Laundry Tips – How to win the battle of the laundry wars!
I am proud to say that I have battled the laundry gods and I HAVE WON!!!!
Anyone who has a number of people greater than one living under the same roof AND is responsible for the laundry will understand how BIG this statement is! Now, I understand and fully admit that I totally enable my family by doing all of the laundry – but I do and will continue to do it because I am a total control freak! Having said that, I have battled, for years, on how to control the laundry situation in my house. I was on vacation with my family and some friends about a month ago, and my girlfriend, Jodi, and I were discussing how nice it was to be sitting on lounge chairs in the sun in Mexico and not cooking or cleaning or doing laundry! Then the realization hit that soon we would be home, cooking, cleaning and not only doing laundry – but a weeks worth of laundry…. so we ordered another pina colada and that it made it better for a while, but not permanently!! I digress, so Jodi and I started talking about our laundry routines. I was telling her that I probably do 2 -3 loads of laundry a day and that is when she hit me with a statement that made me decide that I must make a change! She told me “my god, you are a slave to laundry!” Jodi was SO right, I have been a slave to laundry! Whenever my mom comes over she always comments on how the washer and dryer must be tired because they are going all of the time. I decided at that minute that I was going to figure this laundry thing out – I was taking a stand….. I would no longer be a slave to laundry!
So here’s the situation…. I have me, my husband and my three boys. For some reason, with the amount of laundry we create, you would think I had a family of dance team of girls who needed to do constant costume changes. But, I don’t, I have three boys, two of which have after school sports, which usually means about 2 -3 changes per day. Before my laundry enlightenment, I was doing a load of the boys clothes every day. The washing wasn’t really a big deal… the machine did most of the work, but what took me so much time was folding and putting away everyones clothes. I would spend SO much time trying to figure out whose underwear was whose, which pair of black sport pants belonged to which boy and matching up an endless supply of white socks (with always about 3 that didn’t match any of the other socks) – and then sorting it out and putting it away three times over. With my new schedule I have cut my laundry time in more than half.
I am going to let you into my secret laundry world and many of you will probably say….. “seriously, I have been doing laundry like that for years.” In response, I will say to you, “THEN WHY THE HECK DIDN’T YOU TELL ME ABOUT IT??? (maybe you should write a blog!)”
So, it isn’t rocket science, just a little bit of organization. Each boy has their own designated laundry basket. This laundry basket sits in the closet until Sunday and Wednesday nights. All baskets come into the laundry room before bed and I pre-load my oldest son’s, Jake, into the machine and pre-set everything so it is ready to go. I am fortunate to have a machine that has a delay start. I never used this before and now I am obsessed with it. I set the delay to start at 5:00 a.m. so when I wake up, Jake’s laundry is ready to be moved into the dryer and Joey, my middle son’s, load goes into the machine next at 6:15, while Jake’s is drying. At 7:30, Jake’s clothes are folded and his basket is put in his room and Joey’s get moved to the dryer and then Aidan’s get put in the washer. By 8:45, I repeat the process (fold Joey’s and switch Aidan’s to the dryer) and all laundry is done by 9:30! This is then repeated on Thursday morning. Here’s the thing…. the folding of the laundry was the bane of my existence. Three boys…. everything looks the same, and their sizes are so close that it is impossible to tell whose is whose. Now, what goes in for one boy, comes out for the same boy – my folding takes me NO time at all!! The baskets are placed in the boys room for them to put them away. Now, mind you, all of their clothing is black, green, blue or gray…so I don’t really worry about separating the colors AND their socks go in with their other clothing unless I have something brand new that may bleed. Trust me, their white socks don’t stay white for very long regardless and even if they could stay white for longer, they wouldn’t withstand the holes anyway!
Night before laundry day – Place Jake’s clothes in washer and set delay for first thing in the morning
5:00 a.m – washing machine starts
6:15 a.m. – switch Jake’s laundry from washer to dryer, put Joey’s in washer
7:30 a.m. – fold Jake’s laundry, switch Joey’s laundry from washer to dryer, put Aidan’s in washer
8:45 a.m. – fold Joey’s laundry, switch Aidan’s laundry from washer to dryer
9:30 a.m. – fold Aidan’s laundry …. DONE!!!
I have been on this schedule for about a month and it has been working GREAT. I throw my husbands and my laundry in usually on the same days, in the afternoon. I do one load of colors and a load of delicates and then once a week I will do whites.
The only unfortunate thing is that, as great of a process this has been, it still didn’t stop my youngest from walking on the bus with his sport pants on backwards this morning….that will be the next post!
Looking for some more organizational ideas? Check out these posts:
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