Laundry mountain nightmare - Help!

emmhipDecember 20, 2005

My laundry has gotten out of control. I have gigantic piles of it on my basment floor and I have no idea how to recover and get it done. I need better containers, better sorting, better ideas for a situation that has gotten out of hand. I'm not quite sure how it got this bad, but my husband isn't the cleanest person in the world, I'm 7 months pregnant and not really feeling up to tons of laundry, and I have a three year old to take care of. We also have 2 dogs and 2 cats thrown into the mix. Lately there is the giant dirty pile of laundry and a smaller clean pile of laundry on the ironing board which we pick through to get clean clothes, not the best option or plan. Our laundry is located in the basement and lately I just can't bring myself to schlepp everything up and down and organize it. Not to mention the amount of laundry I have accumulated will take a very long time to get through. Plus our dryer isn't the greatest and usually takes 2 or more cycles to dry a load. HELP! I need to get organized before baby #2 shows up and there is even more laundry to do. I am terrified of how big laundry mountain could become.

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I am not sure how to get out from under the piles at the moment except to just to pick a day and do it. But once you can start over, I've found that one thing that helped me a lot was finally buying a plastic hamper that, when full, will do a full load in the washing machine. If you sort your clothes, buy 2 hampers. This way, you will always be able to just wash when you need to. Obviously, this won't work for a toddler since it would take forever to fill a basket because of the small-sized clothes. For him/her, I'd just pick a day or two a week and first thing in the morning, throw the clothes into the washer.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2005 at 12:59PM
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Call a close friend... bag it all up and take it to the laundry mat.... get it all done in two hours.... use the HUGE machines... then do a load a day. I have 8 in myhouse and it take 2 loads a day to keep us from getting towed under... and here is my big hint... don't buy whites...that way you can wash it all together... I DON'T sort clothes!


    Bookmark   December 20, 2005 at 2:13PM
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emmhip, Is there any space near your bedrooms you could repurpose to make a laundry closet? We moved ours up from the basement where I had mountains of piles myself. Personally, I thought sorting was the worst, but having to go up and down, up and down, up and down...well, YOU know!

Here's a link to how we managed to tame the laundry tiger. It's my personal design, and a fantastic solution if you can move your laundry room into a closet somewhere. Laundry is one of the easiest things I do now. Go to the end of the thread for the latest pictures...

Here is a link that might be useful: Luna Laundry System

    Bookmark   December 20, 2005 at 2:41PM
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You absolutely need a better dryer. Or at the least, a second dryer, if you can only afford a used one and worry it won't be much stronger than the one you've got. See if you can find a way to afford this. (in all honesty, it'll probably save you money bcs it'll burn less electricity or gas)

And I agree--get someone to help you, and go to the laundromat to get caught up.

And, I agree that having it upstairs would be a boon, though not everyone can do that.

Also--my 3-year-old was GREAT at helping with laundry--he could carry some stuff, and he could sort like nobody's business. We actually had fun doing it. Three is the age when they don't consider it a chore; they're "playing with the laundry machines," LOL!

Your 3-y-o will love helping at the laundromat--let him put the money in, and push the buttons; have him help you sort. And bring crayons, or a book to read to him, or something to help him pass the time while the machines run.

Try to do a load every day or two, once you're caught up. Make it part of your child's bedtime routine (to get it in the washer, at least), or do itimmediately after he goes to sleep, or something.

Another thought: Are you all managing to dress OK out of that little pile? Maybe you have too many clothes, and some of that stuff on the basement floor should just go away.

One tactic for :"keeping up" is to only have a small amount, and then you'll KNOW you have to do a load tonight, bcs you have no shirts to wear tomorrow. Paring down can actually motivate you to do laundry more often.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2005 at 3:50PM
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If you end up w/ laundry baskets, get the kind where your hands can go THROUGH the handles

Like this or like this


the kind where the handle is closed over as part of the rim, and you have to bear all the load w/ your fingertips, like this

You might consider also what sort of thing is easiest to lug the laundry *in*--maybe you need hampers w/ cloth bags inside, so you can lug/throw them down the stairs easily.

