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Streamlining: New and Better Ways of Doing Things


stripe
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@regentrude seems to have brilliant ideas that challenge typical ways many Americans, at least, conduct their lives, to make a simple, more streamlined system for herself and her family. She has suggested cold dinners of sandwiches and storing all clothes in the closet, without a dresser.

I think there are more ideas out there that we can benefit from, of how to make life more streamlined, but they just may not occur to us.

I’d love to discuss them here! 

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1 hour ago, stripe said:

@regentrude seems to have brilliant ideas that challenge typical ways many Americans, at least, conduct their lives, to make a simple, more streamlined system for herself and her family. She has suggested cold dinners of sandwiches and storing all clothes in the closet, without a dresser.

I think there are more ideas out there that we can benefit from, of how to make life more streamlined, but they just may not occur to us.

I’d love to discuss them here! 

I like the closet idea! Also, sandwich night is a frequent dinner choice around here

We already store most clothes in the laundry area. It seemed senseless to traipse around the house with dirty clothes/clean clothes/dirty clothes...etc.

Most of what is stored in bedrooms are little things (underwear, socks, bras) and out-of-season stuff, which then naturally changes as the season changes. So by late fall, people will take their stacks of shorts and T-s out of the laundry area and put them in their rooms until they start wearing them when it gets warm again.

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I work to keep things organized. A place for everything and everything in its place. Car keys, clothes, work material, etc. all has a spot where it lives. 

Know your weakness. I have a weakness for paper- notebooks and planners - and pens. I have streamlined my pens into 2-3 best options and buy only those. Paper has its own spot. 

Buy less and the best quality you can afford. Still working on this myself.

Recognize the phase of your life. As a person over 50 with no kids at home, my phase is different, although transitional at this point for a variety of reasons. 

Be brutal with incoming mail and any paper. Go through it the same day it arrives, recycle the junk, open the envelopes, go paperless when possible. 

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Posted (edited)

We are clothes in closet people as well.  

Kids don’t use top sheets - they prefer making beds without, so we just wash blankets and comforters weekly. One of my mothers would just die if she knew.  

Breakfast and lunch are self serve, and we keep a selection of choices on hand. Breakfast is not always or often traditional breakfast food.

Easiest dinners here, during school, are made in the crockpot. Cold dinners are great, too.

Grocery delivery is my favorite way to food shop, and was in the Before Times as well. 

Pharmacy delivery.  No more trips to the drive through pharmacy.

I used to say that entertaining a lot was my key to keeping a clean, tidy house - we had to do frequent pick ups and tidies.  Now we just schedule it in every few days.

Looking forward to more ideas.

 

Edited by Spryte
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Just now, Kassia said:

@SpryteI'm interested in starting grocery/pharmacy delivery for my MIL and maybe dd in college and was wondering about tips.  Do you tip a percentage or a flat amount?  

 

We do a percentage.  When my mom lived in an apartment I sent a weekly delivery - it was pretty easy to send her groceries!  It’s a great idea for your MIL and DD.  

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I think there must be a critical age in which one trains offspring to accept meals of sandwiches. No one told me this, and I think I missed it. 

They quite like expensive sandwiches not of my making (Jersey Mikes, cheesesteaks, etc) but they won't touch a PB&J, not even the fancy ones in the freezer section. 😉

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16 minutes ago, alisoncooks said:

I think there must be a critical age in which one trains offspring to accept meals of sandwiches. No one told me this, and I think I missed it. 

They quite like expensive sandwiches not of my making (Jersey Mikes, cheesesteaks, etc) but they won't touch a PB&J, not even the fancy ones in the freezer section. 😉

Buy a panini grill. Put DIY sandwich in it. Warm and squash it. Now it is a fancy sandwich. Yes, I know it is just another counter top appliance to store and clean, but this one is worth it here. I have the Cuisinart Griddler - and it can squash and warm any sandwich (disclaimer - I've never tried PB&J), great for pancakes and waffles, and can grill a steak or hamburgers (but I prefer the outdoor grill for those). Second tip - add weird things to sandwiches. Add bacon and dill pickle slices to your grilled cheese - Gourmet grilled cheese. 

