Laundry thinks it can get the best of us right? It’s never ending, it grows and grows—and it’s everywhere! **Really—the basket is RIGHT THERE!** I hear women all the time dreading laundry. I’ve had mentors who have outsourced laundry to be done because they have better things to do with their time, and THEY. HATE. IT. THAT. MUCH. But for those of us who have to do it ourselves, I have a plan of attack I’d love to share with you!
The 1st time I got married I was 19—what? Yes. Not even 20. I thought I knew everything, but I was just a kid. My Mother-In-Law (ex now I guess) is one of the most organized people you could EVER meet! She’d come to visit and my fridge would be clean and alphabetized, same with the pantry, new décor would be rearranged or added to rooms, we’d shop for clothes and she taught me the value of spending a little more for quality that would last longer. I really learned a lot from her.
But one of the best home tricks she ever taught me was how to manage laundry. From sorting, to stains to a system, I loved how easy she made it seem. She couldn’t and wouldn’t start a load unless she knew she’d be home to pull it out right away when the dryer went off. Brilliant! I clearly remember being out and she’d be calling home to see who might be there to pull out the laundry! Now, with a young toddler boy who’s into EVERYTHING…and I clearly can’t take my eyes off for 2 minutes (See other posts on this…) I can’t always be there right when it goes off. But when I CAN—I’m there! Armed and ready to attack! (Also, when I can’t, I’m thankful I have this awesome steam, fluff setting!!)
Step 1 in my stealth attack on laundry is that Monday is laundry day. And I’m pretty strict about it. I refuse to spend my weekends when everyone is home together doing laundry (plus I work many weekends). So I do it on Monday. I start a load in the morning and I know I can run to work for a bit, but I need to hurry back to grab and sort all of those adorable little boy outfits, my husband’s work and workout clothes (because those are the only 2 categories of clothes he has), my daughters school uniforms and 20 other outfits she somehow wore over 5 days….. and the socks. With my family of 4, we have enough—I know many households do much more- but by doing it once a week all in a row, it saves me time and frustration. Plus, I have nowhere to let it just sit for days before it’s folded and sorted which is what would happen if I did it throughout the week.
Step 2 is how I manage it in piles. As I pull pieces out, I sort by who it goes to. I keep Large Utility Totes nearby so my daughter’s all go in one, my son’s go in one and our clothes go in another, still sorted by spouse. It makes delivering it for the Teen to put away HERSELF (there is no maid here!) easy (and then I know what’s clean, because it’s not all mixed up on the floor!) Also, we don’t fold underwear. I remember my mom folding all of our underwear in thirds. Who has TIME for that?! (She always watched TV while she sorted so I’m thinking this got her more screen time…and she likes a neat drawer…) But we put everything in Your Way Cubes. Kelly has one for boxers, I have one for “delicates”, Colt even has one for his big boy underwear, and Kai’s all go in their own drawer. But it saves me on folding- Grab. Toss. Done. Sorry Mom.
Step 3 in my stealth like attack, is putting it away right away. If it comes out of the dryer, gets folded and doesn’t go directly (or close to directly) upstairs, it runs the risk of not being put away. Now, see paragraph 3 with the toddler boy…. During this phase, I may have to take it all upstairs as it comes out and then during nap, put on HGTV in the background and put it all away- this also makes sorting socks a little more tolerable! Did I already mention socks? I mean really- SOCKS. They are like the sniper of the enemy- hiding out to take me down when I least expect it! They are either lost, mismatched or torn. Ugh. Anyway, when I lose patience, I toss them in their cubes unpaired, and move on! HAHA! Take that!
I recently started working a few hours on Monday morning but I can do NO MORE, sorry. I work on weekends, and Friday is MANDY DAY! I’ve had to adjust a tad, but I can’t lose control here. My homemaking skills leave much to be desired, but Laundry—I’m the General of laundry!!