Sharon at Mom of 6 just posted a revelationary article, where she had a revelation about how she could be doing laundry differently. People (and by people, I mostly mean moms) are always complaining about laundry, but that isn’t a sticking point in our house, even though we still have an extra load of cloth diapers to wash during the week. I’m spilling the load here, and you can let me know what you find interesting. Or even revelationary!
The first- and perhaps most important- step of our laundry routine is not sorting. Full credit goes to my amazing hubby, who was doing this before I met him. We have 3 laundry baskets in our room…one for darks, one for whites, and one for delicates. He doesn’t see the point in the 3rd basket, but the chicks get it, right? We throw our dirty clothes into the right basket when we take off our clothes. I hate sorting laundry. Who wants to paw through dirty, stinky clothes? Eeewww.
Laundry magic #1. No sorting required.
Laundry magic #2. The baskets tell me when to wash: if the basket is full, I need to do a load.
By the way, I am aware that my hampers are not beautiful. But they are completely functional, have lasted over 15 years, and work on both the downstairs and the upstairs trips. Pretty hampers are not always durable or functional. Pick your battles. These are some of the prettiest, sturdiest, most functional hampers I’ve seen.
Oh, that’s all well and good, you say, but what if you have kids? Well, I do. I have two of them. Girls who like to change their outfits four times a day. Girls who, until recently, had stains on each and every shirt by breakfast. Girls who don’t yet get the concept of “rewearing”, so anything that has touched their body for even five minutes goes in their dirty clothes pile.
My older daughter, who is five, doesn’t get a laundry basket because she misused it. Until I let her have it back, she piles her dirties where her basket should go. When her sister’s basket is half full, I’ll ask my oldest to add hers to the basket and drag it to the top of the steps. I take it from there.
Laundry magic #3. All the kids clothes are one load. No sorting. This was Sharon’s revelation. You too?
Truth time: for some reason, the hardest part of laundry for me is getting the clothes from the washer to the dryer. It’s all of 2 feet, but if I’m busy, I don’t hear the buzzer. It’s a problem, but not fatal. It just means that a load started early in the day sometimes sits until dinner. Oh, well. I try never to let wet clothes sit overnight, because then you have to start all over or they smell.
When dry, I set them in front of my husband, who is usually watching TV late in the evening. He folds and separates one load at a time. He’s even gotten pretty good at telling apart the tiny socks from the teeny-tiny socks. Clothes that need to be hung get laid out flat and placed on the top of the basket. As long as things are folded and smoothed, they don’t wrinkle.
Laundry magic #4. Having hubby effortlessly fold laundry really is magic, in my book. And sexy, too.
When folded, the laundry gets moved to the landing, and the next person up the steps takes the load back to their owner. Little people are exempt for now, but they’re growing like weeds, and will soon take part.
Laundry magic #5. No fighting about helping out. If you’re going up, take the basket with you.
Once upstairs, we hang ’em up. Kids help to put their outfits back on the lowest closet rod (I have rod extenders in both of their closets) as I put outfits back on hangers.
Laundry magic #6. Hangers always stay in the closet, so they aren’t having unholy sex with other hangers and getting all loose and tangled.
The kids can also put away their undies and pajamas in the drawer, with supervision. It takes about a minute.
Laundry magic #7. The kids are learning. I’m have a business to run, and it’s not a laundromat, so they’ll be doing their laundry sooner rather than later.
Because if they’re not working with you, then they’re working against you…
Diapers get washed twice a week and hung on a rack in the basement to air dry. Certain delicates also go to the basement rack in the winter, and outside in the summer.
That’s it in a nutshell. I’ve got to keep it simple, because I don’t have patience for complicated.