:: on laundry

Okay, so this is normally something I would never (and I mean never) post about. Laundry is a distasteful task, and an even more distasteful blog topic. Yes? Yes.

However, I kind of stumbled into a system (of sorts) for doing our family's laundry after we moved into this house, and although I felt like suddenly my endless haunting laundry problem was suddenly much lighter, I  didn't really give my "system" (that wasn't really even that!) much credit. I mean, doing laundry is doing laundry right? No matter how you do it, you're still washing, drying and folding the same amount of clothes. So the easier-ness of it must all be in my head, or so I reasoned.

Fast forward to last month, a friend and I got out on a mom's ski night. On the lift up, she was lamenting her laundry woes, and I told her, sort of off-handedly, how I do mine. Well the next week she texted me, raving about how great the idea is and how well it's working for her! And while we both agree that in theory this method should not make laundry easier, we agree that it does. And don't mess with success, right?! Right.

Okay, so after we moved in, sort of by default, I started sorting our clothes: Dan's in one hamper, mine in another, and the 4 kids (3 at the time) in a third. Dan's and my hampers are right outside our bathroom door, and I don't have the lids on them. Not as aesthetically appealing, but easy access is key here-- you want the dirty clothes to have as little excuses as possible to not make it into the hamper. ;) The kids' basket is in their bathroom. They know at the end of each day to check their clothes-- if they are decently clean, they can be re-worn, otherwise, into the hamper they go. (Keep in mind these are just cheapo, plastic vertical-rectangular hampers from Target.) When a basket is full (slightly packed down) that is one load of wash. I never mix baskets. So Dan (whose clothes are the biggest and fills up the basket fastest) gets his wash done probably 2x/week. Mine is more like once every two weeks. And the kids is probably 1-2x/week. So since I'm only washing a load when the basket is full, it is only one load to wash, dry, fold (and since it's segregated, it makes folding much quicker-- you don't have piles for 6 people, and random socks, underwear, etc.) And since you're only doing one load at a time, the whole thing gets done (wash, dry fold, put away) in much less time than when you're shuffling several loads through at once.

Also, we all put our own laundry away, so after I fold Dan's or the kids' stuff, it's their job to get it back in their drawers. Dan is the worst at this. (Love you babe. ;)) I take care of my stuff and Olivia's, and overall, it is very little hassle or struggle.

Please note this plan does not work when you're coming home from a trip and have 3 laundry baskets full simultaneously, and suitcases full as well. Then the laundry shuffle begins again. :)

Hope this is helpful to someone.. and if not, that's ok too. It works for me! :)

PS: MAJOR PROPS to my sister Anna who clued me in to the "save as draft" feature of blogspot. I am beginning to think that most of my recent lack of blogging was due to me thinking I had to type, proofread, and put up a post all in one fell swoop-- time consuming and overwhelming! Now I can type up a post over several days (the last two posts have taken 3 days apiece-- (pathetic, but practical-- for me) and post them when I feel ready. Ahh. Nice. :)


  1. I am SO going to try this! Matt always needs work clothes before I do laundry and forgets to tell me until the day before he needs them. It think it will also come in handy when I start washing cloth diapers every few days too! :)

  2. Sounds like a good plan--I'm not sure I have enough clothing to last two weeks. (Actually, I'm sure I don't. Time to shop!) I already do the kids separately from mine and Todd's so that it's not so hard to get it back where it belongs. And those cloth diapers are a killer. I feel like I'm ALWAYS doing a load of diapers. Thanks for the tip, Sarah!

  3. Thank you Sarah for this amazing tip that has truly changed my life! With 4 little ones laundry has always felt overwhelming. With this system it is a breeze. I never thought that was possible. I have told every mom I know. I'm so glad you posted it so more mom's can benefit.

  4. Yes Sarah- This is an awesome system! Mom and Dad should totally do this with them and the kids, but for some reason I don't see them as this organized ;) At least I know what system I'll be using when (or if) I have kids! Thanks for sharing.
    And now that you can compose posts over time, I hope you get to update more!!

  5. I have a question, though. As I was thinking about this, I wondered . . . do you separated light from dark? Wouldn't that mess up this system? Just curious!

  6. Alison, as crazy as it sounds-- no I don't! If I have new clothes that I think have a high chance of "bleeding", I will wash that stuff separately the first time through. But usually I just wash everything all together (on normal wash, warm/cold) and have never had any bleeding issues at all!

  7. we do it sorta similarly, but with color separated baskets for me and my husband together (we use one type of laundry soap and our kids another since they have such sensitive skin and so do i, oddly i can only use tide... and they use tide free) so there are whites/lights and then darks. then there are two for the boys... same deal. it works out much the same (i only do it when they are full) but i am anal about sorting out colors :P i'm curious, though, what you do about bedding and bath towels and kitchen towels and rags? i am stuck when i get to those areas... i won't wash my bath and kitchen towels together, so i'd hate to have to have two MORE baskets somewhere! just wondering if you put those things in with your wash or how you handle them. thanks for the tips - i love reading stuff like this! (i know, i'm kinda weird!)

    1. hey sara! sorry for the tardy reply. i am apparently not used to responding to comments lol. so for bath towels-- i usually just collect them and wash them when i have enough for a load. we don't wash them after every use, but usually every week i will just collect them all and run a load. bedding is its own project. ;) for kitchen towels/rags/bibs, i have a small basket in the bottom of my pantry that i toss all the dirty kitchen stuff in. then i run that separately as well... maybe once every other week? its not a ton of stuff but it is *dirty* and well worth its own load. :) thanks for commenting!


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