What is your step by step laundry system? - Mothering Forums

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Old 10-07-2005, 02:30 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I have found that my major issue in my house is laundry...I cant get it all done.....ever.....I even bought a three compartment laundry sorter....so I could just take one load down at a time to my washer.....and yet I found it over flowing and so I brought the whole thing downstairs (that was last week) it's still in my kitchen but now there's another huge bin of dirty clothes upstairs.....and not to mention "Sunshine Mountain" (that's what we call the pile of clean clothes) in my bedroom!!!! Why cant I get laundry DONE?????? I will put the load in the washer.....then get busy....so a few hours later....I'll put it in the dryer and start a new load in the washer but that's where it ends......cant get it folded or put away......HOW DO YOU ALL DO IT? How do you not get distracted? Also, what is your exact laundry set up/system? How do you get clothes from point A to point B? What categories do you have and do you use hampers, baskets, bins?? Thanks mamas....I need serious help here.....
ps...we are a family of 7

Here's me I married then we had dd15 , dd11 , ds10 , and then and now we and I blog!
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Old 10-07-2005, 03:07 AM
 
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What I sometimes do when I feel like I'm behind on laundry is to follow my sister-in-law's method: she puts a laundry basket in the hall each evening, and everyone's dirty clothes go in there that evening and the next morning. She does the laundry in the morning and puts it all away. So all her laundry is done in a medium size mixed load each day. I also set Mondays as the day I have to catch up and make sure the hampers are empty, do towels, etc., so that I don't get farther and farther behind. Also, although sometimes I go by the book and sort colors, whites, etc., I find when I just mix it all together it doesn't seem to make much difference. I also dump all the clean laundry on my bed and that usually (but not always!) motivates me to fold it all before I go to bed.
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Old 10-07-2005, 03:35 AM
 
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I do the laundry for 5 adults and one baby who is CD'd. Here's how I do it:
All laundry is put into the laundry room every day. This means a quick trip around the house to different rooms picking up towels, socks, etc. If it looks clean, I leave it for the owner to decide when to take it to the laundry room. With kids it's an easier decision.
Then, I always do CD's at night because they take the longest. When I get up at night to go to the bathroom or whatever, I cycle them.
First thing in the morning I cycle the laundry and get a new load going. I fold right from the dryer onto a table above the washer and dryer. If I get distracted by the baby, then I leave the clothes in the dryer and come back to finish folding them.
I sort as I go, prioritizing work clothes, then darks (often the same as work clothes for everyone but me), then towels or baby clothes, then whites, then reds, then delicates or special wash items. This is why my cute clothes are never clean because they are last priority!
I take the folded piles of laundry to whatever room they go. I think folding is the most important part because it keeps people from thinking that the clean is dirty, and makes it more likely to get put away.
I really can't get behind in my laundry. I must complete 2 cycles a day, and often need to do 3 or 4 if I want clean kitchen rugs, etc.
That's my embarrasing routine, but I swear it explains how I spend my time as a SAHM. Good luck and let us know if you need more help!
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Old 10-07-2005, 01:41 PM
 
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I know what you mean about the laundry piling up. The only thing that works for me is this: I get up each morning and start one load (sorting through the laundry pile/hamper whatever to make up this load. When I transfer it to the dryer or clothes rack, I put in another load. Then I stop. I do not start another load until I have folded and put away these 2 loads. Then if it's early enough in the day to do more, I will repeat with another one or two loads. I NEVER start more loads than I know I can fold and put away in the day. Some days that means I only start one load, if I know we're going to be out all day and I won't be folding until after DD goes to bed. But I also do laundry every day (at least one load). This eliminates "Sunshine Mountain." I expect everyone to put their dirty clothes in either my main laundry sorting pile/hamper or in a small dirty clothes basket in the kids' room (which I transfer to my big hamper every day or two). Now that I have them trained this way, it's easy to find the dirty clothes, and we're not hassling that all over the house. I never get the laundry completely done, but by rotating a colors load, a whites load, a reds/pinks load, etc. I get every "category" done once or twice a week, and nobody's complaining. As long as I do about 3 loads every 2 days, the pile seems to stay quite small, and it's working for us. BTW, my DP is in construction, so we have a lot of really filthy clothes. . . . .

In your case, I wouldn't wash another load until Sunshine Mountain is folded and put away, and then start up as I've described above. Hope that helps.
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Old 10-09-2005, 01:41 AM
 
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I wash everything together on cold/cold wash no softener normal cycle. When I buy or am given something new I wash it in a load of just towels, if it survives, great, if it doesn't, well that hasn't happened yet. I do have a few nice nice clothes that I wash by hand (and one suit that will get dry cleaned if it ever needs cleaning), and I wash my bras with body soap or shampoo while I take a shower or bath.

Everything is done in the same laundry baskets. We keep one in the bedroom, duh, and one in the livingroom since we often take off our socks in there and it's convienent for the kitchen.

