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Laundry Help - there has to be a better way to do this!


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You all are so much more creative than I am. Dh is more creative than I am, but not necessarily practical, LOL. At least when it comes to the homemaking aspect. So I'm coming to you first.

 

There are 4, soon to be 5, of us in the family. Each child has their own hamper and dh and I share a hamper. When I do laundry, the kids bring me all of their clothes and throw them on the floor in my bedroom. I empty the clothes from dh and my hamper on the same pile and then I sort. I usually have 4 piles, not including towels and sheets. This has worked fine, but now it does not. Here's why and what I need your help with:

 

The baby, coming in May, will be in our room for quite some time - at least 6 months, probably longer. Therefore, we have placed the full sized crib and a changing table as well as an additional dresser in our room. There is precious little space in our room now. When I have the pile of dirty clothes into 4 piles, there is no room to walk. Not only that, but currently, and I realize this is only temporary, there is little space for me to bend down and grab a pile due to my belly, LOL. Case in point, and why I'm coming to you now, I just picked up a pile that had lots of socks in it. So I bend down, grab the pile, stand up and oops, a sock fell. Bend down again, this time running into the edge of the bed, pick up socks, stand up and oops! 3 more socks fell. Bend down again, run into bed again and while still bent down, more socks fall. Ack! LOL...

 

Anyway, I've looked at laundry sorters - a 3 or 4 bin hamper. The problem is that A.) they're expensive and B.) they are too bulky. It absolutely will not fit into my or dh's closet because they are very narrow and the kids' closets are full of toys. I don't have any more space to put one in my bedroom and we don't have a "laundry room". It's more like a closet.

 

Surely there is some way to make laundry easier and not take up so much space? How do you do yours?

 

Thanks!

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and we wear our clothes more than once before we wash them (sometimes 2 and 3 days, LOL).....but...

 

I have two laundry baskets in our garage (right by the washer/dryer)....one for whites....one for darks.

 

Everyone is responsible for putting their clothes in it.....or they don't get washed, LOL! When they get full enough for a load....I just throw them in and turn it on, LOL!

 

Maybe you could put one basket on top of the washer....and one on top of the dryer?

 

Tammy

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You all are so much more creative than I am. Dh is more creative than I am, but not necessarily practical, LOL. At least when it comes to the homemaking aspect. So I'm coming to you first.

 

There are 4, soon to be 5, of us in the family. Each child has their own hamper and dh and I share a hamper. When I do laundry, the kids bring me all of their clothes and throw them on the floor in my bedroom. I empty the clothes from dh and my hamper on the same pile and then I sort. I usually have 4 piles, not including towels and sheets. This has worked fine, but now it does not. Here's why and what I need your help with:

 

The baby, coming in May, will be in our room for quite some time - at least 6 months, probably longer. Therefore, we have placed the full sized crib and a changing table as well as an additional dresser in our room. There is precious little space in our room now. When I have the pile of dirty clothes into 4 piles, there is no room to walk. Not only that, but currently, and I realize this is only temporary, there is little space for me to bend down and grab a pile due to my belly, LOL. Case in point, and why I'm coming to you now, I just picked up a pile that had lots of socks in it. So I bend down, grab the pile, stand up and oops, a sock fell. Bend down again, this time running into the edge of the bed, pick up socks, stand up and oops! 3 more socks fell. Bend down again, run into bed again and while still bent down, more socks fall. Ack! LOL...

 

Anyway, I've looked at laundry sorters - a 3 or 4 bin hamper. The problem is that A.) they're expensive and B.) they are too bulky. It absolutely will not fit into my or dh's closet because they are very narrow and the kids' closets are full of toys. I don't have any more space to put one in my bedroom and we don't have a "laundry room". It's more like a closet.

 

Surely there is some way to make laundry easier and not take up so much space? How do you do yours?

 

Thanks!

 

square laundry baskets in our bathroom. Blue for darks, white for lights (that's the extent of my sorting, unless I'm behind, then I sort further). I know I need to laundry when the basket is full.

 

And I'm laughing at your falling socks-capade :D.

