Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Confession: I have a laundry problem.

So. Confession time. I have a SERIOUS laundry problem.

I probably need to go to Laundry Haters Anonymous or something. I mean, it's bad. Like, BAD BAD.

It's so bad that a few months ago, my saint-like mother-in-law went to the laundromat with me and helped me do approximately FORTY loads of laundry at once. 

Yes, you read that right. 

FORTY. AND THAT WASN'T EVEN HALF OF OUR LAUNDRY.


I know, I'm disgusted with me too. Part of the problem, obviously, is that we have too many clothes. There was a time in my life when, rather than do laundry, I would simply go buy something new. Yes, really. I was that frivolous and ridiculous and lazy. So, to tackle my problem, step one is to get rid of some clothes.

I also am not very good at switching out clothes for the seasons. So, for example, right now there are sweaters laying around my house, despite the fact that it is 90 degrees outside. Step two, then, should be to box up off-season clothes, right?

And, the third thing that I know I can improve on is boxing up too-small clothing, rather than letting it linger in drawers, where it inevitably gets tried on, deemed to small, thrown on the floor, and eventually makes it back to the laundry pile. 

Something tells me that these three things still won't totally alleviate my problem, so I'm asking for help. 

Do you have a system to keep your laundry under control?

How many towels per person should a family have?

 How many loads of laundry do you do per week?

I don't mind washing and drying it, but do you know of a magic robot to fold and put away my clean laundry? 

Should I just throw away all of my clothes and make my family go naked to avoid this dreaded task?

HELP!!!!!!!

32 comments:

  1. I love doing laundry (call me crazy!), but only when it is systematic. We use a sorting hamper and I do a load or two every day, depending on which bin is full. Towels and sheets don't go in the hamper; I just wash, dry, and return them to use. I haven't had to spend an entire Saturday catching up on laundry in months, and I love it!

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  2. Emily, I think we are related! I absolutely hate doing laundry and it contributed to my messy household... and because the too small clothes were EVERYWHERE, I felt hopeless and overwhelmed, and couple that with good ole' fashioned Post-Partum Depression that took me 8 months to get help for... it got really bad.

    One day I literally woke up and said "F*ck this, I'm tired of living with a laundry mess." and then went to target, and bought 3 see through bins (I need more, and you probably do as well). Came home, and started shoveling clothes into the washing machine. I did not sort the laundry at all, that just adds to the time. I also had two trashbags -you can use a trash can and one bag, or two different colored bags- next to my dryer. And as I would pull things out, I would either 1)Put it on top of my dryer 2)throw it away if it were stained or torn 3)put it in another bag for donation or 4)Since I have two daughters, I put the in-between sizes in the clear bins. Once I had the stuff sorted, I would then fold and put away the left over clothes. In 8 days, I washed 21 loads of laundry, donated 9 bags of clothing and threw away another 2 bags. I didn't bother sorting seasonal stuff, nor did I bother sorting sizes into different bins. THIS CAN WAIT UNTIL THE END OF THE MOUNTAIN!!!

    Here's what you need to tell yourself..
    1) Put the rest of the house on the back burner, it can wait. Focus on laundry and taking care of your sons and husband! And honestly, if you're anything like me, you'll have to clean anyway to get all the laundry so, it will probably do itself.
    2) It's okay to get rid of clothes. Don't tell yourself "Oh, that can get repurposed into something else later. That "something else" will never materialize, and "later" never arrives.
    3) Don't bother having a yard sale.. it won't be worth the hassle and aggravation. And besides, holding onto stuff for a yard sale keeps the clutter in. If you feel that you absolutely NEED to sell some, then by all means,go online, order flat rate priority boxes, sort clothes, take pics and then box the clothes up by size into flat rate boxes and hold an online yardsale on the blog. I'm sure many of your readers would be happy to share the links for friends and family, and may buy some boxes themselves. Just be sure you number the boxes so you can send the right box out to the right people. And you can even do this on eBay, lots of baby and children's clothes are REALLY popular. And if it's boxed up then it's put away after a fashion. Start your listings at 99 cents, post the proper shipping cost and see what happens!
    4) Don't burn yourself out on it either! I did an average of 2-4 loads of laundry a day depending on what was getting washed. If it's nothing but clothing items, I only did 2 loads. If it were big items like a king sized comforter, then I did additional loads.
    5) Don't waste time sorting socks. designate a basket for socks, and then when the laundry is all done or if you're waiting between loads and need some busy work to keep yourself on a roll while watching tv or a movie, sort and fold socks. If you can match up socks, then great, put them away. If you can't find matches, keep them in the basket until you are done with laundry. At the end, just toss the mismatched socks. Sure the lost ones will turn up later, but the important thing is get rid of the clutter!

