The Laundry Monster

I was just talking with a friend about the dreaded Laundry Monster. I never thought that dirty clothes could take on a life of their own until I was washing enough for 6 people! I now know that the Monster must be attacked every single day...or it will grow to house-swallowing proportions. Well...we'll at least be going without underwear, which might even be worse!

My mom is probably reading this and thinking, "Oh no she doesn't. She can't be giving laundry advice?!" By the end of this post, I'm sure mom will be rolling on the floor trying to control a belly laugh! She knows how bad laundry can get around here. She usually ends up doing several loads for me every time she comes for a visit!

I don't claim to be an expert by any means. But I do have a few little routines/tricks that seem to help me tame the Beast. So here they are...if you have any to share with me, I'd love to hear them.

1. One of the best purchases I ever made was several of these inexpensive laundry hampers. They're lightweight, but can hold a lot of laundry. The trick is to have at least 3 so the laundry can be sorted as they go into the hamper. Each morning (that's the goal at least), I grab whichever is the most full, and pop the clothes into the laundry. That's my load for the day. I might have to do more than one if I'm doing sheets and towels, but one load a day usually does the trick. Oh, it's also important that you can grab just one at a time unless they're stored IN your laundry room. If I had to tote all 3 together all the time, I'd be much less likely to "just throw in a load, real quick".

2. The Laundry room. As you can see, I don't have much room. I do, however, have a kick-butt washer and dryer! I'm amazed by how much I can stuff into these things and still have them work properly. I also have a rod for hanging stuff, and I try to keep it organized. I group each person's clothes together on the rods or on top of the w/d as I fold and hang. It makes it much easier to eventually put away. Speaking of putting away...a 6 and almost 5 year old are plenty old enough to put their own clothes away
3. See that grocery sack hanging from a hanger? It might not look like much, but it's a key part of my system. It's the rogue sock bag. Who doesn't end up with a few lone socks at the end of each load? If you're out there...I want to hear from YOU! I always have socks without mates. Instead of continually searching for the matches or dealing with some sort of system to pin them together before they go into the laundry...I just toss the single socks in this bag. Every now and then I'll take down the bag, dump it on the floor, and get the kids busy in a game of "match the socks".

4. It's no big deal to have clothes hanging in the laundry room. Mine is never empty, but it's usually full of clean clothes. I try to get stuff put away, but I don't beat myself up if I don't.

5. Dear Hubby. He usually ends up doing a load or two per week. It's primarily my responsibility, but that load or two per week is really helpful! With 4 kids (heck, with 1 kid) it's sure a lot more pleasant for everyone if Mom and Dad are a team. I also like the idea of my boys seeing Daddy doing some housework.

That's it. Those are my tricks. I'd love to hear yours...maybe if we put them together we can finally kill this beast!

Anonymous –   – (1/08/2008 04:19:00 PM)  

You forgot the tip about the boys turning their shorts inside out to get a little more use out of them...the guys'll understand this one.

Your helpful Dad!

Anonymous –   – (1/08/2008 06:52:00 PM)  

Don't forget about backwards, too.

Anonymous –   – (1/08/2008 10:28:00 PM)  

I like the rogue sock bag idea. I have never had a good system for those!


Anonymous –   – (1/09/2008 08:20:00 AM)  

I also like the idea of a bag for misplaced socks. I learn something new everyday!


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