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How often are you doing laundry? You might need to do it more often.

 

In our home, we have one hamper in the master bedroom, one in the girls' room downstairs and a 3rd in the kids' bathroom upstairs. So I totally get how crazy it can be to manage too many hampers. We often have the same routine as you, but sometimes we ask for specific clothes. I might run a dark load one morning and ask everyone to check their hampers and bring me their dark clothes only. They toss the dirty clothes into the basket and when everyone has finished, we put that basket of clothes into the washer. No matter how we wash, we use the same put-away routine every time. We pull the clean clothes from the dryer, dump them on my queen sized bed and yell "LAUNDRY" very loudly. :eek: All family members know to come immediately to the master bedroom. We sort informally and everyone is in charge of folding and putting away their own clothes. We've been doing this since my youngest was about 4 years old. It makes laundry an easy task to have so many hands participating.

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I would encourage you to find a place for the sorter!

 

We have a laundry basket in our closet for Bud's and my clothes. Each kid has a basket in their room. Every morning as part of their chores, the kids bring their dirties down and sort them into the sorter. I sort mine, Bud's and Romy's into the sorter.

 

Then, I see which section is fullest and do that load only. One load a day and that's it. And it is organized enough that Bud, Luke or Peyton could walk into the laundry room and do the laundry each day (not that they do, but that's a completley different issue :rolleyes:). Sometime mid-morning, I throw the load into the dryer, and after lunch the kids and I pull out the load of dried clothes, fold them and put them away - takes about 5 minutes. It's easy, doesn't become an "event" in my day, and I'm never behind.

 

I do this six days per week, and don't do laundry on Sundays.

 

Each bed has two sets of sheets, so on sheet changing days, I throw the dirties into the bottom of a hamper or basket and save them till the next sheet changing day. I wash last week's dirties on the day the bed needs new sheets and put them directly on the bed. Then I never have to fold sheets and put them away. Because I. hate. to. fold. sheets. So once a week I have an extra load of sheets to wash.

 

If you can find a place for a sorter, you will be happy and birds will sing. Maybe even hang up three laundry bags inside the laundry door? That wouldn't take so much room and then you could easily take a bag down and dump it in the wash.

 

Hope this helps!

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My older dc do their own laundry. That includes: dd11 who does hers and dd2's (they share a room), ds8 and ds9 who share a room. Each "pair" has their own day to do the laundry and get it folded and put away. We had a few "training sessions" on how to treat stains, how much soap to use, NOT to put whites in w/ colors, what buttons to push, etc. I taught them how to fold clothes (okay they really don't do this well, but I don't have to so who cares!). That just leaves mine and dh's and ds5 and ds6's. On their scheduled laundry day, they bring their clothes upstairs (laundry on main floor) and we do it together (they are still in training). Then, there are towels (currently dd11's job) and bedding (2x each month...each child does his/her own). With baby coming in April, that will add to it, but this system works for us. Can you teach your older dc to do their own? That would help the piles in your room. I still have baskets of clean clothes lined up in our room of misc. clothes that either a) got left in the bathroom or b)was leftover after the others did their clothes. Still working on that! Oh, I also do whites once each week (ALL the whites). Not perfect, but it works.

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This is going to cause most people to scream in horror, I think. But here's what I do when I've caught up with the laundry mountain and we have NO dirty laundry in the house.

 

I take the accumulated laundry from each day and toss it into the washer together. I don't sort a thing.

 

If the day results in 2 loads, I put the towels in the washer and make a full load from the remaining laundry.

 

Now, I do not wash my husband's pants and shirts -- he takes those to the drycleaner because he is an old fuddy-duddy who likes his clothes to be ironed and starched so stiffly they can stand up by themselves. If I washed more than his underwear, socks and t-shirts, I'd take care of his clothing separately.

 

When I have a baby in the house, I wash the baby's clothing separately in a different detergent. I am real picky about baby clothes because I don't want anything bad to happen to the baby on my watch.

 

I don't buy clothes that need to be ironed. I don't buy clothes that leak color. I don't buy fancy clothes that need special care, if I can help it. This is because I know I will forget the clothes need special care and I will ruin them.

