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Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Revolutionize Your Laundry Routine...

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In days gone by, Monday was the traditional day for a homemaker to do her family's laundry.
Monday was the chosen day because laundry was hard, back-breaking work and it was best to tackle this after Sunday's day of rest.
I am sure that  this homemaker thought this modern machine was a huge improvement over just a plain tub of water and a paddle....which at the time I am sure it was!
When I was growing up in a little village in Nova Scotia in the 1970's, our next door neighbour was still doing her laundry with one of these. {below}
She did her laundry one day a week and she had two children in elementary school whom my brother and I played with.
I was always slightly fascinated when I happened to be at her house on laundry looked like fun to put the clothes through the 'mangle' at the top....although I wouldn't want to jam my fingers....double ouch!
 I have a close friend who has an antique mangle in her home. Her parents brought it with them to Canada from Norway and it is treasured as a family heirloom because it once belonged to her Grandmother.
This type of laundry equipment is unbreakable and will last forever, but sure is darn heavy and impossible to move...I know because we tried!
 When you look at these antique types of washing machines, it gives you a new appreciation for the machines we use today, where we literally dump the clothes in, push a few buttons and walk away.
However, it is still a dreaded chore!
In the days where these older types of machines were used, it made sense to do laundry in the traditional way of sorting lights from darks and clean from really dirty.
And if you are still doing laundry this way, I want to give you a few suggestions as to how you can make the chore of laundry more streamlined.
Tip #1~ Keep a laundry hamper just for towels and bedding.
Keep it in the bathroom or hallway so all family members can deposit their towels easily.
Do loads of towels, facecloths and bedding separate from the other laundry on an as needed basis.
I usually do a load of towels every second day.
I do 2 loads of bedding once a week.
Tip #2~Next, buy a simple laundry basket for each family member.
Keep it in their bedroom where they dress and undress.
{We keep ours in our bedroom closets.}
Keep the laundry basket there all the time....otherwise there will be dirty clothes on the floor!
Teach your children to put their dirty clothes in their basket.
I have been doing this with my children since they were toddlers.
Tip #3~Buy a few more laundry baskets{I got mine years ago at Zellers for $3.99} for transporting dirty laundry from the bedrooms to the laundry area.
Here is my son's dirty laundry ready to go to the washer.
Tip #4~ Next, assign each person a laundry day. It can be the same day each week or you can decide as you go depending on who has the fullest basket of dirty clothes.
Tip #5~And here's where you can save yourself a ton of time....just do one person's laundry in the washer and then dry it.
Don't carry every family member's dirty clothes to the laundry area and sort into dark and light with messy piles all over the floor.
And sort again when they are washed and dried and have to be put away.
Skip that step! Don't do sorting and sorting!
Just do one person's laundry at a time.
Carry that person's laundry to the washer,  wash it, dry it and then take it back to the owner's bedroom for them to fold and put away!
If I had to do laundry the old-fashioned way of mixing every one's clothes together, sorting light and dark  and then sorting again when they were all done, I would honestly have a breakdown!
All that sorting, sorting, thank you!
Tip #5~And here's another you don't have enough of one person's clothes for a light and dark load, put it all in together!
Yes, I said don't separate it!
Most clothes and laundry detergents today are colour fast and don't run!
The only exception might be new jeans.
{However, I would still do a separate load for delicates on the delicate setting.}
Tip #6~When it comes to socks for kids, buy them multiple pairs of the same brand and colour so their socks are all the same.
That way the socks are easy to match and if you have an odd sock, the other odd sock in the drawer is exactly the same and you have a matched pair!
For instance, my 10 yr. old son has 12 pairs of white socks of the same brand.
Tip #7~Teach teenagers to do their own laundry. My 15 yr. old daughter has been doing her own laundry for 2 years. This started when she reached junior high and she wanted her clothes washed every 3 days because she had 3 favourite outfits.So  I taught her how to use the washer and dryer and how to iron and she has been doing it ever since. In fact, she doesn't like me to touch her laundry at all...she likes to do it herself!
This past weekend, my 10 yr.old son asked me to show him how to iron so he could iron his dress shirts for hockey.
I showed him how and he did an awesome job and ironed 4 shirts!
Proud Mommy moment!

