Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Whoa! That is one huge mountain of laundry!

If company stopped by your house unexpectedly, is that what their reaction would be? Right before you slammed the laundry room door shut and treated them to a nasty look?
I don't have that problem - the one with being able to slam the laundry room door shut that is. My laundry room is in the garage, right by the back door. For those friends who stop by and insist on coming in through the garage rather than my pretty front door, they get to walk right by it - whether the bins are empty or overflowing onto the floor. Fortunately, the bins aren't normally overflowing.
How do I keep up with the laundry? Well, there is the fact that there are only two of us. But, then there's the fact that Hubby can sometimes change clothes as often as a two-year old playing dress-up. What I am getting at is like everyone else, I have laundry. The difference may be in how I handle dirty clothes.
I only have two bins. One bin is for Hubby's work jeans, shirts, underwear, towels, and dish towels. The other bin is for good clothes - the things you don't want rolling around in the washer and dryer along with the towels and jeans. That's it. When the bins are full, honey, it's time to wash!
photo 3 (3)
Good clothes
photo 4 (1)
everyday items

Many people still think old school and would never dare to mix jeans with towels, etc. I say, "It's a new age." It took me a while to get to that point though, so I know what you're going through. (Jeans once they are beyond fading, not new jeans.) Also, a bit of advice. I also love walking into a store and lusting after the beautiful colors of towels that are available. However, I do not buy them. Beautiful colored towels are simply that - beautiful - until they fade, then, not so much.
To me, beautiful towels are evil! They cannot be mixed with other clothes because they bleed. They cannot be bleached to look new again. They can only look older and older and older. I'm old enough without my towels looking my age too. Now, before I go any further, I will confess that I have succumbed to the beautifulness. I do have a few pretty hand towels - they are just for show! They create extra laundry - which I do not want.
I decided to write this post because I have a dear friend who recently posted on Facebook that she was behind in laundry and didn't think anyone was listening. I wanted her to know that I was listening to her.
Above are my two bins. The larger is for those everyday items; jeans, towels, etc. When it is full, it's time to wash. Washing usually starts after Hubby takes his shower and fills up the bin. It gets washed and put in the dryer. By bedtime the clothes are dry, but normally they stay in the dryer until the next day - there is nothing wrong with that.
The next photos depict how I handle the laundry once it's dried. I pull out the jeans first and immediately fold them. I pick them up and shake them and then fold them in half; fold in half length-wise, and then in half again. It's done - 4 seconds tops. I am so used to doing this, I just hold them against me and almost roll down. They are work jeans and this is good enough (took me a long time to allow it to be good enough, but I'm there.) Next, shirts. Same procedure. If you grab it at the collar and about half-way down the long sleeve and shake, it should fall into place. Lay on the dryer door and fold in thirds. Done. Lay on top of jeans. Pajama pants come next because they are long too.
photo 4
clothes in dryer
photo 3 (2)
in half length-wise
photo 1 (3)
in half again - finished
in half
in half
photo 1 (2)
sleeves folded over
photo 2 (2)
grab by collar & pinch sleeves
photo 1 (4)
pinching sleeve
photo 2 (4)
pinching collar
photo 4 (2)
photo 5
fold down 1/3
photo 4 (3)
folded items on top
photo 5 (1)
small items in bottom of basket

After that, all that's left are the underwear and towels. Those get tossed into the basket and the folded items are put on top. I then take the basket to my bedroom and use my bed for the rest of the folding. The folded items are set aside and I pull the other items from the basket and toss in the appropriate pile.
This may sound like extra work, but I have found it to be a more efficient way. Dish towels go in a pile. Bath towels (hand, rags that go in bathroom) go in a pile. Socks in a pile. Undies in a pile. Undershirts shaken and put aside. This takes about 5 seconds. Now, you are ready to fold. If you have little ones, you give the dish towels to one to fold, towels to another (except large towels unless they are older). More on how to incorporate the kiddies later.
photo 3 (5)
basket on bed
photo 2 (5)
items tossed into piles
photo 4 (4)
Hubby's piled folded
photo 1 (5)
Hub's socks, undies, etc.

I normally grab Hubby's undershirts next. I fold and stack them. I then grab the undies, fold and stack. Then the socks. Since I am in the bedroom, I simply turn around and put his clothes on the shelves in his closet. What can I say? I designed my closet. He designed his closet. It's not what I would have chosen, but he likes it so I work with it. The jeans and shirts are deposited on their shelves.
photo 2 (6)
jeans/shirts on shelves
photo 3 (6)
items on shelves

Next up are the dish towels. I grab and fold and stack. It only involves two stacks - dish towels and dish rags. When completed, one goes on top of the other. I then grab the towels and do the same. The laundry is done and folded at this point. I did the laundry this morning so I could take pictures and it still only took me about 15 minutes.
photo 4 (5)
kitchen towels
I grab and stack the dish towels on top of the bathroom towels and head out. I drop the bath towels off in the bathroom and the kitchen towels off on the island. I don't take the time to put them in their exact spots. I wait until I come back to wash my hands and then I put the bath towels up. When I clean the kitchen after breakfast, I put the towels in their spots.  I just find this to be more efficient for me. It only takes a few extra seconds to put them in their places and certainly can be done after folding, especially if someone is going to come behind you and mess up all of your good work.
photo 2 (7)
photo 3 (7)
kitchen towels

You have used up 10-15 minutes of your day and the laundry is done. I use this system because after trial and error, I found that you can fold much faster if you are folding one like item at a time. Before, I was folding and looking for the pile of undies or rags or towels. That took up a lot of time in itself. This has been my tried and true system for many, many years.
If you have children (this is what I did when my children were young) and you are teaching them to help with the laundry, then one can fold the kitchen towels and one can fold the bath towels. When I walked into the girl's bedroom one day and opened a drawer to put away clothes and saw that one of them had completely turned everything over to get a shirt at the bottom of the stack, I quit folding their clothes. There wasn't any point in spending the time to make things looks perfect if it wasn't suiting their way of finding their clothes. I picked my battles and learned to work out solutions that made us all happy during each phase of their lives growing up. It is what moms do.
I got a basket for each child and put their clothes in it. They would fold while they watched tv. This is when perfection ceases to exist. Even two-year olds can fold their undies and put them away. It doesn't matter what they look like; they will be proud of the accomplishment.
To not add steps to your laundry process, you would take their baskets and put them on the bed. As you are tossing and making piles, you simply toss their clothes into their baskets. There will still be some items you'll want to fold yourself, because after all, we don't want our kids looking like raggamuffins if they don't have to!
An extra thing that I do for Hubby to aid him in getting dressed if I'm not around is I put his folded dress socks over the appropriate pair of slacks. He's finally learned which colors go with brown belt and shoes or black belt/shoes. This saves on the disarray in the closet and it takes just a second to do this kind deed.
photo 1 (6)
match socks to pants
photo 5 (3)
in closet

As always, thank you for visiting and taking the time to read my posts. I love hearing from you and if you'd like to share your laundry tips, please leave a comment.

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