Wash It, Dry It, Fold It, & Put It Away
I have an issue with laundry.
Actually, I hate laundry.
I honestly don’t know why. My mother LOVES laundry – doing it relaxes her – so you’d think over the 18 years I spent living with her, her vibes would have rubbed off on me. But, apparently not. If there could be one chore that I could make go away forever, it would be laundry. I don’t even want to discuss matching socks. Before I disciplined myself, I’d let the socks pile up until I just couldn’t take it anymore, then pay Kaylee 5 cents per pair or something like that to match them for me.
Gregg, who knows me and loves me anyway, has even gathered undone laundry and taken it to a pay-by-the-pound laundry place to have it done for me when he knows I’m getting overwhelmed.
It’s a bit ridiculous, if you ask my analytical side. It’s a chore. Chores simply have to be done. We wear clothes, so we must wash clothes. We want a neat, clean, organized environment, so we fold laundry and put it away.
The way I battle this absurd distaste of this chore is to strictly schedule my laundry. Certain days have certain clothes that get washed. Period. No putting it off. I do not allow myself to lax in that area or it will pile up and be out of hand. While I may skip a day with housework, I know full well that I’ll make it up the next day. With laundry — not so much. It may be a full week before I get to that specific laundry need again.
My system works for our household, too. All three children have these utility bags.
They’re incredibly spacious, made from heavy canvass. In the morning, dirty clothes come down in them.
In the afternoon, they’re full of clean clothes that get taken up to bedrooms and put away.
Their clothes must get put away every day.
I help the boys do their clothes, only because they’re 3 and 5. But, over time, they’ll put away their own clothes and fill their totes with dirty clothes without my help.
As I fold, I put away the towels, sheets, and Gregg’s and my clothes.
Recently, our weather finally changed to cold. We’d had a couple of cold spells in late September – teasers, really – but then the weather would go back to 80-90 degrees. It allowed me to procrastinate rotating out warm weather clothes for cold weather clothes. But, finally, I couldn’t put it off any longer.
It took me an entire day to sort through the hand-me-down clothes for the boys. We are blessed beyond blessed with friends and family who give our boys clothes – so much so that we don’t really have to buy them any. I had about eight boxes and bags to sort, and filled another eight or ten boxes and bags with hand-me-downs to go to a little boy in our church. I was doing this on a Thursday, which happens to be a heavy laundry day for me.
Because I was drowning under a sea of the hand-me-down clothes already, all I did was throw clothes into the washer, into the dryer, and into the basket.
I finished the seasonal change-over in the late afternoon. On Friday morning, I had several unexpected errands to run in the city and didn’t get home until late afternoon. Saturday was busy for whatever reason. By Monday, I woke up to six loads of laundry that had not been folded, and another scheduled heavy laundry day.
I was incredibly annoyed at myself. Not only did I have six loads of laundry to fold, I now had to iron several things I otherwise wouldn’t have had to iron. Many things, especially the clothes labeled “wrinkle-free” will look just fine if they’re hanged up immediately upon removal from a hot dryer. But, if they’re pressed down under three other loads of laundry and allowed to cool in that crumpled state, they’re going to be too wrinkled to ignore.
It could not be ignored. Doing so would only cause laundry to start piling up around me – and that is, historically, disastrous. So, I lost my Monday morning to folding and ironing laundry.
Thus reinforcing my steadfast own rule: Wash it. Dry it. Fold it. Put it away. Without exception and without putting it off. It is the only way to efficiently and effectively do laundry in a household this size.
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Oh, I think you just heard a loud groan all the way from Germany, Hallee. I, too, don’t like the chore of laundry. I’ve yet to find a routine that works, so we typically dig through laundry baskets to find favorite shirts or that one pair of blue jeans that fit right…
I am consistent on getting it all washed though. So I guess clean clothes are one step up from piles of dirty laundry… Right?! :)
Why is laundry so difficult?
I have a schedule, too. Doing a little bit every day does not work for me. It gets too overwhelming. I start it Thursday night and finish it on Friday. Now that the weather has turned cold I have even more laundry to do. Erin likes to procrastinate in putting it away but I don’t because then it’s all wrinkled and/or creased from being folded.
I am another who dreads laundry. And it keeps coming EVERY day! LOL I have a sorter hamper and everything goes into the right spot as soon as it comes off. Easy. As soon as one gets full (without shoving it down tight and putting in more :)) it gets washed. Then dried. Then put in a basket and put on my bed. Then…um…yeah. Mt. Foldmore is my problem. I put it all on my bed so I have to fold it before I lay down. Throwing the pile on the floor or put back in the basket is so easy.
But for a few weeks now, Mt. Foldmore is no more. Instead of trying to get it done before bed at night, I’m doing it right after my toddler goes down for her afternoon nap. My new rule is that the laundry must be folded before I can nap. It’s been getting done every day. :D I <3 naps.
One thing you can do when your winkle-frees wrinkle will sound like the stupidest thing you’ve ever heard. Just throw them right back in the washing machine and wash them again. Since they aren’t dirty, don’t add detergent, but when they come out dry them and fold them like you intended to do the first time. It happens to all of us.
I think we should start an I HATE LAUNDRY club. :-) I know what you mean about it quickly piling up. It is a major chore to start with and if you don’t get right to it, it becomes a monster chore. We have at least 3 loads a day to do, sometimes more.
I have both sons, my granddaughter, and my daughter-in-law living with us in a two bedroom house. We turned the loft into a bedroom and the sunroom into a bedroom, but we are majorly challenged for room. So piling up laundry is not a good thing.
I feel the same way…..except about dusting and not laundry. Laundry I can do. Dusting makes me want to scream.
I’ll do your laundry if you do my dusting. ;-)
Laundry is my biggest weakness. I can’t keep on top of it, and we don’t have enough drawers or space to put it all. Someday I hope I can get myself to a point where it’s all under control. It’s driving me crazy!!
I dry clean my clothes, just so I don’t have to do laundry. I don’t mind the washing and drying. It is the folding/hanging and putting away that I JUST CANNOT MAKE MYSELF DO. I am very lucky that my mom does all of the kids’ laundry for me during the week while she is at my house for their naptime. Without her, I don’t know how Ben would have clean school uniforms each day.
I like your laundry bags, but my kids clothes are so grimey from sports/school/play that I can’t imagine putting clean clothes back into the same container the dirty came out of. do you wash the bags each time?
The inside is waterproof – I wipe them down if I need to.
Yes, both laundry and dishes are chores that just can’t be put off. They will just pile right up, yikes! I make it a point to fold my laundry directly our of the dryer, I keep hangers above the dryer, and hang or fold as they are coming out of the dryer, then put them right were they go. This is also one of my children’s chores, so now that they are older and can help with this task, it isn’t quite as bad as it was when I had to do it completely by myself. Good luck keeping up w/ your laundry :)
I love those bags you have for your kids! What a great idea :-) Where did you get them, if you don’t mind my asking!
Those are 31 bags.