Okay now. Back to laundry...
Another thing...I don't check pockets any more! Every one in my house knows  'leave things in your pocket at your own risk' !
This started when I found dog poop in my then 6 yr. old son's pants pocket. True story.
{Don't ask!}

Now, in my professional organizing work, I have noticed that most families are still doing laundry the 'old way' of mixing all the families clothes together and then sorting them out again after they come out of the dryer into each person's pile.
And sorting them out before they go back to the owner's rooms.

So, I am really curious!
How do you do your laundry?
Are you mixing it all together and then sorting it all back out or are you more streamlined like me?
Inquiring minds want to know!

This post is linked to these parties:

UndertheTableandDreaming Positively SplendidIt's Overflowing

Design Dazzle


Erin said...

Wow! Why have I never thought of this? I hate the sorting and I am always behind on my laundry. Do you separate out things that are for delicate cold washes or do you just throw it all in together? (visiting from Delightful Order)

Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions said...

I couldn't even imagine doing laundry that way, Angie! I'll bet those housewives had really strong arms! : ) I've always separated laundry ~ towels, whites {hubbys and mine}, the kids laundry was sorted separate {they had their own hampers in their rooms}, sheets on their own, and delicates thrown in when there was a free minute since they either got hung up to dry or laid flat somewhere. So, basically, I do the same as you and keep things separate.

When we moved to the new place we bought a four laundry bag hamper thing on wheels. I've got them as whites, colors, towels, and hubby's work clothes. I keep the delicates in our bedroom in a separate hamper so they don't get thrown in with anything else accidentally.

Jennifer said...

Great tips! I do separate hampers for each room...the only loads I combine would be mine and my husband's. I keep the kids' loads separate. I also wash lights and darks together on cold. I think it also saves energy, not using as much hot water.

The Hopkins Home said...

My husband opened my eyes to your way of doing laundry a few years ago. At first I thought it was crazy but then quickly realized that it doesn't destroy any clothing and it gets done twice as fast!! We are truly spoiled with all our modern equipment...I just finished reading the Laura Ingalls books with my daughter and I can not imagine having to draw my own wash water up from the well, make a fire, boil the water wash the clothes, draw rinse water, ring by hand and then hang to dry...not to mention how they had to iron - oy! Loved your post the other day about grocery shopping - I'm going to be using a few of those tips : )

Al@PolkaDotsandPaisley said...

No sorting? That's crazy talk. Seriously though, what a great idea. I'm constantly putting off laundry because I don't like the time it takes to organize and then I have to do a months worth or wear pyjamas to work. It will probably give me heart palpatations at first but I think I'm going to try it.

Jessica @ Stay at Home-ista said...

I do my laundry like Jennifer above, and you. Each kid has their won hamper, clothes are washed by owner, except our grown-up clothes are done together since we share a closet. My husband wears dress shirts every day, so he is in charge of the weekly run to the dry cleaners!

barbara@hodge:podge said...

Ha! Dog poop? That is funny. I have to say that I follow a similar routine! Except my teenagers don't do their laundry, hmmm one graduates this year, I should teach her how!

Thanks for the continuous household inspiration!

Stephanie Perryman said...

I don't sort! The only sorting I do is my husband's white t-shirts since he has so many of them. I do my girl's clothes together and me and hubby's together. I decided a while back that all the sorting was a big waste of time! Great post! Can't wait till my girls are old enough to do their own laundry! :)

Victoria said...

My kids-all 6 of them learned to do their own laundry at age 12. They have always had their own laundry baskets and are also required to wash their own towels and sheets every week. They have assigned days(the same day every week) and if they don't do it on that day, they have to make arrangements to trade or to share a day. They cannot miss 2 weeks or their stuff suddenly disappears! 4 of my kids are out of the house and have thanked me for my "meanieness" as they are very responsible adults.

Katy (France) said...

Oh My Goodness that is inspired! I never thought to do it like that, but you're absolutely right!! I'm loving this series..I sometimes feel so overwhelmed, but I realise that I just don't get to share household tips with other mothers! Thanks for this :-)

jodie said...

you are brilliant - I love this!!! I have one hamper in the laundry and I never catch up and there are clothes EVERYWHERE. We have school uniforms so I can't wash for one person once a week, but I can work with this. Love the towels and sheets hamper too!!

Heidi @ Decor & More said...

Aaackkk! I do everyone's together and then am saddled with the folding, sorting, delivery. Time to rethink! :)

Meg said...

