So my first post is a post on laundry. Very exciting, I know, but let’s get things started and I’ll catch you up on details later.
I try to do my laundry on Tuesdays and Saturdays. Two days a week gets it done for my family of 3, 2 adults and 1 3 year old (who we are calling Boobock for this blog). I was doing Tuesday/Thursday/Saturday, but some of the loads were 3 shirts and a pair of pants, as we don’t wash the clothes after every use. So, I dropped back to Tuesdays and Saturdays, and this is enough for us for now.
I get to work at home for my full time 8-5 job on Tuesdays, and am generally home all day Saturday. There is a lot of lead time with laundry, waiting for the machine to finish washing, and waiting for the Kansas wind to dry it, so I can get other work done while waiting. With our small house, there are only two places the laundry will congregate, the bedroom and the bathroom, so I grab any in the bedroom and dump all of it out on the bathroom floor. I sort whites/lights from darks and make sure to do the darks first. I then go on a hunt for any socks my 3 year old likes to take off and throw, but he usually does that in the office so it isn’t that much of a hunt.
Especially in the summer, but most of the spring and fall as well, I hang my laundry out on the line. The Kansas wind means I need to use strong clothes pins, or at the least, a lot of them, but the upside is that if the wind is really whipping around, the clothes come out softer than you would think. I do the darks first, because if something happens to my schedule and I can’t get them hung out, I would rather use the dryer to dry socks and underwear and have the shirts/pants hung up outside.
Before work starts (at 8:00 on the dot, mind you!), I start the load of darks. It usually is only one load if I keep to my twice a week schedule. Then at noon, on my lunch break, I hang the darks and start the lights. 5:00 comes and I can hang the lights and bring the darks in.
I had a bad habit of getting the actual washing and drying done, but leaving the clothes in the hamper beside the bed. (Raise your hand if you are guilty of that!) We would end up eventually mixing up dirty with the clean, and I would just dump them all back in the washer, exasperated. Might as well just wash ‘em again instead of smelling each one to see if it was clean, I thought. One day, I just got tired of it. I got tired of digging through the basket for something, tired of clothes being wrinkled, and tired of the double/triple laundry I was doing just because I was lazy.
So, I timed myself. Yes, I pulled out my phone’s stopwatch app and timed how long it took me to fold and put away one load of laundry. It took 3 minutes and 54 seconds. Yes, that is for an entire load. Now, if I feel lazy and don’t want to fold and put away clothes, I sometimes silently, sometimes out loud, tell myself it will take less than 5 minutes and just get over it already. Yeah, I talk to myself. Whatever works, right?
Back to the actual doing of the laundry. I make the bed and dump the entire clean load right in the middle.
Then I just get started. No sorting, just pick the first thing up and fold it…other than shirts. I hang all shirts up in the closet, except tank tops, so to be efficient, I throw all of those up to the head of the bed in a big pile. Everything else gets folded and stacked in a particular place on the bed depending on where it goes. An aside, here. I had always heard about “family closets” and how efficient they were, but we have a 2 bedroom house where one bedroom is an office, and our son still sleeps in a bed beside ours. No room for a family closet, I thought…until I realized I actually already had a family closet if I just used it correctly. Everything but towels gets put away in that room, so I just needed to fold/stack efficiently, and things would be much much faster.
I stand on the side of the bed, and my dresser is to my right. I stack my clothes in front of me, close to my dresser. I usually open one drawer and just put things that go in that drawer away without even stacking. The towels get put on the left in front of me, close to the door, since they go to the bathroom. Boobock’s dresser is at the foot of the bed, so his stacks are beside the towels, and my husband’s dresser is beside Boobock’s dresser, so his stacks are further away still. Shirts get thrown to the head of the bed for later.
Then I put them away. Whisk, whisk, whisk and that is done. So, then, on to the shirts.
I don’t separate my husbands shirts from mine. They all go in the same closet and I hang them so the most recently used ones go on the right, and things that haven’t been used forever are all to the very left. When it is time to get rid of stuff, it is easy to find the things that haven’t been worn forever, because they are pushed all the way to the left in the inaccessible hole behind the wall. Anyway, I take each shirt and lay it down flat to make a stack.
Then, I take the hangers, insert them into each shirt, and fold the shirt down to get to the next one.
It is now easy to lay them all back down flat, and pick up the hangers and hang them.
Done. 5 minutes or less. At least with the darks.
The whites are still on the line, but I have a trick for that as well. I try to hang socks in pairs. I’m not anal about it, but if I see a pair laying right beside each other in the basket, I pick them both up and hang them together. This is where using a big tub like shown in the first picture is helpful, as you can see more of the clothes at a time.
You can probably see the little white and orange socks on the left easiest in this picture. Not a huge deal, but it is more efficient. Might as well use your eyes to find these things instead of randomly picking things up and hanging them. So, of course, then when they are dry, when I pull them off the line, the socks get folded immediately and thrown in the basket. Into the house, and the same process is done…dump, fold, stack, put away, done. In 5 minutes.