How I Keep Up With Our Laundry

by Nicki on May 5, 2010

in Managing Time,Saving Money

Laundy-Put-Away

Laundry is one of those things … Some people like it, some hate it, some ignore it, some obsess over it. Here’s the thing though –  EVERYONE has to do it (unless you’re wealthy enough to hire someone to do all of it for you of course). Ignore it, let it pile up and take over your closets – it still needs to be done.

Here’s where I’m at. I don’t love laundry but I don’t hate it. Putting clothes away annoys me for some reason. I truly detest ironing and find as many clever ways as possible to avoid it. Most importantly though – I almost never let it get behind.

This wasn’t always the case. In the past I would wait as long as possible to do my laundry. I have no earthly idea what nonsensical reasoning was telling me that waiting to do my laundry all at once, in one miserable marathon session, would make it easier, but that was exactly my habit. In college I could go through $15 in quarters in one day, trying to catch up my laundry. I think that’s pretty typical for a 19-year-old. I’m not 19 years old anymore though and I’m guessing that you’re not either.

As a former laundry piler, I’d like to offer a few tips on how I keep our laundry under control.

Have a place for dirty laundry

You can’t be mad at your husband for leaving his dirty socks on the floor if there isn’t an accessible place for him to put them. Where should your kids put their dirty bath towels? Make it easy on your family members and yourself by having designated spots. I have one hamper in my daughter’s room, two in my room and one in the laundry room that’s for towels, napkins, rags, etc. This works well for me. Find out what works for you.

Avoid catch-all spots

We have a glider in our bedroom that always seems to have something thrown on it. It was in a convenient spot where it was easy to toss things. I moved the glider and made a decision that nothing was going to be on it. Every time an article of clothing ended up there, I threw it on the floor. Maybe that doesn’t sound any better to you but for some reason, I’m much more apt to pick things up off the floor rather than off my bed or the chair. I have a point to all this – if you have a catch-all spot where clothes pile up in your room, do something about it.

Have it sorted

I don’t like to handle dirty laundry any more than I have to. With kids in the house the dirty laundry can be pretty icky sometimes (I assume the same applies if you have teenage boys?). So, I sort-of pre-sort. For instance, the hamper in the laundry room that holds towels, dish cloths and napkins – only holds those things. When it’s full I toss it all in the washer. No, or very little, sorting required.

In my bedroom I have a green hamper and a white hamper. They fit nicely in the closet, out of sight. The green hamper holds all the colors/darks and the white hamper holds the whites/lights. Again, when a hamper gets full I just take it to the washer and put it all in.

Put it away

Earlier this week I found myself in an annoying spot – I’d gotten a little behind on my laundry. It’s unusual for me to be that behind so I determined to spend the whole day catching it up. I had 6 loads of laundry. 6 loads of laundry makes a LOT of folded piles. As I stated earlier, I don’t like putting laundry away. However, I purposed beforehand that I wouldn’t get behind on the putting away and that I’d try to have one load put away before the next was dumped on the couch. By the end of the day I’d done it – all of the laundry was washed, dried, folded and put away. I thought to myself – I like keeping up with it MUCH better.

Let me tell you friends, it feels good to be caught up on laundry on a regular basis. I’m not perfect at it but I’m much better than I used to be. How do you fare? Is laundry the dreaded chore that’s always behind or have you found a way to manage things that works for you?

As a side note, I found a blog a little while ago about all things laundry called Mama’s Laundry Talk. It’s cute and definitely worth checking out!

Why I do what I do ~ I think dentists need to change what they are called to something a little more kid-friendly. Chloe is going for her first cleaning tomorrow. I said, “Chloe, tomorrow you get to do a grown up thing and go with Mama to the dentist!” She started crying. I asked if she knew what the dentist was. She said, “No, but I don’t want it!” Oh boy … I can see this is going to go well.

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How I Keep Our Laundry Frugal : Domestic Cents
May 6, 2010 at 12:33 pm

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Amanda @ Mommy's Idea Book May 5, 2010 at 7:44 pm

I have three laundry baskets in my laundry room – one hold towels, one holds whites and one holds darks. I completely agree with you on it being easier knowing when you have enough for a load and then just dumping it in the washer.
.-= Amanda @ Mommy’s Idea Book´s last blog ..Kristy’s Famous Stuffed Bell Peppers =-.

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2 Heidi May 6, 2010 at 3:13 pm

Our house is small, so all laundry finds its way only to the basket in the bathroom. The girls’ chore before homeschool is to get it downstairs – by doing this daily it doesn’t build up. So they toss it down the basement steps, next time I’m down there I sort it into whites/darks piles and – here is how I stay caught up – do 2 loads a day. If I only do 2 loads then I don’t get behind folding/putting away. If I do more, I get overwhelmed and folded piles grow…..

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3 Nicki May 6, 2010 at 3:32 pm

That’s great Heidi! Sounds like that’s a great solution for your family :)

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4 Elisa | blissfulE May 16, 2010 at 4:02 am

With three littlies, cloth nappies overnight for the older two, and plenty of ick, I do a whites load every morning so that it’s hanging on the line at the latest by the time they lay down for their nap. That gives the diapers and sometimes sheets at least a couple hours in the sun before they are needed overnight again.

I also do two colour loads each week. Reds/pinks one day and other darks another day. I have a frontloader so it takes a couple hours to finish a load. The max I’ve done in one day is three loads, so I *have to* keep up with the laundry!
.-= Elisa | blissfulE´s last blog ..Michael’s drum kit =-.

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5 Candice Hudson January 23, 2011 at 6:04 pm

Only 6 loads behind? I’ve had laundry days where I literally did 12 baskets of clothes.. I know it’s bad but I really do dread laundry.
However I have also recently made an effort to help keep up with it by giving each bed room and our bathroom separate clothes baskets so like you said the towels all go in one, mine and hubby’s clothes in one, both of my girls’ clothes in one and my sons in another. It makes folding to ‘put away’ much easier if I have all of one or two kids clothes separated and I’ve been trying to keep up with each hamper as they get full. Of course I will have another baby in April so I guess I need another clothes hamper since this will be a girl also! Oh and my oldest is 5 so my kids’ version of helping is wadded up towels or knocking over the stacks that I have made lol.
Candice Hudson´s last blog post ..Im playing the CVS game so

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6 Olivia March 18, 2013 at 10:17 pm

I am working on my fourth load and have about five more to go and I am the only person living in this house. Everyone else has flown the coop. I actually like to do laundry once I get started but I procrastinate so much; I don’t know why. I really wanted to mention this to people who hang clothes outdoors. I don’t here at home but during a vacation in France a few years ago we rented a small cottage and had to hang clothes on a line. I went to bring them in when they had dried and received a horrible sting from a hornet who was resting on one of the sheets. We had to drive into the village and go to the pharmacist who gave me some medication and ointments for the pain and swelling. That could happen anywhere. Just smack your dried clothes with a stick or something before you start grabbing it to knock off any critters with stingers. :)

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