Monday, September 28, 2009

A big pile of......

This is approximately one weeks worth of laundry. Minus a couple of loads that were still in progress.

There are a few things I notice when I do laundry:

#1 There are WAYYYYYYY too many towels. Is there really anything wrong with hanging up your towel and using it a couple of times before you wash it?

#2 I see folded up clothes mixed in with the dirty. This means that certain of my family pulls out multiple sets of clothes when deciding what to wear, and later while cleaning their room, get lazy and just throw them in with the dirty. To me, once they get all mixed in with the dirty, They need to be cleaned. I don't feel that I can compromise on this....

#3 The ratio of underwear to socks is ridiculous!! Shouldn't there be two socks for each pair of underwear? Why are there more like six? ***Exception to this phenomenon: Cameron will change his underwear 3 times a day because he wants to give all his super heroes a turn.....and he eschews socks whenever possible***

#4 I find random clothes every week. Sometimes underwear I don't recognize. This disturbs me.....

#5 My 'system' drives Jason crazy. I'm not sure how he would manage laundry if it were his job, but my way clearly makes no sense to him at all. He used to do a few loads now and then, but it offended me and I yelled at him so he doesn't touch it now. I prefer it this way. You don't mess with my system, man! Now if you actually want to learn and not criticize......

I have a carefully chosen approach to separating laundry into four hampers to avoid the linty, dingy loads that come from mixing laundry. I don't do a load of something until I have enough for a full load. I fit laundry in when I can. Some things have to soak overnight and be double rinsed. Some loads are cold water only. Some loads are hang-dry. My clean clothes are separated from the dirty in a way that apparently only makes sense to me. (Namely distance...I finish drying a load and dump it in a big pile on the other side of the room....) This makes for a seemingly chaotic laundry situation, but in actuality I feel that laundry for eight (almost nine) people deserves some slack!

To be fair, Sidney decided long ago that my 'system' didn't fit into her schedule of when she wanted to wear certain things, so I only do about 10% of her laundry, mainly whatever she leaves on the floor of my bedroom....she does the rest. However; some of the younger kids produce 3X the laundry that they should so.......

It's not even that I really mind laundry, It actually is quite soothing to me to fold clothes. I get to make organized piles of things and get one big job done all at once! (And no, I wouldn't get the same satisfaction by doing your laundry, so don't ask...)

I actually use it as a time to reflect on the blessing of a large family. What if Conner weren't here for me to wash and fold his clothes? It's satisfying to me! I don't think I would get the same pleasure out of it if I were washing, folding, and putting loads away as I go. It would then become a never-ending cycle of something that was never done. What would I have to show for my efforts? A clean, organized laundry room? Technically, I don't even have a dedicated laundry room. Maybe if I did I would be inspired to change my 'system'.


Here is the result after two hours of folding, which I either choose to layer with a few good TV shows, or a good long phone conversation with Kellie. It might still look like chaos, but trust me, it's not. Everyones piles are separate. The older kids get to fold their own. The younger kids' clothes are ready to put away. All the hang-up clothes are separated into stacks. Underwear and socks in their own respective baskets. Notice the 27 towels.

How do you feel about laundry? What is your 'system'? Am I nuts that I would rather do laundry any day than decide what's for dinner? My family size is about to increase, do you have any great laundry organization tips for me?

11 comments:

JoMamma said...

Hmm underwear that you do not recognize??? That would scare me too.

I only have to do laundry for four people, so I really don't feel my advice would be worth it. The only thing I like to do is wash all shirts together. Once they come out of the dryer I try to hang them up right away. This way I try to avoid ironing. That's
all I've got.

Ella said...

Well I I were the rich sort I would suggest disposable clothing. That is my dream for the future because I really hate the laundry, I really don't mind the washing and drying part so much as the folding and putting away. So I'm so SORRY I don't have any good advice either!! See I'm no help at all!!!!

TheEnglishKid said...

This is so random Tammy! And I loved reading it! :P

Peggy said...

I don't mind laundry, either. I actually like folding. The problem is, it's a job that too often gets pushed down on the list of priorities. I often have a laundry room full of clean clothes that need to be folded because my kids or the rest of the house are calling my name louder.

And I totally agree about the underwear thing. And I laughed out loud about giving superheroes a turn! Hehehe. What a funny kid.

I make my kids wash their own clothes during the summers when they are in elementary school, and then all the time once they start junior high. I don't make them separate their clothes-- I just have them wash them in cold water. Cory, though, still thinks that washing his laundry is his job, and I'm not about to correct him! (Although, secretly, I think he actually likes doing laundry, too.) It doesn't save me great amounts of time, but the nicest part is that if their clothes aren't clean when they need them, they know who to blame... And it ISN'T me! Makes it all worth it.

Piglet de' Erin said...

I have no laundry system. But now seeing that pile of laundry, I realize I should have stayed and folded and folded...and maybe that would have earned a corner of the quilt. dang. call me next time you need to fold laundry.

haley said...

I think doing laundry is my very most favorite household job. I realized the other day, that when the kids get to be too much, I usually run and escape to the basement and throw a load of laundry in the washer. This accomplishes a number of things: Clean clothes, a physical separation from the kids, and a few minutes of quiet (I love that the sound of a filling washer can drown out the sound of any chaos upstairs). I like to fold it as well...into very neat and organized stacks. However, I hate putting it away. I don't know why, I just don't like that part of it. As for suggestions, I don't have any. Sounds like you have it pretty much figured out!

a little music said...

I hate laundry, dishes, picking up, scrubbing and any other vigorous form of cleaning you can think of. In my house, I have clutter. It is generally clean, but cluttered. The laundry gets 'technically' done, but we have a clean pile. It goes like this "MOM! Have you seen my _____?" "Check the clean pile." Yup. That's the system. Very orderly, no changing the system or the earth might shift on its axis.

I dream of having OCD. I think it would be loverly (loverly). But alas! Tis' just a dream. I'm a born slob. The dream lives on for another day. . .

Perhaps my biggest hinderance to folding to laundry is spiders. I've read that hobo spiders hide in piles of laundry, and I just can't go there. Just can't do it. Nope. I'm terribly arachnaphobic. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Fahrenheit 350° said...

Okay - if I had superhero underwear I would change them multiple times a day too!

kellieanne said...

There is a system to doing laundry? Where have I been?

By the way, whenever I find unfamiliar socks or underwear in my clean laundry pile, I assume they belong to one of your kids. I can't think of anyone else that would leave those articles of clothing at my house. If they don't belong to them, they go in the trash.

I always leave the underwear and socks to fold last because they are the least soothing to fold. Besides, they fit better on the top of the piles of clothing. I do shake my head at the acknowledgement that Nathan always has 3 pairs of boxers to every 1 of Seths. It's been that way for years. Go figure.

Folding towels are my favorite. Of course, all this is much better when I am talking with you on the phone. ;)

Carterista said...

What do you have to soak overnight? Seem pretty high-maintenance to me.

I only do laundry for 4, but I take a load out of the dryer and put another load in the washer every morning before I go upstairs. Then at night, or during the day when I get home, I repeat the process.

I try to fold before I go upstairs to fix the kids' breakfast on weekdays or when Jarid is playing a video game before he hits the sack. Somehow this counts as quality time to him.

Ashley said...

I wish I had tips for you, but I have one child and I am known to procrastinate. But what I do know is that I loved this post! It is neat to see how a big family runs. You should share more! (Oh, and I would definitely do laundry any day over meal planning!)

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