Leave it to you to come up with a great laundry system! I still sort laundry into colours, whites, darks... but we have a hanging sorter in our bedroom closet. The kids come and put their clothes in the correct bag (mostly) and then I take each one down to the machines.
I don't know that my system is so effective though. I still have to sort clothes after they are clean and that takes a lot of time. Also, the socks never match up for some reason so I have a basket of mismatches.
I might just try your method in our new home, where we will have bigger closets that would fit a basket in each.

morrest1101 said...

My parents still have a ringer washer in their basement. My dad used it to wash his work clothes... and I would stand and watch all the time. Now that he's retired, I'm not sure it gets much use at all, but it's still there. You just brought back a memory of my childhood days. I do laundry on Sundays and Thursdays. We all have just enough clothes to get by, so laundry needs done often. We can't behind on it because we would run out of things to wear. Doing it on Sundays gives us fresh clothes for the week and doing it on Thursday gives us fresh clothes for the weekend. I also make my own laundry detergent...

It's super cheap and works wonderfully!

Melanie said...

I'm proud to say I do laundry like you! I work full time out of the home so I strive for a load every night, if not, every other. I don't want to spend my weekends doing 5-6 loads of laundry! Love your tips:)

Erica Simon said...

i admit to doing the sorting into lights darks etc. its so much work!!!! i already do most of my kids clothes together (exception being new red/pink shirts and new jeans.) i am def going to try doing it this way. i like the idea of the towel hamper someplace else. i feel like i am forever collecting towles from various rooms. thanks for the ideas!

Lynnsey said...

It's interesting because I pretty much do everything you mentioned here. I never really thought about it. When my oldest was a baby, of course I would wash her clothes separately and she had her own bin in her room. And as I have added more children I have continued to do it that way with rare exceptions. Everyone now has a designated laundry day of the week. Sometimes I won't get to laundry on that day and then they have to wait until next week, which is doable. All my kids are little so no one complains! I also DO have to go thru pockets at this age. And I DO sort will find over time the clothes will look worse if you don't sort. Whites get dingy and colors look faded. I have been doing my own laundry since 12 years old and I still don't mind it, it's fun for me to have a pile of fresh, folded laundry. It feels like I can SEE the accomplishment!

SalBug said...

You are spot on with your tips, and I have one for you. I use Shout Color Catchers so that I can mix darks and lights (even denim) in one load, so I never have to separate them. This way I can do just as you say and never have to sort. I do admit that when I wash a brand new dark item for the first time I will wash it only with darks. But frmo then on - no sorting. Love those Color Catchers!

Mandy@OrangeAutumn said...

I don't have so many people to worry about so all I have are two separate baskets for darks and lights and whenever they're full I wash them. I def. need to do the wash more often though b/c when I do it, it ends up being an entire day of laundry. Not fun!

Judy in Carefree said...

There are only my husband and myself left at home. I do sheets and towels on Saturdays and all our clothes on Sunday because our power company has reduced rates on the week-ends. We each have our own closets so we each have our own dirty clothes basket. Water is expensive here and the rates are determined by usage so it makes no sense to do more loads than absolutely necessary. I sort by colors and frankly doubt that more time is spent sorting and folding to put things away than if I did our clothes separately. Usually it is all done and put back in our drawers by dinner time on Sunday and I get many other things done as well such as menu planning while everything is washing and drying. I just don't have the money to waste on doing more loads than necessary more times a week!

Dana Nelson said...

I mix all the kid stuff together for a load and then all of my/husband's stuff for another load. Immediately after reading your tip on washing one kid's laundry at a time, though, I announced to my kids that laundry was changing! My 6-yr-old son is now using an extra basket for his laundry while his 4-yr-old sister continues to use the other basket. My 2-yr-old has her own basket already. I was really excited to implement this system but my kids really don't have a lot of clothes and so I need to wash what they do have frequently... We'll see how it goes!

Kathy said...

My 3 boys are very close in age and they share a room, so all their clothes get washed together. My 2 year old daughter has always had her own basket, where my more delicate clothes go as well. My hubby and I share a basket. I do sort, mainly because we have either very dark or very light clothes. We live in a small place, so i don't mind trekking around. Carrying laundry for 6 ppl is good excersize. lol But that may change once my boys get older.

Haley @thedistractedblogger said...

