Here is a post I have been meaning to right for a long time! I actually LOVE doing my family's laundry. Over the years, I have gotten into a routine that works for us.
I do laundry two or three days a week, sometimes four. I have baskets in each of my kids' closets for their dirty clothes. Whether or not they actually get the dirty clothes off their floor and into the basket is constant issue. I have a 3-bag laundry sorter in my closet which I love. As Gil and I take off our clothes, they go into either the "lights" or "darks". The third bin in my sorter is for (dry) towels and washcloths, as well as items with stains that need special handling.
Mondays, I do laundry for Gil and I, usually just two loads. As soon as it comes out of the dryer, I take it upstairs and fold it on our bed, hanging all our shirts and pants in the closet, and putting away all folded items. It never piles up this way! Much of our laundry is hung... only underwear & socks and nightclothes are in drawers. My husband's t-shirts, jeans and sweats are folded and on shelves in our closet. One other day a week, or two, I will do an extra load or two of our clothes, as well as towels, sheets, and dishcloths, as needed.
One day a week I do my three kids' laundry. It works best if I have a regular day for it. They each bring down their basket, and then THEY sort into two piles, lights and darks. I can usually do just 2 loads... sometimes I need to do an extra load of darks. After school, my oldest two put away their own clothes. I either put away my youngest's or have him help me. I hang all his shirts. My oldest son also hangs all his shirts. I am about to move my daughter over to hangers, too.
I love that my kids sort their laundry, because even though they don't have to do the laundry themselves, they are learning a valuable life skill. If they had to do their own laundry, they would know where to start.
I fold clothes on our bed because it gives me plenty of space on which to work. Also, I WILL make sure it is all put away in a timely manner so that my bedroom is back to looking pretty. This system works because I am also striving to get the laundry out of the dryer as soon as possible after the cycle is done. It also helps that I am only doing 2-3 loads of laundry on any given day. I fold the kid's laundry on my bed upstairs, as well, but instead of putting it away between loads, I pile it up until all is washed, dryed and folded.
I have also evolved into a system where each person's clothes has a specific "zone" on the bed where I place them as I fold them. I can toss underwear, socks, jeans, and nightclothes into the respective child's zone on the bed as I empty the clean laundry basket. As I come to a shirt, I can smooth it out and lay it in either Zachary's, Abbie's, or Jacob's shirt spot. Once the laundry basket is empty, I go back and fold each child's folding laundry. Years ago, in business school, we studied about efficiency... I find that it really is faster if I fold a bunch of socks all at once, then a pile of undershirts. Truly, it takes me just about 10 minutes to fold a load of laundry.
The best part is that I think about my family as I do their laundry. I love serving them this way. And every item of clothing is a reminder for me to take time to pray for each of them, which I do as I fold their clothes. I love doing my family's laundry!
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