Thursday, February 26, 2009

Laundry Dilemma

Okay friends- I really need help trying to figure out how to store the dirty laundry until I can get to them. Here is my problem. Each family member has a dirty basket and they are good about putting their clothes in them -mostly. But in our family of four- we do have a lot of laundry as the kids have school uniforms and my husband is a teacher with a school dress code as well. Plus my husband runs on the treadmill just about every day. So there is a lot of clothes changing each day. Most of the time if something isn't really dirty it will be hung back up to be worn again - especially in my husband and my case. But the kids have after school sports and activities and so a lot of their uniforms come home from school dirty and after school clothes get dirty as well.

With all the clothes piling up in each closet, I usually get it altogether at once and sort into my piles and here is a typical week of laundry -

3 loads of blacks
2 loads of greys
1-2 loads of reds
1-2 loads of tan/cream
(grey,black,tan and red are the school uniform colors they are allowed to wear which is why there is so many of those!)
2 loads of jeans
2 loads of towels - kitchen and bathroom
2 loads of whites (undergarments - this goes down in summer as my husband doesn't wear undershirts then)
1 load of pinks -daughter!
1 load of blues- sons!
2 loads of sheets
1-2 loads of gentle- usually husbands dress shirts/slacks and my work clothes
1 load of t-shirts/running shorts - not always depending if Jeff is training for a race

So a typical week can have me washing up to 20-21 loads! Wow, this is the first time I really put together a list and I am amazed at how many loads I do. Plus because I do not use my dryer except for towels, sheets, undies and jeans, I iron almost everything after they hang to dry in my basement. I keep on top of it easier when I can see them sorted as I don't have a set schedule because of working full-time, 1/2 hr commute home, and kids after school activities. I do try to throw a load or 2 in each day no matter what as I like my weekends to be pretty free.

How do you all store/sort your laundry before it is time for washing? Do you use the separated containers that allow you to pre-sort? I used to have one, but it was made out of PVC plastic and always fell apart under the weight. I did see some at Walmart that looked sturdier. Has anyone tried these?

I probably wash clothes more than most due to the uniform restrictions our public school instituted, but I do love them! When my daughter was in Christian school, she would not wear the same outfits more than once a month and it was a daily fight. When we switched her to the same school district her dad teaches in it was wonderful as she is not concerned with what she looks like as everyone has to follow the same rules! But the drawback is the increase in my wash load. Summer is awesome as it is really cut in almost half.

If anyone out there happens to stumble on my blog PLEASE share your ideas. I am really tired of my bedroom floor looking like a wreck. Although the cat land dog love it as it is a huge bed for them! This weekend I would like to implement a new routine and check this off my list from yesterday's post.

By the way check out Pheobe's to do list- so many similar items are on mine!

Cents To Get Debt-Free: Tackling My To Do List


JessieLeigh said...

Wow, that IS a lot of laundry! I usually do 1 or 2 loads every single day (even weekends) and that keeps it well under control, but I'd say I average 10-12 loads a week vs. your 21...

I DO use my dryer and that probably helps a lot. It also limits my ironing since so many things come out of the dryer pretty much wrinkle-free.

But my biggest time saver? I don't sort. Seriously. I just wash all our clothes in cold water. I've never had issues with bleeding or color transfer. Sheets and towels I wash in hot water, separately, but all of our clothes just go in together. Not sure if you'd be comfortable with that since it sounds like you sort into pretty small categories! But it definitely helps me out.

Best of luck-- I can imagine that's a time-consuming job each week!

Rochelle said...

Thanks for the idea- I have washed mixed items together in cold wash when the kids have run out of uniforms and never had any problems either. Maybe I should try to do that more often! I forgot to mention in my post how I love to iron. I've even ironed underwear! So that is why I have kept my sorting to colors in order to keep track of the kids uniforms.

Elisabeth said...

I came upon your blog from Cents to get Debt Free. Here is what I did to get control of my laundry. I wrote about it here -

I have found this system to work very well for me. Of course, I have to sort the laundry according to each individual after it's washed, but I couldn't justify washing a small load for each individual child like some of my friends do.

Hope this is helpful to you. It's great getting a system that works for you.

Rochelle said...

Elizabeth- Just read your post and I think I will try the sorters from Walmart. My loads are large despite sorting them by colors so I need something strong and with a family as large as yours I think the sorters will hold my piles. Now to find a place in my old house to store them!!

Anonymous said...

There are six in my family. Here is what we do. I have baskets labelled and we sort clothes into colours, uniforms, darks, whites, delicates and towels/tea towels/washers. When there is enough for a load I do it. The uniforms get done twice a week to make sure the kids have the correct items to wear. I only use the dryer for my towels or when the weather is awful. I fold socks & underwear as I take them off the line & sort the rest in piles for everyone to put away. Hope this helps!