Laundry question: Folding/putting-away routine (for non-CDing families)? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 24 Old 02-05-2005, 08:11 PM - Thread Starter
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After you do laundry, how do you tackle your folding/put-away chores? We seem to be drowning in piles of unfolded laundry all the time and are trying to figure out a routine that works. Do you use several baskets? Do you fold and put things away right after they're dried? We usually save up the folding chores to do while watching tv, but sometimes the clean/unfolded laundry backlog gets out of control and takes over the living room!

I specified non-CDing because I know from past experience that cloth-diapering is a laundry universe unto itself! In some ways CD-ing actually streamlined the laundry routine because we were doing the wash all the time, so we were more disciplined about putting things away asap.

TIA for any advice
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#2 of 24 Old 02-05-2005, 08:18 PM
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we suck at this as well. I usually fold into a basket per person, then they are responsible for putting away. sometimes that results in my folding twice, arrggg. I have no helping advice, except that separation is the key (this is my theory, my unproven theory).
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#3 of 24 Old 02-05-2005, 08:35 PM
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well, I do have the advantage of DH washing and drying, but even when I do it, I do it exactly the same each time. I have three baskets, one whites, one darks, and one I am stupid and can't sort so I put them here (Dh uses that one the most.

I fold it as soon as it's out the the dryer. I sit on my couch and make little piles of folded clothes. Putting all the same type of clothes and the same persons clothes in each pile. So all Dh's underwear together and all Dh's shirts next to those and so on. So when I am done with that basket I have everything sorted out all ready, so I put them in the basket in reverse order of how I put them away with the hanging clothes laying on top. Then when I take them to the bedroom to put them away, I have everything organized, and it only takes me a few minutes to put it all away.

One of the very few things I learned that was actually helpful from my mom.

SpiralScoutin' Homeschoolin' Mama to Michael, Citizen of Portlandia, age 21, Danielle, Artist in Residence, Age 9 & Jack-Jack, Minecraft Maniac, Age 6
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#4 of 24 Old 02-05-2005, 09:10 PM
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Well, we CD, but clothes are a separate issue.

After dinner, the kids clear the table and dh brings up any laundry I did that day. I fold it and put it at each of their spots on the table, in a dishpan with their name on it. They can take it up when they want, but if it's not up by the morning it's sort of hard to eat breakfast.


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#5 of 24 Old 02-05-2005, 10:34 PM
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this is one thing that flylady really helped me with. Every day, I do a load of laundry, fold it and put it away. I tend to fold it right at the dryer and put it in categories in the laundry basket and then take it and put it away.
I was drowning in laundry until I got my act together in Dec.
Now I am tryign to do "catch up" laundry on Monday, which means 3-5 loads, then a load a day on tuesday and wed. Wed and thur I do sheets and bedding and then take the weekend off.
I never used to be able to take any days off bc it was so crazy overwheleming and disorganized, but this is actually working
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#6 of 24 Old 02-08-2005, 07:52 PM - Thread Starter
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Yikes! this is a PSA--if you change your routine, be sure to tell dh and anyone else who might be helping with laundry. i switched over to a new system and forgot to mention it to dh, who later started folding dirty clothes by mistake. he was pretty upset, and I can't blame him :
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#7 of 24 Old 02-09-2005, 12:51 AM
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Well I only do laundry for 2 adults and 1 toddler, we all share a bedroom so I don't have to worry about older kids or seperate closets or anything.

I try to laundry every weekday, 1 or 2 loads. Weekends I take off. I get them from the dryer while they're still warm, dump them in a heap into the basket, and put them away right away. So I have a basket of warm clothes that get directly hung in the closet, or folded into drawers. I hate handling it twice! Taking it from the dryer, folding, only to get tot he bedroom and unfold it to hang, now with folding creases. Aaack.

I am entirely unhelpful to those of you with multiple and older children, huh?
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#8 of 24 Old 02-09-2005, 12:56 AM
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I do laundry three times a week. I fold as it comes out of the dryer. Then I put it into two baskets, with piles per basket. One basket for the kids (I have 2) and one for the adults. Putting it away is DH's job! But it helps that he can go into DD's room and put away her pile, then move to DS's room and put his stuff away (soon we'll probably have him do his own, but haven't fought that one yet). Our stuff he usually resorts by drawer and then puts it away. The goal is to get it away the same night it was washed, but the "rule" is that it has to be done by the next laundry day. If it's not, I generally pile it all on his side of the bed so he has to put it away before he can sleep! OK, so that's probably a little mean, but it works!
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#9 of 24 Old 02-09-2005, 11:49 AM
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I fold it right when I get it out of the dryer. It takes less than 5 minutes to do one load...think one or two commercial breaks to fold and put away one load. If you do it one load at a time, your laundry room stays tidy and you can find your clothes when you want to wear them.