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2 minutes ago, Bambam said:

Buy a panini grill. Put DIY sandwich in it. Warm and squash it. Now it is a fancy sandwich. Yes, I know it is just another counter top appliance to store and clean, but this one is worth it here. I have the Cuisinart Griddler - and it can squash and warm any sandwich (disclaimer - I've never tried PB&J), great for pancakes and waffles, and can grill a steak or hamburgers (but I prefer the outdoor grill for those). Second tip - add weird things to sandwiches. Add bacon and dill pickle slices to your grilled cheese - Gourmet grilled cheese. 

Grilled PB and J is amazing. 

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Ears open! I am working towards the no dresser thing. Once I am done with the conversion in the closet, my dresser will be no more. It is an antique with a beautiful marble top. Dd needs a marble slab for her candy business (turning out fudge on marble works really well). The dresser is going to be repurposed into a plant/potting center for the garden. My goal is for all of us to be out of dressers and that furniture all sold or repurposed.

More ideas!!! Bring them on!

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I do have all of our clothes in our closet, however I put in Brimnes dressers with Kallax and took out some of the hanging rods. I tried hanging everything and didn't like it. This has a much cleaner look. It doesn't hurt that we dress casually 90% of the time. 

Making food when I'm not hungry and then storing it so the kids can eat dinner without us. Dh and I just aren't all that hungry in the evenings anymore. This way they are eating a good meal as leftovers. 

My kids have all done their laundry since they can reach the detergent cup. 

Right now I'm making a course catalog that my kids can choose courses from. It's a lot of work upfront, but they struggle coming up with course ideas. I can't say it'll work for sure. I used to love thumbing through the college course catalogs though. 

 

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We haven't had dressers in bedrooms for 15 years.  Our laundry room is a family closet.  We put 6-foot-long shelves from floor to ceiling along the wall across from the washer and dryer.  Each family member has their own shelf, with two fabric bins at one end for socks and underwear.  Everyone has their own neat piles of jammies, pants, shirts, sweaters/hoodies, and it's easy to see what you're looking for.  Plastic tubs under the shelves hold sheets and blankets.  Next to the dryer is a folding table with a 3-compartment laundry sorter/hamper (lights, darks, delicates), and next to that is a bar for hanging clothes, with a shelf above it for more bin storage.  I love that I can wash, dry, fold, and not have to tote piles of laundry all over the house, and there is nothing hanging out of dresser drawers stuffed so full they won't close.

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My kids and dh don’t match socks. I buy each of them their favored style of socks, all one color, and they just throw them in a drawer and grab two in the morning: I like to have several different styles/colors of socks, so I match mine, but I try to have mainly two or three styles and either white or black.

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5 hours ago, alisoncooks said:

I think there must be a critical age in which one trains offspring to accept meals of sandwiches. No one told me this, and I think I missed it. 

They quite like expensive sandwiches not of my making (Jersey Mikes, cheesesteaks, etc) but they won't touch a PB&J, not even the fancy ones in the freezer section. 😉

I don't eat sandwiches and thus never make them for my family.  As a result my kids think sandwiches are a TREAT and the thrilled any time that is offered.  However, they do have to be of the meat/cheese/veggie/egg varieties.  Only my youngest will eat PB&J and that is only with certain kinds of jelly (strawberry, raspberry, and peach mango are the current preferred choices)

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Meal planning (with some weekly meals on certain days) simplifies what to eat decisions.  Plus everyone can read it eliminating the need to ask mom.

Always clean up right after a meal.

Kids have dedicated cleaning areas.

Be picky about what items comes into the house. 

Reduce the amount of stuff in the house.