 

When the laundry piles up, I make dark, light and towel loads, and that is it.

 

I haven't ruined any clothes yet. When the kids outgrow them, they are still in great shape and go straight to Salvation Army or to a friend.

 

The other thing I do is have the kids bring their dirty laundry directly to the washer. When their clothing is dry and folded, the kids take it up to their rooms and put it away. Even younger kids can do this, except maybe for the putting away part -- as long as their clothing is washed daily so there isn't much of it to carry.

 

I call all this up and down the stairs activity *PE*.

 

RC

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my laundry habits dramatically and it is working. Now I'm sure you purist will scream in horror, but I'm talking my sanity here:

 

Here goes:

 

I wash one or two loads a day. I wash each childs clothes seperately..in other words Child number #1 all her clothes go in the laundry together, I only seperate white and darks. All colors go in with the darks.

 

I'm much more careful with DH things than the kids, besides my girls basically wear all pink and purple anyway. I have found it so much easier to just toss in all my youngest ones clothes into one load. that kid goes through a million clothes a week and I just wash them all together.

 

I used to have the sorter going, and washing all the darks together, putting all the whites on the sanitary cycle so they were super white, and all the colors together...but it took me hours longer a week. Now I pop a load in daily and no laundry piles...

 

Everyone and I mean everyone better use their assigned bath towel...each one of us has a certain color towel for after the shower. As for hand towels, I went to Sams and bought a huge package of white handtowels, I change them daily in all baths and wash those guys together on sanitary...seems to cut down on colds etc changing them very frequently.

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This is going to cause most people to scream in horror, I think. >>>

 

Not me because it is what I do.

 

I have one laundry basket and ask the kids to throw their dirty clothes in on the days I'm going to wash a load of clothes. I take it downstairs throw it in machine and dry, fold and have kids put away. I try to do a load every 2 days or so, so the hampers are rarely full and we stay caught up on laundry.

 

I haven't sorted in years and we own no specialty clothing.

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My boys (8 and 5) have a laundry day and my girl's (10 and 1) have a laundry day. My oldest dd does her sister's and my two boys share the load (no pun intended! LOL!). I have a laundry day to do mine, dh's and the towels. My dh takes his shirts and pants to the cleaners, so I really only do his socks and underclothes. My boys keep two hampers in their closet (one for darks and one for lights). This way their clothes are already sorted. I do have to help the boys with the folding, but they do everything else on their own.

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I don't sort a thing.

 

My kids do their own laundry (started at age 11) and they don't sort. I warn them that if they have something brightly colored that they haven't washed before, they might want to put it in with only dark things. Then I tell them to check the water in the machine during the agitate cycle to see if the water has turned color. If not, then it's ok to lump in with everything else.

 

One of my boys is fastidious about his clothes, and he insists on Woolite for Colors and Woolite for Darks and the dye-catching cloths. He actually dries things on "low" that say to do so. I dry my own clothes all together on the "regular" setting. Sigh. If he wants to go through so much trouble for his clothes, so be it. It just costs me a little more money in special detergents for him :-)

 

I do my husband's and my laundry and if I have enough for two loads, I'll sort. If not, I put everything together.

 

Only twice in 25 years have I inadvertantly dyed my husband's underwear pink. It washes out eventually.

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I'm also a person a day laundry girl. Monday is oldest DS, Tuesday is DD, Wed is youngest DS, Thurs is DH and I, Towels are Friday, Sheets are Saturday. That way I'm doing a max of 2 loads a day.

 

I also clean my house this way. A room or group of smaller connected rooms a day.

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Like another poster I didn't have baskets in any bedrooms -

until we utiilized a bedroom upstairs. Sadly, that's the one person's laundry that doesn't get done regularly enough and I attribute it all to the evil basket:mad:

 

We have a very small laundry space and the only available place for a basket in there is on top of the washer.