    The most IMPORTANT thing to remember.. it didn't happen in a day, don't expect it to be cleaned up in a day. Give yourself time, and remember to keep in mind, it's 100% worth it, and you will be SO MUCH HAPPIER when it's done!!

    If you need a cheerleader, feel free to email me, I was able to encourage myself, and I'm sure I can give you some amazing encouragement too! YOU CAN DO THIS!!

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  3. Every time I have to do laundry, I say we should join a nudist colony.
    Some things that make it easier for me (however, I only have me, my husband, and a baby):
    I have one kind of socks for me, and one kind for my husband, and I don't match them. I just toss them into a bag, and we grab a pair when we need them.
    The baby's laundry gets done once a week, separate from ours.
    And... I've given up on trying to fold clothes. Bad me. But whatever. I've never thought jeans and t-shirts needed to be wrinkle free anyway.

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  4. Wow. I remember that post and thought it was pretty crazy, but there are 5 of you and you make a lot of wearable stuff, too. Right now there are only two of us, but from what I understand, laundry is going to get crazy with a baby. I don't mind the washing/folding- I hate the putting away.

    I do at least two loads a week (don't hate!), one of which is towels/bedding/etc and the other is usually a combination of colors/darks. We don't have many whites/lights, so it's hard to get a full load of those every week. I used to wait longer between loads overall, but then it's a crazy pile you spend all day working on in between everything else.

    I do go through my stuff quite frequently (even now when none of my old stuff fits my belly) to weed out anything that doesn't fit, isn't worn, or I don't love anymore. It's been hard over the years to let go of some things because they're pretty or I paid a lot for them, but there's no sense in keeping stuff that's just taking up space and not getting used. I try to take as much to Clothes Mentor as possible so I can get some $$$, but anything they don't take or I don't deem good enough to take in gets donated.

    It also helps now sharing a closet with the husband; space is at a premium! When we were in the condo I had the closet in the second room all to myself. We splurged on an elfa closet (I need to post photos on FB), so everything has a specific place- even my jewelry. And while there are other closets in the house, I don't want to store stuff elsewhere, unless it's out of season or non-maternity clothes. All that stuff is in bins in the basement. At some point (hopefully by fall), I'll be getting a dresser that will house my bulky sweaters.

    I do have less towels than before we moved! We have three for the master bath and two for the guest bath. I keep a few older towels for cat bedding.

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  5. Laundry. I have so much to say about it, that I'm thinking about not commenting and just emailing you direct. :)
    I have two different approaches that work great, depending upon your personality and station in life. I'm at the point where we're a family of four and in student housing- laundry is a once-a-week deal involving quarters, three loads, and zoning out to a happy place. Through the summer, two of those loads go on the line to dry. I'm a HUGE fan of line drying. I only line dry the stuff that's big, like sheets, or stuff that can go on hangers. It sits out on the line, dries, needs no ironing and comes in to be put away without delay. The stuff that is in the drier is mostly socks and skivvies. Laundry comes out of the drier, goes in the laundry basket, is marched to the bedroom, folded warm and put away right then and there. If I don't do that, we end up using the laundry basket as an extra dresser drawer for a week, to be honest.
    Ok, here's the other way. I did this for a while when we had our home and a washer of our very own. I learned this from a friend- one load a day, distributed through the week. Whites, brights, lights, darks, & towels. When you switch to the system, it takes a week to settle-in. You'll do a couple of tiny loads, but once you're in the groove, it's really nice. Yes, you do laundry every day. But all in all, you're talking about an hour a day. No biggie. Very similar to Jessica's comment. And I like it, especially, when there's a baby around. With a load churning everyday, you'll never have to let baby-soils sit long.
    Try to like it. Get a dryer sheet scent you really like. Zone out and find your happy place. Line dry and enjoy the outdoors.

    p.s. Two towels per person, two sets of sheets per bed.