I LOVE my clothes and am a little paranoid about damaging them, especially since I have a lot of delicates/knits/ect. I still sort, lights, darks, reds. I wash all in cold and delicate cycles.

My biggest hurdle is I live in the city and have to use a laundromat. You never know what was washed before your load (ie: a cycle with bleach, or someone who left weed in their pocket). I wait a month or more to do my laundry because of this or until I drive to my mom's house.

Rachel said...

Since my boys are still little their clothes generally go in together, and with towels included in their laundry (we keep towels for a week as we don't bath every day). I stopped putting the towels in with adult laundry as hubby's new uniforms have a lot of Velcro. I also share loads with my hubby since they go back to the same room and it's no hassle to separate as I'm folding. We do whites separately, unless it's just a few vests, the one time we threw it all together my dad added a scarf and all the White bits turned green!
I have had the misfortune of paying a plumber to come out to fix a washing machine blocked by hairgrips and coins, and having biro-staining from things left in pockets, so I do generally check, though the odd tissue gets through. I often find lighters and Pens in hubby's pockets, and stones in the boys, so it's worth my effort to us.

fromgentogen said...

I love it when they go off to college and they are on their own..My son was finicky in High School and I said go for it in doing his laundry...He knew that he would have it done the way he wanted...Your children will thank you forever! Blessings, Becky

Amy Fredrikson said...

Great ideas! I hate doing the laundry but this could change somethings around for me :)

Just Jaime said...

Great tips! Because it's just my husband and me, we use have hampers for darks, lights and jeans.

ginger @ literally inspired said...

Great tips! We do our laundry separate and I agree that is easier. I can't believe your son had poop in his pocket! Oh my! I would love for you to share your tips at my party if you have time -

Hope to see you there!


Erin @ His and Hers said...

We sort our laundry as we go--you're right, it makes life so much easier! And the poop in the pocket thing is hilarious. I think. It might not seem so funny if I had been the one discovering said poop.

Marriage from Scratch said...

Great tips!!
This will make my life much easier :)

Come visit Marriage from Scratch!


Deana said...

This is a very good post......I'd love for you to share it
@CountryMommaCooks Link & Greet Party…going on now:)

Rona said...

Great idea, but I have to admit I do put it all together and sort. However it typically works out that mine and the children's(2 &4) get washed together and my husband's separate(b/c he wears all dark clothing). One thing I do is stain treat clothing when before it goes into the hamper though, big time saver with 2 little ones, I haven't lost as many peices to stains since I started doing that. And both of children put their clothes in a hamper, whether is be ours or theirs it is a start. In the end I have to fold it and put it all away anyway. (My husband has tried to help, but it didn't work out very well!! LOL)

Aimee - said...

Thanks for the tips and thanks so much for linking up!! Have you seen my Lisa Leonard giveaway yet?

XO, Aimee

anexactinglife said...

We don't buy many new clothes, but when we do, we wash and dry each new item separately (like new jeans or a red hoodie). After that, it can be thrown together with everything else next time.

Six Sisters said...

This is awesome!! Love your helpful hints!! Thanks so much for joining us on "Strut Your Stuff Saturday." We loved having you and hope to see you back next Saturday with more great ideas! -The Sisters

Creative Raisins said...

Found your blog over at Tip Junkies. Thanks for the tips, Laundry is one of those dreaded tasks that I dislike doing. Your newest follower and fellow Albertan.


Creative Raisins

Debbie said...

What a brilliant post!!
My Dad trapped his thumb in his mothers mangle back in the 40's and has had a horribly deformed thumb ever since!
I have 4 children and I am a slave to the laundry so I am going to banish clothes from the batheroom floor and get everyone a laundry basket next time I am in town! Thanks so much, I think this is really going to help!

Bumblebee and Sophie said...

I heartily agree with tip #7!! Teach your children to do their own laundry! One of the many things they need to learn before leaving home!!
(my 4 are all married and gone)

Amy said...

Great post! I do one load of laundry a day, usually first thing in the morning. I do a separate load for jeans as well b/c they are so heavy. I tend to wash towels every two days and change sheets twice a week b/c I'm a goober. :) Found you on Craft-O-Maniac's party!

Lisa's Space On The Web said...

