Thursday, April 8, 2010

Laundry Lesson: Some Tips

My Mom is the laundry queen. Not only did she keep up with her laundry in a well organized way, she also perfected the art of folding. Did you know there can be a art to folding clothes? I didn't! My Mom bought a book called Home Comforts: The Art & Science of Keeping House by Cheryl Mendelson long after I had been taught to fold clothes. Inside that book were lessons on folding laundry to save space and be tidy. My Mom re-taught herself to fold based on these lessons and has the most beautiful folded laundry I have seen. I will admit, it does save space in the closets and drawers as well. I was set in my ways and had no desire to re-learn folding. Despite this, my Mom had already taught me lessons about keeping laundry and clothes organized. I have tried to keep up with them in my home.

1. How often to do laundry? That is determined by the needs of each home. Some people advice doing laundry on a certain day of the week. That didn't work me for me as in my husband's previous job I didn't have enough of his work clothes to last a whole week. You can do it daily, twice weekly, or weekly depending on your needs.

2. Have a laundry area in your home. Get three baskets for dirty clothes. One basket is for whites, another for colors, and the last for dark clothes. These baskets can sit under a table if you have room. The table can be used to fold all the clothes as they come out of the dryer. After clothes are done in the dryer you can throw clothes that need folded on the table and hanging clothes are hung on the spot and placed on a garment hanger.

3. Place all the clothes on the garment hanger in the laundry room in order. Put all the clothes for Mom in one spot in order-skirts, blouses, etc. All the clothes for Dad are in order next to yours, then lastly all the children. That way when the clothes are taken to put in the closets you don’t have to sort them for each person, it’s already done! It may sound like a lot of trouble but once you organize your laundry this way it goes quickly. You will find the reason for sorting this way in tip four.

4. Hang up your clothes in sections in your closet. If your closet is a mess already now is a good time to try something new. Once you get set in this new system it will become a normal habit for you and let you find what you want to wear in quick glances instead of digging. I hang all my blouses and T-shirts in one spot. Next would be skirts, then matching sets (skirt and blouse), and dresses. These sections change depending on what season it is but you get the idea.

5. When you put new clothes in take some old clothes out. It's a simple idea but there are only so many clothes one person needs. If I have clothes that have been sitting in the closet for the past year untouched there's a good chance I won't wear them anytime soon. Just pull those clothes out. Yes, you can do it! Give the clothes to Goodwill, or a friend who could use them.

6. Okay, I admit this one is really a pet peeve of mine. When you go through your clothes and find them in a poor condition, IE. many stains, rips, looking faded and older than Methuselah, do us all a favor and throw them away. Do not give them to Goodwill, try to sell them at your garage sale, or give them to your best friend. Do you or your children want to wear these yucky clothes? No? Well good chance is other people don't want to wear them either. Nor do people want to buy them from you only to discover all your stains once they get home and take off their sun glasses.

Been there, done that, no fun. There now. I feel much better. Thank you.

7. Folding your laundry. Do you dread it? This may help. As each load of laundry is done in the dryer either hang up clothes or throw them in a laundry basket. Don't fold any laundry until all the loads are done. Now if you have 3 baskets worth of clothes or 15, it's time for a folding party. You can gather your children and turn on a sermon, story CD, or sing songs. As you work teach your children how to fold. You could be surprised how much fun it can be to fold for a two year old! They may not fold perfectly, but they will be on the way to learning. You can teach your littlest child to sort by colors. Let them dump all the clothes on the floor. Now for sorting! All black socks go here, all green towels here etc., then let you fold them. Or if you need some quiet time, let the children play elsewhere while you listen to an encouraging word.

What ever you do the more organized you can be in your approach to laundry the smoother life will go. I have failed to have my laundry done in a timely manner resulting in scurrying about some late night to get some slacks and socks washed. I can attest that life can cause some wrinkles, but with a plan in place your mountains of laundry can be reduced to a controlled clothes hill.

From Jennifer Allen



At April 10, 2010 at 10:28 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have mountains of laundry always waiting to be washed, but I like some of your ideas.
Maybe I can implement them soon.

At April 11, 2010 at 4:26 PM , Blogger Nina said...

Thank you for the ideas. I have always hated folding laundry and now that I have 4 kids (2b, 2g with 3 of them being under 3) I have a great excuse to let it get behind. Add cloth diapers in the mix and I find myself just trying to escape from it, instead of making it fun. This my seem like a silly topic to be inspired by to others, but it "clicked on a lightbulb" for me. Thank you.


At April 12, 2010 at 8:50 AM , Anonymous Jennifer Allen said...

I think most women have something in homekeeping that is their least favorite job. For me it would probably be mopping the floors. Although I do love my new microfiber mop! It sounds like you have the same amount of clothing as my sister. She has two in cloth diapers. The mountains of laundry are real and exhausting as I've noticed when I did it myself. Glad the tips could help in some way. Have a great week!

At April 13, 2010 at 9:10 PM , Blogger Mary Q Contrarie said...

I got rid of my clothes dryer a couple years ago as a money saver and to help reduce my carbon footprint. I have replaced it with a clothes drying rack. I actually fold my clothes directly off the rack and the clothes that go on hangers I usually place on hangers even before I dry them.

I totally agree with the pre-sorting prior to washing save lots of time and multiple sortings through dirty clothes.

And thank you for reminding people to be considerate with what you put in Goodwill. I will say though that many things that are not useful in the US are put in huge bales of material that are shipped to poorer countries where they use them as either close or as material for making other items.

At November 8, 2011 at 6:54 PM , Blogger DannielleSB said...

I have 5 loads, and not all are necessarily done every week.

1. Whites w/light colors (pinks, grays etc)
2. darks.. blacks, blues, reds etc
3. towels
4. jeans
5. sheets

towels and sheets are done once a month (lots of towels and tons of sheets)


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