Laundry has always been difficult to manage for me, especially when I was working. I would get "caught up", just to have it piled high a few days to a week later. In talking with other moms, I am glad that I am not alone in that laundry is a never ending battle and everyone has their own system. I thought I would share my system (including cloth diaper laundering) today that I have been doing for the past few weeks.
The first thing I noticed was that laundry was piling in a few of the same locations around our house - the nursery, kids' bathroom and just beside the doorway of the kitchen, oh and of course, our master bathroom. The setup of our house is that the nursery is across the hall from the kids' bathroom and this hallway is a few feet away from the kitchen. From here, to get to the laundry room, go down the four stairs into the somewhat sunken living room where the stairs to the basement is located. In the basement is a one quarter bathroom with the washer and dryer.
I found that it was easier to fold the clothes as soon as they came out of the dryer. The clothes actually got folded and put away this way. There were also times when I needed a clean place to put dry clothes if I happened to be in a hurry and could not fold them right away, but really needed to get something else dried - I might have mentioned this before. Well, I came across a $20 baby changing table for sale. I snatched it up. It has two bottom shelves and it is the PERFECT size for my space in the laundry room. I could not be more excited. I keep baskets on the second shelf for bringing folded laundry upstairs to be put away. I have not decided on the purpose of the bottom third shelf yet. I am also still looking for a wall mounted drying rack for my cloth diapers. Right now the rickety old drying rack is in the basement hallway next to the laundry room. This has streamlined the end of the laundry process as long as the beginning does not shut down.
To combat the beginning process and keep the back end running smoothly, I had to decrease my load size. Originally, I used one of those tall (trash can looking) laundry baskets for our bathroom. This was a huge load and I was not disciplined enough to take a load down before it got too full. I had bought a small, $1 laundry basket for the nursery. Having a laundry basket INSIDE the nursery was not a good option for me. I am home full time, the best time for me to go downstairs to do laundry was during nap time. This meant I had to actually remember to get the basket of dirty clothes out of the room before he fell asleep. This just was not going to happen. Also, all of Baby Girl's laundry was in the bathroom across from the nursery. (She does not have anything except a mattress in her room so even night time diapers are put on in the nursery or in the bathroom.)
I had also come to the conclusion that I cannot keep everyone's clothes separate to wash. With Baby Girl, I always washed her clothes separately from ours. Well, baby number two has definitely changed my perspective....just get the clothes clean! We have always used a Free and Clear detergent anyway for our clothes so I know it is a safe detergent. With this new revelation, I bought a second $1 small laundry basket. Now, one basket is in our bathroom and the second on is just outside the kitchen in the hallway. We have a cut-in in that area and the basket is really small so it is actually not in the walk-way. From Little Man's nursery, I can literally "pitch" his dirty clothes into the basket outside of the kitchen. Baby Girl's clothes from the bathroom are also within "pitching" distance and then towels from the kitchen or anything from the living room or dining room that get too far away from their home can be tossed there too.
Ideally, I would wash when each basket was about half to three quarters full. I think this would be a manageable amount for folding from the dryer. This does not always happen, but it is improving. I have several other laundry baskets always around somewhere (although they have been stacked and rarely used since implementing my new system) and I usually just dump the clothes from each of the two baskets into one to take downstairs. Otherwise, it is a good possibility that a basket would not make it back upstairs to its designated location and totally defeat the purpose. I also usually have a basket in front of the washer for things waiting to go into the washer if it is a heavy laundry day. I am trying to wash blankets and sheets on light laundry days. I do not have specific days to do just laundry, I just watch the baskets and go from there. Sometimes, I will get a load ready and put it by the stairs to do the next morning if I am doing diapers or already have a load in the washer.
Cloth diapers have their own system. I do have specific days for washing them. With Baby Girl, my husband and I were both working full time. We washed on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays or Sundays. Since I finally have them all stripped and we have been in cloth for a few weeks now, I am finding that I still like that same schedule. I keep a wet bag hanging on the shower curtain rod in the kids' bathroom for used diapers. This keeps it handy for when I am ready to wash, which is typically after bedtime. My new wash routine is a cold wash cycle without detergent/hot wash cycle with detergent/hot wash cycle without detergent. After the mess I had last time with soap and stripping and ammonia I do not want to take any shortcuts. Also, I don't have time to make sure there is enough water for a pre-rinse so I figure a wash cycle without detergent should be good enough.
Well, it was a long day yesterday with Little Man's four month checkup and I somehow have two loads to fold. I better get to it before they wake up from nap. Would love to hear your laundry systems. Thanks for reading!
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Scripture/Quote of the Week:
For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.
2 Timothy 1:7
Who Am I?
Hi! I am Pam. I am so glad you stopped by to take a look at my blog. I am a Christian, wife, stay at home PCOS mom and homeschool mom to three amazing kiddos. I'm all about all natural living and real whole food - in real life.
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