Thursday, September 21, 2006

Laundry Fanatic

You may realize I’m a laundry fanatic after reading this blog. I’m actually more of a frugal living fanatic: making sure I save time and money (in all areas). This blog does focus on laundry though. If your perfect image of me begs not to be blemished, stop now. You have been forewarned.

Today I’m starting a laundry log experiment. Why? Well, there seems to be dozens of loads of laundry constantly cycling in our home. And I’m the one doing them all. And I’m not talking cloth diapers. I’ve been so busy lately (not just with laundry); we’ve taken on Luvs disposables. So, I’m thinking either I get more help with the laundry or we get rid of about 50% of the clothes.

One thing that has helped so far is purchasing and using those closet sweater organizers. I bought one for G in girlish colors (pink, purple, yellow, lime green) with each day of the week labeled, and one for Pookie and Bun to share in bold colors (red, yellow, blue, green). With the names of the week clearly above each section, I figured they’d start to recognize their spelling as well as the concept of days of the week having names and time passing, etc. As I’m hanging up, folding, putting away laundry I put their clothes straight into the organizers. It’s actually kind of fun. I often designate some days of the week different colors or patterns; ie. Monday- red day, Tuesday- stripes, Wednesday- BYU shirt day, Thursday- dress up clothes (Batman, Barbie & Tigger) day, Friday- blue day. The kids get a kick out of it and get dressed faster—they also tell everyone they meet what day it is: “It’s stripe day!” I can also tell Pookie now, “Go downstairs and get everyone’s Thursday clothes. It’s the day that starts with T & H.” And if he’s downstairs a long time, I know it’s because he’s standing there sounding out all the days of the week.

So that’s saved me time.

We have a family closet for the kids. That’s where you’ll find the organizers. All the children’s clothes are in the laundry room on an 8-foot clothing rod that Danny installed. We have a very small two-drawer dresser (maybe it’s a nightstand—it was free at the side of the road) that holds pajamas. G has the top drawer while Pookie and Bun share the bottom drawer. We have two smallish coated-wire shelf thingies that each hold three bins. Bins are for underwear and socks. From top to bottom (youngest to oldest) we have labeled with everyone's names, and the last one isn’t labeled because it keeps changing - guest/swimsuits/workout gear.

The laundry sorter has three mesh laundry bags hanging up: blue is for darks, white is for whites, green is for towels. When the clothes come off their (the kids) bodies, they go into the appropriate bin. Danny and I have a small white crate/basket in our closet for darks and a hanging white laundry bag in our bathroom for whites. Towels are taken straight down to the laundry sorter.

When following basic household routines, the children go down to the laundry room right before bed and pick out their clothes for their clothes-people. They take the clothes upstairs and lay out a person on their bedroom floor. Then in the morning they put their pajamas under their pillows and put on the play-clothes.

So, I’m logging laundry loads for the week. I’m also logging which kind of load we do the most of. As I put a load in the washer I put a hash mark next to the appropriate category:

Whites- All white clothing (no towels): absolutely no colors, or beiges, or even gray and white socks because anything nylon will pick up those colors and make them look dingy.

Darks- Clothing that’s non-white. This category often has subcategories when there is a lot in the laundry sorter.

Towels- Dog towels separate from other towels. No one wants to dry off their face after a shower and be stuck with dog hair all over. I always bleach the dog towels.

Sheets- Once a week for Danny and myself, once every two weeks for the kids - unless there’s an accident.

Blankets/Quilts- Blankets (aka blankies) are washed a lot more frequently than quilts.

I’m hoping to glean some kind of insight from the whole experiment. So, anyone have any advice or other time-saving laundry tactics? Don’t even think about telling me to wash everything together. That ruins the clothing, towels and sheets resulting in the purchasing of new clothing, towels and sheets, or the wearing of ruined clothing ruining self-esteem—this tactic is obviously not for the frugally minded.


OHANA said...

Wowzers, I knew you were into organization, but now I really KNOW!!! Well one trick that works great for us, naked day. We like to just go without clothes, so that I don't have to wash them. Or we use the same pajamas a couple nights in a row so that we don't have to wash them too often. But I guess out there naked day might not be an option. Good luck.

Susan said...

Holy Cow! And I mean Holy Cow! I think if I tried to do this everyone would think I had been taken over by aliens! Way to organized for me I'm afraid. And no, I have no tips for making laundry faster, easier, cleaner, etc. It is just always present. That's all I can tell ya.

Leslie said...

Just be like us and buy new clothes every day - then everything is disposable, not just the baby diapers. Actually I have no advie - so when you get the laundry thing down, share your tips with us.

piglet26 said...

ummm...I am confused, really, what is there to wash? I only do 3 loads of laundry a week. I just tell george and Henry, "STAND STILL, DO NOT MOVE, NEVER MAKE A MESS" I add a few minor threats, but it helps because I only have to wash their clothes about every 8th time they wear it. hahahahaha

lizbit said...

You're definitely doing better than I am . . . as a college student, I tend to wash all my clothes together (though I do wash my sheets and towels separately . . . usually). I say, just keep up the good work! Laundry never ends. It's always there. Speaking of which, I have to do mine today. Hmm.


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