Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Climbing the Laundry Mountain

This is a picture of my weekend. So. Much. Laundry.

We've talked about this before, but if there is one major area in which I'm not remotely domesticated, it's laundry. I don't:
  • Do it every week, even though I have a washer and dryer.
  • Hang up my clean clothes.
  • Put my dirty clothes in the hamper.
  • Change my sheets as quickly as I should.
It's kind of a problem. I spent ALL of Sunday doing laundry and when I say all, I mean ALL. I washed everything in the house: clothes, sheets, towels, rugs, dish towels. It was kind of ridiculous. My dryer literally sighed during that last load.

So my point is, what little tricks do you guys use to keep your dirty clothes in check? Any super-secret good tips? I could use them.


Amber said...

Girl, you and me both. I just finally organized my closet. After living in my home FOR A YEAR.

My biggest problem is that I hate to put clothes away. I always have a dirty pile on the floor and the clean clothes in the hamper (wrinkled) because i don't want to put them away. Ugh.

Amber said...

me tooooooooo. it's way too much effort, just like making the bed.

theshe said...

I can't offer any advice other than what works for me: Do it religiously, weekly, starting on Saturday and finishing up on Sunday.

chanelle said...

i gave up on my own laundry. so i basically only do ryan's one load (he doesn't shop) and the rest lives in giant piles of varying wrinkles and cleanliness until i'm out of essentials. but that one load totally makes me feel like i'm on top of things.

Laurel said...

Wow, suddenly I don't feel so bad. I don't have a washer & dryer, so I will admit that sometimes it takes me a few weeks to actually get out and do the laundry. I sort as I go, though, so once laundry day rolls around, the hardest part is hauling my laundry down the stairs, to my truck (where did I park again?), and up the stairs at the laundromat. What kind of laundromat has stairs anyway? I have to give credit to my OCD for keeping my laundry and closet neat, but I do have some advice for you people out there who are not blessed with this natural compulsion: It's all about the setup.

Step 1) Keep a sectioned hamper, like this one from IKEA within arms reach of your closet and dresser. Obviously, your dresser has to be near your closet for this to work. The three of them should be all in a line, or a corner, or if you have a walk-in closet, all in one. Before moving on to Step 2, go stand there and make sure you can reach all three by a simple shuffle. THIS IS WHERE YOU TAKE YOUR CLOTHES OFF.

Step 2) Immediately upon removal, put your dirty clothes in the correct section of the hamper. You might want to make signs that say "Darks" and "Lights," especially if you have a significant other who doesn't understand the difference. At this time, you should also take a moment to check your pockets and make sure you have removed all keys, phones, money, etc.

Step 3) Get a robe, and put it where you can reach it from the Magical Naked Zone. Use it when traveling from the Magical Naked Zone to say, the shower, or anywhere else you may want to go before getting dressed. Or, you know, you can skip this part if you'd rather prance around naked, but your gigantic pile of laundry says otherwise. Whatever.

Step 4) If/When you do decide to put on real clothes, exchange your robe for them...meaning, make sure you put your robe back where it goes, which should be within arms reach of your clean clothes.

Step 5) Designate a place for those not-quite-dirty or didn't-fit-quite-right-today clothes that you're too lazy to hang back up in your closet. I have a ghetto dresser that is missing the top drawer (because apparently twine is not strong enough to hold in a drawer while traveling 70mph on the back of my truck). I use the top drawer space to hold all of those items. I also use the top shelf of my shoe rack inside my closet for holding jeans that I've worn once or twice and don't want to wash yet. This will save you from having to play the sniffing game in the morning.

Step 6) Every few days, do a clean sweep. Collect the clothes that, for whatever reason, didn't come off in the Magical Naked Zone. Decide if they are clean, not-so-dirty, or dirty (dark, or light), and place them in the corresponding location. I know you will not want to mark this on your calendar to do every few days, so here are some signs that you might need to do a clean sweep: A) your didn't-fit-quite-right-today pile is overflowing, B) there is a mound of clothes on the floor that you did not just recently tear off in a moment of passion, C) you are changing the sheets, towels, linens, etc.

Once you get in the routine of sorting your laundry as you go, actually washing the clothes won't be so overwhelming. Then maybe you will have some time and energy left to actually put your clothes away. Let me break it down for you: Wash, Dry, Fold/Hang, then Transfer to Dresser/Closet. I normally do the folding and hanging at the laundromat so everything is all set to go and doesn't get wrinkled. You can do this in your laundry room if you have that luxury. Then after dinner, or maybe even the next day, transfer the clean, prepped clothes to your dresser and closet. Take baby steps so no part of the process is too time consuming, and you don't feel like laundry rules your life.

I just typed way too much...HA!

MirandaEgan said...

Now that you are married split up the chore of laundry. You should be in charge of sorting and starting the loads and Sean should be in charge of folding while watching football on Sunday and Monday. I usually start laundry Sunday afternoon when I am back from my weekend fun.