I'm a serious laundry disaster - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 15 Old 09-19-2010, 09:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have tried for years to get a good system going and nothing works. I have tried different baskets, one bigger hamper, serveral smaller hampers, only washing by "room" (all DS's items in one load), doing it daily, doing it all in one day. Nothing works. One of my biggest issues (in life & laundry) is follow through. Even if I get it washed, dried and folded, I can never seem to get it all put away. Give your best solutions!

Let them sleep in the middle, Let them be little
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#2 of 15 Old 09-19-2010, 10:01 PM
 
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For us the solution was the creation of a Family Closet. (you can see pics here) Before we had clothes in our bedrooms, upstairs and far from the laundry. There was my pile, dh's pile, clothes strewn in DD1's room... I could never get a handle on the laundry.

Now all of our clothes are in the same space, right by the laundry. We only change in that one space so our clothes are never strewn about the house. I can easily see when the laundry needs to be done and can wash, hang and fold the laundry and then quickly put it away. No more baskets of clean clothes floating around the house waiting to be put away. No more baskets going up and down stairs.

I am so much happier with this solution than I imagined I would be!

Pregnant and/or Breastfeeding since 2005
Mama to two girls: 5/06 and 3/09
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#3 of 15 Old 09-19-2010, 10:06 PM
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i pull the stuff out of the dryer and then take it to the bedroom (we all share a room, a dresser, and a closet). i divide it into four piles--towels/pads/trainers/etc; his, Ds's, and hers.

next, i open Dh's drawer for shirts, and fold his shirts and put them directly in the drawer. then pants, then undergarments (if the load was mixed like that). then i do mine, and then DS's. then i fold the rest (towels, etc), and take them to the linen closet.
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#4 of 15 Old 09-19-2010, 10:48 PM
 
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My goal is to move to a family closet- but for now, I try to consolidate as much as possible. My two youngest are in nearly the same size clothes now, and I suspect that within a year they will be in the same size (14 months apart) all of their clothes are stored in a single low dresser in our living room (because that is where I have space, and because that is usually where we are when they are awake.) DD has her clothes in her room, I have my clothes in my closet. DH's clothes are where he lives, but what is still here is stored away.

Here's my great realization though... if you have more laundry than you can easily manage, you probably have more clothing than you really need. I am guilty of this myself, and in the midst of moving, our wardrobes are being ruthlessly redone. I am choosing only the items we wear a lot, and anything else is being donated. Anything that does not fit perfectly RIGHT NOW is being donated. Less clothing overall means less laundry to put away and less chance for it to take over.
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#5 of 15 Old 09-19-2010, 11:00 PM
 
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It helps me to have less clothing and to use one shared basket in the closet outside our bedrooms and the bathroom. all the doors face each other and we have a small house so it works. I also have one basket in the laundry room just in case I get behind and I have one basket extra that I use to cart clean clothing. It lives on the washer when it isn't being used.

Next, I don't fold everything and THEN go put it away. I go to my bedroom and sort the laundry. My personal piles are 'bathroom' 'kitchen' (kitchen stuff gets added when I fill the washer, I don't take it back to the shared basket.) 'closet' 'dresser' 'kiddos room' 'husbands work uniforms'

Then, I put the bathroom stuff away first because folding towels is quick and easy. I then put everything in the dresser folding as I go. then I hang everything in the closet (I have a rod and husband has a rod to make organization easier) then I go put kiddo's stuff away. MOST of her things get hung. then I go to the spare room and put husband's uniforms away in his closet (there is often not much as he washes his own stuff nightly to reuse every day most of the time) Finally I go to the kitchen and put kitchen things away and return the clean laundry basket to the top of the washing machine.

I don't have to go through folding things that are just going to get hung up anyway and everything gets put away in the order I walk through the house to do it. It personally saves me a lot of time. Plus, if I can't get everything put away because something weird comes up, things are at least in piles so we can use them more easily. husband's work things can still be put in the spare room near the closet where they live, kiddos clothes can still be placed in a pile on her dresser, kitchen things can still get put in a pile on the counter... I can get to them when I am able without there just being a mountain of clothes. when I'm in the room already, I can put the small pile away and not worry about the other small piles that will get put away as well when I'm already in the room for something and have a minute or two.
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#6 of 15 Old 09-19-2010, 11:45 PM
 
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Get rid of most of your clothes. We only have about 1/2 to 3/4 of a load per person and that is a huge help. Make a list of what you need and shop for it in your closet and laundry. Everything else goes to goodwill. Even if everything is dirty, we can get it done in 4 loads (clothes for 4 people in 2 loads, sheets and towels in another load and diapers/cloth in another load)

Like the family closet idea but we have no such space for one anywhere in our tiny house.