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  6. I find it helpful to "toss as I go". When I pull something out of the closet and realize it doesn`t fit or I just don`t like it as much, it goes into a donation bag that I keep in the closet. When that is full, I can drop it off at Goodwill - it takes no effort at all to keep my closet uncluttered. Same for ripped, torn or stained stuff, I toss it into a bag by the washer and once that`s full, out it goes. That might help with your step 1, getting rid of some clothes. Of course it takes longer to see results than with one big closet clean-out, but it´s a system that can work in the long haul and prevents crashing and burning.

    As for putting laundry away, I seond that it needs to get done right away, or will never happen. I line dry all my laundry, so before I can do the next load, I have to take everything off the clothes racks. Which means I won´t do laundry unless I have time to put all the dry stuff away :) If you use the dryer, you could do this in reverse order - don`t start a load unless you know you will be able to launder, dry and put it away in one go.

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  7. Here's what I would do:

    Step 1: Wash everything.
    Step 2: Give away. Give away. Give away. :) Less clothes = less laundry!

    We have two kids with one on the way, so I know how it feels to have endless laundry. Every season I go through my kids clothes and either store or give away anything they've outgrown *and* that is in good condition. Anything we don't like (or is torn, stained, etc.) is given away. They already have waaay to many clothes, so it's good to get rid of some. I'm constantly going through my own closet, as well, giving away things that don't fit or that I don't like to wear anymore.

    Good luck to you! :)

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  8. Laundry is one of my favorite chores. It's so easy compared to sweeping or mopping or scrubbing toilets! I do probably 1-2 loads each day, of which one load a week is towels (we have 7 towels for 4 people and I normally wash them all) and 2-3 are cloth diapers. I purposely don't buy a lot of clothes, especially for the kids. This forces me to do laundry more often and keep things moving. When I fold the laundry, I put the basket on my bed and walk each piece to it's home as I'm folding it. This started as self-defense when my oldest was about 1 and in love with destroying folded piles of laundry and now I tell myself it's extra exercise! It also allows me to fold the basket as I have time, but I normally get it all folded the same day it comes out of the washer. If it doesn't get done during the day I disappear when DH gets home to read in my room, um, I mean, fold the laundry. I like to think I'm fairly good about rotating seasons/sizes but I did just find a pair of 12-month shorts shoved in the back of my 4yos dresser drawer so maybe I'm a bit delusional!

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  9. I think I'm in my laundry room doing something every day. I usually wash between 7-11 loads each week. (We're 4, soon 5 in our household, 2 of which are messy boys. We also have 2 longhaired cats)

    I don't sort winter/summer clothes, I only switch the woolgartments and shorts and swimwear to different shelves. Outerwintergarments are stored in the basement in the summer.

    The most important thing to make me sane is:
    * learning the kids (and husband) to pick up their dirty laundry and put it in the hamper.
    * have my strong husband carry the heavy dirty hamper down to our laudryroom when it's full.
    * get the kids to try all their clothes 2 times a year - all that's to small and still in good condition is given to someone with smaller kids. The clothes with patches is either used to patch other clothes, or given to someone who needs work-clothes for their kids.
    * sort laudry.
    * wash every day if possible.
    * wash and linedry everything except towels and linnen.
    * have my strong husband carry all the clean clothes upstairs so I can iron and fold when watching my favourite TV shows.

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  10. Become nudists.

    Problem solved?

    Baaahahahaha... j/k.

    I have no solutions, just wanted to be witty :)

    (And we all each have two towels each - when one's dirty, it gets washed, folded & waits for the next turnover)... but I wonder, is this normal?

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  11. Laundry is much preferable over washing dishes and house cleaning here. ;) I do about 7-10 loads of laundry here a week for the five of us. (3 children ages 2-6) Some weeks I do it over 2 days and some weeks I do 1-2 loads a day- depends on my mood! I would pick a system you work best with and stick to it- AND GET RID OF SOME CLOTHES! LOL! Sort them out into boxes as you fold them and get them out of the house or in storage immediately. (this is for the big clothing unload ;) ) Season changes always clog things up a bit here but are well worth the extra effort.
    We just use one towel per person here a week and hang them up to dry after they are used. :) Laundry is much easier that way. Each child is in charge of doing this unless they are too small. You can even assign a certain towel to child for them to hang on their bedpost or something. My girl could do this at 3- but it is a GIRL we are talking about here. ;)
    As for robots, my children help me fold small towels and cleaning rags. We do it all together. Make it fun by putting on music, making a game out of it,etc. My girl, almost 4, likes to help fold clothes and my two year old likes to hand them to me out of the basket for me to fold. The older two know how to put there own clothes away. You have to help them do it the first few times, but then they can do it on there own with the occasional quality control checks. ;) Almost like robots!
    Good luck on your laundry dilemma!

