Thursday, January 5, 2012

Organizing laundry

I think one of the main factors to becoming organized is to have the ability to think ahead and streamline things.

This morning I have been catching up on laundry before I head to the dentist ( round one of cap for root canal- ugh).  Anyway, I'd like to pass along how I do my laundry and keep everything organized.  Maybe a few of  my tips will help someone else with the daunting chore.

Every room in my house has a laundry basket/hamper in it.  Except the family room and the living room.  That way, when I do the load of laundry - it gets done, folded and goes right back to where it came from.  And - I can keep things separate that I need to bleach and wash in different temperatures.

I wash all bedding and all towels in warm/hot water to kill anything that may be on them ( my son has severe allergies) .  All kitchen towels, dishrags, washcloths get washed in hot water with bleach.  ( same reason- kill germs)  All clothes get washed in cold water - to save on electricity.

Also, I make my own laundry soap.  My son and husband have delicate skin that reacts to most perfumes and scents in soap and detergents and dryer sheets.  We don't use dryer sheets - we use the plastic balls that go round and round in your dryer to cut back on static cling.  If you are interested in the laundry soap I make - here is the recipe.

4  Cups - hot tap water
1  Fels-Naptha soap bar - we found ours at Fleet Farm and stocked up
1 Cup - Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda*
½ Cup Borax

- Grate bar of soap and add to saucepan with water. Stir continually over medium-low heat until soap dissolves and is melted.
-Fill a 5 gallon bucket half full of hot tap water. Add melted soap, washing soda and Borax. Stir well until all powder is dissolved. Fill bucket to top with more hot water. Stir, cover and let sit overnight to thicken.
-Stir and fill a used, clean, laundry soap dispenser half full with soap and then fill rest of way with water. Shake before each use. (will gel)
-Optional: You can add 10-15 drops of essential oil per 2 gallons. We've added lemon to ours.  :) 
-Yield: Liquid soap recipe makes 10 gallons.
Baking Soda will not work, nor will Arm & Hammer Detergent - It must be sodium carbonate!!  (We got this off the Duggar Website) 
Okay - back to laundry.  I will use my son's room as an example.  He is responsible for bringing his own laundry hamper down to the laundry room either when it is full - or when he wants his laundry done.  ( Trying to teach them responsibility)  Case in point - I had told him for three days in a row that he was running low on clean clothes and that if he didn't bring his laundry to the laundry room - he wouldn't have any of his pants to wear.  School morning - he had to wear a pair of pants that were too big.  Tough luck kiddo - I warned you.  So, we had to ask the secretary in the office for a safety pin to pin to his pants to cinch them in.  ( again - teaching him that he needs to ask for help - and problem solve)  Hopefully this will help him to learn that one - I mean what I say - and two  - if you want clean clothes that FIT - get them to the laundry room on time.  ( Needing to think ahead)
Once his clothes come down to the laundry room - all of it goes in in the same load.  I do not separate the kids clothes unless it is whites.  Sometimes I will do the whites separately.  Otherwise - all the clothes have been washed before and I have never had anything bleed or get discolored when washing in cold water.  All new clothes get washed separately before wearing with towels (in case they bleed) .  
When the clothes come out of the dryer - I sit down and fold all of it and put them in different piles.  Shirts in one, pants in another, socks and undies in another and pj's in another.  Shirts and pants get folded once.  Pants in half the long way - shirts in half once the long way.  Then, I take one shirt and match it to a pair of pants.  ( This way, all "outfits" are together.  I lay the folded shirt in half - then pants on top of it and fold over.  ( pants and shirts are now together.)  I do the same thing for pajamas.  Socks and undies get folded and put back in laundry basket.  
Once all "outfits" are put together - the kids can take their baskets back to their room.  They have one drawer for socks and undies - one for pj's one two or three for outfits.
This way - all pants are with matching tops and there is no " mom - what goes with what"  - "what should I wear today?"  It is all streamlined.  When they go to their drawer - they know they need to pick a pair of socks, undies and an outfit out to put on the in morning.  ( I am one of those parents who cares what their kids look like when they leave the house - so their outfits are all put together)  
Also - they are in charge of putting their clothes away - that way they know where it is and what they have.

When I do the laundry for the kitchen - it is all folded and put back in the drawer with all the towels and rags.
When I do the laundry for the bathroom - all towels are folded and put back into the cubbord.  We also have our sheets and blankets stored in our bathroom cabinets.  I find it is easiest to put fitted sheet - flat sheet and one pillow case all in the other pillow case and store them that way.  That way it is easy for them to be all organized and together when it comes time to change the bedding.
I hope this all makes sense.  Good luck and Happy Laundering!  

1 comment:

  1. I love your idea for sheets! I'm totally going to use that. We have an ever-leaning tower of sheets. Now I'll just fold them and stick them in the matching pillowcase. A nice bundle of everything you need to make the bed. Thanks Becky!