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laundry is not working...

post #1 of 53
Thread Starter 

I have a ton! of clothes on the laundry room floor. ALWAYS. Yes I have sorting bins, yes I have two systems actually. They don't work. I separate my laundry depending on what laundry I have. Besides, there would never be enough bins (whites, work clothes, delicates, hand wash, reds, linens, towels..etc.)


There are many issues with my laundry room but this needs to be done first. 


I end up having all the clothes randomly in the sorting bin and sort them as I go. But I sort them on the floor, and if I end up doing just one load for whatever reason, then all the clothes remain on the floor.........ugh

post #2 of 53

I have similar issues, on a smaller scale, but I don't have a designated laundry room, either. What seems to have made a huge difference for me is sorting clothing into those that need folding and those that don't while still in our walk in closet (we use a hanging bag system I got at target), then sorting into colors in baskets near the washer/dryer. The baskets can be stacked if needed without messing with my sorting, but while still getting them off the floor. I use delicates bags for bras and undies so they can go in with regular washing as well vs. needing their own cycle.

post #3 of 53
I used to have the same problem. Then I read some where that I needed to stop sorting so many categories. Whites, light colors, towels and linens all go together. Bright colors, including reds get washed with blacks. I put bras in a lingerie bag and toss them in with the appropriate color. I close the hooks first. socks/underwear get mixed in with everything else. I think that would help in your situation. I have to say that I was not anxious to try it, especially mixing whites with light to medium colors, but I haven't had any issues, and I have been doing it that way for 8+ years. The other tip I read was FlyLady's idea of doing a load every single day. And decluttering everyone's clothes. We need to do that once again.

ETA: I still have times when the laundry is all over the floor, but it did help make it easier.
post #4 of 53

Yea that is a good point. In our house we sort out lights, darks, and reds, but that's it!

post #5 of 53
My old house had a huge laundry room so I had those stackable recycling bins and sorted dirty clothes directly into those (whites. reds, darks, towels, sheets, jeans). The new house has a different set-up and there is no place for the bins so I literally toss everything but whites together (well, diapers also get their own wash). No sorting ROCKS!!
post #6 of 53

i try to do one load a day = no sorting of what we wear every day

but i will wash towels once a week by themselves

and sheets by themselves too ....(in summer, no duvet cover so a little less volume=  3 loads for 3 single beds and 1 double bed)

post #7 of 53

I wash sheets and towels separately, but otherwise we're lucky if clothes even get sorted into light and dark. We have little storage space for clothes, so we switch out seasonal stuff, but otherwise keep 3-4 drawers each, plus socks and underwear, (three out of the four of us have narrow, tall IKEA drawers, too) plus a few things hung on hooks - that's it. That said, DH can wear casual clothes to work, and I work at home, so my "uniform" is t-shirts and jeans. We purge outgrown/unwanted stuff regularly. When you don't have as many clothes, you're not washing as many clothes! I came to this realization when 1) I realized I was wearing a few things over and over and so were my kids, and 2) I realized that no, I wasn't going to wear that whatever again at some unknown date in the future - so now I just chuck it in the thrift shop bag. Basically we each just wait until our basket fills up, wash our own load (maybe once a week), and then it gets folded and put away within the week (DH and I do it faster; kids sometimes take the better part of the week to fold and put away). HTH!


PS Laundry room is shared in the basement w/ other tenants - 10 of them! That's 3 families'/14 people's laundry to one regular home washer/dryer set. Helps us be efficient, too! winky.gif

post #8 of 53

I have a family of four. Here is my laundry system. Maybe it will help others.


My boys, ages 9 and 6, each have their own laundry basket in their room, and they have separate days to do their laundry. 9yo is done on Fridays, 6yo is done on Tuesdays. Their whole basket (except for towels and random toys) gets dumped into the washer. When their load is dry, it gets put back in their basket, and they are to fold it the day it's done. 9yo does his own laundry, just needs reminders to switch it and get it. I do 6yo's, except folding, he is to help with that. 


I have one basket that sits on the dryer for random towels. Kitchen towels, swim towels, etc, get put in that basket. When it's full, it goes in the washer. Usually about once a week.


Husband and I share a basket and it's kept in our closet. When I'm ready to do our laundry (usually on Saturdays), I sort it at the washer. All bottoms (pants/jeans/socks) go in one pile, all tops go in another pile, all chonies/bras go in a lingerie bag in the bottoms load. Tops get washed and hung to dry. Bottoms get washed and put in the dryer, except the bras. They get pulled out and hung up. 


Sheets/blankets get done on separate days. The boys have their own days to do their bedding (Monday and Thursday, I think). And I wash my sheets when I do my laundry.


