Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Laundry Organization

How do I keep up. The truth--- I don't. But there are some things I do that make a huge difference on how much I get done in a day. They all have to do with organization. That and teaching the kids to use the organization I set up. That is the hardest part. They do pretty well but there are frequently mornings when I discover that one of the girls has not emptied their lunch box and put the ice pack in the freezer for the next day's use. Or like this morning, the eight year old realized she had NOT put her backpack in its designated spot and had instead left it in Papa's car which is now at work. This same child forgets her lunch box at school more times than I can count. Memory problems plague our family. One of those genetic handicaps passed down through the generations. Organization and color coding help tremendously with the contention this problem raises.
When it was just Kirk and I, (for a very brief period in our lives.) we had only four or five loads of laundry a week. Keep in mind our washer will do a full basket load of clothes at a time - a must. Now four loads has gone up to fourteen to sixteen or more. This week it is more as I'm doing the kid's laundry from our daughter's house which includes the blankets. To keep up or rather attempt to, I have learned a few things from having our three children and now four granddaughters in our home. This laundry basket set up my husband built from plywood and metal angle iron slide bars is the awesomest basket holder. I've had it about five years now and it is by far the best thing I've found for us. I LOVE it. Baskets that are stored vertically take up less room. I now have a large laundry room and still it could stand to be larger.  I've seen where people have built a two basket stack and placed two or three sets side by side and then put countertop on top for folding clothes. I have a counter top in my laundry room. It is just full right now. It is unfull and then full and then unfull. You know how it goes. The laundry baskets on top are spares for moving laundry from washer to drier etc.
White dirty clothes are in the top basket.

Lighter colored clothes are next down.

Then dark clothes like blue jeans re on bottom. You can see that I've color coded and labeled the baskets. You would think my family could remember light down to dark but NOPE! They were putting clothes in whatever basket was less full and then saying they could not remember. To a degree we remember what is most important to us. This was not to them and so I made it to where there is not excuse. I consider creating more work for Grandma a sign of disrespect. Ask the girls how well I take that. 

If I had put words on the baskets it would not have been enough  since the four year old can't read and the others would have found a reason not to. The duh factor eliminates lots of contention. That includes with the hubby.  Color coding is easy for even the smallest of the family. I simply used masking tape, painting tape, and electric tape as this is the simplest thing I could come up with. Nice pretty labels would be nicer but it is just not up there on the priority list.

I found when our kids were small that these 18 quart plastic tubs meant to do dishes in are extremely handy for many things including washing wool in. I used them to hold our children's clothes in then and I am doing the same thing now with part of our grandkids. We have six granddaughters and one grandson.
The baskets not only have a specific shelf for each of the four children but are labeled with their names. It is the responsibility for the kids to put away their own clothes. If I find a basket around the house then I know who is going to be putting it away. See the stern grandma look?
If you had fewer children then the space for the clothes bins space would allow you to stack towels, bedding or even Mom and Dad's clothes. I simply fold Kirk's and mine onto the washer and laundry room countertop and put them away. I'm not showing you the rest of the laundry room right now as there piles of clothes I'm sorting to put up on a church clothing exchange Facebook site. It is a bit of a mess. I also have a rack for those clothes that need hung up. You may not have the luxury of a nice sized laundry room like mine but there if always room for organization. I had a much smaller space in our last house. I did use the plywood stacked laundry basket set up. My oldest daughter has used one just like this in two of the homes she has rented. Her's is in her bedroom. A pretty curtain over the front or putting this in a closet is an option.

I realize that one size does not fit all and we each have to choose a laundry set up that works best for us. I just want to show you one tried and true method for those who are looking for options. The plastic bins I would never do without no matter what my laundry set up. That is if I have children to care for. They can be quickly picked up if company arrives and you happen to be folding clothes in the living room. They are great when the kids are helping as everyone knows where the item they are folding goes.


  1. I really like your organization method! If only I had room to do that in my laundry room! With all our barn clothes and towels, I must do at least a dozen loads of laundry each week. The amount is definitely shrinking since our son has gone to college, and when he is home for any length of time I am quickly reminded that he's here by the amount of laundry I do! He certainly could do his own...and does at school...but I'm glad to do it when he's around, especially since he helps in the barn! :)

    1. I totally understand. Our daughter has the dirty laundry set up tucked in her bedroom. She is single though. One of the reasons I love our newer home is the laundry room. Why do builders neglect laundry rooms and mud rooms. You would think especially on a rural setting. The amount of laundry goes wa....y up in the summer time as we can not re-wear pants and such a second time. I totally get it!