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My case against individual family members doing their own laundry - No one in my household wears enough jeans, undergarments, t-shirts, or uses enough towels to fill separate loads and avoid damaging their clothes.  Together, we create enough laundry to have a dedicated load of something or other at least once a day.  Doing that every morning on autopilot keeps all our stuff in manageable rotation and prevents rubbing denim against delicates! (Except when my dd doesn’t want me to realize she’s been hoarding dirty laundry and I find a load of all her mixed stuff in the dryer, snagging, pilling, and twisting up all her favorite things. 😕 )

We don’t have any space that would work as a sort of family closet if we wanted that, but each individual *is responsible for putting their own clothes away.  We will probably have to tweak the system when we move. The size and layout of our current house make it difficult for anyone to complain or procrastinate. The actual washer and dryer are closer to the kids’ beds than most people’s bedroom closets are, lol.

 

One that I thought everyone aimed for - Empty the dishwasher first thing in the morning.  Put all dirty dishes in the dishwasher through the day.  Run the dishwasher every night. Ta da!  Almost all dishes done with zero effort each day.
My kids, who rotate dish nights, haven’t entirely grasped this yet. They still procrastinate on unloading and don’t connect that to spending more time dealing with gross sink dishes at night. I don’t get it.

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Posted (edited)
29 minutes ago, Carrie12345 said:

 

My case against individual family members doing their own laundry - No one in my household wears enough jeans, undergarments, t-shirts, or uses enough towels to fill separate loads and avoid damaging their clothes.  Together, we create enough laundry to have a dedicated load of something or other at least once a day.  Doing that every morning on autopilot keeps all our stuff in manageable rotation and prevents rubbing denim against delicates! (Except when my dd doesn’t want me to realize she’s been hoarding dirty laundry and I find a load of all her mixed stuff in the dryer, snagging, pilling, and twisting up all her favorite things. 😕 )

 

Ditto. Everyone-does-their-own-laundry has never made any sense to me as a time saving or energy saving thing. It just doesn't compute. To me it makes about as much sense as having each person run the dishwasher (or fill the sink) to wash just their own plate and utensils after a family meal. The only way I can figure out that it makes any sense is for families where everyone has a ton of clothes. We prefer to keep our clothing to a minimum, and we prefer to make sure what we have lasts because all but one of us hates to shop (and that one isn't me!). And I'll never be convinced that washing t-shirts or sheets with heavier items like jeans is a good way to make things last.

Edited by Pawz4me
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39 minutes ago, Carrie12345 said:

 

My case against individual family members doing their own laundry - No one in my household wears enough jeans, undergarments, t-shirts, or uses enough towels to fill separate loads and avoid damaging their clothes.  

 

10 minutes ago, Pawz4me said:

And I'll never be convinced that washing t-shirts or sheets with heavier items like jeans is a good way to make things last.

At the risk of sounding very stupid, I never knew this before and I'm 53 years old and have raised four kids!  Thank you for posting this.  I am going to keep it in mind from now on and tell my kids who might not know since I certainly never taught them.

 

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14 hours ago, Bambam said:

Buy a panini grill. Put DIY sandwich in it. Warm and squash it. Now it is a fancy sandwich. Yes, I know it is just another counter top appliance to store and clean, but this one is worth it here. I have the Cuisinart Griddler - and it can squash and warm any sandwich (disclaimer - I've never tried PB&J), great for pancakes and waffles, and can grill a steak or hamburgers (but I prefer the outdoor grill for those). Second tip - add weird things to sandwiches. Add bacon and dill pickle slices to your grilled cheese - Gourmet grilled cheese. 

I heat sandwiches in the oven open-faced and on a grill type pan that has holes. This made all the difference in my kids liking sandwiches. Specialty breads from the deli section, which aren't always expensive, make a big difference, too. 

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1 hour ago, deBij said:

Meal planning (with some weekly meals on certain days) simplifies what to eat decisions.  Plus everyone can read it eliminating the need to ask mom.

 

Yep.  We sorted our meals into 4 binders: poultry, pork, beef/lamb, vegetarian.  Each week I pull one from each binder, grocery shop with those in hand, and then leave them on the book holder on the counter.  Lunches, snacks, and breakfasts are either leftovers or static: oatmeal, yoghurt, fruit, cereal..  And I only plan four meals because the other three will be leftovers or quick, like hot dogs or pasta.

