Tuesday, January 28, 2014

How we do: Laundry

Do you ever wonder how other people do things?  Yeah, me too.  Whether we're looking for ways to improve the way we do our own things, or we're just curious, inquiring minds want to know.  Lora Lynn over at Vitafamilia shared on her blog how her family of 9 does laundry, and invited her readers to do the same.

Maybe you don't care, but I felt inspired to share with y'all how I do laundry.  If you're curious, or looking for ideas that may save you some time, read on.  If not, feel free to click the x on this blog post.  And please share how you do laundry in the comments (or if you blog about it, leave the link in the comments).

Still here?  OK, here's how we do laundry.  First of all, let me define "we".  We consists of 3 boys, aged 13, 10, and 6, a husband/daddy and me. 

The oldest does his own laundry whenever he feels he needs to.  Which often means he's wearing the same underwear for 3 days in a row.  Not OK, but I'm not buying more, 'cause then he'll just have longer before he does the 3 days in a row thing. 

The oldest kid, this is, not the oldest person in the household.  Sheesh.

For the rest of the family, laundry day is Monday.  I sometimes start with a few loads on Sunday, and often it carries over to Tuesday, but I learned long ago that I am much more likely to get everything washed, dried, and put away if it's just once a week instead of every.darn.day.

Everybody has 2 nested laundry baskets in their closet into which they deposit their dirty clothes.  And, for the most part, that's where the dirty clothes end up.  Yay for training them early!  Hubby and I actually have 2 sets of nested baskets in our closet--one for dark clothes and one for clothes-that-will-be-bleached.  No one else really has room for 2 sets of baskets in their closets, so I sort out anything white as I'm adding clothes to the washer.

On Monday morning, the boys carry their full baskets to the laundry room, leaving an empty basket in their closet to catch the dirty clothes just in case it takes several days to get the basket back.  So glad I figured that one out.  We used to have huge piles growing on closet floors while the baskets were otherwise occupied.  And then no one would seem to realize that they needed to pick up that big old pile of dirty clothes and put it in the basket when the basket became available, so the piles would keep growing while baskets sat empty.

I wash everyone's laundry separately (except whites) so that when it comes out of the dryer, I know to whom it belongs.  No sorting!  The whites I do all together, but everyone has a different style of underwear and socks so it's easy to tell them apart.  I usually have 1-2 loads of towels and sheets to do as well.  Usually we end up with 6-7 loads altogether, although my record is 13 loads in one day.  I just keep cycling the loads through all day long.

At least it's clean!
As the laundry comes out of the dryer, it's placed back into the laundry baskets (which I sometimes remember to spray down with Lysol while they're empty) to await folding.  But the thing about folding is, I need to be watching TV in order to do it.  And there's nothing good on TV.  So sometimes the baskets sit for a while...um...a week?  At least it's clean, right?

I fold the pants and put them neatly into stacks, stack the underwear, fold the socks, put the shirts on hangers, and put everything neatly back into the baskets.  Then I tell the boys to take their baskets to their rooms and put their clothes away, which they do, although not so neatly.  Each of the boys has a dresser in his closet for pants, socks and undies, and a bar for hanging clothes.  It sometimes takes a week or so for everything to be put away (actually AKD usually doesn't put anything away--just uses clothes from the basket), but at least I've done my part.  As long as each member of the family has something clean to wear, regardless of the magnitude of its wrinkliness, I've done my job.  Right?  Right.

Oh, and a note on orphaned socks.  Seems like there are unmatched socks left over after every laundry day.  I used to send the sock back to its assigned dresser, figuring maybe its mate would show up there.  What actually happened was these unmatched socks were never heard from again, and in the meantime, each new load would turn up new orphaned socks until there were no pairs left.  Now I have a small basket in the laundry room to hold these socks.  At the end of the folding process, I go through the basket to see if there are any matches, and usually there are a few pairs that get reunited.  It's kind of like a dating service for socks.

So that's how we do laundry.  Hop on over to Vitafamilia to find out how Lora's family does laundry.

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