THINK organized.... BE organized!

Queen of the Clothes Mountain

Laundry, the job that never ends… it just goes on and on, my friend.  So today lets tackle that laundry pile! 

I think the first mistake people make when setting up laundry for their family is putting hampers in every childs room.  I think this is a mistake because you never really get a feel for how much laundry there is to do at any one given point.  So how SHOULD you get the laundry set to get washed?  I would purchase a laundry organizer like this and put it in a location that everyone can easily access.  Next label each section with Whites, Dark Colors, Light Colors.  If your children are old enough, they should be required to place their clothes in the appropriate section.  If they don’t bring the laundry out of their room and into the laundry sorter then their clothes will not get washed, and they will have to wear dirty clothes.  Now this may not work for some kids that don’t care if they smell…in that case find some other incentive for them to bring their clothes to the sorter.  If you have younger children, you can just bring the clothes to the sorter for them. 

Now that all the clothes are stored in one location and they are already sorted into loads, it’s time to wash them.  What I would do is one load a day.  So as soon as the whites pile gets pretty full, start with that one.  Wash, dry and fold the load of choice for the day. 

Especially if you have older kids, they can put their own laundry away.  Create bins for each child to take to their room and put away.  Each bin should be a different color and be labeled with the childs name.  You can even make it fun by letting them create their own name plate!  Every once in a while it may be nice to put a piece of candy at the bottom of their clothes in their bin so they get a special treat for when they put it away!  My Mom used to hide little candies in our drawers and stuff so that when we would put things away we would find it.  It was fun! 

So if you keep doing the most full section each day you will stay on top of that laundry pile, and it should never become overwhelming!

Written by

Sarah Kimmel, the Organized Mom Find out more on Sarah's Google Profile.

13 thoughts on “Queen of the Clothes Mountain

  1. I HATE laundry. Of all the jobs for the entire household, laundry is my LEAST favorite. Which compounds the problem, because I put it off till it’s overwhelming, causing me to put it off longer. AUGHHHHH

  2. I’m laughing about the candy idea–on its face it seems fun, but I know my son–he’d be dumping his drawers out looking for more! I keep all the dirty laundry in the laundry room–no hampers anywhere else. Otherwise I’d be running back and forth all day dumping and sorting.

  3. I do a load or two a day.

    On Thursday’s I do all of my husbands work clothes and undies. So, when the weekend comes I don’t have to stress about getting his clothes done for the next week. I hate ironing and I have to iron all of his clothes.

    ~Amy

  4. This really hit home! I currently have sush a small laundry “room” that I have been stashing hampers in every bedroom plus two and a sorter in my husbands wlak-in closet. (His walk-in is now a “climb over”.) Great idea on keeping to one sorter. If only I could get the kids and husband to bring them to the one sorter. They leave them on the floor wherever they take them off! That is why I resorted to multiple hampers. But today I must have at least 5 hampers to wash and sort…and it is daunting! Help!

  5. Hate to disagree, but the system you describe is NOT for everyone. With a large family (11 kids, eight still @ home), we have our share of laundry experience. One of my main goals is to teach laundry self-care to them as soon as they are old enough to reach down into our washing machine. I use a permanent marker to lable the appliance to make it REAL SIMPLE. We stopped sorting by color years ago and the world has not come to an end. I simply wash ALL OF IT in cold water. In fact, I have turned my hot water valve OFF at the wall to prevent colors from fading on a hot cycle. The clothes still come clean in cold water. We sort all clothes by OWNER and assign laundry days to each person. This is great because the whole process, start to finish, can be assigned to the hamper owner.

  6. BAIN OF MY EXISTENCE!!! I have a dear friend who encourages me to do the one a day program and I just get busy somewhere else in my home and forget all about it!!! Best advice I have been given about laundry and all organization is choose a plan and STICK TO IT IT WON’T WORK UNLESS YOU MAKE THE EFFORT. Don’t get bummer out and give up but “pull up your boot straps ” and get back to it!!!

  7. My husband uses these wrinkle free dress shirts for work. They’re called “super shirts” from Stafford (a brand found at JCPennys). You can literally hang them up very wrinkly(if they’re in a pile of clothes for a while they’ll get wrinkles) and they will be wrinkle free by the end of the day.

  8. Pingback: Organize Your Life -by The Organized Mom » Laundry Week!

  9. I really like your laundry sorter. I’m going to see if I can get one this weekend. Thanks for the nice post. I like your blog.

    Debra

  10. Interesting ideas.

    Unfortunately, it doesn’t work for mid-to-large sized families (we have 5 kids).
    The triple laundry sorters are a *real* pain in real life. They take up a huge space. They don’t hold very much laundry before the support bars sag and the joint connectors come apart and the while thing falls to the floor in a heap (BTDT). They are not conducive to being hauled down stairs to the laundry room like smaller hampers are.

    I was laughing out loud at the idea of having a single hamper and doing one load of laundry every day just to keep up.
    With 5 kids and a husband in uniform, I *must* do a minimum of 3 loads of laundry every single day of the week. If I miss a day, then I have to double up. Jeans alone are a load every single day (think – 6 pairs a day = 1 load). Sheets for 6 beds requires multiple loads a week. I do sheets bi-weekly and towels twice a week.
    Larger families would have much more to do – as will I once all of our kids are in their teens and wearing bigger sizes.

    Individual hampers are the only way to go. Then I wash one child’s laundry per day. This usually allows for a load each of whites, darks and colours. Then the laundry is folded, put in a basket and sent to their room to put away. They are responsible for bringing their own hampers to the laundry room when it is full. If it doesn’t come down, it doesn’t get done. No arguments.
    I do keep a separate basket for socks and wash a single full load of socks each week. This keeps the floor grunge (school, etc.) from dirtying the loads of clothes. When they need socks, they find them in the clean sock basket.

    Some days I feel like the queen of laundry!

  11. Hi Julia,
    Thank you for your larger family perspective! I understand where you’re coming from (it’s me Sue, the sister-in-law) we have four kids. :-)
    If you can only fit 6 pairs of jeans in your washing machine then no wonder you have to constantly do laundry! It sounds to me like you could really use a bigger washing machine and possibly dryer too. Try checking places like Craigs List or Sears. They usually have great sales with rebates on top of that. You could even turn around and sell yours on Craigs List to off set the cost. If you do get a new or used washer be sure to look for the largest, extra large, super duper, capacity washer you can afford. The water & energy efficient kind is also must if you’re doing that much laundry per week. It doesn’t need a bunch of bells and whistles to get your laundry clean, but I will say that my favorite feature on our washer is the “Delay” button. My kids put a load of laundry in at night before they go to bed and I set it to start at 7am the next day. After I drop off the kids at school I come home and a load has already been washed!
    On average we only do seven loads of laundry a week. Having a big enough washer/dryer really is a HUGE time, energy and water saver. I highly recommend it! You know what else a huge time saver is? Having your kids do their own laundry. :-) Check out my post “Your kids do their own laundry!?” and the video proof on my site http://www.triedandtruemommy.com It’s true, my eight and five year old sons do their own laundry! Good luck and happy washing!

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