Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Laundry Thing

So a few weeks ago my friend Dana mentioned a workable laundry system she has recently started at her house, with good reviews. I decided to give it a shot, because I have been living in chronic loathing of my laundry situation for years. Things have been particularly bad since Riley was born: pretty much it was unusual for any of the kids or my husband to have clean underwear in their drawers: instead, said laundry was either (a) in the massive pile of dirty laundry in the laundry room, or (b) in the massive pile of clean laundry in the short hallway outside the laundry room. Pile (b) was affectionately named "Mt. Laundry" and was in a constant state of silently nagging me to fold it, and constantly piling up to shoulder height and encroaching upon 3/4 the width of the hallway. It got so that the kids would look in Mt. Laundry FIRST for clean underwear, and then check their drawers.
So when Dana posted describing this laundry system I JUMPED at the chance to try something, anything that might make a dent in my nemesis, Mt. L.
The system is based on pre sorting. I went to IKEA and bought two hampers that have two sections each, for a total of four separate containers. Lights, darks, whites, and an extra (which has turned out to be perfect for towels). We taught the boys how to sort their clothes after removing them, and voila, presorted laundry. Then, each day I do ONE load of laundry~whichever colour is fullest. Plus, each day I try to fold that load of washed laundry. It seems deceptively simple, but it works remarkably well! The first few days I did two loads, to catch up, but since then my only extra loads have been the diaper covers, (which were previously hard pressed to find a way to squeeze into the constant overcrowded que for the washing machine), and my bras (of which I only have two because my freakishly large boobs need a specialty, $100 bra, and which need to be washed after only one or two wears so every other day). It's not the washing that was holding me up before, per se. It was the sorting and the folding. If presorted, laundry seems more manageable and it is easy to see at a glance what colour needs washing the most, and if done one load per day, it is easy to fold and put away~a 15 minute job instead of a 60 minute job. An imperative reduction.
And for a week now, my hallway has been pretty much empty of clean laundry. And my laundry room floor has been free of clothing (I used to sort and leave the sorted dirties in piles on the floor, making access to the machines an exercise in WII fit mountain climbing). YEAH!

Props to Daen for the skoukum idea.
Props to Jesus for a tidy hallway and a easier time for momma.
It really only takes simple things to make me happy.


Asheya said...

Mt. Laundry sounds like my couch! I'm constantly moving baskets of clean laundry around the living room, until we eventually get around to putting it away, by which time we have a mountain of dirty laundry and the whole thing starts again!

Good thing Eric has kind of taken over laundry duty (I can't lift those baskets right now), so I don't feel as guilty :)

That's so great that you are getting on top of your laundry situation. These simple things sometimes do make all the difference!

Dana said...

That's terrific that my system has been working for you too!!!! A big win!

Deb said...

I've also started doing one load a day. My rule is - put it away at night before bed. I put the clean laundry on my bed, and won't put it in a pile on the floor. Then I HAVE to put it away before I sleep. It's taken a lot of Mt. Laundry stress out of my life too, for sure!!

Rachel Clear said...

This is what my hubby and I have started doing, and it's so easy that even HE can do it (roaring cheers!!)

I took it once step farther and labelled each basket with "cold, hot, warm"... A plus note of that is that since we began doing this, none of my sweaters have been ruined and shrunken to the size of baby clothes. Cam is very helpful in the laundry department, but his help often lead to disaster. This solves that problem, which makes him help more, which makes me happier, which is what we all want, right?