LOVE this post. This is the second post of this nature that I've read this week. The other was over at and both of you said to just wash one persons clothes and all at the same time, no sorting. There are 6 of us in the house and yes, I was having them sort and then me doing lights, darks, towels, etc then folding into separate piles where they would take or I would take to their room and they would put away (or not . . . that's a source of heated discussion amongst my older two and me). This is my first week of doing just one person's laundry at a time and it's saving me loads of time and frustration (who's socks are these? Oh that's not your shorts, they're your brother's? Oops, sorry!). LOVE this new way of thinking. I'm sold. Thanks for the tips. As for kids doing their own, I'm all for it, but they are really busy with school and after school activities and I'm home all day, so we'll start laundry lessons this summer - my kids are 13, 12, 8 & 6, so I don't think I'm too behind on teaching them.


Cathy's World said...

I have always loved doing laundry. I know that might sound crazy. I don't like anyone touching my laundry. I have everything color coded in all of the closets and I want everything hung up that way. I have OCD I guess you can say. It would drive me crazy if something was out of place in the closet or drawers. Right before my daughter got married I thought it was time to teach her how to do laundry. I told her it was time to put the Downey in. ( We have new HE washer and dryers now so that isn't a issue any more. I hated that washer!) She asked me if the Downey went in the wet one or the dry one. Yes, I probably should have taught her a lot sooner. She hates doing laundry. I really don't see the problem since the machines does all the work. I do a load or 2 every day and I really enjoy putting everything away in the right place. :)

angie @ the cellar door stories said...

great tips! you can never have too many laundry baskets!

Heather said...

We sort. My kids have know "lights, darks, jeans" since they were tiny. We have a 3 bag sorter in their bathroom and they do their own sorting as they undress. We have 2 girls whose sparkly clothes were getting ruined even washing with other lights, so those have a load of their own. Each of our children has a laundry day- they do a load a week of whatever is piled highest on their day. They wash, dry, sort, and take to assigned rooms. They have done this for 2 years (since they were 8, 10, and 13). The hubby and I do our clothes in light, dark, and denim loads. We stopped using the color catchers after having our washer repaired the 3rd time due to those things getting sucked out of the washer and caught n the lines.

With Love said...

I like doing laundry when it was just me. I tolerated it when I got married. Now with two kids (5 and 2) I down right hated doing laundry. I didn't have the time, energy, or really the capability being on a septic, to do everyone's all at one time and sort sort sort, because during all that sorting my "helpers" helped me and did their own "sorting" which really was just making a mess. So one day it dawned on me, why not delegate a laundry day for each person? Monday is hubby, Tuesday is me, Wednesday is son, Thursday is Daughter, Friday is towels, and Saturday is bedding. I do two loads max a day, most of the time it's just one. WAY EASIER!!

Fred and Sarah said...

I've been doing laundry this exact way for almost 10 years! When we first got together, my now husband, was a logger and there was no way that I was going to wash our clothes together. We now have 3 kids and I still do each persons's so much easier!! Everyone has their own hampers and even the baby, who is 15 months, can put his dirty clothes away after I change him! I'm so happy I found this post because everyone I know IRL thinks we're crazy for doing it this way!!

Narelle Heath said...

I remember a kid at school putting his sandwich through a mangle when we went on a school camp to an old-fashioned farm. It was pretty funny to us 10 year olds!

I mix all the clothes together for our laundry, but I have a big washing machine and 2 small kids so it would take forever to get enough dirty clothes to do a full load per person.

Tina said...

I just stumbled across your blog this morning. It is amazing! Thank you for sharing so may great ideas. This laundry post made me laugh out loud! Why haven't I thought of this? The sorting and sorting and sorting is crazy! My kids are about the same age as yours and can easily help with the folding and putting away. Brilliant! Thank you!

Jenny said...

Glad to know there are other laundry rebels out there who don't sort the laundry! The other rebellious thing I do with the laundry is I don't fold underwear, socks, or my infants clothing. Took awhile to get over the ocd of perfectly folded clothes in drawers, but now I love the time saved.

Elektra said...

Instead of of big baskets, I use big rectangular reusable shopping bags. (The regular size ones are great for smaller items like baby clothes.) Much easier to manuever up and down the stairs than the big baskets, and cheaper and more durable than the collapsible mesh ones. (2 for less than $4 at Sam's Club.) I hang and fold right out of the dryer, sling the bag over my shoulder, grab the stuff on hangers, and still have an extra hand to hold my toddler's hand on the stairs. My family has also proved to be much better at carrying their bag of dirties down than they were when everyone had a big basket, and I'm more likely to put away a bag's worth immediately. With baskets, I'd wait until it was full and then dread putting away 2 or 3 loads at once.