And, you need some sort of table downstairs to make folding easy. If time and money are tight, ANY sort of table will work; put a vinyl tablecloth over it if the top is sort of grungy.

Then you need something to sort into--maybe just a row of laundry baskets under the table. This is important, bcs then you can sort stuff out of the canvas bag, and put the canvas bag away right away.

You need something you can use to hang clothes on
like this stand-alone rack that's $30 or wall-mounted bar of some sort, like this, or even one that hooks over the door.

Tell your DH you need help setting this up, and make it a weekend project for the two of you. It's an important investment in the value of your homelife; it DESERVES!!! your time, attention, and a little bit of money.

You wouldn't build a house without a hammer and saw, right? Don't try to run a household without proper laundry tools!

Good luck--let us know how you do.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2005 at 4:32PM
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I have never minded doing laundry so I have no trouble keeping up with it (just don't ask me about washing floors, LOL). In the olden days, women had a whole day set aside for doing laundry---but I don't have a whole day available for that, so I do mine throughout the week. My rule is: "If I'm home, I'm doing laundry." It's so routine now I don't even think about it.

Go downstairs right now and bring up the clean clothes and put them where they go. It's a quick solution, and one less pile to agonize over. Fold up the ironing board so you're not tempted to use it for storage again.

I agree: You can start now and do one load at a time, all day, OR get a friend or your husband to help you lug everything to the laundromat. You'll feel better having it done THAT DAY and it really will take just a couple hours start to finish. It's not cheap, but it's an immediate fix.

Is there a reason why you fell behind with the laundry in the first place, or have you just ignored it? Remember: no amount of organization will work if you're just avoiding laundry in general (my sister-in-law does that, and I bet she hasn't seen her laundry room floor in 20 years). If you do a load every single day you're home, you won't fall behind again.

Our dryer is also not working as well as it should (or is the washer not extracting water properly?). I usually dry heavy things like jeans until "close enough" and hang them up to dry the rest of the way. Have your husband install a rod across the basement ceiling for you.

I definitely sort clothes (I'm obsessed with sorting). And I do a load of laundry every night after work (assuming I'm home, which isn't always the case). I gather up all the dirty clothes, carry them downstairs, and sort them into laundry baskets by load. If tonight is white clothes night, tomorrow will be dark clothes or towels or whatever is a full load. And I've been known to do a half-load of brights or delicates just to get it out of the way when I know I'm going to be gone the next night or two.

I also agree that if you really have gigantic piles of clothing for just three people, you should consider a clothing purge. If you have more than 2 sets of sheets and blankets for your bed, give away some of those too. Keep only enough towels to equal a load and a half (that gives you clean towels to take a shower when there's a load of towels drying in the dryer).

Fold your clothes the minute they come out of the dryer. I don't have a folding table so I use the top of the dryer (a definite incentive to keep the dryer cleaned off) and stack them in a basket. The basket of folded clothes comes back upstairs with me since I'm going that way anyway! LOL

Do you also work full time? This is where it gets tricky. There are some nights when I get home late and end up with a load of jeans in the washer and a load of towels in the dryer at bedtime. The next morning, first thing, I'll go down to the basement and fold the towels quickly (and bring them up in the basket to put away before I take a shower) and throw the jeans in the dryer--they'll be dry enough to hang up before I leave for work. The hanging clothes come upstairs with me when I get home and put the next load in the washer.

Good luck figuring out a routine that works for you!

    Bookmark   December 20, 2005 at 7:11PM
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Lots of good advice above. You might consider hiring a teenager or get your regular babysitting to come in and help with the laundry, just to get you caught up. My mother used to have a "mother's helper" who would come in on a regularly scheduled day to help her projects like that. A young teen will do a great job for you.

I have a couple of ideas about your dryer. First, clean the vent at the back of the dryer. Also check the run from the vent hose to where it exits your house. (We had to use a shop vac to take care of this problem for us, and were amazed at how much lint was in there.) This will improve the dryer's function and protect your family from a possible fire. Secondly, don't overload. It could be that you need to wash smaller loads (hence drying smaller loads).