 

Not meals, but-
Water bottles are kept in a crate next to the sink.  Easy to fill and head out the door. 

There are always snacks in my glove compartment.  It's an easy way to avoid the drive through if I can toss a bag of nuts or granola bites in the back seat.

There's always a box in my trunk.  It carries a first aid kit, pen, trash bags, wipes, road vest, emergency fiction book, toilet paper, flip flops, screwdriver, and a thin towel. They are all things that end up coming in handy.  My old car had cubbies EVERYWHERE and they were well used. 

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42 minutes ago, Pawz4me said:

And I'll never be convinced that washing t-shirts or sheets with heavier items like jeans is a good way to make things last.

Sigh... I wouldn't mind some T shirts to stop lasting. I wash shirts and jeans together and still have 15 y/o cheap K-mart T-shirts that still keep shape.

I find the culprit in deteriorating clothes is the *dryer* ( all that lint is fibers from your clothes). I line dry and clothes last forever.

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Question for those who store clothes in the laundry space: how does that work? Do all family members go there to select their clothes, carry them to their bathroom to dress after showering? Do folks wander naked through the house? Do you have mirrors there for dressing up? 

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@stripe I am honored to have inspired a thread. Really, it's just different cultures having different ways of doing things.

Back home, folks have way less space and thus way less stuff. I find the biggest streamlining tool is to have less stuff and to keep everything in its designated place.

When we travel/hike/do outings,  everything gets unpacked and put away right upon return. All items ( clothes, maps, trash, bottles) are taken out of the car after every drive, except those that are designated to stay in the car (1st aid, spare glasses, atlas etc)

We have storage shelves in the basement with open banana boxes that slide right in to store camping and climbing gear (that's one area where "less stuff" is still lots of stuff, lol)

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44 minutes ago, regentrude said:

Sigh... I wouldn't mind some T shirts to stop lasting. I wash shirts and jeans together and still have 15 y/o cheap K-mart T-shirts that still keep shape.

I find the culprit in deteriorating clothes is the *dryer* ( all that lint is fibers from your clothes). I line dry and clothes last forever.

I dry DH's shirts and they still last forever - he has some really old tops (t-shirts/hoodies) that I wish would get worn enough for him to toss!  I  hang dry most of my clothes.

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Here's my newest attempt to streamline my life: 

I was tired of weekly menu planning, though I have a bunch of tried-and-true recipes. Planning side items or reducing redundancy in carbs -- tired of it. 

Anyway, I sat down with all our favorite recipes and planned out a 10-week menu (dinners, plus Saturday lunches). Suggested sides are included. I was able to balance things, ensure we're not eating the same things 3 weeks in a row. I scheduled weeks to reduce waste (if half a bag of potatoes was in week 7, the remainder was used the next week).

We're on week 8 or 9 now of the first run.  I've made a few tweaks as we've gone through, but it's definitely cut down on my weekly grocery planning time. And if someone whines about a less-than-favorite meal, I can tell them they won't see it again for 10 whole weeks. 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Carrie12345 said:

 

My case against individual family members doing their own laundry - No one in my household wears enough jeans, undergarments, t-shirts, or uses enough towels to fill separate loads and avoid damaging their clothes.  Together, we create enough laundry to have a dedicated load of something or other at least once a day.  Doing that every morning on autopilot keeps all our stuff in manageable rotation and prevents rubbing denim against delicates! (Except when my dd doesn’t want me to realize she’s been hoarding dirty laundry and I find a load of all her mixed stuff in the dryer, snagging, pilling, and twisting up all her favorite things. 😕 )

 

I was talking to someone one day and in the course of the conversation made some off hand comment about doing the kids laundry (my oldest kids were late teens at the time).  She was positively aghast that I was still doing laundry for my adult/teen kids and felt the need to inform me and that they should be doing their own and how her kids were doing there own laundry by 8 years old (and my youngest was close to that age by then) and well you get the idea of the type of person.  She summed it all up by informing me I needed to assign each person there own day of the week and that when each person should do there own laundry.  I stood there absolutely dumbfounded because while clearly she thought she had the answers to all life's problems she also had failed basic arithmetic considering I have EIGHT people in my family.  To this day I never could figure out how she thought having each member do their own laundry on a separate day was going to work when there are more people then days in the week.  It taught me a valuable life lesson.  People with only a couple of kids probably shouldn't be telling large families how to operate because they really have no clue what it takes to coordinate that many people.