 

We have 5 people in our home and I'm rarely stuck under a mountain so this method seems to be working for us...

we keep that one laundry basket on top of the washer. When it's full!!and not until then - I pull out the majority of a load - either white or darks (YES I SORT, I can't even imagine those ladies that don't, haha).

I do a load DAILY. I have a buzzer set on my appliances that reminds me laundry's done! and time to transfer to the dryer or hang up outside.

I don't ever pile my laundry to fold later - wrinkles. I think that's the worst thing we can do in terms of this chore because that pile turns into dirty, doesn't fit, needs sewn, throw away pile also.

 

Occasionally we do end up with a bigger mountain than usual. I then steel myself to the fact it's a laundry day - and do the above process as many times as needed to empty that basket. This happens mostly on Mondays I've learned because I don't do laundry over the weekend except for sheets if needed.

 

How do the clothes get there? We have a nightly clean up before anyone gets into their bed and they pick up their clothes in that process and take them to the basket. EVERY night.

 

Hope these tips help - I used to hate! this chore and now it's not so bad. Oh yes, all of my children put their own laundry away. It stays in folded stacks on the dryer until any of us opens the door to the room. Then that person doles out the clothes in neatly folded stacks to be put away.

 

When I have my 4th baby I'll be adding her laundry pile to my own to put away and this whole process may go right out the window. I can just see the small laundry room piled with clothes falling all over me - ok, back to reality.

Stephanie

ps My dh also loves starched shirts and I try to iron once a week for him - earns me brownie points:cool:

Posting this made me realize what a big part of my daily life laundry is! I really think the key is doing a little bit every day. It can overtake you if you're not careful. Beware the baskets I say.

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dh's white cotton underwear

 

towels

 

all-cotton white sheets, dishcloths, washcloths

 

dh's and my clothes

 

dc's clothes

 

I don't separate light from dark. I don't use bleach except in the all-white loads, and then only if the clothing is all cotton. I'm thinking that separating lights and darks might have been more important long ago, but with today's synthetic, color-fast fabrics, I don't think it's necessary. The exception would be new denim jeans or anything *red.*

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DH and I share 2 laundry baskets; one for whites, one for darks. I do our laundry separately from the kids' laundry.

 

The kids share a 3 compartment laundry sorter: whites, darks, denims. They do their own laundry, and they are supposed to do a wash as soon as a compartment is full. Usually one load a day between the three of them. In theory, they are supposed to trade which compartment they are responsible for washing every week. It doesn't always work out that way, because I think my 2 older dd's don't quite trust the youngest to wash the whites properly. LOL. She's only 7, so she's got plenty time to learn. ;)

 

So... the sorter really works well for us. We put it in a central closet close the the kids' bedrooms so it's easy for them to get to.

 

Do you have room for one in a bathroom? There must be some kind of laundry sorter available to hang on the inside of a door. Or you could put one together by putting one of those robe hook racks over the door, and hang 3 canvas laundry bags on the hooks...

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WOW.....I wash all whites together....and all darks....no matter what it is, LOL! If I only did the things you listed....I would never have a full load, LOL!

 

Of course we have shorts and t-shirts....and that doesn't take up near as much room as pants, LOL!

 

Tammy

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I probably wash a load or two every other day. Every other day I wash a darks and a lights and once a week or so I wash a towel load. We use our towels more than once here as well. There are 5 of us.

 

No great method. I wash every other day because I know now it needs it. I wash, dry and put up everything that day. I fold straight out of the dryer because it's a short cut to ironing almost everything. Also, the longer they are left not put up, the more likely they end up needing ironing.

 

Laundry is not a big deal to me. I'd say on the rate of chores, I like doing laundry. However, PLEASE help me handle the bathrooms. Ugh!

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Pre-sorting makes everything so much easier. Since they already have their own hampers, could you buy them each a small laundry bag? If they could get in the habit of putting their whites in the bag, and their darks in the hamper, you wouldn't need to sort at all.

 

I wash everyone's whites together, but I keep them in the bag - that way, there is no need to re-sort everyone's socks and underwear when they come out of the dryer. If the bags have plenty of room left in them and aren't stuffed full, they will get clean. If you do this, be sure you get a bag that is safe for the dryer.