Unknown said...

Came here from tatertots and jello, I believe, for your scone recipe? anyway, I sort and everyone is washed together. I have bins in the bathroom. The kids are young enough that baths are at night and so their dirty clothes are taken off there. I use Tide Free and Clear so all clothes, even baby clothes, are washed together. I presort now in the upstairs bath and then main level wash. I stay at home with the kids so I try to wash all laundry in a day or two. I could not imagine doing a load a day. I would pull my hair out!

My key to staying on top of it is nothing comes out of the dryer to just sit in a bin. As soon as it comes out of the dryer I go up to master bedroom and sort in piles for each person. When kids are old enough they put away their own clothes.

I dont think I will try your method now but will definitely remember it when the kids are older!

Sandra Moore said...

I remember doing laundry with my Mom using the wringer washer :)

There are 5 in my household, I could not survive without a laundry schedule! Each person gets laundry 2x a week, we used to do 1x a week but my husband works with dairy farms, so his clothes couldn't handle only 1x a week!
Mom & Dad are Sundays & Wednesdays, Daughter & Towels are Mondays & Thursdays, 2 Sons are Tuesdays & Fridays. Saturdays are for linens & if someone needs something in particular washed.
I do a monthly bleached load on the first Wednesday, after my daughter's & before the towels. (My Mom always told me to do a towel load after using bleach, better to have some bleached towels than bleached clothes)
Each person has their own laundry basket (with their name on it) and I use a multi-sorter hamper. Makes life so much easier! I don't sort, except for the bleached load.

Rustown Mom said...

The don't sort tip is pure genius. I always wash towels and washrags on hot with bleach. Then the jeans together with very cold water, then the rest on warm. I pull stuff out of the dryer to go into an ironing basket for hubby and me. An I buy those detergent pods now because they are goof proof for the boys to do their own wash. i let them pick which day to do laundry - it usually happens on the weekends while I'm at work. Oh yeah - everyone has their own dirty clothes hamper in their own room. A must!

trm1217 said...

I swear to you No joke... I have told my family over and over to in basket in there room or bathroom and i swear every time i do laundry the baskets are empty and i have to walk the house collecting so all gets mixed together. you would think they strip as they walk. i'm gonna try this and if there's no laundry in the baskets im not gonna wash it. thanks

Veggiemomof2 said...

I love your blog! I followed OrgJunkie's link to your simple Valentine recipes & stumbled onto your bill paying post. I just started logging my bills on to a calendar so I can keep track of what is due & when.

At the bottom of that post, I found the link to your laundry routine. Once my 2nd child became a teen, I got buried in towels every week. So I took the bathroom hamper out & made the kids put their towels in their own hampers & wash their own laundry too. Now they don't use as many towels each week..go figure!

Now I'm going to check out your post for dividing the kitchen into zones. I can't wait to see what I learn next!

Omtomyheart said...

Thank you so much for this post. Now i'm thinking, how come i never thought of that!!! I'm definitely going to do this from now on, and I just know it will work for my family...i'm one of those that sort and sort and sort and i don't have time to fold, and the laundry is like huge piles in our hallway. I also do the sock trick. My boy has 10-12 pairs of the brown socks, and my girl has 10-12 pairs of white socks. As they go up to the next size, i change the color...has made my life so much easier...THANK YOU!

Mums make lists said...

Great tips!

Would love for you to link it up at my new Empty Your Archive link party which is a chance to dust off great posts from your archive - there is a focus this week on laundry - would really love to see you there, Alice @ Mums Make Lists x

Kellie Jensen said...

I always do one person's clothes at a time, for the very same reason... I don't like to sort. If any of us have questionable clothes, I hold them to the side until I have enough to do a load. No one seems to notice. The only time I mix clothes is when someone in the house needs a specific piece of clothing, then I throw it in with someone else's things.

Crazy Crafter Kitty said...