When my dryer was doing a completely useless job, I found out that the dryer had blown a fuse. I had the technician out for a service call ($80.) and in combination with cleaning out the vent hose, it's working like a charm - loads dry in 40 to 50 minutes.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2005 at 7:12PM
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I remember being a single mom with only one small child and I still had a mountain of dirty clothing. Now, with a larger family, I know I could never survive with my old habits.

Heres how I look at it. You will never be done with laundry. The day you die, you are going to make dirty clothing, so the only thing you have to do is keep it under control. You cannot look at laundry as a job to be DONE. ItÂs never done.

The best way I know to solve a problem is to clearly identify the problem. Have a cup of hot tea and put your feet up. Think about this realistically. What is the problem here? Do you wait until everything in the house is dirty before you start? Does your three year old have enough clothing to stock a daycare? You could take it all to the Laundromat and spend a fortune and you will still have the same problem in a month. You can spend the next two days doing nothing but laundry and in a month youÂll still have the same problem. You can buy all kinds of sorters and gadgets, but if you donÂt have a system with them, in a month you will still have the same problem.

Since you have a mountain all over the laundry area floor, now is a great time to look at the clothing still in the drawers and closets. IÂll bet you those are the items that donÂt fit, donÂt feel right and donÂt get worn much. Bag them all up and put them in the car to take to the thrift store.

Now you have room to put the clean clothing. Check your dryer venting going to the outside. Is it full of crud and lint? That can slow down the dryer. Call in a repair guy if needed, because a dryer that isnÂt working well could be a fire hazard. It may just be worn out. Set a timer upstairs for when the dryer should be finished so that you go down and either get the stuff out or set it again.

Since you are feeling pooped with the pregnancy, remember that the laundry police will not invade your basement. That mountain didnÂt happen over night and you can take some time to get it done.

Start with the clothing which is already clean and go put it away. If you donÂt want to iron stuff, that is a good candidate for the give away bag.

Start a load of what you need the most. Jeans or underwear? For today, just do that load, get it dry and put it away. As you are doing each load, go through it and evaluate if it is clothing to be kept of given away.

Tomorrow, do another load. Shirts? Towels? One load completely washed, dried and put away.

In the mean time, just put the daily dirty clothing in your hampers or baskets. Ignore them. Keep doing a load from the basement every day. Total job of wash, dry and put away. Important, important to putÂitÂaway.

Now you need a system which will work for you. HereÂs mine. I do laundry for the two youngest kids, my DH and me. I donÂt have any sorters, just plain laundry baskets. Everyone has a basket for dirty laundry in their room.

Once a week I sort everything into 5 loads. Whites, lights, darks, jeans and towels. I stack the baskets in the order I want to wash. When the washer was in the basement, I had one of the kids haul the baskets down. You could have your DH do this.

Every morning, first thing, I grab the top basket and throw it in the washer. Later in the day I throw it in the dryer and pull it out of the dryer before I put the little ones to bed. By the time they are in jammies and brush their teeth, I have it folded and put away.

Next day, I do the same thing. One load a day keeps the laundry monster away.


    Bookmark   December 20, 2005 at 7:26PM
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Wow you guys are AMAZING! There is so much great advice here, and now I feel much more motivated. I agree that I definitely need to go through our clothing and make some donations, that shouldn't be too hard. My DH has a million t-shirts that he doesn't wear, I'm just going to ditch them when he is not home, I'm pretty sure he will not notice or care, he'll probably be relieved! My clothes could be sorted through again, but it's a little tricky right now as I am wearing maternity clothes and not sure what I will be fitting into after this pregnancy. My DD's closet could also use a once over, as well as her dresser. I think there are still summer clothes in there that could be packed away. I am at work right now, but my DH is home. I am going to call him and have him take the shop vac to the dryer and give it a good cleaning. I don't think we have cleaned out behind the dryer, or that tube thing for awhile. The last thing I need is a fire hazard! That way, when I get home later, I can start in. I WISH I could install the luna laundry system! Unfortunately, our upstairs would not work at this time. We are planning on adding an addition in a few years, and I will be sure to include space for one of those laundry closets, AWESOME! And I can see how it would make life a lot easier. I think the reason I've gotten so far behind started with a vacation and not unpacking and washing right away, and then the situation escalated because we are finishing our basement and the laundry room was basically filled with stuff from the part of the basement where we were putting up walls and flooring. Plus, we are painting the new baby's room which used to be a computer room, so we had to organize/purge a lot of the stuff from that area of the house as well. No more excuses, I will keep you guys posted, but hopefully today will be a start!!!!!