 

But yes, I have to run 2-3 loads a day to keep up.  We have no time for anyone to do anything other than a completely full load.  No one is allowed to run some tiny little load of only their stuff that will hog the machines for a couple of hours and back up the process for anyone else.

Edited by cjzimmer1
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1 hour ago, regentrude said:

Question for those who store clothes in the laundry space: how does that work? Do all family members go there to select their clothes, carry them to their bathroom to dress after showering? Do folks wander naked through the house? Do you have mirrors there for dressing up? 

The guys dress anywhere...bathroom, laundry area, their bedrooms

The girls dress in bedrooms

this is just personal choice, not divide by sex deliberately 

No one wanders naked through the house but there are unplanned trips wrapped in towels. Mostly though, we will put clothes back on and go get what we need

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Everyone doing their laundry works for us. 🤷🏻‍♀️

Two of the kids only do one wash once a week. The kids don’t care if their underwear turns blue from their jeans. Unbalanced or low loads haven’t been a problem.

Middle channeled his efficient organizational traits and has exactly 1 week + 1 day of outfits plus some random extras he doesn’t wear. He has sleeping clothes and day clothes and gets dressed every day. He keeps all of his clothes contained in his 5 drawer dresser. His day is Monday. 

My oldest has work clothes and so he does 3 loads once a week on his day off. I do 3 loads of our clothes on Sundays.

 

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2 hours ago, Pawz4me said:

Ditto. Everyone-does-their-own-laundry has never made any sense to me as a time saving or energy saving thing. It just doesn't compute. To me it makes about as much sense as having each person run the dishwasher (or fill the sink) to wash just their own plate and utensils after a family meal. The only way I can figure out that it makes any sense is for families where everyone has a ton of clothes. We prefer to keep our clothing to a minimum, and we prefer to make sure what we have lasts because all but one of us hates to shop (and that one isn't me!). And I'll never be convinced that washing t-shirts or sheets with heavier items like jeans is a good way to make things last.

We haven't noticed a decrease in lifespan -- our kids still grow out of clothes before they get holes, etc.  But having separate loads helps with folding and putting away (And arguments) which is worth it here.

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21 hours ago, pinball said:

I like the closet idea! Also, sandwich night is a frequent dinner choice around here

We already store most clothes in the laundry area. It seemed senseless to traipse around the house with dirty clothes/clean clothes/dirty clothes...etc.

Most of what is stored in bedrooms are little things (underwear, socks, bras) and out-of-season stuff, which then naturally changes as the season changes. So by late fall, people will take their stacks of shorts and T-s out of the laundry area and put them in their rooms until they start wearing them when it gets warm again.

I store my clean undergarments in the bathroom.  I made the switch years ago when we had a combined bathroom/laundry/linen area. It seemed silly to store the sheets in the bathroom  area when I used them in the bedroom and fetch the undergarments from the bedroom when I dressed in the bathroom.

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35 minutes ago, cjzimmer1 said:

I was talking to someone one day and in the course of the conversation made some off hand comment about doing the kids laundry (my oldest kids were late teens at the time).  She was positively aghast that I was still doing laundry for my adult/teen kids and felt the need to inform me and that they should be doing their own and how her kids were doing there own laundry by 8 years old (and my youngest was close to that age by then) and well you get the idea of the type of person.  She summed it all up by informing me I needed to assign each person there own day of the week and that when each person should do there own laundry.  I stood there absolutely dumbfounded because while clearly she thought she had the answers to all life's problems she also had failed basic arithmetic considering I have EIGHT people in my family.  To this day I never could figure out how she thought having each member do their own laundry on a separate day was going to work when there are more people then days in the week.  It taught me a valuable life lesson.  People with only a couple of kids probably shouldn't be telling large families how to operate because they really have no clue what it takes to coordinate that many people.

