Wednesday, August 17, 2011

I had a {laundry} epiphany.

When you have six people in your family, that adds up to a lot of laundry. I have to do at least two load of laundry every single day or my laundry room looks like this:
And believe it or not, that's all CLEAN clothes. You have six people in 3 separate rooms with a total of six dressers and three closets, then divide up according to which drawer...well things can spiral out of hand very quickly. Add in the linens from five beds and the towels of six people. If I think ''Man I don't feel like doing laundry...I'll just do it tomorrow'' things get bad. It all piles up to be put away but I rarely have free time to divide it all up where it needs to go and the result is the above photo. Luckily, I am good about washing clothes...very, very rarely is there a heaping pile of dirty clothes. Usually it's all clean.

But whose with me here? Putting clean clothes away is one of the chores that I detest the most. I hate it. It takes forever. The constant bending down to reach the clothes, and in the back and forth of folding the little stuff, hanging the shirts, sorting the pajamas by which kid, folding the jeans...it's enough that I just avoid doing it. I've tried washing loads of just B and I's clothing, or just the kids. The problem is they go through clothing much faster, our load would take days to build up and by then I have no clean bras. It would take us weeks to get enough items for a load of whites, and by then B wouldn't have any undershirts.

Usually.

But a few weeks ago, I had an epiphany. Now this might not work for your family but I guarantee it will for a large family. Rather than wash our clothes in the traditional loads (whites/darks/colors/etc), I sorted by what the item is. So a load of just pants/bottoms, a load of justs pajamas/undies, a load of just shirts, only towels/bibs, and lastly, bed linens. This way when it comes time to take things out of the dryer, I'm not doing the constant fold, hang, bend...it's one repetitive task. All shirts? Hang them all up and take all of them to closets. All pants? Fold in half and put away. Pajamas? neatly stack and place in kids dressers. I don't get the random piles on top of my machines...I get one pile of one type of clothing for each person.

In addition to being easier to physically hang/put away, now as long as I do one load a day, we don't get to a situation of B telling me ''I have no clean slacks." Whoops...did I forget to do a load of permanent press?---No longer an issue. Like today, I did a load of 'shirts' and a load of 'pajamas'. Now, with the exception of what we are wearing, every single shirt and pajama in this house, is clean AND put away. Tomorrow I'll do pants and towels. Thursday I'll do a load of of shirts and pajamas. Friday it'll be bed linens and pants. It's never more than 3 days before the next load-type cycles back in again, with the exception of towels and linens, which I do once a week. Each load is a good size, not heaping but not so tiny that it's not worth it. {Each day we go through at least 7 shirts, 6 pairs of pants...so two days worth is 14 shirts or 12 pants, which is a regular sized load}.

I'm a genius right?! It never gets out of hand and even if I skip a day, it's easy to get back on track. I will say that having the HE front loading machines help; I don't have to worry about colors bleeding because I wash almost everything in cold water. The machines are gentle on the clothes as well so nothing get's worn out.

The only question left is ....why did it take me this long to figure out!?

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