Thursday, September 9, 2010

How I Conquer Mt. Laundry--or not!

Laundry is one of those many household tasks that just never goes away.  You can get that LAST load done for the day and realize that when everyone undresses for the night there will be at least two more loads of dirty clothes.  Kimberly at Raising Olives, Kim at  Life in a Shoe , Connie at Smockety Frocks and the Deputy Headmistress at the Common Room are all sharing their dirty laundry today and I thought I would join them.

My laundry room is not really a room.  It's more like a closet and not a big one at that.  Our laundry closet is just off the kitchen, right at the back door.  Originally there were folding doors to close this closet, but when we upgraded to front loading machines a few years ago the doors wouldn't close.  I then opted for curtains, but they are usually only closed when company is coming.  The curtain rod is too handy for hangars!  (Does anyone else have a pet peeve about loose hangars in the clothes closets?)  The back door is to the right of the laundry closet and is usually blocked off by laundry baskets which means Jeff and the kids either push all my carefully sorted laundry gently out of the way (not!) or go out the front door.    Because this is such a small area, I asked Jeff to take an old door and place it over the top of the washer/dryer.  It extends to the wall on the right side and back.  These were two areas that easily became great waste lands where things would be forever lost.  Now I don't lose anything back there!

Keeping it real!

Things are slightly messy right now due to our continued bathroom re-model which is ALMOST complete!  I desperately need to get this area cleaned off and re-organized.  There are two shelves above that hold many items that I do not use every day.  I have a slight remodel that I want Jeff to do here soon.  He has been saving a set of upper cabinets for his office for the last couple of years.  They are taking up valuable space in the garage and his office is not on the short list to be completed any time soon.  Those cabinets would be great in my laundry room, though, and a bar could be hung below to hold my collection of hangars!  Then we might actually be able to close the curtains.   I do have a vision of one day turning my current kitchen into a laundry room and the laundry room into a linen closet.  I have a dream!!

My mom drilled into me the importance of sorting laundry.  I think I have taken it up a notch.  I sort wash clothes, white socks and undies, and dish towels in one load which is washed in hot water.  Other loads are reds and purples, jeans, whites, lights, darks, greens and bright blues, light towels, dark towels and sheets.  And yes, I have been washing about 4 loads 5-6 days a week.  The other day I had a vision of each bedroom having its own TALL  laundry basket and only brought out to the laundry room on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.   I will wash clothes only on those days and do towels on Wednesday and Saturday and also do ALL the sheets on Saturdays as well.   I'll let you know how that works!

I have also been making my own laundry detergent.  You can go to  to find recipes, but I am hand grating a bar of goats milk laundry soup (makes two cups), adding 2 cups of borax and 2 cups of washing soda and then mixing it up in my Vita Mix.   I use a heaping tablespoon in the laundry.  It seems to do a good job!

I love to fold laundry!  I love neat orderly stacks and dream that the children actually keep them that way when they put their clothes away.  Still dreaming!  My dining room is just across the hallway from the laundry closet and that is where I fold laundry.  The clean laundry goes on the dining table where I fold away.  A low bookshelf serves as a holding spot for folded laundry for the children which is supposed to be put away at the end of the day.  Ahem!!  I go from right to left:  girls' bathroom, Devin, Jordan, Aaron, Kaelan, Jackson and boys' bathroom.  You can see in this picture that the boys' have a two stacks of bathroom towels waiting to be put away.  I bought all new towels for them and we can't put them away until the new vanity is installed and the hooks for the towels are hung on the wall.  I keep laundry for the master bath, Jeff, Caedmon and I put up through the day.
Laundry waiting to be put away!

At times  that I am feeling exceptionally thrifty and it is not 100+ degrees outside I will hang out laundry to dry on the clothesline.  I love hanging out the laundry as I enjoy the few moments of peace and quiet  (oops, did I say that?)  I also have a folding drying rack that comes out on occasion and I have been known to hang non-stretchy items from hangars in doorways to dry.  Now I am sure that I have shared way more than you ever wanted to know about how I do the laundry!


Joy Parker said...

I need you to teach me how to sort laundry. I usually just toss it in:)

Anonymous said...

We usually do several loads a day as well which usually consists of: socks & white t-shirts; towels; jeans; colored shirts; Caleb's work clothes (slacks, etc.) and Heath's work clothes (greasy. Heath's and Caleb's work clothes only get washed about twice a week. I also share the empty hangar in the closet pet peeve, but unfortunately none of my children seem too.

The dB family said...

Your laundry story sounds very much like mine. Only my machines are in the wide open in the mudroom. I love folding laundry too as well as hanging it outside.

I have a question. How do you find your front loading machine as opposed to the old top loader style. Our top loader is dying a painful death and I've been mulling a front loader. Does it hold more? Currently I'm only washing for a family of six, but with three new arrivals due hopefully before Christmas, I'm wondering if a front mount would be better.

Thank you in advance!


Kimberly @ Raising Olives said...

Yes, I have a pet-peeve about loose hangers in closets or anywhere, crazy.

I love the order of the folded laundry on the shelves. That would be something that I would do if I folded all of the laundry.

Anonymous said...

With us it's pretty easy. Ellen and Sarah take shifts with the washing, and we fold it up and put it on a table for people to come and get their own stacks. :D

The H (Hannah R)

Mary said...

This is such a great thread - I'm following from 'Raising Olives' and will be linking over there tomorrow, I will also post about my laundry challenges tomorrow. I'm happy to have found your blog and will by linking to it. Nice post!

Season of Life said...

This has been a fun thread to follow and it's a blessing to glean from other Mt. Laundry Moms. ;-) As a matter of fact, my washer is running now, to be ready for hanging in the morning. :-)

Loose hangers are a pet-peave of mine, too...especially those that don't lay next to one another easily, like skirt/pant hangers. Ugh...those clips.

Blessings ~

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