a second load each day, maybe whites, maybe towels, maybe bedsheets..... I try and do wash separately items the day after they make it into the laundry or else I end up with a big pile of things that need to be washed one at a time, and that's just overwhelming. 


I also TRY to fold and put away clothes as they come out of the laundry. I don't know how in the world you can manage without dressers, but more power to you! I wish DS2 had a bigger dresser, because it's always a challenge trying to fit his clothes into the one he has now. 

post #16 of 29


In theory or in practice? lol.gif


In theory, everyone is supposed to take their dirty clothes to the laundry room at the end of the day. I have separate baskets for whites, darks, coloured and delicates. They are supposed to sort their own clothes. I gather up the dishcloths, bath and hand towels about twice a week. Then I run the washer whenever there is a full load in the basket. I try to fold clothes as soon as they come out of the dryer. 


In practice, when I run out of socks or someone needs something washed, it's time for laundry. Then I will yell (in happy tones!!) that I am doing a couple of loads and would everyone please get their dirty clothes off the floor of their bedrooms and into the laundry room.  


Some weeks, I may wash a load every other day, and other weeks I may end up doing 5 or 6 loads in one day. 

post #17 of 29

Like some others, I have a sort system in the basement that everyone is supposed to sort their own clothes into, and when a basket is full I wash it.  It hasn't worked out that way lately, because we have all been busy and I have gotten behind.  DD generally does her own wash now.  I have been keeping up with the clothing, but the sheets are now an almost insurmountable pile and I am considering going to the laundromat later this week and just getting it DONE! 

post #18 of 29

I really don't sort laundry anymore unless I have new dark colored or red items going in that could bleed onto the rest.  I do a load a day and catch up on weekends, and make sure as soon as it's dry it's folded, and as soon as it's folded it's put away.  Otherwise it does get so overwhelming, I hear you!

post #19 of 29

I do a load a load about every other day, and will do sheets on the weekends as needed.  I have DH and 2 DCs.  We all put our laundry in one laundry basket in our master bedroom closet.  Any dish towels get put in the laundry room.  My newest rule is that we don't start getting ready for bed until all the laundry is put away.  This has really been helping, as has the every other day method.  Before we would do it all on the weekend and it just got to be too much.

post #20 of 29

We have hampers in the bedrooms and another on the main floor for rags/napkins/dish towels. I do not sort colours. Instead, I drag a basket down to the laundry room, dump it in the wash, then fold and put away once that's done. I try to do about a load a day, or at least every couple days. (It is way more manageable if I just start one load each morning.) Sheets and towels are washed together each week or so.

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