I wash everything in cold water, unless the towels/sheets really need a hot water wash.


Also, like Ragana, I am always going through clothes. How stained is it, how many holes does it have, how tight is it, etc. If they don't meet my "fairly decent" criteria, then they go to another home or the recycle can. And we don't have a lot of clothes that we don't wear, either. The boys have 10-14 days worth of tops/bottoms. Husband and I have 20-25 days worth. Some things are a little nicer for weddings and such, so they don't get worn often but we need to keep them. It really does help to not have so many clothes.

post #9 of 53

Right on, Monkeygrrrl! I also have a kitchen towel basket under the sink, but could use a basket for reg. towels and linens in one of the closets - but those usually get carried down right away when I do that load.

post #10 of 53
I wash towels and sheets on their own and everything else gets thrown together. I don't buy hand wash things and haven't had problems with shrinking or clothes losing or gaining color.
post #11 of 53

I was always scared that something would run that I ended up with with lots of loads..too many. I discovered the color grabber rags http://www.safelaundrytips.com/tag/carbona/ and now I get through the laundry a lot quicker. No, more mini loads"just because a color might bleed".


I also have become a fan of line drying (mainly, indoors because of pollen). With hang drying , I can accomplish more laundry at a time without having to wait for the dryer to be free. The kid's clothing works great on a retractable indoor line.


Glad I am not the only one facing challenges in the laundry organization department.

post #12 of 53

Reduce, reuse, recycle... Works for laundry, too. :)


We reduced our clothing.


We have over-the-door hooks on our master bathroom door and another on DD's closet door. We rewear many clothing items and hang them on these hooks between wearings.


We use old t-shirts as rags (cutting them into various shapes/sizes) and cut too-short jeans/capris (or holes in knees) into shorts for the recycling aspect. ;)


Back to laundry. We have a 3-bin sorter in our master closet. Everyone's dirty clothes go in it: whites (hot), mediums (cool), darks (cold). I wash whichever load is full every morning. If there isn't a full load, then I either take a break or I wash towels (directly from the racks) or sheets (directly from the beds). I put towels directly back on the racks, but we rotate sheets. We line-dry all linens outside and hang-dry tops (on hangers in closet) ... year-round. In the summer, it gets too hot for the dryer (in the middle of our main floor), so we pull out a wood drying rack and hang dry nearly everything. Doing essentially one load a day keeps the work per day low enough that it actually gets done. When we go on vacation or I get ill, the laundry falls behind and catching up is not fun. I typically use the dryer and just power through until it gets down to 1-2 nearly full loads (to be done the next day or two in order to get back on track).


It is only possible to do one load a day when our clothing is not excessive and our linens are pared down, as they have been for about ten years now. Before that, though, it was crazy keeping up with the laundry. I've gone through working full-time, part-time, and not at all. The only difference has been in WHEN I do the load .... starting the washer at various times, flipping to the dryer later, folding & putting away as close to when the dryer is finished to prevent wrinkles; hanging out to dry during the day for linens; hanging up in closet whenever.

post #13 of 53

I have 4 plastic hampers + 1 other basket, and things are loosely separated in those: 2 for clothes (I don't exactly bother sorting them into light/dark anymore, and just pick stuff out and move things from one to the other when it's clothes laundry time), 1 for towels/rags, 1 for bedding.  There's a small basket for handwash that's kinda elsewhere (this is a bit out of control ATM), and an old garbage can for dh's work clothes.  


When my laundry was most recently getting out of control - I thinned out towels & bedding a bit because I realized that I'd be happy to just wash them a bit more often and that would also mean a lot less folding and less stuff to have to stuff into where it didn't fit in the first place.  It helped a ton.  


You might find that you could keep kitchen linens and/or work clothes somewhere else entirely (I've done both at times - you might be able to fit a bag for either in the kitchen or bathroom/bedroom for work clothes) as both those we usually wash separately and put away pretty quickly.  

post #14 of 53
Thread Starter 

I have to say that I kind of pick stuff from the huge pile. I don't separate, as I separate as I go along. Come to think of it, I probably don't have the same criteria every time I do laundry. I usually have a lot waiting....The reds usually wait for more reds (or towels, our towels are in that color category) . This is why I always have laundry to do that I constantly sort in different ways. Identifying the problem is half the solution right?


I also notice that some clothes are more urgent than others. Hubby's work clothes need to be washed frequently. Sometimes we are out of socks but nothing else - then I go digging through to find all the socks and do a load........



Maybe I'm just never getting around to laundry. I seem to always forget about it as it never seems as urgent as any other thing that we have to do. 