Tana, wife to Steve (5/02), mom to Ben (7/03), Joey (10/06) and Caroline (9/09)
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#10 of 24 Old 02-09-2005, 01:14 PM
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Like boysrus I took the flylady idea and I do a load a day.
I start the washer on my way to bed, put them in the dryer first thing in the am, and by the time I am done with morning things they are ready to fol. I have one basket that goes form the porch where th ewasher and dryer are, to the bedroom. I sort and fold them on the bed (good motivation for having the bed made, too), and then we each put our stack of laundry away.
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#11 of 24 Old 02-09-2005, 03:07 PM - Thread Starter
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OK, confession time...I realized that it is I, not dh, who is holding up the putting-away chores. Mine are usually the ones that end up sitting in the basket for days. : I think I need to follow the other thread on wardrobe simplification!
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#12 of 24 Old 02-09-2005, 03:58 PM
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I sort by person, & do a load everyday.
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#13 of 24 Old 02-09-2005, 04:12 PM
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Thanks for the ideas and reminders!

We usually end up with a king size bed covered with clean laundry. It takes over an hour to fold everything.

I think folding each load right after the dryer is key.

Michelle , 20+ years with a wonderful DH
Mama to two boys, 12 and 10

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#14 of 24 Old 02-09-2005, 04:16 PM
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Our washer is busted right now, soooooo.....

We go to the laundromat on Saturday and do all of the washing - it used to be dh who went, but then he bleached a load of my pants so now I go. I have 6 laundry baskets that are jammed (i don't know how we go through so much laundry - its me, dh and 2 boys....)

Then, I dry it and put it back in the baskets, unfolded and have a big folding party. I stack things in piles of pants/shirts/undies/socks by individual and then we all put it away. It takes about an hour to fold it all but we put music on and have fun with it. I kind of like having a broken washer, I just keep a pail for the yuckiest of stuff (peed in pants, dish rags etc) and pour bac out on it every few days to keep the odor down.
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#15 of 24 Old 02-09-2005, 05:55 PM
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Sadly no answers here. Even when I did pt CD I was a failure at it LOL I let them sit in washbasin tub for days....not good.

I tend to just do at least 4 loads per week...give or take. What I hate is the loads get forgotten in the washer or dryer for days! DH wears uniforms to work so only washes them when need be...but he leaves them around house which drives me NUTS!

I usually try and do two loads at a time..started one last night, they're all down there waiting for me......I have no method that works...I just do as I go along...and hope for the best!

Folding is done in front of TV, and sometimes it takes us a week to put away folded clothes from the baskets. But they go eventually.

Everything in its time and place I suppose.
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#16 of 24 Old 02-09-2005, 07:00 PM
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There is just me, dh and dd, so i only do laundry once a week. I wash & dry then fold while I watch tv. It is the only time I watch tv, so I'll either have something taped or time my laundry around something I want to watch.Then I put the stuff away on the commercial breaks.

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#17 of 24 Old 02-09-2005, 10:25 PM
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I treat myself to a phone call with a dear friend while folding
at least two loads of clean laundry. Yep, we sort out by person
too when folding.
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#18 of 24 Old 02-11-2005, 01:14 PM
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Here's what we do (we are a Cding household but I still think I might be able to help you!!)

Everybody in the family gets their own laundry hamper. Leah's clothes go in Leah's hamper, Hannah's clothes go in Hannah's hamper, Jack and I share a hamper in our bedroom, plus we have the diaper pail. When I had a dh living here, he washed his own laundry and put it away himself (since we were both employed at the time. That system may not work as well if one partner is employed full time and the other is a homemaker.)

I don't sort laundry by color,etc. Leah's laundry goes into a Leah Load, gets put into a basket that SHE has to put away. I usually (but not always) fold into a basket when I take it out of the dryer. If Leah doesn't put her laundry away and can't find her clothes easily, it's her problem, not mine. Ditto for Hannah. If the girls want to shove their clothes into their drawers without folding and then wear wrinkled clothes, that's fine with me!! In reality, their drawers are more organized than mine.

I wash my clothes with Jack's because they get put away in the same room and by the same person (me.) When he gets bigger, he'll be responsible for putting away his own laundry, and I'll probably stop sharing my hamper with him when he's done with diapers (diaper pail will turn into Jack's hamper.)

Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 20, Hannah, 19, and Jack, 13(homeschooled)
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#19 of 24 Old 02-12-2005, 03:58 PM
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I fold or hang right out of the dryer too. Mainly because I refuse to iron anything and this way there are no wrinkles and I don't have to waste energy re-tumbling them.

I do all of my laundry on one day and I like this because I don't forget I'm doing laundry. When we were CD'ing, I was washing dipes 2x a week on non clothes washing days, and I was always forgetting they were in there.
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#20 of 24 Old 02-12-2005, 04:27 PM
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I am good about doing laundry but thats where the good ends. I really should hang and fold right out of the dryer.

Right now I have enought clean clothes that can cover my kitchen table or our queen bed.

I do a load or 2 a day. But I would love to have a large capicity washer so I could do laundry less often.

What I want to know what size of washers do some you have that only do laundry one day a week? LDS momma comes to mind as I think she does laundry once a week for her large family. Typing of her reminds me I havent seen her lately
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#21 of 24 Old 02-12-2005, 06:25 PM
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I try to do laundry every other day - usually one or two loads. I have a 3 bin vertical laundry sorter (like this one: only not so big or expensive!) in my laundry room, and the kids and I *always* put our dirty clothes straight into it. No reason to mess around with different hampers - and this way I don't spend time searching around for clothes when I'm ready to wash. If the clothes aren't in the hamper - too bad, so sad! The top bin is for whites, middle for darks, bottom for lights. It helps that my laundry room is on the second floor, right by where the main bathroom and the bedrooms are. Kids get their PJ's on at night, dirty clothes get taken immediately to the laundry room. When each load comes out of the dryer, it immediately gets folded, and everything gets laid out on my bed. Every night, along with brushing teeth, putting on PJ's, going to the bathroom, etc. each child is responsible for taking their things out of my room and either putting their clothes in their drawers, or laying the things that need to be hung up on their bed, and I hang them up for them when we go to their room for prayers. When I do towels, they immediately get hung back on the towel rack, because everyone uses the same ones week after week (everyone has their own color). I hate to fold sheets, so as soon as I wash and dry sheets they go back onto the bed. Unless someone is sick at night and they need changed immediately, or someone wants a different set of sheets for a specific reason (like switching to flannel in winter) - we pretty much use the same set of sheets until they die. My friend teases me and says that I am obsessive/compulsive about my laundry, but in a home with four kids and only one adult (me!), if I didn't have it organized, I'd probably be insane!
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#22 of 24 Old 02-12-2005, 08:58 PM
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I do all the sorting/folding on my bed. Anything that goes on a hanger, gets put on it there, then piled according to child. Then it's a simple matter of either getting them to transfer it to their closet/drawers, or transferring it myself. I do it on my bed because that way it gets put away the day it's folded. If I did it anywhere else the piles would sit for days.
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#23 of 24 Old 02-14-2005, 08:15 AM - Thread Starter
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All of you mamas have inspired me to put away my folded laundry--finally! It was a basket of mismatched socks and another of mixed clothes that I was avoiding, but happily now I have two more empty laundry baskets. Whew! That feels better. Just like Charlie Brown used to say, "Happiness is a drawer full of warm socks" ....or at least sorted and folded ones

In our home, dh usually does the laundry and most of the folding. The laundry is in the basement, 2 flrs down from our flat, so we can't use the machine as a hamper. Ds is in his "mommy stage" right now, so it's just easier for dh to go downstairs to move or transport laundry. But I have noticed that I often end up with wrinkled clothes that I need to retumble, so I'm going to start volunteering to bring up the laundry so that I can hang certain things right away. I also have a timer in our kitchen, so that I know when the cycle is over, since we can't hear the buzzer up here.
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#24 of 24 Old 02-15-2005, 12:17 PM
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our laundry is in the basement, right next to the dog food. I feed the dog 2 x a day and "Adjust" non-diaper laundry two times a day....if need be. I tend to catch up on clothes on monday and diapers on friday.

we have a laundry chute, which streamlines getting the clothes off the bedroom floor, but IMO just puts it all out of sight, out of mind. Right now I'm trying desperately to get to the bottom of the hamper that collects the pile of laundry -- my running tights are in there SOMEWHERE!!!

things change a bit in summer when I try to line dry stuff to save money. Right now we do racks in the basement, but that's generally about 1/4 of each load -- better than nothing though and easier on the clothes.

one thing I do is to sort out my dh's clothes....when something wet or stinky doesn't land on top. He tends to toss sweaters in every time he wears em. Unbeknownst to him, I fold them up just like they got washed.

Kristin -- mom of Erin (11/5/02) and Leah (9/29/05)
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