Katie, mama to one big boy (6/03) and one little boy (12/08).
It is never the wrong time to do the right thing.
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#7 of 15 Old 09-20-2010, 01:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by kijip View Post
Get rid of most of your clothes. We only have about 1/2 to 3/4 of a load per person and that is a huge help. Make a list of what you need and shop for it in your closet and laundry. Everything else goes to goodwill. Even if everything is dirty, we can get it done in 4 loads (clothes for 4 people in 2 loads, sheets and towels in another load and diapers/cloth in another load)

Like the family closet idea but we have no such space for one anywhere in our tiny house.
So about 40 outfits per child is too much?

I'm going to work on this but I don't think I can get us down to one load each. Maybe 2 loads each is possible.

Love the ideas, keep 'em coming.

Let them sleep in the middle, Let them be little
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#8 of 15 Old 09-20-2010, 03:31 PM
 
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This is my new system but seems to be working for me:

1. Get completely caught up on ALL laundry. Use an entire day if you must. Get everything washed and dried and put away.

2. Have one laundry basket outside the bedrooms. Every morning, everyone puts all dirty clothes into the basket. That basket is the load of laundry you do that day.

3. On change-the-sheets day or diapers day you'll have extra loads, but you should be able to keep your clothes laundry to one load a day. That's manageagle to wash, dry, and put away for me.

Mom to dd (8), ds (6), and dd (1)

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#9 of 15 Old 09-20-2010, 03:35 PM
 
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I am too. My problem is that everything doesn't have a place. We are woefully short on storage space in our large home. I need to get a few more dressers. I am thinking about putting a row of cabinets against one wall in the master bedroom. Right now most of the clean clothes are on the floor in the master bedroom.
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#10 of 15 Old 09-20-2010, 06:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by greeny View Post
This is my new system but seems to be working for me:

1. Get completely caught up on ALL laundry. Use an entire day if you must. Get everything washed and dried and put away.

2. Have one laundry basket outside the bedrooms. Every morning, everyone puts all dirty clothes into the basket. That basket is the load of laundry you do that day.

3. On change-the-sheets day or diapers day you'll have extra loads, but you should be able to keep your clothes laundry to one load a day. That's manageagle to wash, dry, and put away for me.
I've tried this method and it works well but then I get busy and slack off so it piles up. I guess if we had less, I would "have" to keep up with it. A mom my kids preschool said her washer broke over the weekend and they had nothing to wear. If my washer broke, when all the laundry was done, I think we could go a month. I am going to work on packing up some clothes tonight.

Let them sleep in the middle, Let them be little
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#11 of 15 Old 09-20-2010, 09:20 PM
 
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OP, I had to check to see who posted this! I thought it was me!

We are a family of 5. FIVE females! Ugghhh....

DP - wears dress clothes daily.
DD1 - wears school clothes daily and sometimes changes after school.
DD2 - wears school clothes daily and rarely changes after school.
DD3 - wears school clothes daily and I still have control over her wardrobe.
Me - re-wears things for days!

It is seriously the bane of my existence! Laundry is one thing I can never get caught up on. I can't just do a load every day because I separate clothes and we just don't have enough to justify a load (thinking green, here!).

My solution? I gave up and complain a lot.

An incredibly thankful SAH Mommy to 3 fiendishly enchanting girls 11/04,10/05, & 12/06. 
 
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#12 of 15 Old 09-20-2010, 10:53 PM
 
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I am good with putting away for 4 out of the 5 in our family...it is the baby's things that are kicking my rear! I'm in the process of sorting out & keeping the best for #4 and parting with the too small clothes. It just is taking me twice as long to get it done as I thought. I honestly had enough clothing to open a resale shop for boys. Literally. I have donated/given away over 1200 pieces of boy clothing in less than one year. Kinda scary!

Right now my system is to do a load a day & get it put away (it rhymes too).

