Even with all the love, it still gets overwhelming sometimes. I've tried many methods to the madness.
Method One: I've tried doing all the laundry in one day. -- spent all day in the laundry room.
Method Two: I've tried doing one load of laundry per day. -- spent every day in the laundry room.
Method Three: Everyone gets their own laundry day. -- uh, that was too much to keep up with.
Method Four: This is my current laundry method. It's not terribly, handsomely organized. I don't have color-coded bins or name-plated laundry baskets for each person of my family. Just a tried and true method that has worked for me for a very long time. I like to call this method, diligence!
My kids have school uniforms, and specific uniforms must be worn on specific days. My husband and I work outside the home, so we have our "work" attire, and our "home" attire. Our kids get home, change clothes, then change again before bed. Same with my husband and I. We change into "home" clothes, then change into our jammies before bed.
Let's do the math: For four people, wearing three outfits a day five days a week - that's 60 outfits per week right there. Then add in four sets of jammies - that's 64. Add in eight weekend outfits (at least) and we're at 72 outfits per week for our family. Factor in towels (2 separate loads - one colored, one white), kitchen dishtowels and pot holders, any rugs that need a good cleaning, bedding, etc and that's a whole lotta wash day!
I don't buy clothes that have to be dry cleaned. I hate the chemicals used, so I make sure everything I have is washable. It takes a little more time to search for these clothing items, but for me, it's worth it.
My washer/dryer set is super-sized; large enough to wash and dry a king sized comforter! It's High Efficiency, so I know I'm not wasting water and time. Bonus.
My method and rules are simple. Here they are:
1) Each child has a laundry basket in their room. All dirty clothes belong in the basket.
2) The kids' bathroom has a small basket for their towels. All dirty towels belong in the basket.
3) We have two - 3 sorter hampers in our bedroom closet. One section each for white towels, darks, lights, whites and jeans. That leaves one empty, I know...but sometimes we have overflow of colored towels and they go there.
Rule #1: Inform Before I start the laundry, I inform my family, "Today is laundry day. Be sure all your dirty clothes are in your basket." That's it. That's all they get. No nagging, no fussing, no grumping. Just one, single reminder.
Rule #2: Sort After all laundry is picked up and put in the laundry basket, said basket is brought to my room for sorting in the big hamper.
Rule #3: Prioritize I wash the most important load for the week, first. Sometimes it's the kids' uniforms. Sometimes it's all my husband's dress pants and shirts. Sometimes it's our bath towels. Whatever is the most important...that's the first one to get washed. After that, I go with the next important load, then the next, then the next.
Rule #4: Do it once This is the most important rule of all for me: If it's not in the laundry basket, it doesn't get washed! I'm a bit of a laundry dictator. But it's a big job, and I don't want to spend all day reminding people of their part.
What happens if someone "forgets" to put dirty laundry in the basket, or bring it to the sorting station? Well, I might be a big-blue-meanie, but that laundry doesn't get washed until next time. This rule took me a while to enforce. At one point, my daughter wore dirty school uniforms for two weeks straight because she kept "forgetting" to pick up her clothes. Once she realized mom meant what she said... she started following procedure. Harsh? Maybe, but a 12 year old sixth grader should be able to follow instructions to a) pick up laundry and b) bring it to the sorting station. I do all the rest.
I keep my laundry room tidy, too. Every week I pick up the clutter that lands there, wipe down my machines, organize my cabinets and shelves and vacuum my floor and baseboards. This is a very small room. There's no room for clutter or it quickly turns to chaos.
Here are the pictures of my happy laundry space...
Not terribly large, but big enough to get the job done!
My cleaning cabinet: Shaklee cleaning products up top, Shaklee laundry products below.
My little black table transformed into an ironing station...
I'm a simple girl; I don't need much.
The products I use? Shaklee, of course. I use Fresh Laundry regular scent. I use 1 oz per wash load. 1 oz. Most detergents use 1/2 - 3/4 cup of detergent. I love the scent and my close are extremely clean!
I also use Soft Fabric concentrated fabric softener. It only takes 1/2 oz for the whole wash load. I no longer worry about skin rashes or allergic reactions. My clothes are soft and static free. I love these products. I won't go back to conventional detergents and softeners... These products ROCK!
So it's laundry day again... I better get started.
Today I wash, dry and fold...
Only By His Grace,
What is your laundry routine? What are your laundry rules? What method works best for you?
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