Kids + Clothes = Mess, Not!
Advice from Mom: Laundry and My Numbering System
LAUNDRY!!! I don't have a problem with washing and drying, but it seems that I can never get it folded, pressed, repaired (buttons, rips, hems, etc.) when needed and put away. It's time to wash again and I still haven't put away from last time.
One thing that has saved me a lot of time on the folding, is to make less folds. We've reorganized our drawers and linen cabinets to hold things in 'larger sizes' which means I fold less. It's amazing how a few seconds multiplied by 100s of pieces of laundry make a difference. On washcloths, whether for bath or kitchen, put a basket on the tank top or countertop to hold them. Don't bother to fold at all, just toss them on a pile as you fold and then put the pile in the basket.
There are nifty little items called 'sock locks' which are designed to let you stuff the tips of a pair of socks thru the hole and it grabs them and holds them through the wash and dry, so you can simply throw them back in the drawer. Underwear can be folded in half only and t-shirts folded twice. Everything won't look so perfect, but then how often do you show off your undie drawers? Sometimes simplicity outrules perfect.
I too, have trouble doing the necessary things after washing and drying clothes. When I take them out of the dryer, I toss them on my bed. At bedtime, I have no other choice than to fold them and put them away so I can go to bed! As for mending, I make this a project when I am watchig TV.
I used to have trouble getting all the laundry put away before it was time to do the next batch, too. I finally decided that neither my husband or myself cared one wit about whether or not our socks and underwear were folded, or even sorted.
I went to the local closeout store and purchased 2 small laundry baskets. Now, when I'm putting laundry away, I only need to sort my husband's "unmentionables" from mine. No more folding!
My job requires that I wear nylons four days a week. I hung a lingerie bag on a hook in the "dirty laundry area," and when I get home, I throw my nylons in that. When laundry time comes around, I zip up the bag and wash and dry it with the whites. I haven't noticed any shortening of the nylons' lifetime at all using this method and it sure beats washing them by hand!
One Piece at a Time
Being a busy mom, laundry is on the "least liked to do, but very necessary list". After years of trial and error, I've found the easiest way is to fold or hang it all as each piece comes out of the dryer. I then place it into the laundry basket of the person to whom it belongs. Each fmaily member has their own color laundry basket. Each child is called to take their laundry and put it away. Nothing is allowed to sit in a basket in their rooms. (I hate washing clean folded clothes that never got put away!)
Prevent Button Repairs
To prevent buttons falling off clothes (and save time by not having to sew them back on), put a dab of clear nail polish on top of the threads of the button. It will strengthen the thread and make it less likely for buttons to unravel and fall off!
Folding and putting away clothes used to be a big issue for me as well and I found that if I lowered my standards just a little, my children could be a great help. When the basket of clean clothes come out of the dryer, I call the kids up to my bedroom and dump the basket of clothes in the middle of my bed. We all sit down and pick out and fold our own clothes. Towels and common items are folded by whoever gets them first. Then we each take our pile of folded clothes and put them away right then and there. I have done this since the kids were toddlers. They are teenagers now and we still do this together.
Another time saver I have had to resort to in recent years, now that kids are getting older, is not turning the clothes right side out before folding them. It used to drive me batty to not do this, but you would be amazed at how much time this will save.
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