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Your Laundry/Laundry Room System (Please!)

post #1 of 46
Thread Starter 
Suggestions, please Mamas! I am just getting the hint that we need to be more organized: I want my laundry room to be functional, and to actually be able to walk across the (tiny) floor, and fold, etc. in that room , instead of dragging shit into the den. Imagine that!!!! Woah-what a concept!

I am working on taking back our lives and free time by instituting a military-like laundry regime over here! Everyone has to take their clothes from the bathroom/bedrooom and put them in their hamper, and I only wash clothes for one person at a time-no mixed loads to separate later!

Also, if I see they haven't worn something in a while it gets given away no matter how freakin' cute it is.

What do you do?
post #2 of 46
I'm one that's anal about my laundry. I make sure it's all sorted by color, so I wouldn't have full loads if I were to do just one person's.

We have a community hamper, if we had more room we'd have them in each bedroom. I do the laundry all on one day (twice a week, usually Wednesdays and one day on the weekend) instead of spending every day on laundry.

I sort, wash, dry, fold and then they go into a basket for each person. If that person is home, they put their clothes away right away. If not, then I sit their basket on their bed to put away later (or do it for them if I'm feeling nice).
post #3 of 46
Thread Starter 
Good ideas, Alkenny.

Wow, sorting by color-I am jealous!

I think our problem is that we literally have too many clothes. My husband is given (weekly!) hand-me-down clothes from his Dad even garbage bags full.... and he never says "no thanks".

I definitely need to just do laundry on two or so days, not all the time...

Once I give away half the crap we don't even have time to wash, I hope we'll be able tp have a good system like you...
post #4 of 46
I am in no way a laundry queen, but this works for me...

I have a long table that sits right next to my stacking washer/dryer. I fold into personal piles right out of the dryer. When I walk by during the day and I have time I'll grab a pile to put away. Ususally the table is covered all the time with at least a few piles.

I do a wash load every morning first thing, sometimes I do a second one later in the morning but only if I know I have time to fold the first one. Sometimes when I'm really busy I leave the laundry in the dryer for a day or so and give it a quick re-spin for 10 min to get rid of some of the wrinkles. Sometimes I even have to do a rinse again on the wash because it's sat wet for a day.

I also wash different colors together, most always on cold or warm...except for diapers.

I figure I may not be getting all the stains out, or lengthening the life of the fabrics with my routine but the stress of perfect laundry is not worth doing things differently for me.
post #5 of 46
here's what I do:
My Dh and my SD do their own wash. my sd has a specific day set aside for her to do her wash. I do everything else.

My washer and dryer are in the basement. Our bedrooms are two flights up.
I have a small laundry basket on the landing of the stairway from the main floor to the upstairs. the boyz and I just throw our dirty stuff in their and every 1-2 days I take it to the basement to sort out.

In the basement I have six larger laundry baskets hanging from the rafters and sort out by the following: My work clothes, my pj's, bath towels, Clayton's clothes, Prestons clothes, their pj's combined, and all of our underwear combined.

I do wash when we are almost out of that paticular item or the boyz are almost out of clean clothes. I wash each set of boyz clothes about every two weeks and towels about once a month. the underwear and boyz pj's only last about a week. I am doing wash about 5 days out of the week, but it is usually only a couple loads at a time. Since I am a WOH mom, this works for me.

I'm not worried to much about sorting colors, I just wash the whites separtly.
Of course I'm really not too worried about stains either, but I do try to catch the big ones and get a pretreatment on them as I sort.

I must say that I am also very proud of myself that I hardly ever use the dryer. In the nice weather months I hang them outside and in Minnesota winters I hang them in the basement.

Of course it has taken me about 10 years to perfect this system. LOL!
post #6 of 46
Thread Starter 
Thanks, yoyo65 and grian!

Great visualizations for me to keep in mind when I am devising our new system! We will be adding baby cloth diapers to our wash in a month or so, so I am trying to get down to it!

I really think I was just under the delusion that, even though we already have two kids (and one on the way), I could just keep randomly washing stuff like I did in college/pre-kid years.

No way!