    Bookmark   December 21, 2005 at 9:40AM
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Quiltglo said some points I totally agree with (I've said them here sometimes even--I just got all caught up in the "infrastructure")

Laundry is like a river--you control the flow, you never finish it.

and that's a major important point about the fact that what is currently IN the drawers is probably the stuff you won't wear.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2005 at 10:36AM
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A long time ago you alluded to that, and it was an EPIPHANY for me.

I always thought it had closure but it really does not.

That simple paradigm shift way back then really helped me a lot.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2005 at 11:11AM
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When I get behond in laundry, I take it all to the laundromat in town.I do it all in less than 90 minutes. Drying included. It's a great feeling to go to bed knowing all clothes are clean and put away and there are nice clean dry towels available for my family. Get it all done, then start doing one or two loads a day. It's not so bad.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2005 at 3:01PM
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"No more excuses" is the best start you could hope for!!

And you couldn't ask for a more perfect time to sort through your clothes than while you're still in maternity clothes! Look through your drawers and closets and look for anything that doesn't make you happy to think about wearing it again.

P.S. My husband thinks I'm crazy, but I unpack from suitcases right into the washer the minute we walk in the door. Remember my motto: "If I'm home, I'm doing laundry". LOL

    Bookmark   December 21, 2005 at 9:19PM
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Claire de Luna, I agree with everyone that your laundry setup is awesome...I will be able to do something like it in my new laundry room...I like the idea of cabinet doors over the washer and dryer, even though unnecessary, it gives a finished look. And raising the washer and dryer over the sorting bins saves a lot of space that would otherwise be wasted! I wondered, though, how do you handle folding and hanging the clothes when dry? Right now I have a very small laundry area, and have been using rolling racks with shelves that also have a hanging area and the sorters underneath. I don't think I will keep these in the new house, but will need something for folding, and a place to hang. I have a large laundry/mudroom at the new place, but would like to have space for everyone to dump their stuff on the way in, and not take up the whole thing just for laundry. Thanks for sharing your laundry center, it will be a big help for me in planning my space.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2005 at 1:28AM
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Everyone has already offered great advice. I love Talley Sue's comment:
"One tactic for :"keeping up" is to only have a small amount, and then you'll KNOW you have to do a load tonight, bcs you have no shirts to wear tomorrow. Paring down can actually motivate you to do laundry more often."

I have 3 children and work 30-35 hours a week. Laundry was always a problem for me until I made two changes:

1. Less clothing for each member of the family. More is not better!

2. Try to do a load every day. This is part of my daily routine.

It really works!!!!


    Bookmark   December 22, 2005 at 2:25AM
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Well poor DH in his effort to help me, has sort of dismantled the dryer. Apparently when I asked him to clean out the lint in the tube/exhaust etc. he found that the tube needed to be replaced (had a tear) and did not have time before going to work to pick up a new one. I am hoping that when I come home today it will be fixed, but if not, off to the laundromat I go! Might be a good idea to get finally get things under control anyways... hope it all fits in my car!

    Bookmark   December 22, 2005 at 10:29AM
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I used to have a problem with laundry too. So I bought the smallest hamper I could find. When that is full I have to do the laundry. It this has helped. And I get it out of the dryer right away to avoid the dreaded ironing.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2005 at 6:42PM
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Good Lord - Laundry is always going to be a part of your life. Break it up into whites, lights and darks and get on with it. If it takes a day or two to catch up, what is the big deal? Then you can get a handle on it.