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  12. If you find that robot please let me know! I hate folding laundry and as my pregnant belly grows I'm hating switching too - I have a top load washer. I wash 3-5 loads a week it should be more but I put mine off until I have absolutely nothing left... usually 1 of lights 1 each of casual & work clothes for hubbs 1 of my little mans and 1 towels oh and cloth diapers as they are dirty. Please do a follow up post ion what you figure out ;)

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  13. Everyone has really great suggestions for getting laundry finished. I'll just add my folding tip. I get everything washed and dried and piled onto a chair near the TV. Then I'll pick a movie or a show to watch from Netflix and get started. Then I pull out the ironing board and get that done at the same time.

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  14. I have no tips. We struggle with 2 people so I can't imagine doing laundry with 5! But, soon enough, you can look forward to teaching the boys to help!

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  15. I read the beginning of your post to my husband, that could so be me! We have a few less clothes, but it always seems to be overwhelming. I want/need to get rid of stuff, but pulling it off without weeping and wailing was a pain to me. So I put a basket (milk crate) up on the shelf in my kids closet and everytime I discover something I can send to goodwill I throw it up there. Once it's full I put it in a garbage sack and it goes into the garage until we can get it there. I have to say I hate, hate laundry and I don't think anything is going to change that. I also live in a place where the change of seasons is hard to define. For example I just boxed up all the winter stuff and then had to pull it out again for cold yucky weather. So the sort out the seasonal stuff never seems to work for me. I want a robot who will just take care of that for me....and the dishes. I did know someone once who folded everything straight out of the dryer. My dryer is 2 floors from most of the places clothing goes so I don't know about that. It would get done faster than the pile on the couch method that really doesn't seem to work.

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  16. ugh. I wrote a long comment and google ate it. So here's the short. Laundry sucks. Forty loads sucks ballz. I have one thing to keep me sane. It's the sock laundry basket. After every load just toss socks into that bad boy. When it's full I pay Luca .10/pair to fold. That's too much but she's not going down in price so if you try this with Riley start low. Maybe .5/pair. She earns about $8-10 every time she does it. I'm going broke, but I was going broke buying new socks and undies every month to avoid doing laundry!

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  17. We each have our own laundry basket (myself, husband, son (8), and daughter (5). My basic strategy is to try to do a load a day - whichever basket is the most full (I combine the kids clothes) gets washed. The key to the kids laundry is to fold it into separate baskets. This makes it easier for when (a) I can actually get my son to put away his own laundry and (b) when I'm too lazy to put away my daughter's stuff and I need to fish out some clean undies for her! I wash towels once a week (I wash them in the AM and hang them up again when they're done. We have 1 nice towel per person with a backup older towel in the linen closet if needed). I usually wash one load of sheets each week (one week is our big bed, then the kids smaller beds make a load the following week). And every once in a while I bleach the living hell out of my husbands socks and undershirts. And I've almost always got something soaking in Oxy-Clean in a small bucket (LOVE that stuff!). Best of luck to you - it really is an endless, thankless task. Everyone with children feels your pain!!

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  18. I do a load a day at least. I don't bother sorting washing. We don't have many white clothes, and those that we do have are worn only occasionally, so I wash them separately when they are needed. I wash new clothes separately for a while to make sure that the colours not running and then they get all thrown in together. Saves so much and I never have trouble with colours running or colours getting dark from jeans etc, never.
    I put a load on each night after the kids baths/showers and hang out before I go to bed. Makes my mornings run smoother and in winter the clothes get the first rays of light and usually dry by mid arvo depending on the weather.
    Anyways we have 2 sets of towels for each of us, plus a set for visitors. Same with sheets. Each bed has two sets. Some have 2 sets of cotton and two sets of flannel, but not all of us use the flannel.
    My 16 year old has been doing all of his own washing (including his sheets, oh and I do his towel with ours so he doesn't chuck it in with his clothes and get them fluffy) since he was about 13.