For me, if it can't all fit in the dresser when (if) everything was clean at the same time (ha ha), then we have too many clothes, and someone else could use them!
post #7 of 46
i don't have enough room in my laundry room to fold in there, buit in a pinch, I fold right on top of the dryer. it's big enough to use if needed, and then the folded stuff goes right into laundrty baskets. One basket for me and dh, with his stuff on one side and mine on the other, and another basket for dd. that way the basket with the laundry goes right into their room, and can be put away right away. for me it's not so much the laundry room as much as putting the laundry away right away, laundry baskets n the floor drive me nuts!
post #8 of 46
Our laundry situation right now is pretty easy since its only Dh and myself. But our laundry room is combined with Dh's bathroom all in one big room on the main level. Well all of our house is on one level. But on one wall is our washer and dryer and then we have about 6' of counter top with cupboards below. And on the other wall is the stool, shower, and vanity. So when ever he showers or changes he automatically puts it in the washer. I have a laundry basket in our bedroom for when I change and every other day or so I throw it in the wash. When its full we run it. If its whites it stays in the basket.
post #9 of 46
Originally Posted by beansavi
Good ideas, Alkenny.

Wow, sorting by color-I am jealous!

I think our problem is that we literally have too many clothes. My husband is given (weekly!) hand-me-down clothes from his Dad even garbage bags full.... and he never says "no thanks".

I definitely need to just do laundry on two or so days, not all the time...

Once I give away half the crap we don't even have time to wash, I hope we'll be able tp have a good system like you...
We have TONS of clothes too. I have a FIL that gives DH clothes and a friend that gives DD clotes...why can't "I" have someone give ME some?

Anyways, everytime DD gets new clothes from said friend I make her donate some of her old ones (she gets a box, she has to refill the box) to help cut down. I did a purge a few weeks ago of DH's clothes too.

I just wanted to clarify that we still have full loads of laundry, just full loads of different colors since all 5 of our clothes are thrown in together.
post #10 of 46
Great ideas....and I need them...I am at war w/ my laundry lately....it's overtaking my house. I'll look forward to watching this thread.....
post #11 of 46
Originally Posted by beansavi
I think our problem is that we literally have too many clothes. My husband is given (weekly!) hand-me-down clothes from his Dad even garbage bags full.... and he never says "no thanks".
This is our problem too. But, it's just stuff in general. Clothes, Kitchen items, decorations, clutter, junk... So when he was working last week, I threw out two HUGE trashbags of clothes. They were all of the clothes that I don't want anymore (about 1/2 a trash bag full) and the rest (1 1/2 trash bags) were clothes that I've never seen him wear once in going on three years. So, it's my little secret, and since I do the laundry, oh well.

We got really behind when we didn't have a washer, and just didn't ever catch up. I'd just wash what we NEEDED, and everything else just sat in a pile.

Well, I pulled the pile into the dining room, folded up the table, and have been doing all of the laundry, a few loads a day. The whole house needs a re-haul before the baby gets here, and when I'm not feeling really yucky, or working, I get a couple of things done around the house, and a couple of loads in the laundry.

The only problem is, the dryer that we have takes 3 cycles to finish drying the clothes. So, each load takes a really long time. It stinks, but I'm working through it. As long as I'm done by Christmas (which I will be) we'll be all good.
post #12 of 46
Our system seems to work for us as long as we tackle it a load at a time. Ideally, we would do just one load per day and we'd be fine. Our system also differs from winter to summer. We have limited space for hanging laundry inside even with our line in our laundry room and 2 sets of drying racks. I can get 2 loads worth of clothes hung on what we have but its never completely dry before the next day which screws up our 'one load per day' routine

During the summer, we're fine. Right now, not perfect but this is how we deal with it.

We only wash a load of anything when we have a FULL load. We have a huge capacity washer and dryer and we're pinching pennies by only doing full loads since the energy requirement for running them is pretty much the same if its full or a half load.

Darks/Blacks - Always in cold/cold; all jeans/pants hung on line; the rest MIGHT end up in the dryer depending on if dh needs work clothes...

Lights/Whites - Usually in cold/cold sometimes in warm if I need to soak them overnight; Almost everything goes on the drying racks.

Diapers/Kitchen laundry - Has its own pail in the kitchen and gets washed when full. Soaked in cold w/borax, spun out. Washed in warm, rinsed cold. Almost always goes into the dryer. I don't like how crunchy our diapers come out from on the line. I will allow the diaper stuffers to dry on the line though.

I NEVER fold while I'm in the laundry room I like to multitask so I'll fold while watching ds or TV or hanging out with the kids. Our laundry room is HUGE but I don't like the inconvience of having in the basement. None of the clothes STAY in the basement so I just fold them where they get put away. If I'm going to handle the clothes over and over, I prefer to just grab them off the drying racks or out of the dryer and fold them and put them away at the same time.

