Remember my journey to become more organized, as explained here...well despite the lengthy time inbetween posts it's still happening. So sit back and enjoy, it's about to get real...Real Life Organized that is!
You may be asking yourself what does laundry have to do with the violin? Even violinist need clothes to wear (if you disagree, you have come to the WRONG website!). In a house of 7, I often feel like I am doing laundry for a whole orchestra with scores of dirty clothes coming through daily.
Luckily I have discovered a couple of tricks through the years to help control the chaos that I want to share, as well as new ideas from this great post, titled "The Laundry System that Changed My Life". It comes from the website, I Think We Could Be Friends and seriously, I really think I could be friends with the author of this article she sounds just like me: mom, writer, and conductor of her own personal Laundry Orchestra!
Let me start with what I know.
A couple of years ago I was fed up with washing, folding, and putting my kids laundry away. Sometimes I would get the washing part done, and on days when I wanted to watch a show, the folding would also happen, but usually my success would stop there. It just wasn't getting put away. Instead our piles of clean and neatly folded clothes stacked on the couch would become the communal dresser of our home. Eventually all the clean clothes folded would be worn and our couch would be cleaned off and it was time to start the process all over again. That's when I thought, "Why not have the kids put their own clothes away as one of their daily jobs?". So, we began having them do it themselves. It worked pretty good, except for the part where their newly folded piles of laundry would get dropped about 5 times on the way to their rooms. I was picking up socks and underwear all over the house. That's when I spotted these little baskets of different colors at the dollar store.
Hello! They work wonderfully! Now all the kids clothes make it neatly into their drawer (I am not claiming they stay neat and tidy while in the drawer). I do about two loads of laundry almost every other day. The kids check their baskets in the morning as part of their morning schedules to see if there is anything in them, and then they just do it. Seriously they have gotten in such a good habit with this that I really don't have to ask them. If for some reason, they forget in the morning I can move the basket off to the side and save it for them until they get home from school. Their folded clothes aren't getting tipped over by my toddler or in the way of me napping on the couch (remember all my laundry is done;). Simple solution, but it works for us!
New Tricks for This Old Dog
Remember that article I linked to above. Dawn, the author, has some great ideas. We've implemented many of them. Her two biggest ideas are 1) Pare Down and 2) Don't fold. After reading her article I went on a pare down crazy woman rant. I realized that my kids had too many clothes and that if it's in their drawer it's adding to the excessive monstrous laundry pile or contributing to the stuffed messy drawers that make it hard to put away the clean clothes. I cut down to 5 outfits per kid.
The second thing she does or I should say doesn't do, is fold. Dawn doesn't fold any laundry. I think it's genius even though I still will fold our laundry (it gives me an excuse to sit down and watch my favorite BBC series). Plus I like to think that maybe having my kids put away neatly folded laundry is teaching them how to treat their belongings with respect and how to be responsible for keeping the little corners of their life organized. BUT I do like how she doesn't fold underwear or socks, and that she buys the same colors of socks and underwear for each individual child, and that those just go in a bin/box in their room. I spend way too much time tyring to figure out whose sock is whose and wear the matching sock is. Next time I buy socks they are going to be all white for one child, all white with purple toes for the next, all white with grey toes for another one.....you get the idea.
Hopefully you found a new laundry trick in this article that is music to your ears! If you have any tips please leave a comment below afterall we could all use help in orchestrating an organized and happy home.