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  19. Wow, 40 loads! And to think the other day I was freaking out because I had 9 loads to do and it was raining so nothing was drying (we don't have a dryer).
    To keep on top of it all, I do about 2 loads a day, sometimes 3 on the week-ends if needs be (we're a family of 4 with a baby and a toddler). We only use one towel and face cloth each for bath time, plus one hand towel for the whole family to dry our hands and face. Towels and sheets get washed once a week.
    We've only got two sets of towels and sheets per person/bed that way it doesn't pile up in the laundry pile.
    I do sort clothes in different piles: darks, lights (including whites) and woollens.
    Using different hampers for different types really helps, it saves a lot of time: you can just chuck it all in the machine without spending ages sorting through a massive pile of dirty clothes to find the right ones.
    If folding is what bothers you the most, I'd say don't worry about it. Wrinkly clothes have never hurt anybody. Or you could put all the t-shirts, cardigans and things like that on coat hangers, that's much easier :)
    Anyway, good luck with it all, I feel your pain!

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  20. Laundry can bury you pretty quickly if you don't keep up with it. I read your post and was trying to picture what 40 or 80 loads of laundry would look like - I think it would fill an entire room. No wonder you are overwhelmed! I took a sociology class once where we had an assignment to count how many clothing items we had - shirts, pants, etc. It was scary how many clothes most people had. One girl had more shirts than there are days in the year. She couldn't even wear each item once per year. Definitely time to down-size.

    I got the idea at the beginning of the year (probably online somewhere) to turn all my hangers backwards in the closet, then when I wore something, washed and put it away, I would hang the hangers the right way. So at the end of the year, I will remove all the clothes I haven't worn this year and get rid of them. So far, I've only used about half my clothes - about 15 different shirts and skirts. I'm looking forward to having a lot of space in my closet!

    I usually do all the laundry for my husband and I on Mondays. I empty the baskets onto the bed and make myself put it away right away - or in extreme circumstances, before I go to bed. I don't allow myself to put it back into the basket or move the pile. We do three loads for the two of us - darks, lights, and my husband's work jeans. We have a hamper in the master closet that consists of three hanging laundry bags, so there's no sorting when it's time to do laundry, and I can just grab a bag and go.

    We have five children. Each child over the age of 7 does his own laundry. The kids are responsible for gathering it up, running it in the washing machine and dryer, then putting it away immediately. It helps to make it a game - "Okay, sort everything in five minutes. Ready, set, go!" then "See if you can get all the shirts folded in the next 5 minutes. Go!" One kid also has the job of folding and putting away the towels. We only have two towels per person. I mounted a series of hooks in their bathroom in place of the towel bar and they hang them up and re-use them for a week or so and then they get washed. (The only reason you need two per person is in case one is in the wash when someone wants to shower.) For kids too young to do their own laundry (currently our 11 month old and 3 year old), I just wash and put that away on my own. Their load is the one I least like to do because there are so many little things to fold.

    You're on the right track with getting rid of a bunch of stuff. I can't imagine trying to keep all that organized. Maybe the reason you're reluctant to put stuff away is that you can get by without doing it, and when you do put it away, the closets and drawers are so stuffed full that the things don't fit neatly.

    I was trying to add up what our total number of loads is and I would guess it's somewhere around 10 per week for our family of 6 (one of our kids is in the Air Force, so no longer at home). And I also run a daycare out of my home, so we have extra dishcloths and kitchen towels, plus a load of daycare blankets at the end of each week. This doesn't include our regular bedding, which I don't wash every week (except for the youngest two - theirs gets thrown in with their clothes loads.