With just dh and I, I do laundry once a week. Usually two and a half baskets worth since we tend to rewear clothing (except socks and undies). The "and a half" is whatever got tossed onto the end of the bed instead of being put away after wearing. On good weeks, there's nothing in that category.

For folding, I'll put in a video (Kipper's great for doing laundry to!) then I sort things:and treat as below
my undies:no folding
my socksaired, this is easy since they're all different
his undies:no folding
his socks:these are also just dumped in a drawer
my clothes, his clothes: if there's a really big pile I'll sort these by shirts, pants, etc before folding, I'll also turn everything right side out before starting
laundry/cleaning rags: in a pile
soft rags/handkerchiefs: in a pile
towels: get folded

This is kind of confusing, but it's basically an assembly line, sort everything into piles and then everything in each pile gets treated the same way. That way, when I go to match up a sock for instance, I only have to glance through the sock pile, as I fold my clothes I can stack them up by the drawer they'll go into.

I really suck at hanging up clothes, so I've organized my wardrobe so that I only hang up things I don't wear often like blouses.
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Old 10-09-2005, 01:47 AM
 
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I take my clothes off and, depending on my energy level at the time, either leave them lying where they were removed (a bra by the computer, a pair of pants on the couch), or make some sort of effort to chuck them in the vacinity of the laundry basket. Then I go to bed and my husband, who was born with the marvelous yet often annoying gift of anal retention, swiftly scoops them up and has them washed and folded by the time I wake up. God I love that pain in the ass.
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Old 10-09-2005, 02:12 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Heffernhyphen
I take my clothes off and, depending on my energy level at the time, either leave them lying where they were removed (a bra by the computer, a pair of pants on the couch), or make some sort of effort to chuck them in the vacinity of the laundry basket. Then I go to bed and my husband, who was born with the marvelous yet often annoying gift of anal retention, swiftly scoops them up and has them washed and folded by the time I wake up. God I love that pain in the ass.
:LOL

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Old 10-09-2005, 03:29 AM
 
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I never thought I'd offer advice on a thread on keeping up with laundry, but much to my surprise, without much effort I've stumbled on an approach that's working for me. Most of my family's clothes used to reside either in the dirty laundry hamper or in three or four laundry baskets full of clean but now-wrinkled clothes.

I've found that what works best for me is a little like HippoMommy's system. I work in small quantities, and stay disciplined about finishing a load, right through to the putting away before moving ahead with the next load.

I do about one load a day. I hang my laundry to dry, and only about half a load fits on our drying rack. I dry half of it during the day, and half overnight. Somehow folding and putting half a load away at a time isn't overwhelming, whereas a full load is. I can do half a load while maintaining my toddler's interest in helping. And if I'm doing 5 minutes of this sort of work a couple of times a day, it becomes part of my routine. It's easier to remember to do it and easier to fit into my day.

And when it doesn't pile up, I don't feel demoralized.

Miranda

Mountain mama to two great kids and two great grown-ups
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Old 10-09-2005, 04:26 AM
 
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We only have one laundry basket so when we take off our clothes as long as there aren't clean clothes in the basket that is where the dirty clothes go. Usually on laundry day I can scout around and find dirty clothes in the bathroom or DS's room.

I do 2-3 load of laundry at my MIL's house every monday. So I take the laundry basket over, put in one load, come back in 35 mins, put wet clothes in dryer, and start another load ect. until it's all done. I usually don't bother putting it away or folding it until the next day. which consists of dumping it all out on my bed, sorting, and folding or hanging each pile. DS1 puts his own clothes away, the whole process takes about 10 mins and for some reason I never have wrinkles

Unassisted birthing, atheist, poly, bi WOHM to 4 wonderful, smart homeschooling kids Wes (14) Seth (7) Pandora Moonlilly (2) and Nevermore Stargazer (11/2012)  Married to awesome SAH DH.

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Old 10-09-2005, 08:50 AM
 
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We found that switching from the machine dryer to line-hanging helped us solve our problem of laundry overload. It's counter-intuitive because it takes longer to hang dry, but actually the time it takes to dry allows us to catch up on our folding. We realized that we had mountains of clean laundry waiting to be folded around the house, and this was backing up the whole cycle (hamper-to-laundry-to-folding-to-closet/dresser). We're a small family, so this pacing works for us. We usually bring down a load every 1-3 days.
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Old 10-09-2005, 08:17 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by late-night nan
We found that switching from the machine dryer to line-hanging helped us solve our problem of laundry overload. It's counter-intuitive because it takes longer to hang dry, but actually the time it takes to dry allows us to catch up on our folding.
That's exactly what I'm finding with a family of 6. So it works for larger families too.

Miranda

Mountain mama to two great kids and two great grown-ups
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Old 10-10-2005, 02:02 AM
 
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We're another one that washes everything together (except my bras and things that say hand wash on the tag). The system here is:

- wash
- dry
- fold
- put away

I just keep it flowing, I guess I do 1-2 loads every day.

Midwife (CPM, LDM) and homeschooling mama to:
14yo ds   11yo dd  9yo ds and 7yo ds and 2yo ds  
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