I typically wash 80% of the laundry but I everyone puts away their own clothes. So everyone has their own baskets. They're color coded too which helps. I don't sweat sorting by colors really except for new clothes or very red or very dark items. All dh's clothes for work are black (chimney sweep) so all his stuff gets washed separately. Everything else is typically fine as long as its washed in cold.
post #13 of 46
My husband is upstairs venting the new gas dryer in the new laundry room right now! I'm super excited to do laundry!

We have our laundry upstairs since that is where all the bedrooms and 2 of the bathrooms are. Super easy to have it right near the closets and dressers and all. Plus, not as many guests go upstairs, so I don't worry about it being tidy as much. I have one hamper downstairs for dishtowels, etc.

Our laundry room is about 8x10 feet or so. On one side is the washer and dryer. Above that will be shelves and/or cabinets for detergent, etc.

On the other side is 6 feet of wood cabinets. I can fit a small hamper in there. They will get a counter soon (formica, probably). That's for folding clothes. Above that will be a closet rod to hang stuff on coat hangers to dry.

I wash by person, too. For the most part, our stuff doesn't need to be sorted. I do separate permanent press. So, basically my loads are:
me - regular
Rob - regular
Emma - regular
John - regular
me - permanent press
Rob - pp
kids - pp
diapers (with tea tree oil)
towels and washcloths (usually with bleach)
sheets and pillowcases (usually with bleach)

I don't do all of that every week. Each regular load gets done every week. Rob's pp gets done every week (pants and polo shirts - regular dress shirts go to the dry cleaner each week since I don't iron). Diapers are 2-3 times a week. Towels, washcloths, sheets, etc are once a week. I don't fold the sheets - they just go straight back on the bed. That's motivation to put them away (on the bed) when I want to go to sleep that night! Towels usually get hung right back up on their bathroom rods and extras are folded and put in each bathroom.

Now - I say all this as my PLAN! We'll see what really happens!
post #14 of 46
My laundry room has room for the washer and dryer and a big 2-bag hamper. The hamper fits into the space between the washer and the wall. One bag is for light, one is for dark.

DH and I have a hamper in our closet, toddler dd has a basket right by her dresser(which is where I change her clothes and diapers) and preteen dd has a basket in her closet.

Everyone is responsible for getting their clothes into the correct hamper in the laundry room. I wash and dry everything. I hang things straight out of the dryer and leave them in the laundry room (there is a bar over everything) and everyone is responsible for getting their own hanging stuff out of there.

I fold everything in my bedroom on my bed, right next to my dresser. I can put away everything except preteen dd's stuff and household items (sheets, towels etc) without taking more than a few steps.

Preteen dd puts away her own clothes, and the linen closet stuff.

That's about it! I do about 1 load of laundry a day and alternate between light and dark, whichever hamper is full I wash, probably do 2 loads of light for every dark because dark things can often be worn more than once (jeans, sweaters etc)

It's interesting to read about the elaborate systems some of you have set up!
post #15 of 46

I don't sort by colors at all...

...except for hubby's socks & t-shirts. He's the only one with enough whites to make a separate load. I've got it down now that pretty much all of our clothes can be washed in two loads per person. I try to get rid of stuff we don't wear or doesn't fit pretty regularly. I have three very different sized girls and what fit my eldest at 6 doesn't fit our middle daughter now, at age 6 (unfortunately for our budget). The two-year-old's laundry can be done all in one load.

We each have our own hamper, marked with first names and an additional one for the master bed/bath linens and the girls' bed/bath linens. I bought inexpensive hampers from Ikea for about $4 each. When it gets full (or somebody runs out of underwear, socks, etc.) then they take their hamper down to the laundry room and I wash for them. I take the empty hamper back to their room and bring up the clean folded laundry in a basket to be put away. Of course, I still do ninety percent of the putting away at this point.

I never bother with temperatures or color sorting, unless it is a special item (expensive sweater, pleated uniform skirt, something newly dyed). My washer has a setting for "Normal," "Cotton/Towels" and a bunch of other things, but I almost always use Normal. I don't iron or buy clothes that need ironing, in general. My husband doesn't have to dress up for work, so on the rare occasion that he needs a dress shirt or pants cleaned, I take it out for dry cleaning, maybe once a year. Otherwise, almost everything we own is knit cotton or denim or the kind of twill that doesn't wrinkle.