 

If they have something especially dirty, they are supposed to take it out of their bag and put it in the basket that is the 'bleach load' - to be done with the household laundry (white towels, filthy things) that I do. If they're not able to determine what is just 'whites/hot' and what needs to go in the bleach basket, I will have them look through it while I'm there, and make recommendations. :p

 

For darks, each person has an assigned day. When they're little, I do it/help them do it, and when they're older, they are supposed to do it. (For those that remember the thread, my dds FINALLY had to break down and do their laundry. Obviously they have WAY too many clothes).

 

Towards the end of the week are days for the bleach load, bedding, towels, and rugs.

 

So it goes something like this:

  • Mon - darks (mine & dh's together) Funny we can combine a week's worth of our darks for only one load. I guess it's because we only wear ONE outfit per day! :D
  • Tues - dd#1 is supposed to wash her darks
  • Wed- dd#2 is supposed to wash her darks
  • Thurs - dd#3's day - I have her do it all with me, in the hopes that she'll be able to do this on her own one day!
  • Fri - whites & bleach load whites
  • Sat-bedding, other household items

HTH!

 

One other note: Just because a child has been doing this since they could reach the washer does not mean they will continue to do so if you stop supervising their assigned day, and assume they are responsible enough to remember by now. Even if they are almost 16 years old. Maybe especially if they are almost 16 years old. :rolleyes:

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I don't do the kids laundry with ours. They sort it themselves, into three baskets (lights/whites, reds, and darks). (I've had enough disasters with red clothes that I always keep them separate). I do these two loads on the same day (reserving the reds because there's usually not enough for a load until I add mine). The next day, I sort dh's and my clothes. We have bigger clothes, so it usually takes four loads (black/navy, tan/brown/greens, other light colors, and whites). If I have any reds, they go in with the kids' reds. These four or five loads might take me two days, or I might do them all the same day.

 

However you decide to sort your clothes (or not), you definitely need at least one laundry basket to help with dropping clothes. Another thing you could try, in lieu of a basket, is a towel. Spread out a towel (one you're going to wash anyway), and place all the load of dirty clothes on it. Pull up the corners, and voila! No more dropped socks! If you don't have a towel to wash, you could use one of dh's shirts, or cram everything into a T-shirt. Any of these would help with the dropsies.

 

Congratulations on number five! She's a girl, right? How sweet. All those pink clothes. ;)

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I think you need to enlist your helpers, otherwise known as children. :D

 

There are several ways to do this:

 

1. Have each child do his/her own laundry. Don't bother to sort. Assign one child per day. (This depends on the ages of the children, I think. I don't like children under 9 fooling with liquid detergent . . . causes more mess/work than if I did it myself.)

 

2. Have each child dump in the hall instead of your bedroom on laundry day. Then, let THEM sort! They are closer to the floor--they are the ones who should be bending and picking up, not pregnant mom! :) Better yet, you could have them sort as they take clothing out of their baskets. Darks go here (pointing to one side of W/D on the floor), light coloreds go there (pointing to other side), and whites go in the middle . . . If they are not old enough to deal with the soap and choose the proper settings, they can at least put the items for the load into the washer. Also, two small children working together can take things out of the washer and put into the dryer, leaving you to just work the controls (no bending necessary).

 

3. Invest in the laundry sorter and find a place to put it. In our previous house, the sorter lived right next to the W/D, which was in a room close to the children's bedrooms. Every night when they would change into jammies, they would bring their laundry to the sorter. After every bath, they would bring their dirty clothes to the sorter. Therefore, the sorting was done when it was time to wash.

 

Seriously, small children can even get clothes out of the dryer, put them in the laundry basket, and slide the laundry basket to the folding area (wherever that is). You should NOT have to be doing the bending, lifting, etc. :cool: Isn't that why you had children anyway?!?:D

 

Hope this helps.

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Wow! It is evident that you all do laundry way more often than I do! :)

 

I do laundry once a week. Sometimes it's a week and a half. I don't know if I could succumb to the drudgery of doing it everyday!?

