Reviving Motherhood

Learning on the Journey

Question of the Week: Laundry


Laundry is on my mind since our 17-year-old washer and dryer both broke last week. Till the past few months, laundry has been my biggest homemaking challenge. I think I finally have a system that works. So, the question:

What’s your favorite laundry tip?

Here’s mine. It actually came from Melissa, our preschool director at First Baptist Church, and I’ve used it successfully ever since.

Each child has a basket on a shelf above the washer. When the clothes come out of the machine, they are immediately sorted into each child’s basket. When the baskets are full, the kids get to put their clothes away (theoretically–we just as often use out of the basket, but at least they are sorted).

This is my old system:

Now that I have four, I’ve had to modify it a bit.


6 thoughts on “Question of the Week: Laundry

  1. The over compulsive organizer in me is drooling over your baskets! 🙂

    Because there are only 3 of us I normally don’t have much laundry and have narrowed it down to 2 days a week. My goal is to do it start to finish all in one day… from sorting to ironing and putting away. It doesn’t always happen that way of course, but that’s the goal. I don’t like to have a basket of clean laundry staring at me all week, waiting to be folded/ironed.

    Tips. Hmmmn.

    I have been using Simplicity drier sheets and fabric softener for a while now. I love both of them! All their products are non-toxic, readily biodegradable and hypoallergenic. The fabric softener was a BIG deal for me, since I’m alergic to anything else I’ve tried.

    I’ve recently switched to their dish soap too and it’s the only kind that doesn’t make my hands burn!!

  2. Speaking of over compulsive — well, honestly dirty laundry doesn’t stand a chance in our home. Fortunately, our washer comes with a five hour delay cycle. So every night a load is put in and we are off to a good start the next day. For our size family (five) 2 to 3 loads a day are needed.

    MY BIGGEST TIP: Don’t let it pile up. Circumstances happen, but for the most part make it a daily chore.
    Also, we have two older daughters who can literally run our home if they need. A lot of time and training, but well worth the satisfaction on their part and a wonderful blessing to Mom.

  3. Maybe the putting away of the clothes is not such an issue in our house… but the initial task of washing clothes in the first place can get tough when we look at the ever rising piles.

    MY BIGGEST TIP: We have 4 in our family. So I went out and got 4 plastic laundry baskets. (1) holds towels, washcloths, sheets, (2) holds under clothes, (3) holds the kids clothes, and (4) holds our clothes. The first two baskets are separated so that I can wash them on hot and with clorox. Then I start going through each basket as they fill up. Next, the kids and I put them away. Takes a while to teach it to the kids, but it is so good in the long run. Oh, and I have to remind myself to praise them for what they did and not go back and fix it behind them. You know, let them take ownership.

    Stephanie, it was huge for me to let the kids start helping with some of the cleaning. I guess I wasn’t thinking about the future skills they needed to learn yet. But a 1 and 3 year old can actually do this. I let them start helping me with the laundry. They really liked it!! Funny, but Brent’s parents taught him to start washing his clothes when he was 8. Wow!! Can’t wait for that day, or can I??!! Ha! Ha!

  4. Thanks to each of you!!! Such great ideas!

    Erica, I’m not that organized but I wish I was, so I have to say that the baskets make me happy. And doing it all in one day–including ironing? Why didn’t I think of that? Ironing is one thing I put off. I had a great and reasonable ironing lady, but she fizzled out…Now the job is mine again.

    Laura, it is so good to hear from moms who have older children and consequently more experience and wisdom. I’m encouraged to step up the training. As much as I enjoy this season with little ones, I’m looking forward to the day when my children are big and capable. 🙂

    Kelly, how cool about the kids already helping with their own laundry! Such fun! Just imagine how much help they will be in a few years.

  5. I have a similar system to Stephanie’s. I sort about every 2 or 3 days into small baskets that then move to the kids’ rooms for them to fold and put away. It doesn’t always get done right away, but I don’t have to see it, and it’s one less job I have to do!

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