Friday, February 21, 2014

How I Tamed The Laundry Beast


Which part of laundry do you hate the most? 
  • sorting 
  • washing
  • drying
  • sorting (again)
  • folding
  • hanging
  • putting away
     I think most of us would agree the actual washing and drying is the easy part. Sure, we all have our own beliefs about how much of which washing agents to use. Some soften in the washer and some in the dryer. Some of us wash nearly every load in cold water and some use hot and warm water frequently. Most of us agree, though, that laundry is a time-suck of a chore we wish we could avoid completely. I've had discussions throughout my life where I have touted the merits of disposable clothing. Which mother hasn't secretly wished she could just toss those soccer socks in the trash and produce new ones? 

     A few years ago I changed the whole way I do laundry. I declared the laundry chute off limits except for towels. Each of the kids got two hampers. These go in their room. That's ten hampers for the kids! My husband and I share two hampers. Each pair of hampers works simply; one is for light clothes, the other for dark clothes. When a hamper is full, it gets brought to the laundry room and I wash it. I haven't had to sort clothes in years. And it has been life changing, I promise you. Not only do I not have to sit and sort clothes before and after washing them, but I never have to hold up an item and ask "Whose is this?" I don't have a basket full of stuff nobody will claim. Clothes aren't going to the wrong rooms. 

     It's been a sweet, sweet thing. I kick myself for not knowing this would be a better way to do things years sooner. When you know better, you do better.  How do you deal with laundry at your house? Enlighten me further, please. 


  1. I leave it until it's overflowing and then Cassidy does it because he hates clutter. Genius, no?
    I do my own, though. I have since I was 13.

  2. My daughter's 4 but we've started her with helping to put the clothes in the washing machine, pouring in the detergent (both things she loves to do!) and helping put the clothes away (which she is less fond of! lol!)

  3. That's a fantastic idea. My four year old has started bringing his laundry bag (a large Thirty One tote) back when I ask him to. I'm sure as he and his brother get older, it will be much more manageable of a task for them. Thanks for sharing this. Visiting from BYB.

  4. I like this idea! With 5 small people, I've given them each a weekday where they are responsible for washing clothes. If they need clothes before it's their day, they can ask their siblings to wash them or do a load themselves after that day's laundry is done. I wash clothes for hubby and me after the small people have finished their laundry.

  5. Interesting idea about 12 hampers. We would not have room in our house. We actually share one tall hamper for 6 people but do at least 1 load a day sometimes 2-3. My older children have been taught to start the laundry and even the 3 yr. old folds washcloths and bibs.

  6. For us, if we do a daily load of clothes, we prevent Mount Washmore.

    Notice I said "if". Doesn't always happen, then we have to dig our way out.

    Found you via BYB

  7. This is a great idea - but that's SO MANY HAMPERS! Laundry is my nemesis. I don't mind washing. I like hanging it on the line. I HATE putting it away. I'm working at getting the kids to put their own away but I'm having a hard time letting go of 'doing it right'

    1. I know it sounds like a lot of hampers, but two stand-up hampers in a closet should be totally doable. Some of the closets in this house are quite small and the hampers are in there, along with a lot of other things.

      Before I started doing things this way we sent it all down the laundry chute and I sat for many hours of my life on the bathroom floor sorting clothes. Then, when they came out of the dryer I had to sort them again, and guess who owned each sock and t-shirt. For me, it has been totally worth it.

  8. My husband is a lifesaver- he made me a divided cabinet in the laundry with six baskets- one for each family member, one for sheets and towels and one for delicates. It has made my life so much easier! My kids know which basket is theirs and my husband has finally stopped leaving his dirty clothes on the floor.

  9. I LOVE it! So simple, and it makes so much sense!

  10. My children do most of their own laundry, that's how I tamed the beast. ;)
    Starting at age 8, they learn while doing the laundry with me. As soon as they are capable, they take over their own laundry duties.
    I say they do most because my two oldest are 18 and 20. While they are working, I will sometimes do their laundry for them. :)

    Visiting from BYB! Good to meet you!

  11. What an awesome idea. Once my older two hit 13 they begin doing their own laundry. The little two aren't at that point yet. I love this idea Ill have to try it here.

  12. This is a good idea. I'm thinking of doing something similar. Our laundry is out of control at times!