 

I also learned through this thread, that I sort differently. It's not as easy as "whites and darks" for me, which is why it's difficult to get the children involved. Though I will say that I've been working with dd (9.5yo) for a couple of weeks on this. But anyway, apparently I'm a bit more complicated.

 

I have "light cold", "dark cold", "dark hot" and "light warm" piles and sometimes jeans only, depending on how many jeans in the pile there are. Of course, this doesn't include towels and sheets which I wash separately. However, as someone pointed out, those aren't a big deal. I take them off the towel rods or the beds in the am, wash/dry and then hang them back up or put directly back on the bed, so there's no folding as I hate to fold sheets also.

 

The suggestion of doing ds's clothes one day (which are almost exclusively in the "dark/cold" pile with the exception of underwear and socks), dd's the next day (which is almost exclusively light/cold with the exception of underwear and socks) and then maybe getting a 2-compartment separator for dh and I, which takes up much less space than a 3 or 4 one, is a pretty good, realistic idea.

 

Who knew we all did laundry so differently? Ok, that I do laundry so differently. Makes me want to invite a whole slew of you over to watch me for a day to tell me what else I do with more difficulty than necessary, LOL!

 

Thanks, everyone!

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Our children have laundry baskets (instead of hampers) in their closets. They bring their dirty clothes to the laundry room once a week based on a schedule, (different child each day). I don't sort their clothes. I just wash everything in cold water with Tide. I fold and leave their clean clothes at the bottom of the stairs and they put them away. I have all their drawers labeled.

 

My dh and I have a sorting hamper with three bags. We sort our dirty clothes as we change.

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Basket 1: WHITE: and it's for whites that get whited. Read: bleached. That means underwear, socks, towels, and sheets. Done daily-ish.

 

Basket 2:TAN: It's for colored clothing that is not red or dark. Read: play clothes minus jeans, etc. These are items that can be thrown in together without fear of colors running. Done daily-ish.

 

Basket 3: BLUE: It's for darks, reds, etc. Usually done 1x weekly.

 

 

I'm getting hives just thinking about laundry. :eek:

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This will sound simplistic because, well, I think most housework can be accomplished simply. We have a hamper. People put dirty clothes in there. Every day or two, I dump some of the clothes into the washing machine. I don't "sort" clothes other than to stand there at the washer, with the hamper next to me, transferring clothes from the hamper to the washer. I wash everything at the same temp (basically lukewarm). I mostly put dark-ish clothes with like colors and light-ish clothes with like colors, but I'm not fastidious about it. I think you're making this way harder than need be, what with "light cold", "dark cold", etc. As for the drudgery of doing laundry every day or two, I don't consider it drudgery. I'm sorry, but I never, ever understand why people complain about doing laundry.

 

Hope you find a system that works for you!:)

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A load gets washed every day, then hung up to dry. Only things that have not been washed before get washed separately. The next day the wash is folded and put away.

 

I have a housekeeper, but when she's not around, the boys take it in turns to wash dishes and clean out our birds, or wash/fold clothes and take out the rubbish.

 

Laura

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My system is basic - dh has a hamper for work clothes (these get washed by themselves), everything else gets tossed into a basket in the bathroom. I do a load a day (about four days a week), and like Colleen, just separate them by the washer as I'm throwing them in.

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.....

 

Surely there is some way to make laundry easier and not take up so much space? How do you do yours?

 

I have never seen such in depth laundry plans as I have seen here. I just had NO idea people thought so much about laundry. Now, OTOH, I could never, in good conscience, wash everything together. We simply have too many things with the potential to run. We prefer 100% cotton, and cotton bleeds color, no way around it. Every time I cut corners, and try to wash something "risky" with things that might get bled onto, I lose.

 

So, anyway -- like my mother before me, I have ONE laundry hamper. Everything gets sorted out of that. I am just about to start a campaign to have my kids sorting and doing laundry. They have always done much of the line hanging and removal as well as helping with folding and sorting afterwards. But, they've got another phase coming...heh heh!