Sorry, but as one who has been through it all, I just can't abide by whiners.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2005 at 7:33PM
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No one is whining, Wantoretire. This should be the one place you can come and say you are overwhelmed with something without getting blasted.


    Bookmark   December 22, 2005 at 8:16PM
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No Blasting was intended, but let's get real. Is laundry that big a deal? Don't let me get back into the olden days before disposable diapers, when cloth diapers were the only things going.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2005 at 8:25PM
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An easy way to sort laundry,this works for me: Leave the empty washer lid up. Set a laundry basket next to it. Throw light things in the washer, darks in the basket. When they're full, do one or both loads. Dry immediately and put clothes away. The white loads seem to fill up faster,mostly due to towels. My teen daughters and I all have longish hair, meaning frequent shampooing and lots of towels.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2005 at 8:53PM
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Yes, for some of us laundry under control can be that big of a deal.

As far as cloth diapers, I had to boil mine on the stove because I didn't have a washer and didn't live within walking distance of a laundromat.

We all have different challenges, Wantoretire. I'm sure there are some things that you might find problematic that others of us just wouldn't understand why it would be a big deal.

Whining is when the OP asks for help, gets lots of suggestions and then comes back and tells people how that just won't work without every trying. That's whining. That's not happening here.


    Bookmark   December 23, 2005 at 1:42AM
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Well, Emmhip, I think your dryer and mine are in similar situations right now! I no sooner wrote the above response when my own dryer started acting up. My DH was much too casual about it at first until I made him understand that I cannot go more than a couple of days without a dryer! Right now it's sitting in the middle of our laundry room with parts all over. DH thought he had fixed it, but then it completely shut down. Argh!

And yes, I am whining! I don't like a pile of laundry!

Here's hoping we both get our dryers fixed quickly...


    Bookmark   December 23, 2005 at 2:25AM
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Ditto what Gloria said.

Laundry is not a problem for me, but I understand how it becomes a problem for others. Sometimes it takes guidance and non-judgmental advice from others to help us get over a hump.

Here's an old story I still find funny: My SIL once complained about how she couldn't keep up with the dishes and they kept piling up in her sink, across the kitchen counters, on top of the stove, on the kitchen table, and then spilled out to the other rooms. She ACTUALLY SAID, "What am I supposed to do, wash dishes after every meal?!?"

She was raised in a house where dishes weren't done daily. The solution to her problem is obvious to most of us, but totally eluded her.

OK, time to go switch MY laundry. I got an early start this morning. :)

    Bookmark   December 23, 2005 at 6:57AM
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Thanks for everyone who has stuck up for me. My goal here was not to whine, it was to get suggestions that work and put them into use. Laundry for me is one area of household organization that I have always had trouble with. Bathroom and kitchen, no problems there. In other news DH fixed the dryer and it is working much better and I am starting to catch up :) I am putting several of your suggestions to good use here!

    Bookmark   December 23, 2005 at 8:55AM
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Emmhip, you are are going to do just fine, and you'll have the laundry caught up in no time. Most of us do laundry every day to keep caught up, so just keep that in mind.

The same routines that keep your bathroom and kitchen clean and clear will work in the laundry room, too, you just have to figure out what works for you.

Congratulations on getting the dryer working better!

    Bookmark   December 23, 2005 at 10:01AM
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Mia culpa - I consider myself scolded and do apologize. There are abundant good suggestions here, as always, and I sure didn't help. Guess I was having my own little pity party.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2005 at 1:26PM
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We'll come to your Pity Party, too, just let us know what to bring. :)

    Bookmark   December 23, 2005 at 2:10PM
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How's the laundry going?


    Bookmark   December 25, 2005 at 10:14PM
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7 months pregnant and running up/down with laundry......OUCH! Maybe you could take some activites for your 3yo and snacks for both of you to get you through a couple hours or however long it takes to do a couple loads. Then have someone else tote it all back upstairs. Do that everyday for a few days. I know I couldn't have done a marathon laundry day when I was 7 months into my second pregnancy.

