Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Laundry Neuroses

My laundry has totally piled up. And it must be tackled today. But as I was thinking about the “how” in the way I do laundry, I wondered if my “how” is different than other people’s. I’m sure it is. Because I probably have a few neurotic laundry tendencies.


1. If I have a load of, say, socks and t-shirts, that have been sitting unfolded for days and I need to wash another load of socks and t-shirts, I feel that I must wait until the 2nd load is finished and fold the 1st and 2nd load together. I tell myself it’s more efficient that way.

2. I am normally all about efficiency, (see #1) but I find myself making a bunch of trips back and forth to the laundry room just to get one load of laundry in the washer. I don’t know why. I’ve tried to break myself of the habit, but it hasn’t worked yet.

3. I don’t feel like I can just fold laundry. I must be doing something else, too. Like watching TV, usually. I’ve found it’s hard to read a book while you fold laundry, but I probably would if I could.

4. I still wash Caedmon’s clothes separate from mine and Husband’s, and I usually just throw them all in at once. There’s really no good reason I still keep them separate. We’ve used the same detergent from the beginning, and now I use fabric softener on his stuff, too. I just like having one load that’s all his.

5. I have four “standard” loads that I do, plus others when needed, not counting Caedmon’s. Jeans, socks & t-shirts (whites), color cottons (mostly t-shirts), and “nice” clothes. Then of course, there are towels and sheets and Caedmon’s clothes.

6. Sometimes I feel like I wash towels twice as much as I wash clothes. That might be an issue worth looking into, because if we’re bathing twice as much as we’re changing clothes, that could be a problem. Honestly, I think it’s the other way around, it’s just that the towels take up more room. At least that’s what I keep telling myself.

7. I still use the homemade laundry detergent I wrote about here and love it. I rarely have trouble with stains, even when I forget to pre-treat. I still use Woolite for our “nice” clothes, though. I remind myself how much money I’m saving by making my own detergent for the other stuff, and since I only use it for one or maybe two loads a week, it lasts for a while.

8. I try to keep up with laundry, I really do. Stay ahead, even. But sometimes somebody has to run out of underwear before any gets done.

That day is quickly approaching. So I’m off to get my exercise walking back and forth to the laundry room.

Please share…how do you do laundry?

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  1. It took me a long time to get on this little bandwagon but I know have assigned laundry days instead of trying to do laundry one or two days a week (it was overwhelming!) So for example, I wash towels on Monday, My husband and my clothes on Tuesday and Friday, Sheets, blankets and oddball things like bathroom rugs (as needed) on Wednesday, and the boys clothes on Thursday (and yes, I wash their clothes seperate from ours and seperate from each others - it makes folding 100% easier to not have to figure out what goes where) Honestly - depending on the day, I do about 2 loads a day (sometimes three on Tuesdays because we dirty alot of clothes on the weekend for some odd reason!!) I try to fold as soon as they come out of the dryer because it only takes 5 minutes instead of an hour if I wait for it all to get done. Hope this helps :-)

  2. *WARNING* this is longer than I meant it to be...

    Well, recently my Mom came over to help me tackle my laundry crisis, giving me and my husband the opportunity to take the boys to the fair. I'm not sure if she put fewer clothes in than I do or what but... she counted 5 loads before we came back and then while she was here we did two more. But then that was only what was in my laundry room and spilling out into my kitchen. Embarassingly enough that did not include the small mountain at the foot of my bed, in front of my closet. (sigh)

    And she sweetly gave me some tips before she left, that were so simple, but made so much sense, and I have slowly yet surely been implementing them since...

    1)only wash what you know you will have time to switch, dry, and fold immediately.
    2)however/whenever you do laundry, it's probably safe to expect at least one, if not two loads a day. Committing to at least one will keep you from becoming too overwhelmed.
    3)if one load must be placed in the dryer without being folded right away, let that be towels, not clothes. Towels don't need to be ironed.

    Our kitchen table is just a few feet from my laundry room so I am forced to keep it clean in order to fold there. Otherwise, it piles up on the couch and my toddler throws it around or makes a crash pad out of clean clothes ("are those for me?") on the living room floor that is covered in crushed cheerios, and probably in a less than fresh pull up. So, really, I have to fold it right away or it is pointless to do laundry in the first place.

    I hang things up and get them in the closet asap. But I actually hang them from left to right (or right to left depending on the access to the closet) so that I cycle through all my things. That way, if you forget what shirt your son wore just a few days ago, you're not just putting him in whatever's coming out of the dryer, you're putting him in something that has been in there for a little while. Variety for the kiddo, and it will keep your clothes from wearing or fading out too quickly.

    Can't wait to hear everyone elses suggestions. @Jackie Koll, I really like your idea of having certain days for certain loads, that's great! I'm going to try that = )

  3. I do mine about twice a week. 5 people in this house, means it's a mountain everytime. And usually by the time I'm done folding and put them away it's time to do laundry again.
    I cleaned off my couch of last weeks clothes so I could fill it up with this weeks. McKenna's clothes look like the leaning tower of Pisa they are stacked so high. (washing two sizes ans two seasons)
    I should have a system, I want a system. But there are a lot of things I should do and want to do, that I just can"t seem to do.

  4. @ Grace at home - I"d like to take credit but it comes from "the FlyLady". She has some really great ideas for setting up routines and her motto, like your mom suggestion, is a load a day keeps Mt Washmore at bay :-) It really does work - once you are caught up. And your mom is right - fold it and put it away saves stress later. I also hang stuff up in all closets from left to right or right to left. I hang my boys clothes in order so I just have to pull out the next outfit. Plus I can see if they are running out of clothes !!

  5. I hate to have dirty laundry but since I have a 11 week old I have learned to get over it! I have 7 different loads that I do: towels, sheets and blankets, whites, red/pink/orange, Darks, lighter darks and Lincoln's clothes. I actually have a couple of different loads I do with my sons clothes. I separate his clothes into categories too. I might have to try making the laundry detergent though. I was an avid couponer before my son came along but now I struggle to find time fix my hair much less cut coupons.