Laundry Management Solutions

5:15 pm General

For many, many years one of the biggest chores in my house has been laundry. I’ve tried numerous techniques to keep it under control but it seems that no matter how much time I’ve spent experimenting with techniques and procedures I always wind up with a mountain of laundry that takes up half the bedroom.

Last night, however, I had an idea and for the first time ever I think there might be hope. It all has to do with pre-sorting.

In the past I would just just start on the periphery of the mountain and forge my way through it like I was mining a vein of ore. This always resulted in a huge amount of “final” piles. Just for background each person’s clothes are sorted into piles corresponding to which drawer or shelf they belong in/on. For Annika this results in 7 piles alone. Now including all the people in the house I wind up with about 18 piles. Then I have to take each pile and put them away. This is always very discouraging and takes lots of room requiring me to clean the rest of the room before I can even start on the folding.

For the days and days where all the laundry is in one big mountain, we are all constantly going to it and mining for clothing to wear that day. It doesn’t seem to phase anyone that they spend a large amount of time looking through this great pile.

So my idea is to have a box for each person and one miscellaneous box–six in all. Then I go through the big pile and simply put all of someones clothes in their box. I don’t worry about turning them inside out or matching socks, just quickly go through the pile. When I’m done, I stack the boxes. The stacked boxes take up far less room than the mountain and I can then take a box to each kids room and fold directly into their storage location instead of making precarious piles and then putting them away.

Although this introduces extra work, it seems to make the task so much more manageable and faster that it is worth it. Not only that, if I don’t get all the boxes folded, each kid knows exactly which box to look in for their clothes so finding an outfit takes far less time. Additionally I can get Annika to put her own clothes away and maybe even Erin and I can work on it at the same time.

Standardized Socks
An additional method is to buy everyone the same style socks and of the same size. Erin and I can wear the same sized socks and so can Annika and Thomas. This would eliminate huge amounts of time matching and make life so much easier. Unfortunately, I’m not allowed to implement this. Erin would never wear any socks my feet have been in–she thinks I contaminate them or something. And with Annika and Erin being girls, they cannot live with one style of socks. They have to have socks for Halloween, Christmas, birthdays, and socks in ever color and hue to match a rainbow of outfits. If I had all boys I could probably get away with doing it. Oh well.

So there you have it. My latest idea in helping to manage the colossal task of laundry.

2 Responses

  1. Kathy Says:

    I wonder if everyone has a giant pile of clean laundry that takes up half their bedroom and no one will ever admit it. I know we have more clean laundry in piles than we have dirty. Getting it clean is no worry, but getting it put away is a huge hassle.

    The sock idea is a good one. Shawn and I already share socks, and I’ve started buying the same type over and over again. We still have a lot of older ones that I need to replace, but I’m frugal enough to not want to spend more money on socks when these are still ok.

    One of these days I’m going to toss all the kids socks and buy all the same for them too. The girls and Jake are only one shoe size apart, and I’m so tired of the giant bucket of socks that never get matched.

    Thinking maybe I’ll try out your box idea too. Worth a shot, anyway.

  2. Craig Says:

    Sure glad I stopped by to read these great ideas on laundry management. I guess it’s not just my household that has piles. Right now though, my biggest laundry malady is that the towels seem to have become infected with a smell that won’t go away. My wife’s nose doesn’t detect it, but there are now several towels that can be just out of the dryer and as soon as I touch them to my wet face after a shower, I begin to smell of … well, I have a hard time describing it.

    It’s what I imagine DEATH smells like.

    It seems to be spreading too. The worst part of it is that the stink rubs off. We’ve used various products to eradicate this plague, but nothing has worked. Colleen is not amused by my suggestion that the only solution is a bonfire. I’ve read of enzymatic products that eat away at whatever it is, but haven’t been able to find one in any store.

    On the sock sorting issue: my solution (although only partially implemented in my home) has been a set of small plastic rings with triangular teeth facing inward, I found in a grocery store once. I stuff a pair of socks through a ring before I throw them in the hamper and they stay nice and close all the way to my drawer. I don’t mind the fact that they’re not folded. It’s a little less tidy in the sock drawer, but that’s a small price for never having to pair them up, ever. No more getting caught wearing one blue and one brown sock! Some thick socks don’t fit in a single ring, but the kit includes several double ring units where each sock gets its own ring.

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