I grew up with my mom and 2 of my siblings. I did the laundry for the whole house and did it how I wanted. Then I moved in with my step parents which was a house of 5(including me and my 2 siblings previously mentioned) kids and 2 adults. It was such a hassle for us 3 older girls to do laundry every week. My step mom insisted we sorted all the laundry by colors. I kept thinking there had to be an easier way. In my own home (at least when I was single) I always just put everything in one load since I didn't have a lot of clothes. Now that I have my husband, my son and myself I wash our laundry separately (my sons clothes are too gross) as needed. My husband prefers his clothes done the old fashioned way so he washes his own clothes on Sundays. I do make my son put his own clothes away. Towels are washed as needed as well and bedding is done once a week. That all makes laundry less of a dreadful task for me.

Caye Caye said...

I must say, I have been a sorter to a fault! However, you make a very good point. I do like to wash my whites, towels, and bedding in hot water, but I think I'll start washing those all together. All the rest is washed in cold water, so I should be okay to mix at will. Thanks for the tip!!

Lori Morgan said...

I do laundry on Friday/Saturday and Wednesday for the 4 of us. Light and darks and I sometimes mi them, unless it's red...that has to go with the darks. Every thing gets washed on warm. I hang and fold it right out of the dryer and the kids put theirs away. It's pretty easy, but I am ready for to teach the kids (12 & 9) how to do it themselves. The only problem with that is it just seems like one more thing for them to fight over. Grrr!

Krysta said...

I do it like you - no sorting of colours, etc, except for a delicates load. I have two little boys.

Tuesday I do the boys' clothes (one load for each kid). Wednesday I wash towels. Thursday I wash mine and my husband's clothes (we use the same hamper, so wash together). Friday I wash bedding. Easy.

Michelle Claggett said...

My daughter has been doing her own laundry since she was 12. She began this all by herself because she wanted what she wanted clean when she wanted it. We just taught our 9 year old twin boys to do their own laundry. I had a total meltdown when I discovered clean clothes folded and even on the hangers in our laundry chute. I began sorting by person and discovered that the twins had 7 loads of laundry for one week, so we made them wash, dry, fold, and put away their laundry. One of them asked if they had to do this from now on or was it just a punishment and we said, from now on. I think they are getting tired of folding laundry and being much more cautious about how much they wear. Now my hubby on the other hand must have thought he was exempt from the new family policy because his hamper is overflowing. I told him he has to do his own also:) This has made life so much easier. It is easier to find matching socks and clothes.

Catherine Vos said...

I am not sure we have enough clothes to last a whole week - otherwise it would be great!

Kate Getliffe said...

Awesome Article Angie! My mom taught me to do my own laundry when I hit puberty... In her words "You don't want me to see bloody underwear and neither do I" (sorry I'm not sorry) I think this is a super helpful basic even just to train kids in puberty to at least get their clothes into the wash!
I am a fan of giant mesh zippable delicates bags for all the kids clothes with one for dark and one for lights then you can do several kid's loads together through the wash and dryer while keeping them sorted the whole time! Handy for very young children!

Amy Retter said...

Great Tips! I still do mine the old fashioned way:(! I do have another tip. I have kids away at college. They use the Shout Color Catchers to make sure the colors don't bleed on any of the other clothes. Works great and they don't have to waste money by using several machines or wait to have a full load to do whites. This has got me thinking because I do what I call laundry marathons twice a week. It's getting old!

my7kids said...

I helped my grandmother do laundry on an electric wringer washing machine until I was 10. My sister got her arm stuck in the wringer once!

I have seven living kids. When they were smaller, I did ALL the laundry in ONE day. Darks, colors, whites, diapers, jeans, towels (2 loads), and sheets (2 loads). I would wash it all one day and fold, sort, put away. Occasionally there would be one load left to do the next day, but for all the rest of the week my home was free of bits of laundry, socks that didn't get sorted, etc.

When I moved here 11 years ago I had to go to work and the laundry system kind of fell apart. I had a couple kids old enough to help but laundry just kind of got done as a load worth filled up.

Four years ago I got a divorce, then got remarried. My husband doesn't like his clothes mixed up with everyone else's. In the house we're in now, everyone gets their own laundry basket (the 7yr old shares with the 16yr old because they share a room), and does their own laundry when it's full. There is a shelf in the back hall with baskets for towels and sheets, and they get washed as they're filled. All my kids do their own laundry (as well as know how to cook, change beds, plan meals, take care of the animals, and budget their money).

I'm always flabbergasted when I hear a parent say, oh my kid went off to college (or got married) and then had to learn to cook or do their laundry. Why not teach kids things they will have to do all their lives, before their survival actually depends on their doing it?

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