 

But yes, I have to run 2-3 loads a day to keep up.  We have no time for anyone to do anything other than a completely full load.  No one is allowed to run some tiny little load of only their stuff that will hog the machines for a couple of hours and back up the process for anyone else.

Yeah, I mean, I get that everyone’s circumstances are different. Like, I have zero space for a family closet or for indoor hang drying, and I don’t want bird poop or other wildlife gunk on my clothes. (High wildlife traffic here!). And the weather is different every day. Doesn’t mean those things aren’t great for others!

And my kids (3.5 of them, lol) KNOW HOW to do laundry.  I just don’t need them messing with the system and find it much more convenient to do it myself.  Plus everyone’s schedules change. We already wind up with a ton of dish night swaps that never go smoothly, lol.

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7 minutes ago, Carrie12345 said:

And my kids (3.5 of them, lol) KNOW HOW to do laundry.  I just don’t need them messing with the system and find it much more convenient to do it myself.

I’m that way with the dishwasher. Don’t touch it. Let me put it away and reload. It’s just easier that way. Lol

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2 minutes ago, Plum said:

I’m that way with the dishwasher. Don’t touch it. Let me put it away and reload. It’s just easier that way. Lol

I regret delegating that, and yet I still do. Sigh.  I feel like, with 3 capable kids at home, I “have to” have them do SOME THINGS. If only they had been capable when they were all little and basic chores were actually hard for me to get to, lol.

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Posted (edited)

Another thing about laundry... different types of clothing may require different water temps and/or different detergents/additives. 

I wash towels, dishcloths, washcloths, underwear (not bras) in warm or hot water (hot if there is something nasty in the load) and add borax to those loads.  I dry them on higher heat for a longer time.  Most clothing goes in cold water, little to no borax, and are dried on cooler cycle. Jeans that are muddy from gardening or greasy from fixing the lawn mower get their own load. Etc.

My kids learned how to do laundry and have participated in it since they were young, but for me that didn't necessarily follow that they did their own things. Each went away to college knowing how to read labels and wash their clothes. It still makes sense to me when they are home to have everyone use the hampers in the laundry room. I have a hamper labeled 'special' which includes things I don't want washed by anyone other my daughter or myself - more delicate things that don't go in the dryer (such as bras and some sweaters). When a hamper is full, or when something is needed, anyone can start a load. 

If my kids get married, they and their spouse can figure out their own laundry system. 

 

Edited by marbel
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Posted (edited)

Wow, we’re doing laundry all the time. My kids have plenty of stuff to fit a whole load. I am amazed at how different everyone’s lives are!

I think it’s great to share tips. Different styles and different cultures, and different houses, make a lot of variety. Most Japanese houses have an entry area for storing shoes. Lots of older houses in the US and houses elsewhere in the world have tiny closets or...none at all. I feel massively disorganized all the time so I’m willing to try almost anything!

Edited by stripe
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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, vonfirmath said:

We haven't noticed a decrease in lifespan -- our kids still grow out of clothes before they get holes, etc.  But having separate loads helps with folding and putting away (And arguments) which is worth it here.

Oh I can absolutely see that there are benefits to having each person doing their own laundry, especially in saving time and energy for mom or whoever would be the laundry person otherwise. But I don't think it's a particularly streamlined or efficient way of doing laundry on the whole. Nor have I ever understood the argument that the kids need to know how to do laundry before they go to college, so they should be doing their own when they're still in the single digit age range. Well, sure knowing how to do laundry is something everybody needs to know how to do. And it takes all of about thirty minutes (max) for a teen to learn. It isn't a particularly high level skill. Solely speaking for myself, but -- if it took a kid of mine more time than that to learn the basics of doing laundry I'd doubt they were smart enough/mature enough to go off to college.

