5/22/10

The unsurmountable pile of laundry

Once upon a not that long time ago, I had a laundry system that worked for me. I didn't have to worry about conquering Mount Washmore because it was only a mole hill and I refused to make a mountain out of a mole hill.

It was a very simple laundry system. Each day I would do 1-2 loads of laundry and I would fold each load *as it came out of the dryer*. Sometimes I would start a load at bedtime, transfer the load in the morning and start my second load. My sorting system was very simplistic. I had two sets of two hanging mesh bags. In one set were the clothes: one bag for colors, one bag for whites and very light colored clothes. In the other set I had a bag for towels and another for sheets. All clothes were washed in cold water. All sheets and towels in warm water. I redefined what "caught up" on laundry meant for me and this was one area that I had completely conquered. I ruled over the laundry; it did not rule over me. Whatever bag held a full load of laundry was the load that got washed. Sometimes this meant that there was indeed dirty laundry but if there wasn't a full load, I didn't stress. It would get done the next day.

I didn't always have that laundry system; it was born out of a need to simplify. When we lived on the East Coast, I had a laundry room in the basement. I had a complicated laundry sorting system but I had the space to implement it. I used laundry baskets for sorting and I had lots of them. I sorted by color *and* whether I should wash in cold water or warm water. If that wasn't complicated enough, I also sorted by laundry detergent. I had piles of baby clothes to use with Dreft or whatever "baby" detergent I was using and piles of "normal" detergent. I did laundry once or twice a week and to be "caught up" on laundry meant that the only dirty laundry in the house were the clothes on our backs. It was complicated but it worked for that season.

The army moved us to a Fort in the middle of the country. The house was smaller. Laundry facilities were now in my *kitchen*. There was NO place to implement my wonderful sorting system. Thus was born the *overly* simplified version. 1 *maybe* 2 loads of laundry *everyday* and the only sorting was clothes in one basket and sheets and towels in another. It worked while we lived there because I could NOT have piles of laundry. The house was just small.

Then the army moved us again. This time to our present location; 9 years ago. I implemented what I thought of as my "perfect laundry plan". It worked really well for a number of years. It worked so well that I had a hard time understanding all my friends who complained of piles and piles of laundry and then one day it didn't work anymore. It's NOT working. Laundry is no longer a mole hill it is a mountain and it has a name Mount Washmore. Currently, thanks to 4 daughters who folded several loads this morning, I only have a load of clothes drying in the dryer. I do have 1 or 2 loads of towels to wash. I think I saw a load of blankets to be washed and I'm guessing that there might be a load of dark clothes to wash. I've been using the same sorting but one of the dual mesh bags bit the dust a few years ago. I replaced it with a sturdy hamper. It holds sheets and towels. I still only wash sheets together and only towels together but I only have space for one container. But I just can't seem to get laundry folded and put away consistently so dirty clothes don't get washed because the clean ones are sitting in the baskets. We get those folded and put away and then I push to get a bunch of laundry washed and then it sits.

I need a new laundry system. Today's plan: create a new laundry plan/system. It's time to conquer the mountain in a new way.

4 comments:

  1. Good luck! Keep me posted, I want to hear a great system!

    I don't fall on the washing part, but it is the folding part.

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  2. We call it Mt Never-rest and I need a new system, too! I have one kid in charge of sorting and running loads and I'm supposed to be the one folding. I usually fold little girls' together, big girl separate and all boys together (they have to pick out their own and put it away). The main problem is that the washer/dryer are in the garage and there is NOWHERE in the house to fold except my bed, which makes for lots of baskets and piles of laundry when I don't get to it, which is more often than not. I don't know what to do either!!! Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

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  3. Laundry is my nemesis! The four sorter thingies seem like a good idea, though! I'll have to see if I can implement it. :)

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  4. Enjoyed your muse over Mt Washmore! I call the Laundry Fairy...she's awesome, but unfortunately she doesn't show up MUCH of the time which leads me to desperation~ME doing it..imagine that?? ;-))

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