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  21. Dear, 40 is not that much... At our home, just me and my hubby, we do at least 7 loads a week (1 for black clothes, 1 for white cloths, 1 for other colours clothes, 1 for jeans, 1 for sheets, 1 for towels, 1 for kitchen fabrics). We change sheets and towels 2 times per week, and we don't use the same clothes twice. Subscribe the "FlyLady"to get organized. Or, what is even a better idea, let your partner take care of that! ;)

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  22. I do between 4-6 loads a week. Usually on Mondays my kids (5 yr. old girl and 3.5 yr. old boy) help me sort piles. Then throughout the week, I wash the loads. The kids each get their own baskets of folded laundry and put it away in their dressers. Things don't always stay folded when they shove them in but I don't care because at least I don't have to do it (and they know when they start elementary school they'll have to start folding their own clothes). Then they help fold towels and put them away in the linen closet for me. I explained to them that mom doesn't like missing out on fun just to fold laundry, so if they help, we have more time for family fun. As for my husband, he gets the washer and dryer to himself on Sundays (why should I have to wash a grown man's clothes?!?). This system works okay for us and because of their involvement, I don't have to be too uptight if my kids go through three outfits a day.

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  24. I do hate laundry although the folding and putting away part the most. If it isn't folded and put away as it comes out of the dryer then it stays in the basket forever! So my solution is to fold and put away right out of the dryer. If I'm lazy well nothing gets washed until the dryer gets empty! I am bad with laundry and usually do it on my way to bed around 11pm. Lately I have been really tired bone tired so I only do some laundry during the week end. On good week I would do 3-5 loads on bad weeks I only do 2.... Good luck and this reminds me that I have a few big piles of laundry littering my hallway booh

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  25. I feel for you, but we have 4 children and these are the things that work for us. The first thing to do is to put away ALL of the laundry in your laundry room. It will probably be a major pain because if you're like me, that's sort of a catch-all room and stuff that I don't know what to do with ends up in a holding pattern there. But once you get that one clean place, you can actually breathe.

    I agree with other commenters about the socks. Don't bother pairing them. That's late-night TV work and it will just slow you down if you try to match as you go.

    Then find one clean flat BIG place to fold and sort at the same time. Sometimes I fold on our dining room table, and sometimes on our king-sized bed. As soon as something is folded, put it in the stack for the owner. This seems like a no-brainer, but I used to fold things so quickly just to get them folded, it all ended up in one basket and then the putting away took FOREVER because I'd find myself unfolding things to see what size underwear those were... Now I have a crate for everyone in our family, and it's the owner's responsibility to put it away.

    Do the same for hanging clothes. I bought a sturdy hanging rod on wheels. Sort the hanging clothes as you put them onto the rack, so that you can quickly grab one stack of clothes to put in each person's closet.

    Then, as much as it sucks, come to terms with the fact that you'll be doing laundry every day, or at least every day until you win the lottery. Once it's under control, keep up with it and force yourself to do a load every day, as fast as you can, and then you'll never have the 40-load catch-up day at the laundromat. Good luck!

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  26. I used to have the same problem - when my baby was born we changed things up a little bit. We have three big laundry baskets that sit in our bedroom closet - when something gets dirty, we put in right into the correct basket (white, dark, bright). That way, when I have a spare second I can just dump the right basket into the washer. Then we HAVE to fold things right when they are dry. We live in a tiny apartment and I work full time, so this is just a matter of survival. The sorting beforehand has really helped me. Also; I get to pick a show to watch while I'm folding, and my husband helps to put everything away as we go. It makes a huge difference. Good luck!

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  27. I am right there with you sister! Our family of five (very soon to be six) makes a lot of dirty laundry in a week. When our washer broke down last summer, I became painfully aware of just how much we actually had. I have learned a few things over the last year that have helped but I'm still far from perfect.
    1) Only keep about a week's worth of clothes per person. My boys and husband only have about 8-10 of each clothing item. Of course, they have "extras" like their church clothes and a few nice button-up shirts for nice occasions. My daughter and I have a little more than a week's worth, maybe two weeks. Girls need a little more variety (um, skirts AND pants AND dresses) but you can still pair it down to some good mix and match pieces and just accessorize!
    2) Don't let clean clothes touch the floor. I make a huge pile of laundry on the sofa on laundry day. Then, we are forced to fold laundry if we want a place to sit. I usually fold all at once, watching a movie while I do it. If the clean clothes "pile" ends up on the floor because we are to lazy to fold it right then, it inevitably just ends up being washed again.
    3) For some reason, hanging clothes in the closet is easier for me than folding clothes. My kids don't have a lot of closet room so we hang shirts, dresses, and nice dress clothes. Other bottoms, undies, PJ's, etc. go in the dresser. The hubs and I hang just about everything. (Get those slim hangers to be able to hang twice as much.)
    4) Make your everyone help! My kids (2,6,8) and husband always have to put away their own laundry. After I sort and fold, I have each person take their pile to their room. The kids' dresser drawers are labeled (w/pictures) so if they can't find something it's because they didn't put it away in the right spot. My husband has to hang his own clothes. I even taught my 2 year-old (almost 3) how to put clothes on hangers and she loves to hang up her own stuff. Then, she has a few baskets in her closet: one for PJ's, one for bottoms, and one for undies and socks. It's not perfect but it's done!
    5) Keep dirty clothes in the bedrooms. I have found it easier to deal with laundry when everyone puts dirty laundry in their own basket or hamper in their room than in one giant mountain in the laundry room. Less daunting!
    This is what has helped us. We are still not perfect but we have come a long way. Hope this helps and good luck!

