A Tip for Tuesday: Laundry, Simplified
By Anne Kimball on July 10, 2012
Multiple Choice Test:
Q) What is the hardest part of the laundry for you?
a) Putting it in the washer.
b) Putting it in the dryer.
c) Sorting and folding.
d) Putting it away.
If you're like me when I was young and foolish (and had young and foolish children), your answer is probably c, followed closely by d, but a and b you can likely do in your sleep.
So stop fighting it, and get rid of those two hellish choices. I learned laundry from a sage of a large-family Mom years ago, and it has changed. My. Life.
Neither my sofa nor my bed has seen piles and mountains and heaps of laundry in years.
I graciously pass that wisdom on to you now.
I'm beneficent that way.
It's really quite simple. Instead of throwing in mixed loads and then sorting afterwards, wash each person's laundry seperately. Each family member should have at least one hamper of their own. In our family, there's a hamper in each person's room, as well as hampers downstairs in the mud room. When one of them needs to do laundry, they just gather their laundry from their room and downstairs, and throw it in the wash. I usually switch it for them, and sometimes I fold it when it's done, and they take it to their room and put it away. Even the folding is pretty simple, as I have a pole above the washer, so all shirts (even t-shirts) get hung in their closets. Sticking a shirt on a hanger is way easier than folding.
When they're putting their clothes in the washer, they keep out any whites. They each have a zippered mesh laundry bag in the laundry room for their white socks.
On the weekend, I do a load or two of whites, and throw all the mesh bags in. When they're done, I just give each person his or her bag to take to their room and put away.
I do my mine and Fred's laundry on the weekend, as well as any towels, sheets, blankets, curtains (cough - almost never) or any other assorted and sundry items.
My kids have been doing their laundry like this (or at least being significant helpers) ever since I first learned about it, back when my youngest was maybe four. Even little kids can gather. They can throw stuff in the washer. With a little help, they can add detergent. They can sort socks, put underwear and PJs in their drawer, fold towels.
This is NOT my laundry room.
Nor is this.
I would post a picture of mine, but you don't need to see that. Trust me.
I have a family of eight, and I am here to tell you I am NOT overwhelmed by laundry. I do not have a beautiful, dedicated laundry room with high-end, state-of-the-art appliances. I have an old top-loading washer and a boring old dryer squeezed into a cubby in the upstairs hall bathroom. I almost never have piles of laundry sitting about, and I almost never feel behind with it all.
Remember, it's so simple: each person's laundry seperately. That's really all it takes.
And just think, with all the time you free up, you can catch up on all those bon-bons you're behind on. You can finally take up knitting or learning the guitar.
And with all the laundry off your sofa, think of the things you'll find:
$785 in assorted change.
The missing hamster.
That neighbor kid from across the street.
Try it today, don't delay!
************** Images from Pinterest, courtesy: southernliving.com and loghomefloorplansonline.com Also: reviews.crateandbarrel.com, and superstock.com