A common New Year’s resolution is “simplify”. I jumped on that boat a few years ago and, thankfully, it is one thing that has stuck. One area in our house that seemed the most chaotic was our laundry room. We are a family of 6, including one baby in cloth diapers. If the laundry was not managed well, it poured out of the room and crept its way into every living space available. And, once it was washed…getting it put away had its own issues.
Here is what is working for our house.
1.I purchased an inexpensive laundry sorting system. I found a sorting rack with four linen compartments that lift out easily with nifty little handles for carrying. These are used to sort CLEAN laundry (because we all know folding can’t always be done right away). Each member has their own sorter, and when the basket is full, the items inside have to be folded and put away IMMEDIATELY by the owner of the clothes inside (baby excluded)! We also have a small basket that keeps all our clean socks. Once a week, we sit down in the afternoon and have a sock folding party (popcorn and hot chocolate are good motivators for sock party poopers).
2.Laundry is done by my 7 year old. Every day he is responsible for washing and drying two loads and sorting the clean into the sorting baskets. This is his one BIG chore. If your child/children are not old enough to help with laundry, don’t worry…they will get there and you will be a happier person! He has been helping since age 5 and took it on fully at age 6. He does not do the diapers, though. I do those every other evening.
3.For diapers I have a pail that I keep baking soda inside and when it is full of dirty diapers, I dump them in the wash, baking soda included. I rinse in cold, wash in hot w/ vinegar, baking soda, and detergent, and rinse 3 times in cold. In the winter I use our dryer, on medium heat, for 50 minutes. Summer time I like to line dry, weather and time permitting. I found that it was much better to do diapers at night. That way, if a pair of jeans is needed during the day, I don’t have to stop mid-diaper cycle to get a pair of pants washed.
4.Keep your room clean and organized. Yeah…right!? I know. But it helps! And, I found that the lint removed from the dryer makes a really nice dry surface “wipe” around the top of the washer and dryer. It catches lots of bits of dust and gunk.
Do you have a great tip to share or unique way that you have simplified your laundry routine? We would love to hear it!