 

Janna, I'm thinking that getting your older kids involved is your best long term solution. You won't have time to be futzing with laundry after baby's arrival, even though you'll then be able to bend over. Teach those kids now. If there's room, you can have two hampers/bins -- one for darks and one for lights. If not, just have the one, and let the kids sort it daily.

 

JMHO,

Doran

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I have all my kids wash their own laundry. They each do 1, maybe 2 loads a week depending on if they wash their sheets that week. I switched the boys to all black socks and I don't care if their undies aren't blindingly white. The only thing in this house that sees bleach is DH's lab coats for work.

 

It's been this way for about 1 1/2 years and no one has died yet. I'm happier, the kids are happier...well, not quite...but it is less frustration. They don't have to try to sort their clothes out from the other clothes.

 

I would never go back to any other way. This is what works for us.

 

Here is a post from my blog that explains it in a bit more detail.

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Wal-Mart has a $19 dollar metal & kind of mesh hanging bag sorter with a hanging rack on top. And it is on Wheels! Worth the money and except for vertically it takes up little more space than a hamper. I believe Target has a bigger heavy-duty one, but the $19 dollar one has lasted here for 5+years. One day I may upgrade, but that thing has been more than worth the money.

 

Oh, and hand off some of the laundry duty. Enlist your troops.:D

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One hamper in each bedroom, 4 hampers in the laundry room. When we move clothes from the bedrooms to the laundry room, we sort it into 1. light perm press, 2. light not perm press, 3. colored perm press, or 4. colored not perm press. I wash the load that is the most full.

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I have never seen such in depth laundry plans as I have seen here.

 

That was my thought. I think it's just a personality thing; some people like to develop a system to tackle a task. To my mind, though, some things are so straight-forward as to not require a system. I once worked for a woman, though, who had two children and had a laundry system like no other. Washing clothes never felt as involved as when she explained how to sort by gender, color, temperature, fabric, and on and on...:eek:

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Janna and all,

 

What I would have given to have all this GREAT advice ten years ago:)

 

Somewhere a long time ago I did laundry once a week. Then came children. I began to do it twice. More children. . . .

 

I finally figured out the washing machine works each and every day. (I was kind of slow). Laundry became an ongoing chore.

 

It sounds like you are having growing pains. Time to add more wash days, perhaps.

 

Also, if you can, put the dirty clothes near the washing machine. An older child can have the chore of collecting each day, or something like that.

 

Some good advice I got when the laundry threatened my life was to always put in a load before bedtime. In other words, don't wait for the laundry to pile up. Do it daily. Like you do with the dishes.

 

Someone above also mentioned wearing clothes more than one day. That in itself can cut your laundry in HALF!!!

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We have 2 laundry baskets. One for dd8 and dd11's room and one for the rest of us. DD8 and dd11 do their own laundry about once a week or when it is overflowing. I do a couple of loads a day. No sorting here. None. Towels wash with jeans, hose, undies, shirts, sheets, etc. Okay, I do pull out reds if they are new. And, I do believe in child labor for folding. I put away most of the clothes, because I want them to remain fairly unwrinkled. Um, no ironing here either. That's what the dryer is for!

 

I do iron church dresses. Especially summer ones. Other than that, no ironing. Who has time?:eek:

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This thread has been so interesting! I used to be a big sorter, organizer of laundry. Then I had the twins. Then I had another. Then the boys grew to man-size and their clothes take up WAY more space than when they were 8 or 9. All along our rule, in our small house, has been - take your dirty clothes out to the laundry area (garage) where I have two bins - whites and not whites. It really is one of those things that is as difficult as you make it. I keep a laundry basket of socks next to the dryer. I don't sort or fold socks. Same with underwear. I wear socks maybe four times a year. I fold my own underwear, but no one else seems to care, so I stopped. They pull out of the "clean" basket what they need.

 

Now that the boys are older, they are always looking for ways to earn money. We have a lottery now over which boy "gets" to do the laundry for the week. (Typing this sentence made me smile.) Whoever wins has the honor of being paid slave wages and doing all the laundry for six - folding it and letting the rest of the family know it's ready to be put away. Each of the boys has their own laundry method and so far, it's all good ('cuz I'm not doing it!). AND, their future wives will thank me as I've been having them fold and refold sheets until they resemble a nice package instead of a wadded up lump.