In my dream laundry, I would have a dedicated folding counter, but for now I am stuck folding on the couch, kitchen table or bed.
post #16 of 46
I sort colors too. My laundry is in our unfinished basement, so we set up a row of those big rubbermaid bins labeled w/ whites, darks, reds, dry cleaning etc.

I only do laundry one day per week, plus diapers every few days, unless there is a bed accident and the sheets need to be done. I used to do a load everyday and I got so sick of always doing laundry!! I fold on our family room coffee table, so it's kinda messy up there on laundry day...
post #17 of 46
Ever since my kids were about 9 years old, I started handing back clean clothes. Yes, clean clothes - the ones they wore for 5 minutes while figuring out what to wear or changed into after school and then sat around reading a book in - and then threw them in the basket. If it doesn't smell or have obvious dirt, it doesn't get washed. I just fold it and put it back in with the clean clothes for them to put away.

I also don't let them accumulate so many pieces of clothing that it gets out of hand. My kids have several shirts, a couple of sweaters, several pairs of jeans and some shorts. One bathing suit and a couple of pairs of jammies and what else do you need?

Since our washer and dryer are now in the closet across from the front door to our apartment, I have to use space very carefully. My husband and I have a mesh bag "hamper" in our closet and my daughter has a laundry basket. There's another basket I keep on top of the washer. I sort the clothes in the hall by the bedrooms. As I wash and then throw stuff in the dryer or hang it up to dry, I keep the extra basket on the floor to catch the stuff to fold. The soap and bleach are on top of the dryer and the two shelves above the w/d are the linen closet. We only own two fitted sheets for each bed (one in use and one clean) and we use comforters so I only wash the comforter covers twice a month. We each have two bath towels which are color coded and they are all kept in the bathrooms. So there's not much in the "linen" closet area besides the extra sheets and some pillowcases, an extra comforter cover and various special linens like tablecloths and some blankets.

Getting rid of everything we didn't need and keeping the bed linens all white or natural keeps the laundry very easy to do.
post #18 of 46
I think that's a great idea, to hand back clean clothes. Something that we could do here at our house, something that we're all guilty of here. We all wear something and then throw it in the washer without any dirt or any reall need for it to be washed, simply bc we wore it. Hmmm something to think about the next time I throw a shirt in the wash when I'm changing and the shirt really doesn't need to be washed!
post #19 of 46
DD is only 2yo, but I plan on having her do her own laundy by 7 or 8 - as I did as a kid. It started with Mom doing my laundy and me folding them. Later on, I would just do it myself, observed and then unobserved. She also only bought clothes washed on warm. No whites except undies and socks. Anything nice (i.e. special wash instructions) I was instructed to give to her. That way, if I ran out of clothes it was my fault (although I was usually reminded and prompted a lot, so it rarely happened).

Right now, since most of DD's clothes come from the thrift store, I just throw them all in on warm, with a few exceptions. I mix her clothes with mine, and wash all our undies/socks on hot, most of our clothes on warm, and a bunch of my things and a few of DD's on cold. It seems to work out well. All clothes folding is done while watching tv or listening to a book on tape, as the laundry room is in the basement and the clothes have o be put away upstairs, so it is on the way. A few things are folded as they come out of the dryer or off the teeny line downstairs.

Gotta go - the dryer just dinged.

oh, and I wash clothes 1x every 1-2 weeks. I have 3-5 loads usually, and it takes most of a afternoon/evening or longer if I am busy and forget about checking on it.
post #20 of 46
beansavi, do you cloth diaper? if so, you could make your own diapers from all of these clothes given to hubby. t-shirts and jeans and flannel shirts, wool and acrylic sweaters, fleece sweaters, all make great diaper makings.

otherwise, i would start a trash can in the garage that was the things that you don't need/want. after getting clothes from FIL, i would sort and toss things in there and once a week (or as needed) list it on freecycle and stick the can on the sidewalk for people to take (put the clothes into bags and demand they take a whole bag, not just pick and choose?)

we wash diapers every day or every other day, we wash clothes twice a week, usually. mostly just when the basket is full or we are running low on undies/socks.
we have a set of old waterbed drawers under the machines and keep the rags and extra towels there, the detergents go on top of the drier, the lint trash is kept in a small box on the end, so we can empty the lint trap every load.
we fold laundry at night after ds is in bed. we turn on a movie and fold. the laundry is done before we know it.
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