Tips for keeping up with laundry - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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Old 01-20-2009, 10:01 AM
 
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I wash everything all together too. We wear jeans, tshirts and sweats, nothing that towels and underwear can't be washed with too. I wash on warm wash/cold rinse, because this time of year "tap cold" water is VEEEEEEERY cold and I really just don't think it washes as well. I use cold/cold in the summer because the tap water is halfway warm then anyway. I line dry everything, either inside or out depending on the weather. DH helps me hang things up so it's a breeze.

My problem is that I tend to keep a laundry basket full of clean, dry clothes sitting around almost a week because I absolutely hate folding things. Sometimes I match the socks as I get them off the line, it takes a minute but it forces me to actually do it. If I could find an economical way to hang up socks/underwear, I would probably do it.
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Old 01-20-2009, 04:50 PM
 
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Here's what I do.

Washing:
We have a basket upstairs (bedrooms) for dirties, and a basket downstairs (living space) for dirties. When I have time, or they start to get piled up, or I need something specific, I wash them. If there is enough to sort by color/type, I sort them and wash on warm or cold. If not, I wash them together on warm or cold.

Drying/sorting:
Our washer/dryer are in the basement. There is a hanging bar above them, and a big table along side them (enough room for me to walk between the appliances and table with ease). Most clean clothes go into the dryer, some gets hung on the bar. All clothes out of the dryer go into piles directly. There are three baskets under the sorting/folding table: DH, DS1 and DS2. I have a bin on top of the table. As a generalization, I don't bother to fold them. They get tossed into the correct bin when they're in my hand as I take them out of the dryer. Towels/washcloths/linens/dishcloths are folded directly into neat piles on top of table.

Putting away: At minimum of once a week (usually a saturday), we ALL put ALL the clothes away. Everything. Hanging stuff goes right into our closet, where it...hangs. Bin stuff goes into people's drawers. Towels and such usually get put away during the week when I am running up and down to the basement doing other stuff (feed cat, grabbing canned goods, throwing in laundry) It's not more work to go down to the basement to get clean clothes for ppl during the week then it is to go upstairs to the bedrooms.

It is an imperfect system (My DREAM system would be a laundry room/family closet off the kitchen in the heart of my home, but that's not happening! LOL) but it WORKS for us.
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Old 01-20-2009, 05:09 PM
 
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Just wanted to add that I think putting laundry away is easier if the drawers aren't too full and there is an exact place everything goes. Then you don't have to make decisions or set things aside for later and you don't have to move things from one drawer to another or stuff clothes in. For the kids we don't have dressers at all, just closet hanging bags. And they only hold the clothes the kids actually wear. The rest (off season, to grow into soon, special occasion) is in containers on the shelves. Everything fits easily and is easy to see. If the space weren't so narrow I'd post a picture.

Happy mom to DS2000, DS2002, DD2004, DS2006 and DS 10/2009:
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Old 01-20-2009, 05:24 PM
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I only have two kids but two are in diapers and DH is a clotheshorse so we have a bit of laundry too.

I have ONE diaper pail and ONE laundry basket. ALL our clothes go in it. When either gets full, I wash what's in it. Period. No sorting. Cold water for clothes, hot water for dipes. I also make one extra hot water wash for our rags/kitchen towels/etc. I put it right in the dryer and immediately dump it on our made bed, so I fold everything before bedtime, and set the laundry basket right up again. And we family closet so it's all right there.

May I suggest doing away with the extra space in your laundry room? I remember growing up we had a huge pile of clothes in our laundry room. It was 10+ years of living there before I discovered, whilst moving, that there was a table under the clothes heap. I kid you not. I was in high school and there were clothes from first grade in said pile. If it were me, I would have turned the table into a craft or sewing space. If there's no room for clothes to pile up, they won't...
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Old 01-20-2009, 05:25 PM
 
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I'll be one of the few on here who doesn't do laundry every day. I can't stand that.

I wash, dry, fold and put away clothes 2 days a week, Sunday and Wednesday. I do sort, lights and darks. The towels get their own basket and I wash those whatever day I clean, usually Saturday. Dh's work clothes get their own loads and that's after I wash the regular clothes on Wednesday, mostly so the next load is towels which I bleach. I used to fold and sort on my bed, so I'd have to put everything away to actually go to bed, but I'm bedless at the moment so I fold/sort on my freezer that's in the laundry room.
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Old 01-20-2009, 05:28 PM
 
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love all the ideas in this thread and hearing everyone's system. Laundry is neverending in my home. I need to get rid of at least half of our clothes... maybe blankets, too. I do several loads a day and still never seem to get caught up. For sure I don't separate by colors or anything. All laundry gets washed on warm, except diapers which is always hot. My kids have school clothes and play clothes, I am crossing my fingers the proposed dress code changes go thru and they can wear the same thing they do at home (for the most part, anyway).

I hate laundry (& dishes)

I still haven't done a family closet, I attempted to do so in our master closet but it was way too much in one space. I hope to get some clothing racks in the spare room downstairs, which is close to the washer/dryer and thus where my kids end up getting dressed each day anyway. Just have to get DH to get his drums out of there first

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Old 01-21-2009, 06:19 PM
 
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Well, here are the things that have seemed to work for me...

