Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Keeping Up With Laundry | Homemaking Made Simple

Do you have a designated chair (or couch or corner of the room) that is just always buried in clean laundry? Are you scrambling around searching for clean socks for your kiddos? Are your laundry hampers just bottomless pits of dirty laundry...where it seems you'll never again see the bottom of the hamper? Is laundry your most hated chore?

If any of these situations pertain to you...I have got the solution you need! Today's blog post is all about how to keep your laundry under control AND fresh, clean socks always within easy grasp. ::wink::



Dude.

The laundry involved with having SIX people under one roof.

It used to scare me.

Sometimes, I'd cry.

It was just the Mom version of The Neverending Story. Without the cute flying dog.
(yes, I know his name is FALKOR. I totally didn't have to google it or anything. ::averts eyes::)

I got so overwhelmed that I told Mahri and Christian that they'd just have to start doing their own laundry. I said something about how it would help to instill a good work ethic and responsibility in them...which it does. But, honestly, at the time, work ethic was the last thing on my mind. I just was not able to get a handle on that much laundry at a time.

But they have their own chores plus school. And, I noticed, that they couldn't even keep their own laundry under control...even with assigned laundry days for each of them!

So I decided that it was time for me to take back control.

And I got myself into a groove...a groove that actually worked..and guess what?

All of our laundry baskets are practically empty any given day of the week!

I'll bet you're probably saying to yourself, "But how did you do it?! Teach me your magical ways!!"

(yeah, you probably didn't say it exactly like that...but I know you were thinking it ::wink::)

Here's what I did...

First, I got it all under control and caught up on.

It took us under a week to catch up.

I took 2 days to do non-stop laundry. Yes, it was sort of a pain in the butt...but I found that it took me longer because I was doing small loads. Because I like small loads. Small loads mean that I only have to spend about 3 minutes folding the laundry and putting it away...and I can do 3 minutes.

So, I did all of my backed-up laundry, Antonio's and the little guys, Austin and Levi's.

I had a line of laundry piles leading to the laundry room. When one was done, I'd pop in another. Washer and dryer were going pretty much all day.

Then Mahri and Christian did the same with their laundry..I told them that IF they caught up on their laundry before the end of the week, that I would begin doing their laundry (including FOLDING) for them, so they were all over it..they also took advantage of this time to get rid of clothes they had been holding onto that no longer fit...or that they just never wore because they didn't like or because it was all stained up. We just tossed the unwanted clothing (that wasn't stained up) into trash bags and put them into the back of the van to drop off in an AmVets Donation box (like a Goodwill bin...it all goes to charity).

Suddenly, our laundry baskets were empty.

For the first time in...I don't know how long.

I wanted to keep them that way.

And I have. Here's how:

I have 3 days a week designated to doing roughly 2 small-medium loads of laundry on each of those days.
(on days I wash linens or delicates, I might wash an extra load)

You might be able to get away with 2 laundry days per week...MAYBE 1 if you are a part-time nudist.

My days are Monday, Wednesday and Friday.



On the night before, I sit a laundry basket right outside of my laundry room and tell Mahri and Christian to put whatever dirty clothes or linens that they have in the basket. Whites on one side and colors on the other. I used to do Darks separately, but not anymore, unless they are brand-new Darks that haven't been washed yet or are Delicates. Towels also usually get washed with the colored clothing, instead of in a separate load. Saves time and energy.

Then, the next day, I wash my 2 loads. Because I am doing it so frequently, the loads are always tiny.

It actually amazed us all, at first, when we saw how little we actually had to fold and/or put away.

The key is to Be Consistent! Try your hardest NOT to skip your laundry days. If you have to because of an emergency, fine...but don't skip more than a day or you will get overwhelmed very quickly. If I had to skip a laundry day, I'll usually just do it the next day, even if it's not technically a Laundry Day. Even if I have a Laundry Day planned for the next day. I still do it. To keep myself in the habit.

Also, in the tune of consistencey...fold your laundry IMMEDIATELY as you take it out of the dryer. I just fold mine right on top of my washer. Then put it away IMMEDIATELY. I promise it will only take a minute or two to get it all put away! No more mountains of clean laundry piled on the couch (or that chair in the corner), waiting for days for someone to put it away. Because you know that never happens. You just end up taking the clothes straight from the Clean Clothes Mountain and putting them on. You never put them away. I know that's how it worked here. At the end of each laundry day, I quickly spritz the top of my washing machine with my cleaning solution (vinegar and water) and wipe it off, ensuring that there is no laundry left behind, piling up on top. (The only exception I have is that I keep my "working towels", like the ones I keep soley for cleaning up spills on the floor, kitchen towels and dusting cloths, neatly folded and stored on top of my dryer, so they are right there and easy to grab)

I have white wire shelving above my washer and dryer and I keep empty hangers (regular and kid-sized) hanging on it, so that as I'm taking clothes out of the dryer, if they need to hang up, I just grab a hanger right there and hang it up (see pic below). Then, all I have to do, is hang it up in my closet. No more wrinkled shirts!



I cannot tell you how much less stressful it is when I go to get the little guys ready to go and I don't have to hunt and search for clean clothes. No more searching for clean socks.

If you find yourself doing the same, constantly falling behind on laundry and stressing out before leaving the house because someone doesn't have (or can't find) clean clothes, you need to get yourself into a routine like this! You're going to love how much sanity it saves and how your laundry baskets are practically empty every single day!

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