Friday, July 15, 2011

laundry - how we do it... (socks)

k, i feel like a huge nerd even posting about organization - when i know there are a few organizational junkies that read my blog, but here goes... A few of you asked about my "system" back when i wrote my post about crowd control & socks - so i thought i'd like to post some of what i have found that works so that one day i can look back and remember what it was like when i was keeping this big machine of a family running.
A family of 9 with one in cloth diapers (though he has been wearing a lot of 'sposies lately!) creates a bit of laundry. i'm *so* blessed 'cause i have a nice big laundry room - & lots of helpers who make this an enjoyable task.
i'm not gonna even talk about sheets & all the extras - just our regular stuff for today.
Each morning, Cai gathers. There is a laundry hamper in Neil's & my room upstairs, a dirty ditty bag in Ephraim's room (my friend made it "custom" for me with funky butterfly fabric & it's HUGE with a big chunky zipper. i would bet it is the world's best ditty bag ever...) There is also a laundry hamper in the girls room in the basement.... there are often dirty dish clothes laying at the top of the stairs to bring down too... (just being honest here...)

After we get all the laundry from the whole house, we sort it & get in the first load before breakfast in the morning. (We do laundry almost every day - between 1 & 2 loads usually).  We're a little more consistent during the school year, but even now - we try not to get too far behind. 

On a school day, we'll get our morning subjects done & then someone will go down & switch it over before lunch. After lunch, someone is sent to go "restart the dryer - & empty the lint catcher" because it usually takes 2 times to dry... (we hang our laundry sometimes, but my racks have been too rickety to do it too much this year - all of Neil's jeans & golf shirts are hung so they don't get any creases - & anything i think will wrinkle or require ironing or special care gets hung too...)  Ironing & me are not bff's. 

Then we do our afternoon school. Midway, i get a child to bring me the dry laundry & another child to get hangers.  While i'm listening to reading, checking spelling, smiling at baby... etc... i hang *everything* that can be hung & fold the bits that are left. i make 2 piles of hung clothes - one for upstairs, one for downstairs & it gets hung immediately. All that the children have to do is make sure their pants are put away properly. i find this is *much* easier than trying to keep *all* their clothes neatly folded in dressers. Neil also put in rungs in the laundry room to hang laundry on because Charter doesn't have a closet - & because it's always nice to be able to hang any extras *somewhere* - and nobody has the excuse, "i don't know where this goes!!" - 'cause if you don't know, you can always hang it in there.

*All the children's underwear and (folded) socks go into a big wicker basket that i keep in the laundry room & they have to come & find their own.  This keeps my sorting and organizing to a minimum - & there's a lot of sock sharing goin' on at our house anyway. 

*All mismatched socks go into a clear zippered bag to be sorted when we feel like it (usually once a month).

*All pants are folded (except for mine & Neil's - our are hung too).

i think my system works for me because *everything has a home*. Every mismatched sock is put away, and every t-shirt hung - even if it only gets put on the rung in the laundry room, it's tucked neatly away and isn't in a pile that will get kicked over & eventually put back in the dirty laundry pile without even being worn (don't pretend you don't know what i'm talking about! hehe).

i know our systems seem to always need some give & take - some changing & tweaking over time... but this is where we're at in this sweet season. 


kali said...

This is good...I think more hangers would solve some problems around here :)

Melissa said...

Oh my, that's a LOT of hanging!! My kids are not friends with hangers. I think I might write a "how I do it" post for laundry, too - I like how your system works for you, though!!

Mandy said...

Thanks Paige! I need lots of laundry help!!

paige said...

Yeh, Mel - but watch things change!! :) For us - Neil put *low* rungs in their bedrooms so they can get things off hangers etc... - One of the problems for us is that we have *tiny* bedrooms that are all being shared - so no room for dressers. Hanging (& purging) has solved a lot of that.

Lisa said...

I love the underwear and sock basket idea... especially for my girls. I might steal that!
We've always done dressers, but we have all this unused closet space that could be much better served... I might consider getting the girls to hang their stuff. hmmm... Thanks for posting this!

fiddlincairo said...

Totally Lisa - i think that's when i started having to rethink this 'hanging up' thing - when we had 2 kids per room - & 2 bunked in the living room! :) Our bedrooms are small & there's just not enought space for dressers.
Also - i throw away all the gross plastic hangers from the store & try to make sure that the majority of our hangers are decent... i love the ones neil's gramma covered in fabric - they're my favourites.

fiddlincairo said...

(oops - that is paige, not Cai posting - obviously...)


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