As you well know, laundry is my NEMSIS.
I hate it. It causes lots of stress for me :) Not only is it endless, but there are so many steps that its easy to get behind on one and then the whole shaky system falls apart!
I have been working on this area of stress, and want to pass on some tips AND encourage you to share yours!
I have found that like a friend said, "its like going potty, you have to do it everyday" ..so true.
I have four people I am washing clothes for, two of which are messy little boys who love dirt and water, and who dont always have mastery over their bodily functions. This makes it seem as if I am washing clothes for 10 people.
If I let one day go by, I have a mountain to deal with.
So, I am working on dealing only with hills.
* I have gotten rid of all my hampers. Everything goes into one central laundry basket IN the laundry room. I take the dirty clothes there every nite, and in the morning. That way I can keep up with exactly how much I actually have to do.
*I have gotten rid of all but two laundry baskets. One problem I had was filling up baskets, and keep doing that until I had none left THEN put them all away. Now, I have one for mine and hubby's room, and one for the boys room.
*I fold straight out of the dryer. No more taking the laundry to the living room for it to pile up and up and up. No more marathon folding sessions. Just a 5 minute fold at the dryer, and a 3 minute put away session immediately after that.
* I use my timer - set it for 15 minutes, fold, switch and put away in that amount of time twice aday and you are caught up.
The key is staying on top of it ..oh, that and trying to limit what goes INTO the laundry.
Some other ideas,
*Consider cycling outfits through for older kids. Giving them 5 outfits to chose from for two weeks or so, then shifting to a couple more. Less choices, easier upkeep, less tendency toward them changing 4 times a day. For younger kids, give them a shelve or rack they can reach. Their 5 outfits can be hung together, giving them choices which they love!
*Assigning towels to each family member, and them using them 3-4 days in a row. If they are properly hung after a shower or bath, they will not mildew easily. Use name tags on towels, racks, rods, or hooks. Kids love stuff with their name on it, and it makes for one load or so a week, instead of every day!
*Do a COLD load and a WARM load every day. Leave the whites, or bleaches for every few days or once a week. I just keep those in the laundry hamper in the laundry room, and they collect over the week.
*Hang as much as you can, or have room for. Hanging is way easier than folding! I have started hanging ALL shirts, and foldling only pants and pj's. If certain pants go with certain shirts they go on teh hanger with the shirt, and its all together. This cuts down on space needed to store folded clothes also. A basket or box set on a closet shelf at childs level can even eliminate the need for sock and undie drawers.
Laundry is a huge task, but we cant GET RID of it, or GET OVER IT. We can only GET IT DONE, and GET IT UNDER CONTROL!