P-Touch, Rubbermaid & Laundry: What A Great Working Relationship!

cupofkindnessMarch 14, 2005

Several months ago, I bought 10 Rubbermaid stackable baskets (each one measures 10 inches wide, 8 inches tall, and 20 inches from front to back) for organizing my laundry. But they were unlabeled, so I just put them in age order and started folding and sorting clothes, but this wasn't optimal. Well, now that I have a P-Touch in my life (Thanks TS!), I can make good looking labels and this weekend, every basket got a label on each handle identifying who owns the clean clothes inside. The labels are easy to read and since the P-Touch has a few different printing options, each person's name is in a nice bold box. These stackable baskets will fit across your washer and dryer: I can get about 5 on the top of mine, so when you unload the dryer you can sort into these as you go. In addition to labeling them for myself, DH, and seven children, I have one labeled "Towels and Linens" that everything else goes into. When the laundry is put away, these baskets fit into each other very nicely and store on the freezer in my laundry room. I use these in addition to regular dirty clothes laundry baskets and hampers since they aren't that big and every member of my family doesn't have a dirty clothes spot (they share according to bedrooms). But you can fit a lot of clothing in them since you can pack clothes down as you fold. I was in desperate need of a system that everyone in my family could understand and use. I folded 14 loads of laundry on Saturday. Organizing my laundry in this way is what I've been looking for since I began having children. Perhaps these ideas can help someone else. But the best idea is to put the laundry away as soon as it dries. Self discipline is what I need to keep in force. Any other laundry ideas?

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talley_sue_nyc

Yay, that sounds great. I'm glad that P-touch is working for you.

I find it funny--but true--that labeling something with the P-touch makes me take that label more seriously.

It's so professional looking--I think it carries the message "somebody really means this."

I just labeled the shoe shelves--I got tired of finding somebody had stuck stuff in the only space my snow boots will fit. So I labeled it, and while I was at it, labeled spaces for the kids' school shoes and sneakers. And the flute & recorder.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2005 at 3:53PM
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cupofkindness

Your observation is such a good one. These labels command the respect that a sharpie drawn sticker does not. They look so cool! Thanks again, Talley.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2005 at 9:56PM
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cupajoe

I think I have some kind of laundry obsession.I've learned that I have to do two loads a day to keep it from piling up.In addition to cuookindness's basket system,I use two triple laundry carts on wheels,one with an overhead bar.When I pull clothes from the dryerI immediately seperate the shirts and hang them so they don't need ironing.DH's clothes get seperated to one of the carts.Thankfully he does his own ironing.I am using color coded plastic hangers for the rest of our shirts.It makes pulling them off the bar easy for each child.My washes are divided by color,and also kid clothes versus adult clothes(because of the way my hampers are set up),but not by weight.Towels are mixed into the loads.These get pulled into a seperate basket when I unload the dryer,as do socks and underwear,and anything that won't get hopelessly wrinkled shoved in a basket.This buys me time for folding.At the end of the day I go back and fold these.I automatically fold pants and shorts as I pull from the dryer.They seem to be quicker.With this method I can run wash while I cook dinner or vaccuum without having too much to press later.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2005 at 11:31AM
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talley_sue_nyc

anything that won't get hopelessly wrinkled shoved in a basket.

haha! I do that too--and try to get my DH to pay attention to that when he's unloading. I get a lot of wrinkled stuff, bcs he does the laundry, and I fold MUCH later (sometimes days later....)

Maybe if I can get him to hang more stuff, even my T-shirts...

    Bookmark   March 15, 2005 at 12:35PM
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bouncingpig

For myself, what worked best for me was to have a separate hamper for each person and separate ones for towels. While this makes a lot of hampers, it does eliminate sorting whose is whose. With three boys so close in size, I was always confused before. So they each have a hamper in their own rooms and so when I do their laundry, it is simply from their hamper and nothing else, so no sorting.

I do love labeling though and would love a P-Touch. I do make labels on the computer though and always try to use a nice font and then outline them for a more finished look. I then cut them out and glue stick them to things. Not quite as good, but it works in a pinch.

Brenda

    Bookmark   March 15, 2005 at 4:58PM
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cupofkindness

Talley:

I'm thinking of using my P-Touch for labeling my kitchen cabinets. Will the P-Touch tapes peel off maple when I need to remove them?

Brenda:

How's it going with your husband's parents?

Cupajoe:

I'm going to look into one of those wheeled carts for my laundry room. Can you tell me a little more about yours?

Thanks!

~Cindy

    Bookmark   March 16, 2005 at 7:53AM
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talley_sue_nyc

I wouldn't label real wood--I've never had good luck peeling regular tape back off of varnished wood without bringing the finish with it esp. not if it's been on a while. I assume the P-touch tape would have the same problem.

