Thursday, June 2, 2011

Keeping Laundry under Control

Laundry is a topic that I think strikes fear in the heart of every household. There are many blogs out there about the proper way to do laundry, how to save money doing laundry, how to save time doing laundry, etc. If there is a laundry problem out there I’m sure that you will be able to find a solution to it.

The topic of this morning’s post is how my family deals with the mountain of laundry we accumulate every day, let me tell you it is a mountain. This isn’t money saving post because quite frankly this may be a little bit more expensive way to do it but it allows us to keep the laundry monster under control.

Appoint a laundry guardian

In our household my husband is the keeper of the laundry. That means he is responsible for making sure that it is done regularly and appropriately, stains are treated and proper tools are available (detergent, dryer sheets, etc). The laundry guardian is able to appoint a ‘folder of the clothes’, in our family’s case that would be our oldest son.

Note: If you are handing off the laundry responsibilities be prepared for some fall downs. Cashmere sweaters cannot be put in the dryer. The guardian now knows this but there were a few tears shed along the way until that lesson was learned (mainly mine). The downside of bargain shopping for your clothes is that it’s pretty impossible to find another cashmere sweater for $15 until the next year.

Everyone is responsible for getting their own clothes downstairs

Dirties are to be deposited in the laundry room hamper on a daily basis. If your clothes aren’t in the hamper they won’t get washed (exception to this rule is the Mama, the laundry guardian will take care of her dirties if she forgets  ) The guardian get quite cranky when he sees his kingdom piled with dirty clothes when he thinks he’s done, number one rule is Don’t Anger the Guardian!

Stained clothes need to be aside in the ‘spotting area’. My husband is pretty good about checking for stains but the kids have been trained that if you want a stain treated you better put it aside so that it can be taken care of.

Do laundry daily

I’m sure that there is plenty of your thinking this is a crazy way of doing laundry. All I can say is it works for us and if you haven’t tried it you may want to. Waaaaay back when I was in charge of the laundry I would do it once a week. My entire Saturday was spent washing, switching and folding laundry making me a pretty crabby mama. Plus, it never failed that there was something critical that needed to be washed and wasn’t leading to a stressful morning. Every morning my husband puts on a load of laundry and then switches it when he gets home from work. The clothes may sit in the washing machine for a few hours (or overnight if he does a load before he goes to bed) but I’m OK with that and as long as they don’t sit to long you shouldn’t have a problem with smells.

I’m going to let you in on a little secret; we don’t do a lot of sorting. Jeans, t-shirt, towels and uniforms all get washed together if there isn’t enough for two loads. If I have any work clothes that need to be washed he will stick those aside until he can gather together a load of darks or lights. Any items that need to be hand washed I do myself.

The folder of the clothes should also be doing his job daily, however in our house this isn’t always the case. I wish I would have had time to take a picture of our family room (I may try to later today) since it’s piled high with clothes. The oldest child has been given until tonight to get the situation under control or face the exile of his Xbox as punishment

We average about 1-2 loads every day, if we waited and did all this laundry in one day if would be an ‘event’.  This is what works for us.  What about you, do you have any laundry tips you’ve learned over the last few years you would like to share?

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