Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Laundry systems

There are so many ways to go about taming the laundry monster, I thought I'd share how we keep laundry under control around here. This is how we've been doing laundry for years with some tweaks here and there.

1. I only wash dirty clothes! That seems like a no brainer, but think about it. How often do you put clothes in the hamper simply because they have been worn? PJ's in the hamper every morning? When I realized how much of our clothes really were not dirty when we were washing them things changed around here. Kids generally wear their clothes for 2 days, maybe more (unless they really are dirty), same with PJ's. This not only saves time, but it saves un-nesessary wear on your clothes.

2. We sort directly into a lights hamper and a darks hamper. This saves sorting time and since the hampers are kept right next to the washer and dryer it is easy to get loads started.
3. Monday, Wednesday, Friday washing. We wash clothes on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday only; unless we really need to on other days. I think this helps me feel like this is not such a never ending job. We do wash rags, towels, sheets, and diapers on other days but those things don't take the same effort that washing clothes do.

4. Help! The kids help with most of the laundry. I start my kids at about 3-4 years old (sometimes even 2) folding rags/towels/napkins as some early training for folding clothes. My older kids all fold and hang the clothes for us. Some have asked to help with the ironing, so we're working on that too.

I'm sure that this system will need more tweaking as our family grows and our needs change, and kids get bigger (and smellier), but for now this is working very well for us.

I'll share some stain fighting tips here soon too.

What works for you?

I'm linking to Organizing Junkie.


  1. We sort directly into whites, colors, towels. I've been encouraging the children to save their PJ's as well. Telling them that once a week is probably more than sufficient for them.

    I really need to get the twins in on folding the washcloths too.

    Ironing? I hadn't even considered teaching the oldest two. But I think I knew how at that age. Thanks for the reminder. I love your blog by the way.


  2. I pop one load in in the morning, switch it to the dryer around lunch time, and then take it out and fold it and put it away that afternoon or evening. One load seems to do it for my family for now. And I agree, clothes, especially pajamas, don't need to be washed after one wear.

  3. We also have exactly the same colour baskets! but we live across the way from the ocean, so the combination of swimming almost daily and the children doing lifesaving as a sport - there is a real danger of things growing in the basket, never mind the sand deposits!

  4. Girl, you nailed it with #1! When the kids were little, their clothes got a work out and there was no way that they could be worn more than once, lol!

    Recently my 22 year old came home from college for a break and we were discussing laundry and I told him that exact same thing.