If you've got melamine interiors, you could label there.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2005 at 9:26AM
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cupajoe

My laundry catrs are both from Target.They have three canvas bins each.They are metal NOT the pvc pipe kind that fall apart easily,and are now almost three years old and going strong.One has a metal bar plus a metal shelf over the top.I should have bought them both that way.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2005 at 9:36PM
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cupofkindness

Cupajoe:

I'm going to Target tonight to get a sister-in-law a baby gift! I'll take a look at those carts. Thanks!

    Bookmark   March 18, 2005 at 6:31PM
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cupofkindness

Target didn't seem to carry the laundry cart described by Cupajoe, but had several other sorting carts and separate racks with rods and shelves. But I found this drying rack in a Container Store ad, it looks very functional.

Here is a link that might be useful: Container Store Acordian Wall Rack

    Bookmark   March 21, 2005 at 1:39PM
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cupofkindness

Eight years later, I've found that the best laundry system is the one that moves a load or two a day in and out of the laundry room. I have also learned that sorting the entire familiy's clothing into lights and darks simply results in more complicated folding and delivery because you have to separate the clothing by owner. It's best to wash each kids clothes separately, and allow the child to handle the load from there. And I've learned that I care too much about children's clothes. No child wears the same garment for more than a couple of years, I was spending far too much time caring for clothing that I ultimately gave away to St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Shop.

Finally, I still have the very same P-Touch and use it frequently. It is a great tool and I'm lucky to have one. And the Rubbermaid "baskets" that I sort laundry into have been used in countless ways to store and contain other gear too. These were a good investment, and they are still sold at places like Lowes. Thank you!

    Bookmark   June 21, 2013 at 4:14PM
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LuAnn_in_PA

So happy for you! You found a system that works for you, and that is wonderful. Isn't it great when that happens?

(personally, doing laundry every single day would be a circle of hell for me....)

    Bookmark   June 21, 2013 at 6:49PM
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cupofkindness

Thank you LuAnn! What has really made a difference for me is forcing myself to fold and put away laundry on the day that it is washed and dried. Doing a load a day means that this is managable. Doing two loads or maybe three at the most, and I'm sunk. Returning from vacations, recovering from illness or holidays, etc. invariably means that laundry becomes an issue for this reason. And it doesn't hurt that several of my children have left for college and that everyone's clothes are bigger, plus the kids help with or do their own laundry. Those long-gone days of big mountains of little clothes that just sat on the sofa for days as I mustered the will to get the laundry folded and put away are over. I also now put away my husband's clothing. He would leave his clean laundry in his nicely labeled Rubbermaid basket until he had worn it all again, that became a problem too. I don't mind putting his things away, it helps his belongings stay organized.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2013 at 10:53PM
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emma

I have wooden cabinets in my walk in closet for sweaters and t-shirts. They are a little lower than my waist. I put 4 cloth bins on top and put my whites, towels, light colored clothes and the last is for dark clothes. It works great for me and I don't wash them all on the same day. I wash wearing clothes when I need to.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2013 at 10:12PM
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talley_sue_nyc

I'm 100% w/ you, cup, on the power of folding all the clothes as they come out of the dryer.

We end up doing a bunch of loads at once bcs we have to go to the basement, and DH does it, and he won't do them one at a time.

And I fold all the laundry, because he can't or won't. (In my wrap-up session w/ my therapist, I asked him, "How many times over the years have I talked about folding the laundry?")

I sometimes think I'd love to have only one load at a time underway.

And cup, I'm **SO** glad you love your P-touch still!
(I actually upgraded to one that will do two lines, just because I could. I've been glad to have it in a place or two.)

    Bookmark   June 23, 2013 at 5:53PM
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cross_stitch

I have a hip-high hamper with a hinged lid kept in our closet. We usually leave it up so I see what's in there daily. One side whites/lights, the other darks. I do laundry when one side gets full. Or the dog bed needs it or it's change-the-sheets and towels day. For 30 years I carried laundry for 4 of us out the front door and into the garage, rain, snow, sleet or hail. (OK no snow, no sleet and rare hail). I never heard the washer finish or the dryer ring. HATED laundry in all its forms.

In 2007 we remodeled the back of the house and I gained a laundry closet by moving the furnace into the attic crawl space. (California -- no real attic, no basement) I L*O*V*E my tiny laundry closet that's no more than 3 steps from any bedroom door. I challenge myself to get to washer as soon as it chimes and same with the dryer. I can hear them from the kitchen. Fold everything and put away while still warm. I'm in love with my in-house laundry. I shall never complain about laundry again.

I have a label maker but no need for it in our 2-person household. But I go to town with it on Altoid tins repurposed to hold sewing notions. Also great for my kitchen lazy susans. It's amazing how easy it is to find canned goods/oils/vinegars/dried fruit/baking supplies with the help of a label. And it's priceless for labeling my roll-out freezer bins. Even DH has started to put groceries away in the right place. That's progress!

    Bookmark   June 25, 2013 at 4:05AM
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talley_sue_nyc

Isn't it amazing how having the right infrastructure--your laundry machinery close at hand--makes such a huge difference in your everyday life?

Congrats!

And I love how the P-touch makes things seem much more official and enforceable.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2013 at 12:34PM
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