Thursday, May 31, 2007

Laundry Logistics

Laundry is never ending. With that said it's the one household chore that I thoroughly enjoy. Liking laundry must be genetic, see, my mom enjoys laundry. She even worked at a neighborhood laundromat when I was a young child. I loved working with her; I'd fill the soap machines (oh how I loved playing with those miniature boxes of detergent) and hand out change when people came to the door. This was before the days of change machines. At closing time we'd vacuum, wash down the washers and dryers and my personal favorite...collect all dimes and quarters from the machines. Often the dimes were still warm from the heat of the dryer. Backup another generation to my grandma, she does laundry when she's anxious. I called her the day before grandpa's hip replacement and what was she doing? Laundry. Bed sheets and towels and her and grandpa's winter work coats. Even when all she had was a ringer washer she would do laundry to calm her nerves and with eight kids I'm sure her nerves could use a lot of calming. Lucky for her those eight kids produced plenty of laundry to keep her calm.

I'm sharing my laundry details, not to say look at me, look at how my clean clothes are in the closet and not on the dining room table, but to encourage anyone who is laundry challenged to find a system and stick to it. The rewards are great.

Here's what we do:

AM - The child on dirty laundry pickup collects it from every room in the house and places it in the laundry basket in the laundry room. This is one of the AM chores in the monthly rotation. The assigned child does this every morning for one entire month.

Throughout the day, every single day, I sort and wash clothes. I use this laundry soap which keeps my laundry room smelling pleasant and like a room I want to be in. It only takes a minute to sort out the lights, check for stains, Shout it out, throw in the washer, add soap and start machine. Sometime later I stop back in to transfer clean, wet clothes to the dryer. Typically when I open the dryer there's a dry load to be folded. I do not place these clothes on my dining room table or couch or living room floor. I stand in front of my dryer, pulling out each item and fold it. I place the kids clothes in four piles on top of the dryer. The bathroom towels go in one pile, kitchen towels in a pile, laundry bathroom towels I put away immediately since I'm in that room. My clothes and DH's clothes are folded and placed on top of washer and all socks are put in a pile, unmatched and unfolded. I then take DH and my clothes to our room and hang and put away. I go back for the socks and Ray's clothes. The socks get put in the sock basket (picnic basket with lid) and I put away Ray's clothes. He's only two so I still do it for him. Although I'm sure he would put them away, just not my way. The older three's clothes are left on the dryer. Each and every morning they put away their own clothes after breakfast. The dryer is empty and so I throw in the wet clothes and start it up. Now the socks are still hanging out in the sock basket waiting for the assigned child to fold them and put them away in the morning. This is another of the rotating monthly morning chores. There are three, one for each child; the other is taking care of the animals. The bathroom and kitchen towels are still on top of the washer waiting to be put away by the assigned child during afternoon chores. The afternoon chores also rotate monthly. I'll have to post about those another time. This system saves me from having piles of clean, wrinkled clothes on my table or living room floor. It might sound like I'm in the laundry room all day, but I'm not. I typically do two loads of laundry every day, sometimes only one.