Do you feel like THIS about laundry??
It seems like there's always ONE thing in our homemaking adventure that puts us over the top. For some of you, it's laundry. So, Heidi and Mrs. P, this POST is for you.
Some principles to keep in mind.
1. It's only stuff--clothing, underwear, towels, etc. They aren't alive and going to eat you if you do it wrong. If you completely kill a shirt or towel, it's O.K. As far as I know, they're still making 'em.
2. Nobody ever died from wearing a wrinkled shirt--that I know of atleast. So, the biggest crimes in the world do not revolve around retrieving the dryer the second it buzzes.
3. Nobody ever lost friends over wearing socks that didn't match or the same outfit two days in a row. O.K. maybe somebody lost friends that way, but I haven't. My mother, for example, wears the same outfit every day until we hide it from her. Our running joke with her is: is that your uniform? And she has a ton of friends, a fanclub, in fact. Would you like to join?
4. Employ a laundry therapist.
Speaking of my Mom, here she is, the laundry therapist. I don't actually hire her, I just talk to her on the phone a lot. I only fold laundry when I'm talking to her on the phone. (I have one of those nifty head sets)... You must have someone you can talk to while you are folding/ putting away.
All of this (principles 1-4) to say: lighten up already!!
1. Assign each child a laundry basket and have them do their laundry on their laundry day. If you are doing laundry for them, just do their laundry that day.
2. Don't mix all the kids' laundry together. Buy enough clothes so each child has enough to go an entire week.
3. Make folding unnecessary for little ones: just buy things that can be shoved into a few drawers. They can do that themselves, already. No sorting before or after, and shove it into the drawer when you're done.
4. As kids get older (around 7?) have them practice folding things and sorting stuff from their own load. No ironing type of clothes--ick.
5. Miscellaneous laundry like: dish cloths, towels, wet things etc. can be washed and dried but just stuffed into a laundry basket.
6. On my laundry day (Thursday), I make my bed and throw any clean laundry on the bed. All of the miscellaneous clean things that I find around the laundry room goes on the bed all day. As I finish loads, I throw everything on the bed.
This is where it gets fun. I have a list of people that I would like to talk to on Thursdays or I just talk to my laundry therapist. On the floor of my room, I make about 8 piles of various categories of unfolded laundry. They are sorted by where they go in the room. When all of the piles are done, I work my way around the room: folding a stack and immediately putting away that stack. It takes about an hour.
Then I am done with laundry for an entire week. My kids have the rest of the week to finish their loads. Since I only have ONE little one, I throw her stuff in with ours (yes, I do Will's laundry!)
For those of you who are doing cloth diapers and have a lot of little ones, I would still try to divide your work load so you are not mixing the kids' stuff together. If you can get by without folding the cloth diapers EVERY day, I would just do it twice a week or an infrequently as you can.
People get uncomfortable with piles of unfolded laundry all over, unless it is part of the PLAN. I am suggesting that this business of folding laundry and putting it away every day is an inefficient use of your time! Clothes are cheap--buy more so you can use your time better.
Think of it as: bulk cooking. Nobody seems to balk at bulk cooking. So, what's wrong with bulk laundry already?
Well, that's the quick and dirty about laundry from the organizing mommy. I haven't mentioned much about ironing yet. Let's just say this. Lately I've been using ironing shirts as a payment for online computer time for my teens.... Oh, the schemes we must invent!
For other great ideas, look at Moms the Word for making your home sing.