I should just do a load every morning - it sounds doable if I put my mind to it. But that still leaves me with the annoying pain of my weird sorting style.

post #15 of 53

In my experience, if you just do a load a day, it won't matter so much about what you call your weird sorting style. I used to sort a lot more, too, but we got rid of more stuff and got the three-bin sorter and everything just worked out to less sorting. Good luck!

post #16 of 53

I don't sort when putting dirties in the laundry bin, I just sort as I put in a load --but I will go through everything and sort it, if I have a ton of stuff to wash. I do towels / sheets separately. I do laundry every morning and evening. Usually I will sort whatever laundry is in the bins next to the washer. Then, if I feel the load is light, I'll go to the bedrooms / bathroom / hallway and see what else can go in the same load. I must admit that I'm really picky about putting loads together. Also, with swimming, beach, and the other dirt my family gets on their clothes, I don't like to pack the loads super full. In addition to that, I'm very careful to line dry new tops, stretch pants, dress pants, panties,

etc. so as not to shrink, pull or ruin them. I try to do a load of delicates at night, so I can hang them to dry. It's nice to have clean and dry underpants and bras in the morning.


I really try to wash clothes using a first-in-first-out system. That way, the clothes aren't sitting there forever, waiting to be washed. Even if that means a really small load now and then. And if I do a small load, I try to make the next one a big one. And I'm really careful not to wash whites with bleach, then follow that with a load of blacks. We don't have a ton of whites, so I'll save them for a while and then do a couple of loads of whites, followed by running a clean cycle. I have an HE machine, so I need to do a clean cycle once in a while, since it uses less water, and there can be buildup.


All day I alternate between washing things that can go in the dryer, and things that have to be hung to dry. I'll put lots of stuff in a color load, and will put out some things to hang dry, and others from the same load that can go in the dryer. Sometimes I do load after load of things that can go in the dryer, so that the dryer runs nearly constantly. Seems like clothes dry faster, that way.


When we get really busy, and laundry is overwhelming, I will take some loads to a laudromat to get caught up. Usually I catch up by taking loads of towels and sheets and regular colors, etc to the laundromat. I always take my comforter to the laundromat to wash and dry. Everything else that is washable is done at home.


My DH has shrunk my clothing in the past, so I do all of the laundry. He gets on my case sometimes that he needs something, but for the most part, I keep up with his and all the family's laundry, because I live in fear that he will ruin a lot of me and my daughter's stuff, meaning that we will have to go shopping again. I kinda like laundry, since for years we didn't have a machine in our house. Going to the laundromat to catch up, or doing an occasional laundry marathon is a small price to pay for nice-looking clothes that last longer.

post #17 of 53

Are y'all washing your kitchen towels and bathroom towels together?


I am violently allergic to this idea, but Mr. claims I'm being overly fussy about it.



Currently I'm pretty caught up on laundry, but I would love to simplify my routine.

post #18 of 53
I throw towels into regular loads. Honestly, the only things that are separate are CDs, but I might throw in a poopy sheet or changing pad cover with it.
post #19 of 53
Originally Posted by MrsGregory View Post

Are y'all washing your kitchen towels and bathroom towels together?


I am violently allergic to this idea, but Mr. claims I'm being overly fussy about it.



Currently I'm pretty caught up on laundry, but I would love to simplify my routine.


Why would you put them in separate loads?  Sheepish.gif  In other words, yes.  Actually I will wash a towel in any load that is not too full, whether it is a kitchen towel or from the bathroom.


Oddly, laundry is the one housekeeping area that I'm pretty content with.  That may be because my standards are pretty low.  I don't separate anything out and I have never had anything ruined because of bleeding.  My kids have several red items, but nothing has gone pink.  


I do a load every day.  I started this when my older was in dipes.  I used the washer as a diaper pail and then in the evening, I'd send his dipes through once and then put in whatever clothes needed to be washed and put them all through together.  I'd put it all in the dryer before bed and put it away in the morning.  Now that I've got two kids (but none in dipes!), I still do one load a day, but I'm not as good at putting them away.   They come out of the dryer and get thrown in a pile and then once or twice a week I will go through the pile and put it all away.  

post #20 of 53

I will wash kitchen towels with nearly any load, but I wash them frequently. They aren't terribly dirty or icky. Then again, I wash rags in most loads, too, and I cannot say the same about those. The bath and beach towels, though, I am picky about. I don't like washing terrycloth towels with clothes, but I will sometimes. However, I avoid drying terry towels with clothes due to the fuzz-factor. I mostly line-dry towels and sheets anyway, but if we're in a hurry I will dry the clothes first and the terry towels separately after the clothes are finished.

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