For one I've definitely weaned down the clothes -I used to have the philosophy that more clothes meant I had to do less laundry, what was I thinking??? To be fair to myself though, when I had fewer people in the house a few days' worth of clothes didn't fill up the washer so I guess it made sense for us all to have enough clothes to get a full load's worth but now that that happens more quickly more clothes just adds to the work.

I also got rid of all collapsible or larger laundry sorters... those things just gave me way too much grief trying to lug them around or trying to dig stuff out. I went with nice firm small plastic square bins on the floor of everyone's closet. So now everyone can just toss their clothes on the floor in the bins and they are so easy to carry and toss the clothes into the washer.

And I got rid of the dressers -things getting shoved in the drawers or stuff in the drawers being tossed around looking for a favorite item caused so many headaches, also not knowing if some special item was clean until the last minute. Now everything is out in the open in the closet, either hung on a hanger or laid out on an open shelf (besides socks and undies in bins). When stuff comes out of the washer or dryer everything that can be hung up gets hung up (we hang sweaters, I've been reading a lot here people say they don't hang sweaters because it damages them which has me a bit worried, but I've been doing this for four years and so far I haven't noticed any issues yet? maybe it's because the sweaters are stored for half the year, though?) and I have a bar to hang hangers on in the laundry room, socks and undies get tossed in a basket and pants and skirts get minimally folded and set on top the washer and dryer. My 4yo likes folding the towels and sorting socks and underwear so while I'm hanging and folding he's matching socks, making piles for everyone and folding the towels... before he started folding towels I decided it was no longer something I had time for so I switched to bins in the closet and just tossed towels in there, no folding! When it's all out of the dryer if everyone's available they immediately grab their hangers, stack of folded pants, and pile of underclothes and take to their closet, underclothes tossed in a clear bin, folded clothes placed on open shelf, and hangers on the rod, easy. Sometimes someone is not immediately available but it's pretty easy for anyone to do when they see it and their hands are empty.

I also weaned down the bedding... now I just wash everyone's sheets together once a week (this was a big scary change for me, I used to change the sheets every other day, I'm still squeamish about going so long, but I just don't have time to do it anymore) in one load and put the same ones back on and then I do all the pillows and comforters once a month which takes about three or four loads... so there's no folding or putting away bedding. If I find myself with more time on my hands I will go back to more frequent bedding washing and one thing I found that really helped there was sticking with nonfitted sheets... easier for everyone to make their own beds and one person to do quickly, also don't have to worry about sizes and easier to fold and not worry about grabbing the wrong sheet out of the closet (with people pulling out and unfolding several to find the fitted sheet, ugh!)
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Old 01-22-2009, 09:41 PM
 
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there are 6 of us in my house, and I found that the worst part of doing laundry was the sorting and folding after it was washed, because all of it was jumbled together. So now, there's a laundry basket in the boys' rooms (we've got them 2 and 2, so the oldest and youngest are together and then the two middles are together) Then DH and I have our own hamper for our stuff. I do the middle guy's stuff on Monday, the older/younger's on tuesday, then sheets on wed, dh and mine on thursday, towels on friday, and two loads on saturday (both boys' loads) It's my older guy's chore to fold and put away his and the 2 year old's clothes, and the 7 year old's to fold his and the 5 year old's clothes, then they each put their stuff away. So, now I just fold sheets, towels, and my/dh's stuff. So much better!!
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Old 01-23-2009, 01:27 PM
 
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i only have 2 children and my dh does his own laundry (has his own hamper) so i know i have it easy.

but here is what helps me: hanging out the laundry. it is a stretching, peaceful experience and cheaper. i have the laundry wash overnight and in the morning take it out and hang it up (here in the winter i am using clothes dryers from IKEA). then the next day it is dry and i fold and put it away.

this is the most peaceful laundry has been for me. OH and we don't sort clothes and wash everything on cold.

i am excited to be continuing this peaceful method in the nicer weather so i can get some vitamin D while doing it.
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Old 01-23-2009, 05:01 PM
 
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I try to do one load a day, but sometimes fall behind. When I've gotten behind I'll take a day and do catch-up, which goes like this: I do several loads in a row and when I fold them I set them on the bed in stacks (my pants, my shirts, DH's shirts, etc) and after I've done all the loads and folded them, I put them all away at once. I also have a big box sitting in my room to fill with stuff for Goodwill as I go through the just-washed clothes. Obviously, life is better when I stick to my one load a day rather than getting behind.... I usually try to put a load in the washer either right before bed or first thing in the morning, then when I get home from work (I work part-time while the kids are in school) I switch it to the dryer and then fold and put away before dinner.

ETA: There's a hamper with two pockets in the master bedroom (colors/whites), one hamper in DD's room, one hamper in DS's room, and one hamper in the bathroom for towels. That way its easy for me to grab ONE load each day!

Mama to DS (05/04) and DD (11/05), married to a wonderful DH.
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