No Guilt Laundry System
This week I was listening to a podcast about mom guilt. I have a major problem with this sometimes. But what she said was so freeing: "I don't do guilt. Do your best and forget the rest." I think this needs to be my new mantra!! When I heard this saying, I thought immediately about my laundry system. This system definitely isn't for everyone, but it is one of the best guilt saving systems I have.
Now to realize how far I've come, you need to know how I was in college. I would wear the clothes I had as long as I could, and would proceed to go out and buy new underwear just to procrastinate the job. Any one else ever done that? When I couldn't put it off any longer, I had an amazing friend who truly found excitement in crisply folded shirts and pants, and I would pay her to do my laundry for me. She only charged me $5!! Who could pass that up?!!
So you can imagine now, with the large family that I have, I am a laundry disaster! To be serious, I have improved a ton. I've learned that I do have some laundry strengths. I am really good at making sure the clothes are clean, but really terrible at folding them at putting them away. For years, we had this huge pile of clean clothes on the floor of our laundry room. And since I have a walk through laundry room that goes out to the garage, this meant the definition of clean laundry was relative. It was constantly being stepped on by us going in and out of the house, or we would all be angrily tearing through it to look for the one missing soccer sock or band shirt. (I think my old friend is twitching right now!!) Plus it was always hard when it came to the folding. There were so many different piles because there are so many people in our home. It was confusing for the kids or anyone else that was trying to help because they didn't know which clothing belonged to which person. After pondering on this for a long time, inspiration finally hit, and the laundry hallway was born!!
I decided I needed a basket for each person (I do share one with my husband), and then one other basket for towels/bedding/etc. When the laundry came out of the dryer, instead of piling it all in one basket (or the floor- if we're being real!!) with the items all mixed together, I quickly sorted them into their individual baskets. This has been such a game changer. With such a large family, I do a few loads of laundry every day, but I'm no longer at its mercy. The kids now know where all their clean things are. Most of them can fold their own basket of clothes and put them away. Or if I have someone helping me fold clothes, they actually know what drawer to put it in when they are finished. And the days (or weeks) that get really crazy and the laundry doesn't get folded, they can have a holding place that isn't bothering me. The laundry digging still happens, but it's on a much smaller scale. I can even WALK through the hallway without stepping on loose clothes- WHAT!?!! Amazing, I know!! And if I have a child that is acting out and needs to do some family service, or wants to earn some money or extra technology time- it's really easy to have them go grab a basket of laundry.
I do have to confess, when life gets really hectic, there are sometimes "holding baskets" of washed clothes that need to be sorted. But it's not happening all the time and easily sorted. We've had this system for years, and it's actually stuck.
Above the laundry baskets on the wall has become the kids' command center. So tune in next time, if you're interested in the details of how we set that up. If nothing else, I hope this makes you feel better about how organized you are in your laundry- because I really don't think there is anyone out there worse at laundry than me!!