A doula who married a cop & became a mama to 3 boys: G 12/22/00, my rainbow baby B 2/2/07 and L 2/10/10 my CBA2V baby, waiting for my little caboose late February 2013 & always remembering my two angels 2006 & 2012.

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#13 of 15 Old 09-21-2010, 12:35 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Okay - I packed up several bins of clothing and I am washing a bunch of summer clothes to put away. I'm going to face this beast.

Let them sleep in the middle, Let them be little
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#14 of 15 Old 09-21-2010, 01:10 AM
 
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I have to do 2-3 loads a day to keep up. We use cloth everything and have a large family w/lots of adult sized people. But I wash in cold and hang dry as much as I can.

I can NEVER keep up with laundry because life always intervenes.
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#15 of 15 Old 09-21-2010, 03:36 AM
 
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Im trying to overcome this, I have a problem with wearing clothes until we don't have anymore (1-2 weeks depending) and then having to run around all night doing laundry and beign crabby all day because Im tired. Last few months have gone a lot smoother, this is what Ive been doing differently.
I have 2 children by the way, 21 months and 3 1/2 and a husband whos military so he has work uniforms, workout clothes and regular clothes to wear.

1) I wash all clothes on one day. Usually Monday I will wash between 4-6 loads of clothing and 1-2 loads of towels. If its not a full load (like whites) it still gets washed because otherwise we will run out midweek and then it will throw off my household cleaning schedule and Im one of those people if I don't stick to a schedule the stuff just doesn't get done. Another day I will do any linens that need to be done, usually I have 2 load of linens (I alternate washing our bedding, the girls bedding and the bathroom linens other than towels.. I find that the bedding just doesnt' get dirty enough to warrent being washed every week, even every 3rd week it still smells and looks clean when its washed). When DH gets back from training he dumps all his clothes and uniforms into a basket straight from his luggage, even if he insists part of it is clean. Its easier to rewash things than trying to figure out what is clean and what isn't. They get washed the day after he gets back or if he gets back on a Friday/Saturday he will do it while hes off.

2) There is a basket in each bedroom and a basket in each bathroom. I don't care if it gets sorted before it goes into the basket, it just has to make it in. Drives me batty to have clothes laying around. I sort when I go to wash. Its easier than trying to get things sorted when they are put in the basket, that just never works with my family.

3) I fold straight from the dryer. If it goes into the basket unfolded it will never get folded. Honestly, Im not joking. Ive rewashed so many clothing from just throwing it in a basket and then forgetting its clean until it comes out of the wash and I realize "hey, didn't I just wash this??". It gets folded and put on the dryer or counter across from the dryer in room piles. Kitchen towels, sponges and rugs are put right where they belong.

4) I actually make my family wait for whatever it is they want until after Im done putting everything away. My kids are old enough to be told to wait a minute and my DH is definetly old enough to either wait or help put things away if he doens't want to wait. This of course doesn't count if one of the girls get hurt/are crying or some other emergency type thing comes up.

5) I make sure I have enough time to fully complete a load and put it away before going to bed. Last load goes in the wash around 5ish so its out by 7 (averaging 1 hour in wash, 1 hour in dryer) then I have plenty of time to put it all away before going to bed for the night.

6) If any catch up is needed I do it on either Saturday or Sunday when DH is home to help me with it. It really does go faster when two people are hanging/folding than when one. If something special is needed to be washed (like a certain uniform for DH or a certain dress) and we don't have advanced notice then I will make a special load for that. I probably should wash a whole load but usually this is how it goes: After dinner Dh: "Oh honey did I tell you what they decided today" me: No what DH we have to wear xyz tomorrow is it washed? me: No its not, what time do you have to be at work tomorrow DH we have PT so around 4ish me: go to bed Ill take care of it... so usually Im not that happy and i dont' think about the fact I can do more than just that, I just want to get it over with and get to bed.

7) We hang just about everything except girls t-shirts/skirts and PJs for the family. Work out clothes and uniform tshirts are also folded not hung. We have two closets, one in the girls room for them, one in the bedroom for us. If the clothes don't fit in it then its time to do some decluttering. So far we haven't had a problem with it.

~Heather~ Mama to Miss E (1/07), Miss A (11/08), Mr.T (2/11) and Miss A (10/12) Expecting our newest blessing sometime late Sept/early Oct.. Wife to my Marine since 11/2005
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