Monday, October 19, 2009

Monday's Household Assignments- Get rid of the hampers!

I was reminded this week of why I hate hampers. When you have hampers in each bedroom or in the bathrooms it's way too easy to get overrun and overwhelmed with laundry. For example, let's say you have 4 bedrooms and have a hamper in each one.  If each hamper holds 2 loads of laundry and you gather up all the laundry once per week, voila, you have 8 loads of laundry to do.  This doesn't even include the sheets on the beds or the towels. That's a full day's worth of laundry and that makes me want to run away from home.  Here's a better way to deal with laundry.

Have one hamper or gathering basket for the entire family to use. I prefer a basket but use what you prefer. Have everyone put their clothes into it at night before bed. Each morning, bring the dirty clothes to your laundry area. In your laundry area, have some sort of sorting system. Here's a 3 section laundry sorter from Walmart for $21.98 that is perfect for sorting laundry into.

You could also use 3 baskets lined up on top or next to your machines. Sort the laundry into lights, mediums and darks. When a bin is full, wash the clothes in it.

Once the clothes are done drying,  fold them straight from the dryer. Don't grab the clothes and bring them to the living room to fold or to your bedroom to fold, when you do this you're moving all of the clothes twice and it's much more likely that the clothes will end up where they shouldn't be.  After you fold each piece of clothing, place it into a stack or a bin for each family member. Take the clothes and put them away as soon as you finish folding.  If your kids are old enough, leave the stacks and have them put their own clothes away as soon as they get home but all clean clothes need to be put away before bed each day!!!
Pick one day a week to wash the sheets and the towels. With this method, it's so much easier to keep up with the laundry and not have lots of clothes sitting around cluttering up your laundry room or house. You don't ever get behind. Once you get in the habit of doing laundry this way, it is so much easier.

When should kids start doing their own laundry? In my household it was about the time my kids were 12 to 14 years old- they each started doing their own laundry the first time they complain to me about it. Comments like: "Where's my white shirt?  I need it and I put it into the laundry yesterday." or "Haven't you done laundry yet? I needed my favorite jeans for today." My response to this kind of comment was to give them a gift of their own hamper and teach them to do their own laundry. I never did their laundry again unless it was an emergency and they asked really, really nicely and thanked me!

With 5 kids and pets, this was the only way that I found to stay on top of the mounds of laundry that my family could produce. I hope that some of these suggestions help you stay out from under your laundry.

One more thing! When you get home from a vacation or trip, don't let the suitcases go to the bedrooms. If you unpack the dirty clothes, from the suitcases, right in the laundry area then send the rest of the items up to be unpacked, it eliminates having to gather up all of the laundry. It's one less step and time saved.

Have a great week!


Widge said...

great tips. I'm terrible for having a mountain of unfolded washing living permanently in our family room. can't wait till my kids are old enough to do their own! bring it on!!

blueviolet said...

I finally started emptying the suitcases right away and that does help!

I wish they made sorting bins with 4 sections. I need to separate out my cold water stuff.

Gaia said...

I totally agree, my boy is 11 now. So next year he'll be doing his own laundry. He does help me with a bit of the ironing, but will need to learn more esp using the washer.

Erin M. said...

I love this bin from Wal-Mart, may have to get one this week! This is a great idea. You're right---I do get overwhelmed with all the hampers in my house. This is a better system.

I am a new follower---I came over to visit from Stir-Fry Awesomeness' blog. She's one of my pals and told me to follow you, so here I am! Looking forward to reading more.

Lee the Hot Flash Queen said...

What's a hamper?? I thought the floor was a hamper?? At least that's what my kids think!

kys said...

Finally! I'm already doing something that you suggested! (Although I don't always fold straight from the dryer.)

I'm a little fanatical about my laundry.

beachbettypr said...

Great tips, however, we have (had) that laundry basket from Walmart and it completely fell apart holding all our laundry!

Tamara aka Cheapskate Mom said...

Ugh. When you are done with your place, can you come to mine and organize my laundry room? My boys think clean clothes go in the hamper and dirty ones on the floor. I have been eyeing those sorting hampers at Target. I keep saying "one day..." but other purchases (like Starbucks) take priority, lol!

yonca said...

Those are great tips! My son is only 7, sometimes he tries to help folding:)