 

1 hour ago, Plum said:

I’m that way with the dishwasher. Don’t touch it. Let me put it away and reload. It’s just easier that way. Lol

Just between us, I wish DH would leave the clean dishes alone. But I bite my tongue. Because it is nice he pitches in.

Edited by Pawz4me
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1 minute ago, Pawz4me said:

Oh I can absolutely see that there are benefits to having each person doing their own laundry, especially in saving time and energy for mom or whoever would be the laundry person otherwise. But I don't think it's a particularly streamlined or efficient way of doing laundry on the whole. Nor have I ever understood that argument that the kids need to know how to do laundry before they go to college, so they should be doing their own when they're still in the single digit age. Well, sure knowing how to do laundry is something everybody needs to know how to do. And it takes all of about thirty minutes (max) for a teen to learn. It isn't a particularly high level skill. Solely speaking for myself, but -- if it took a kid of mine more time than that to learn the basics of doing laundry I'd doubt they were smart enough/mature enough to go off to college.

 

Just between us, I wish DH would leave the clean dishes alone. But I bite my tongue. Because it is nice he pitches in.

My 19yo brought laundry home yesterday to do while we celebrated her birthday, lol. (I did toss it in the dryer when she ran out to help a friend for a little bit.). She was confused, because we got a new washer since she’s been gone, but she managed to read the buttons and get it going in no time. Despite growing up with mom doing 98.5% of the laundry. I just assume she’s figured out how to use other washers in the months she’s been gone. 😉 

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17 minutes ago, stripe said:

I feel massively disorganized all the time so I’m willing to try almost anything!

Well this is sort of extreme, but my irl peep with lots of kids had that situation and she put all her boys on a strict *3 pairs of pants* rule. When ds was younger he had lots because he was not dry (sigh) and went through a lot. But now that he's bigger and going into adult sizes soon, I've cut him back on the number of pairs. I don't know if we'll quite get to three, haha, and he's willing to wear sweats and lined pants in the summer. But still, 3X3 types is still less than what I was buying.

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30 minutes ago, stripe said:

Wow, we’re doing laundry all the time. My kids have plenty of stuff to fit a whole load. I am amazed at how different everyone’s lives are!

Another way we streamline: rewear clothing (pants, shirts) before it gets washed.

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19 minutes ago, Carrie12345 said:

My 19yo brought laundry home yesterday to do while we celebrated her birthday, lol. (I did toss it in the dryer when she ran out to help a friend for a little bit.). She was confused, because we got a new washer since she’s been gone, but she managed to read the buttons and get it going in no time. Despite growing up with mom doing 98.5% of the laundry. I just assume she’s figured out how to use other washers in the months she’s been gone. 😉 

Yeah. I spent about 15 minutes explaining laundry to each DS before they went off to college. Neither had any trouble at all, even though the machines in their laundry rooms were obviously different than ours. DS25 did text me a picture before he did his first load, to make sure he wasn't overloading the machine. I mean really -- for kids who can handle computers and various types of software and smart phones and gaming systems operating a washer and dryer should not be a challenge.

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Buy multiples of favorite clothing when they go on sale.

I apply this to trail running shoes, Vikki Vi dresses, and some jeans and tops.  If something is SO PERFECT, I watch for it to go on sale or clearance and buy another one.  This saves me a lot of hunter/gatherer time in stores, which I generally don’t enjoy in the first place.

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8 hours ago, Carol in Cal. said:

One of the strongest streamlining moves is homeschooling.  It saves so much time.

Oh please tell me this again!!

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6 hours ago, Laura Corin said:

Getting a 30-minute-a-day cleaning routine has made a big difference to me.  I didn't get to it until after the children were grown though.

During Pandemic, when we were (are) home all the time, I was able to get the kids into a great routine. They each have a daily cleaning zone in the house. On Saturday morning we all spend an hour deep cleaning. I’m going to keep this up as things open up.

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Where is the running away emoji we used to have here?  I may need it ...

