Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Home Organization- laundry overhaul

I went to a bible study this week. It's called Keepers Of The Home; made up of all women they cover things that apply to our daily lives as a wife and mom. I love this study and regrettably it has been too long since I last attended.
The topic this month was home organization- more specifically laundry. Most people know how much I HATE HATE HATE laundry!
It overwhelms me.
I thought this might be an entertaining and helpful topic since I know I am not the only one who struggles with laundry.
It was explained to me that everyone has a system. Your system may not work well but it is a system.
My current system:
            I throw the dirty clothes into whatever unseen place I can until it’s gets on my nerves too much. Them I round up all the dirty clothes and block the doorway to the garage where my laundry area is and I wash… and wash… and wash some more. Then all the clean clothes get piled either on the couch or in my room where we pick out of the pile until we start the process all over again. Out of all those loads of laundry I probably put away the first 2-3 loads and then I give up. It has already taken me so long to wash and dry and pile I need to move on to other things in my life. I do have other housework, kids to raise, homework to do, and errands to run; who has time to stay chained to the laundry for a day or more?

The new system:
            We are minimizing what we have. It was suggested that our children really only need 5 play outfits and 2 dress outfits.  1 large towel for each member of the family, 1 hand towel per bathroom per day, and 1 wash cloth each. Adults only need 2-3 pair of pants or shorts and maybe 5-7 every day shirts and again a few nice dressy outfits.
I’m not that great at letting go so my plan is to cut down in the following ways.
·         Boys- 7 shirts and pairs of shorts, 2 pairs of pants for the summer and 1 nice dress outfit for each season. 1 pair of sandals, 1 pair of tennis shoes, 1 pair of swim trunks, 2-3 sweat shirts. The boys have the same socks- I had already thought to combine them and they live in a plastic bin for both boys to share. We only have 1 color in 1 style for them, it makes folding a LOT easier!
·         Aaron- 2 pairs of jeans, 2 pairs of denim shorts, 2 pairs of khaki shorts, 5 tee shirts, 3 collared shirts 7 under shirts, 2-3 favorite sweatshirts. 4 work uniforms per season.
·         I don’t have much… typically I like 2-3 pairs of shorts and 2-3 pairs of jeans. I like to have my shirt options but will cut down to 7-10 shirts. I only have a couple of skirts. My clothes are seriously not a problem here.
·         2 bath towels and washcloths per person, 9 hand towels, 7 kitchen towels and washcloths- these are changed daily if not more as needed.

I seriously have WAY more stuff than all that. How else could my current laundry system work? The plan is to do 1-2 loads of laundry per day, no they won’t usually be full loads and it will include cloth diapers.
From talking to other moms who have done this I gather that it will take the kids and I about 10 minutes per day to just get it done. The boys will now start helping with the laundry where they can as is appropriate. Cole is in charge of his pants, and the big towels. Davin is in charge of folding all the hand/kitchen towels and washcloths.
I actually taught them how to fold these today and they rocked! They were so proud to have helped!

Today I am going through my washing tirade. The clothes have been piled and we have been picking out of the pile for about a week now. Since I’m stuck at home with no car seats and don‘t have any excuses I decided to try to tackle this project. I’m purging! I have actually taken the summer clothes out of storage and picked through what I wanted and set aside 7 pairs of shorts and shirts for Cole. I actually lost Davin’s summer clothes when we moved and thanks to my general lack of organization I was able to scrounge up 5 pairs of shorts and 5 tee-shirts from random places for him. I see 2 new outfits in his future. I am still washing and still have probably about 5 loads to do. The kids are set and from here on out I am simply setting their clothes aside. Cole’s will go into the 4T bin and Davin’s will go to donation.
I still need to round up Aaron’s and my clothes and purge the unneeded  ones, most of the remaining dirty and clean unfolded laundry is ours. We are just about set on towels. Right now I have 2 blue towels for the boys 1 pink for faith and 3 white ones set aside. As I get funds I want to make more of those hooded towels I mentioned in a previous blog and replace the towels so there are 6 hooded towels in 3 different light colors (so I can wash them together) Aaron and I have 2 soft fluffy towels and will probably obtain 2 more in a similar style… eventually. For now we will make do with what we have. I have no rhyme or reason to the wash rags so matching wash rags are eventually in our future. I want to get all white hand towels so they can be bleached and will be easy to organize.

So that’s where I stand. I will upload before and after pictures as I continue this adventure.

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