Our laundry was a disaster and if answering three questions were going to help us we would have been thanking anyone for any advice. So I decided that it would be a goal of mine to be on top of laundry so whoever showed up whenever they showed up at our house laundry would not be an obstacle on way to kitchen.
First I need to go back a little ways. My wife of twenty seven years and I have raised four children and held down our careers in spite of odds against it and we are still together and in love. Our children three of which are grown, well almost, twenty-four, twenty-one and nineteen are happy well adjusted and on their way to becoming a positive contribution to society. We still have a nine year old and third grade is tougher than we remember.
The twenty-one and nineteen year olds have moved out and have an apartment five miles away. They are girls so that took away a lot of laundry and a lot of laundry doers all in one move. Our son twenty-one years old and our nine year old are at home and believe me both contribute to laundry in a big way.
Now you can imagine that with three teens and one toddler our laundry was a disaster. We could never find time or when we could find time we could not find energy to get our laundry done and put away.
Now our house by no means was dirty just cluttered with laundry, no surface area uncluttered, mounds of laundry waiting to be washed and another mound waiting to be put away. I remember four or five laundry baskets lined up in dining room and our kids having time of their lives pulling each other around in them.
I tried every way including military way to get everything going in one direction but to no avail. Things just seem to be out of control and no sign of returning to normal. So I was going crazy and thought to myself that whenever I go to someone’s house it looked like Better Homes and Garden, why can’t we just get laundry done? My poor wife would be exhausted and be dragging around house trying to get laundry picked up before she would pass out from total exhaustion.
So finally I figured out what problem was and it was logistics. From this I will ask you three simple questions and your answers will help you get ahead of tornado and help you keep up on dreaded laundry. First of all it wasn’t until I decided to not sweat it that it became easier.
Question number one, “Where are socks?” You if you are like me and my wife you have forty five unmatched socks at any given time. I finally took those unmatched socks and threw them away. We went to a discount department store and bought twenty four pairs of same socks in two size ranges each size range with a different design and a big wicker basket that stays near laundry room. Everyone wears same socks and all socks are rolled, yeah just like in old days, in a ball. The socks are in wicker basket so no need to sort and put away in drawers. We did eventually have to get two baskets to keep sizes similar as kids grew. This alone was an incredible time saver both in doing laundry and in morning when every one was trying to find socks.
Question number two, “How many hangers do you own?” We were trying to fold up tees and shirts and skirts and pants and pajamas and putting them all in laundry baskets only to have someone rifle though them to get something and mess up all folded clothes. It was frustrating and self defeating. One day I called my wife while she was at a department store and asked, “How much are those plastic hangers that don’t get tangled when they are in a pile”, she said, “Ten for a dollar, why?” I just told her to buy a hundred. Now we hang everything, drawers aren’t stuffed full; laundry baskets are a thing of past. I even put up a bar in our laundry area where empty hangers are hung waiting for next shirt or pair of pants to be hung on them. The closets are full and floor is clear. Closets have doors but floors are right out in open this makes a big difference.
Question number three, “How does laundry get to washing machine?” This is logistics problem and it really takes thought. Most kids and men and occasional women just leave clothes where they drop off body. This is hardest part of equation as I see it. Every room in my house has a hamper or a basket of sort to put dirty laundry in. Some of you lucky people have laundry shoots that deliver dirty laundry right to laundry room. Well we are not so lucky so we had a problem, how to get it all to washing machine and in a way that made it easier to sort and get in washer without creating a mountain of laundry right in middle of house.
Answer “Funneling”. This is usually a complicated system of getting something from one place to another without it being visibly noticeable and looking like a mess. At this point there are categories of laundry and we’re not talking about whites and darks and delicates and perm press. If you own Woolite you are not person I am trying to help. This article is for despaired laundry household, one that on Saturday nine or ten loads are not uncommon. You people out there who can do laundry once a week and only need to do three loads don’t know what its like for rest of us but maybe you will some day so keep reading.