Monday, April 25, 2011

A Laundry Solution

I've been reading a lot of blogs and listening to a lot of venting about LAUNDRY.  It is a never ending war.  Even the most skilled mamas have a hard time keeping up with the piles and piles of laundry that continue to grow.  For my friends with out children... please know that one infant can create the equivalent to 3 grown man loads in one day
(# small exaggeration).  
Well I've been trying out a solution that was suggested by a neighbor of mine.  She is a busy mom of five, and after we both vented about laundry she joked that her kids have a uniform at home.  Now I have to admit, I'm not sure if she was serious or not, but it gave me an idea.  Yes, there was a literal light bulb that appeared over my head (okay, maybe I turned on the kitchen light).

So here's what I came up with.  The solution is simple... five outfits that repeat.  A couple of weeks ago, during the rainy and chilly days... I cleaned and organized both my boys closets and dressers.  My boys both have so many outfits.  What happens is they wear them all, and the laundry grows and grows.  Well, I chose 5 weather appropriate outfits for both (once it gets consistently warmer I will switch the outfits).   I used to organize dressers by type of clothing: undies, shirts, pants.  Well now I have a drawer for socks and underwear, one for PJ's, and one for the five outfits.  This system also had a serendipitous out come.  My husband can no longer say "what should I put on him?", and I have preselected outfits, so my boys don't come down stairs looking crazy, as is the case when my husband gets them dressed.  This system is so simple that my 8 year old niece was able to dress my 2 year old.  All I had to tell her was pick socks and an undershirt from the top drawer, and any pile from the middle drawer.  15 minutes later, she walked him downstairs fully dressed in a matching, weather appropriate outfit.
This is Little Bear's outfit drawer with four outfits ready to go ; )

This is Munchkins drawer, he is wearing one outfit and the other is in the hamper.

How does this affect the laundry you ask?  The laundry doesn't pile up because there are only five sets of clothes that get used.  I've been using this system for 2 weeks now, and it seems to work.  Now, I must be honest... my 7 month old does tend to make more.  He's a spitter upper, so burp clothes and bibs pile up.  There is also the occasional messy diaper or yogurt splatter on my Munchkin, but I am temporarily winning the laundry battle with my boys clothes. 

What did I do with all their other clothes?  The nice ones are hanging in the closet waiting for a party or other special occasion (I chose my favorite play/ everyday clothes for them to wear).  All the other T-shirts and sweats are folded in a box.  Once the season is over I will either donate them to a church,  or save them for Little Bear (or any other new baby in the future).  

As with any system, I am still working out the kinks... and reminding myself that it will not always work the way I hope... and that is totally okay!

Oh yeah, this is my laundry schedule

Sunday - Daddy
Monday - Boys
Tuesday - Mommy
Wednesday - Daddy
Thursday - Boys
Friday - Linens and Things
Saturday - Free Day  : ) 


  1. Leiah, as you know, I don't have any children (although, Ed is my man-child). Having no children has not lessoned my laundry load.

    Ed goes through three or more outfits and an equal number of towels on my less fortunate days.

    This coupled with my laundry and the dog blankets that can number close to a dozen a week, let's just say I could be burried alive under the piles if I'm not diligent.

    My secret to at least one or two large loads every day. I do at least one load of mixed clothes. Each load has at least two towels, two pairs of Ed's jeans and underwear. I do one load of whites and one load of dog blankets each week. What I usually do is put in a load first thing in the morning, move it to the dryer before I leave for work and then put another load into the washer before I walk out the door. When I get home, I check to see if what is in the dryer is dry (the dryer is old and sometimes it takes 2 cycles). I rotate and keep moving.

    If I miss a day, I'm sunk (or I have to spend a day tied to the machines)

  2. Hi Ann Marie, Thanks for posting! I really love any feed back and tips!! LOL @ your man child!! Kudos to you for all that you do... and laundry in the mornng... wow! I tried that, but I couldn't keep it up.

    BTW, how do you manage doggy baths? Do you do them all or do they visit the groomer? I need some help in that area.

  3. I am still shocked at the amount of laundry everyone is doing and I keep reading about on blogs and fb. I only do laundry once a week! I do not have 2 legged children but I have 2 dogs and a dirty hubby!

    We purchased a laundry sorter cart with wheels in January. It has 3 mesh "bags". I have explained to hubby over & over that the blue bag is for his work uniforms, the white bag is for towels and the green bag is for everything else. I do not separate whites & lights. I just throw them all in together. His uniforms are very dark so they are separated. But the laundry cart has helped hubby to see how quickly he goes through dirty work clothes & he now washes his own uniforms once a week on one of his off days!

    However, we are not "folding people" at my house! We tend to leave clothes in the dryer & pick out what we need during the week till the dryer is empty! I do not like laundry & I am glad I do not have a lot to do...maybe this is a sign that hubby & I don't buy a lot of clothing (which is true)!

    I also wanted to comment on the dog bath question. I tried having mine groomed but it seems like a waste of money and I can do a better job at home for less money. The problem is clean up!

    Woody is terrified of the water hose outside so we have to wash him in the shower inside. He gets the bathroom so full of dog hair when he shakes so clean up is the pits. But the little dog is fine in the kitchen sink.

    My main focus when washing my dogs is to use conditioner. I usually slather on a pre-conditioner before I put them in the water. So I usually mix honey and a good human conditioner (use your favorite, I use Giovanni brand)warmed up in the microwave. I rub it on them and let sit for a few minutes, keeping watch that they don't lick it but it is ok if they do.

    Then I wash it off and do the flea shampoo, then an oatmeal based shampoo, conditioner (I use Hello Hydration by Herbal Essence-works great & is can use a rinse out conditioner &/or a leave in), rinse with an oil like olive oil or sweet almond oil, then rinse again and towel dry (for Jubilee I have to also do a Aloe Vera Juice rinse after the oil rinse since she has really dry skin.). After they are dry they are so shiny and soft! And they smell so good! The shine last for about a week.

    Since Woody has that huge scar with exposed skin down his back, I wait until he is all dry (air dry) and I rub Jane Carter's Nourish & Shine butter on his scar to keep it moist, flake free and looking healthy.

    I know it seems like a lot but it really isn't when you are doing it and I work fast since they have limited patience. I take the time to brush the dogs while they sit with the conditioner on for the 2 minutes. Brushing seems to soothe them and makes the time go by fast and it gets the product spread evenly. Let me know how your doggy baths work out!