Thursday, January 22, 2009

Making Laundry a Little Easier

I am a big fan of Real Simple magazine. The new one – the October issue – came out over the weekend and I read it right away. There was a great section in it on the readers’ greatest organizing tip, which I thought was great! The actual article could not be found on the website, but here is something very similar.

If you have never been to their website, I highly recommend it, because there are tons of great ideas and articles and you might just find something you like or need, even if you weren’t looking for it. The website is here. I could spend all day just reading stuff on that website, but I have to actually get stuff done around here. It is so sad that I have to actually do work! (As the washer runs and the dishwasher is on and the countdown to getting my youngest at preschool is on…)

But for an original tip, I thought I would share what has mostly worked for laundry. I say “mostly”, because the kids are still driving me nuts, but less so now.

For the adults, we have two laundry baskets in our closet. No hampers. At all. Our closet is, thankfully, a walk-in, but this tip would work with almost any-sized closet. Like I said, we have 2 baskets in out closet, one for lights and one for darks. This is the most I could get anyone to sort anything, ever, so it works for us. “Darks” includes our green towels, but if we had lighter towels, they would go in there. Needless to say, that basket fills up a lot quicker. When a basket gets full, I wash it. It is already sorted and in the basket. It could not be easier!

For the kids, they each have a laundry basket (smaller than ours) in their rooms and there is one in the bathroom upstairs (their bathroom). When it gets full OR every Thursday (at least), they are to bring those baskets to the laundry room. I still have to remind them most Thursdays, and sometimes they are overflowing, but there is no excuse for them anymore. The reason we went to the laundry baskets in their rooms was that they were constantly arguing about whose stuff was whose in the laundry. While they still do that a little (and claim the other threw it in their basket, etc.) I can easily say to them, “If it was in your basket, then you do it!” and be done with it. I have also said to them that if there is NOTHING in the bathroom basket but towels, I will do it. That almost never happens, but the ideal situation is that clothes get taken off in their rooms, towels get used and discarded in the bathroom, and there are no towels in their personal laundry and no clothes in the bathroom. Like I said, almost NEVER happens, but that is the theory and what we are striving towards. Maybe by the time they leave the house at age 18, that will happen!

Laundry still sucks and it is never-ending, but with a simple system in place, it is a little better than it could be.

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