Another streamlining thing here, that I didn’t list above, is cleaning help.  I know we are fortunate to be able to budget it in. With health issues, elder care, and the usual kids and homeschooling ... I needed help.  
 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

I have several baskets in the bedroom/bathroom part of the house so that everybody can sort their laundry as they take it off - most of our everyday clothes can go in darks, lights, or 'wash on hot' (socks and underwear).  I do laundry most days because we usually have sports stuff that needs to be washed and jeans from a 6'4 guy are half of a load on their own.  🙂   I bought everybody a small square laundry basket for clean clothes.  I hang shirts and dresses on hangers that I hook over the end of the bar part of the kitchen counter, and everybody's basket is supposed to be under the counter.  When they see stuff, they take it to their rooms.  Obviously if we have company we get it all put away but for everyday use, it works.  I do the laundry, but anybody in the family can get a full basket and start a load.  If everybody is home I may dump a basket of clean clothes on the couch and tell everybody to come help sort their stuff.  We have enough clothing that everybody could do laundry weekly, but I'm not buying duplicate gis for karate or pairs of baseball practice pants, and coaches don't give you multiple uniforms.  The kids are starting to take some responsibility for asking if they need to start a load so that their gear will be clean for the next day.  

I'm always intrigued by hearing about meal planning since I don't do it often - we have freezers for home-grown veggies and from-the-farmer bulk meat and I just get out something the night before based on how much time I'll have the next day and what i have in the fridge/pantry - a big cut for the crock pot, something for the grill, etc.  If I have slider buns, I could do burgers, breakfast sandwiches, pork burgers, fish sandwiches...I pick based on what we've had recently and then pull out a side that goes with it.  If I'm looking at cabbage in the fridge, then I'll choose something that would go well with slaw.  Some things need specialty items, but most of our food can be made with what I keep on hand plus whatever I picked up that week.  Maybe not having to do a full grocery shopping trip very often is a timesaver, but I'm defrosting the freezers this week before the garden starts coming in, and the week that I have to move frozen food between freezers probably isn't the right time for me to think of this as streamlining.  🙂  

Edited by Clemsondana
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Oh I forgot that I have everyone take their sheets off once a week and I wash them together. They make their beds. I don’t like making our bed, let alone 3 more! I also wash our towels on that day. Didn’t want you to think we never wash our sheets! Lol   

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19 hours ago, alisoncooks said:

I think there must be a critical age in which one trains offspring to accept meals of sandwiches. No one told me this, and I think I missed it. 

They quite like expensive sandwiches not of my making (Jersey Mikes, cheesesteaks, etc) but they won't touch a PB&J, not even the fancy ones in the freezer section. 😉

I may have failed to train my children to accept meals that are NOT sandwiches 😛 . They loooove sandwiches. We have a real problem in this household if we run out of hazelnut butter. 

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, Carrie12345 said:

 

My case against individual family members doing their own laundry - No one in my household wears enough jeans, undergarments, t-shirts, or uses enough towels to fill separate loads and avoid damaging their clothes.  

This is also the case in small families. Dss used to do his own laundry as a teen but he was on the wrestling team and made lots of stinky laundry with practices, matches, and time in the gym working out. He also liked running and would create sweaty laundry from that too. He always had more than enough dirty clothes to wash his own but when I was doing laundry I always asked him if he wanted me to throw in anything of his he needed washed.

With ds though, I've always done all of our laundry together. I did make sure he learned how, and during his teen years I made him take his turn at laundry. He's 23 and lives at home. He washes his own bedding and will sometimes throw in a small load of clothes if he needs something clean (especially his work uniform) and I'm not doing laundry. The towels all get washed whether he does them or I do (and when dh retires at the end of this year he'll take his turn too). It's just a real waste of water and electricity to have each of us do our own laundry just because "you should do your own laundry". Take turns, yes. Do it separately, no.

5 hours ago, Pawz4me said:

 And I'll never be convinced that washing t-shirts or sheets with heavier items like jeans is a good way to make things last.

I didn't know that was a thing people do! I would never wash those items together. My mother's ghost would sit on my shoulder fussing at me if I did. 😄

Edited by Lady Florida.
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