 

My adivice, don't overthink it.

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Each family member has a laundry basket in their closet, and one person's clothes get washed each day. We usually divide the clothes into lights and darks, so it is two loads per day. I think this method saves me time, because I don't have to sort the clothes by family member after they have been washed. They all just go right back into the basket for that child to put away in their drawers. And, when we wash the sheets, I also put them right back on the bed. I like folding laundry, but hate folding sheets. My dh washes his own clothes, and my 11 year old is in laundry training.

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....

 

Someone above also mentioned wearing clothes more than one day. That in itself can cut your laundry in HALF!!!

 

As an aside, it totally cracks me up how much attention we've given to this thread. Clearly, we understand The Place of Laundry in the life of a mother. ;)

 

That thing about wearing clothes more than once? I can't imagine NOT doing that. Well, unless there's some goshawful stain - like cafe latte mocha lotta - all running down my chest. Or maybe if I've ridden the subway for a day and sat upon an extraordinary pile of germs. Really, though, I thought about this for a second before repsonding, because I reaize we have a rather different life here than some. Me a former farmer, dh a woodworker. But, no. I was like this long before my life became dirt encrusted. My mother is like this. Even when I was in the "corporate world" (not that I ever was all that corporate), and out from under my mother's rules, I did not launder something after wearing it only once. To each her own, I guess. But, I'm sure I could not keep up with all THAT laundry!

 

Oh, by the way...Janna...honey...there's a sock on the floor you missed.

 

:D Doran

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I think you're making this way harder than need be, what with "light cold", "dark cold", etc. As for the drudgery of doing laundry every day or two, I don't consider it drudgery. I'm sorry, but I never, ever understand why people complain about doing laundry.

 

Your system sounds great Colleen but I wash a lot of nicer clothes that need a delicate cycle and my girls wear a lot of black (one of the approved dress code colors for public high school here) and I have to sort carefully or the black clothes would be covered with white lint...(and hell hath no fury like a teenaged girl who finds lint on her black pants!).

 

I used to LOVE doing laundry, but it has become more of a drudgery as our family has grown and the children have grown. Doing laundry day in and day out for ten people can be drudgery, especially if you don't have a working dryer. It's just a good thing that I still like to do laundry.

 

I keep it form being overwhelming by having ONE central hamper and washing 1-3 loads every day. I have considered having my teens do their own laundry, but it just wouldn't be as efficient that way...we would be washing many more partial loads and using a lot more water and energy.

 

Just another perspective.

 

Susan in TX

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Oh, by the way...Janna...honey...there's a sock on the floor you missed.

 

Yah, I know - I found it when I was folding the clothes and there was a missing sock. When I stooped to get it, I bumped into the bed again and darn it all if the whole bed didn't come crashing down! And then, when I went to walk through the doorway of the bedroom to the hallway, I bumped into the door frame and wouldn't you know it? It just caused this whole after affect where my whole entire house came crashing in on me. It's been a rough day.

 

Darn this big belly! :D

 

Oh, and fwiw, we do wear our clothes multiple times. That is what allows me to not have to do laundry everyday!

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I have missed threads like this, I learn so much. My house is laundry h#ll. I wash all the time. Everyone has their own hamper and there are hampers in the bathrooms. Every other day I yell up the stairs and the kids bring their dirty clothes downstairs and empty their gym bags of the wet towels. Everyone uses 2 -3 towel a day, that's right, you heard me. We have had several bouts with MRSA staph here in my house and I can't let go of the "clean towel every time you shower" rule. I have to sort because I have to wash the towels in hot hot hot water with bleach and detergent because of the prior staph outbreaks. I wash sheets once a week, blankets once a week, two loads of towels a day, jeans and colored items get their own wash load because it makes them last longer. It is rare that the washing machine isn't running. Everybody folds. There is always a pile to fold! It is crazy and now I am depressed.;)

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