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  28. I hate laundry to. But I MAKE myself do it every week. 3 Loads of clothes: Darks, whites and in-betweens and then a load of towels and 2 loads of sheets. Start first thing in the morning and keep the washer and dryer and going all day till it's done. Now folding and putting away laundry is another story. I loath it. Having my kids (7 and 4) help out with matching and dividing the clothes in separate piles and then having them put away their own pile has really helped me.

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  29. Here's my two cents - sorry it's so late. laundry doing is something I"m always trying to perfect and make easier because I hate it too. Here's what has worked for us:

    small dressers - make it impossible to keep too many clothes. (the kids only keep a little over a week's worth of clothes). And it MAKES me transition clothes from seasons and sizes.

    Each child has their own laundry basket - this makes it quicker and simpler to wash and fold their clothes instead of having a million piles from one load of laundry (and I never separate colors unless we have brand new dark jeans or brand new red shirts - everything gets washed together in cold and i've never had a problem).

    Every kid folds and puts away their own clothes - this is the most brilliant chore I've ever instituted in our house. Even the 4 year old folds his own clothes. They are allowed to watch tv while they fold so they actually don't mind doing it. It also helps them think twice about putting clean clothes in the hamper since they know it just means more things for them to fold.

    Good luck!

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  30. Uhhhh, I hate doing laundry. I haven't made the boys fold yet (mine are 3, 5, & 7). I do have them put it away, but I find it all balled up in the wrong drawers. Ahhhhhh, rip.my.hair.out!!! When I was pg with the 3rd, I kept throwing the towels, blankets, sheets, ect in the bathtub (I have the kids washing in my shower so I could help better with the big belly). My mom finally stepped in when it started to fill up (it has fixed sliding doors...). Eeek, I thought I was the only one who hauled it down the laundromat when it piled up. I've been trying to keep up better though. I throw all the towels in a basket and wash it when it gets full. Each person has their own hamper. The part where I go downhill lately is with the folding and putting away. Then the towel basket is full and there are two bed sets in the hallway due to nighttime accidents... One more thing, I went to Walmart once to get new exercise pants. I told the boys it was because mine were too big and I needed a pair that fit. My 7 yr old knew better and said it was because I needed to do my laundry. Dang! Busted by a kid!! I think we should watch a hoarders show and then get to work!

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  31. Check flylady.com.She has helped me with laundry issues and then more!

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  32. 40?!?! I think that if I washed every single cloth item in my house I would have maybe 10 loads, tops. No wonder you don't wash it. Get rid of some clothes! Your life will be so much easier. Plus, depending on where you live, you might be able to sell them, rather than just donate. Though, you could donate to charity and feel good about helping people who really need the stuff. After you get rid of everything you can't wear any more or don't absolutely love, then box up the off season stuff. It sounds like you pretty much know what to do and just dread the actual doing?
    I don't do laundry every day. Sometime I go a week, sometimes two day. I rarely put it away immediately, which is a habit I need to break but it helps that I don't bother folding stuff like underwear. Seriously, even if it did wrinkle, it wouldn't matter. Also, make your kids help, at least with their own laundry if not with everything else. Also, I find it easier to get stuff done if I have people helping (like my husband). It's no just that they're doing some of the work. It's nice to have the company so I don't feel all alone, off working while my family is all having fun in another room.

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