    Bookmark   December 25, 2005 at 10:52PM
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Well, the dryer is still a bit messed up, but I am working with what I've got and folded all the clean stuff and put it away. I am having DH bring everything up and down and that is helping. I am just MAKING myself get through a few loads everyday. Went up to the family ski condo over the holiday weekend and used the washer and dryer up there, and came home with a bag of clean laundry instead of my usual bag of dirty laundry. I'm getting there!

    Bookmark   December 28, 2005 at 10:15AM
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We are just 3 of us and Christmas Eve I did 8 loads and yesterday 5.
I have the asme problem as you dryer is not efficient and takes long to dry.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2005 at 10:30AM
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Excellent thoughts, suggestions and wonderful solutions above!!!

Yes -- I agree with the idea of switching your thoughts to "GET IT DONE" from "finishing the laundry" -- because laundry (and so many other household maintenance tasks) are NEVER done -- and finished. So you have to way of managing the task everyday.

Our laundry is in a large closet in the kitchen. We keep a basket (love the Rubbermaid one that is curved to fit your body when you carry it!) so that dirty clothes are IN the basket when we change clothes.

And laundry has become a "multi-tasker" project -- to be done at the same time as other things like watching TV or working on the computer ..... even the DH gets into the act now. He is much better at folding than I am -- by Far!

BUT the other part of laundry is having space to put things away -- so I have worked like a demondog on the linen closet -- and on the master closet to try and make room!!

BTW -- my sister (three kids now grown and well-trained LOL!) did THREE loads of washing/drying every single day -- even while teaching. We used to kid her that whenever we smelled Downey ----- we thought of her! LOL!!!

And we certainly never mind when folks do laundry or fold clothes when we visit -- hey! multi-tasking is part of being a friend!!

    Bookmark   December 28, 2005 at 10:42AM
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Once you're in the routine of MAKING yourself go down and to laundry, it will become second nature and you'll just think, "I'm home, so I'm doing laundry".

Remember... get rid of the extra clothing so not as much can pile up!

    Bookmark   December 28, 2005 at 11:12AM
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ok, this is a rather old post and Emmhip got wonderful advice and probably has it all under control by now, but since laundry is discussed, I just wanted to add how great a satisfaction I feel when I'm caught up with it. Here it takes a bit more time, especially in winter when a load may take up to 3 days to air-dry my drying racks and clothes pegs are enough for up to 2 1/2 loads.

(Yesterday the built-in hamper was overflowing, so I did 2 1/2 loads and that emptied it. This morning the clothes hanging outside were still wet and it is snowing so no chance of them drying today. But, since it's so cold and snows they keep the heating on, so the whole morning I keep bringing them in and draping them over radiators and chairs. It is noon now and half is done. I think I can get it all dry and folded by the time DH comes home if they keep the heating on.)

When the house is messy it feels great getting a load in the washer, like something is getting done while I am free to work on other things.

We also unpack right into the washer the minute we get home from a vacation. DH is to thank for that. My natural tendency is to lounge a bit, have a bite, a shower, a nap - in that order - and then begin to unpack. DH unpacks fisrt thing, cleans the suitcases and puts them away, and then has a shower and orders a pizza.

Coming back from our last vacation we stopped for a late lunch/early dinner on the road a bit before entering the city and this was the best for me, since upon arrival I could take care of everything without feeling hungry. In fact, I can do nothing when I'm hungry, while DH can't do anything after he has his dinner!


    Bookmark   January 24, 2006 at 6:01AM
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DH and I have been working together in tandem, he washes, dries, brings upstairs, I fold and put away. We got a few drying racks for blankets, towels etc. and things are moving along much better. We are just sticking to our designated jobs and moving forward with our laundry everyday. Our dryer isn't perfect, but DH cleaned it out and got a new exhaust hose for it, and it's better than nothing. I feel much less stressed out about laundry in general and very happy that I can finally handle it. This forum has been a big help too! You guys are the best at advice!!!!

    Bookmark   January 24, 2006 at 12:01PM
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emmhip, I'm so glad to hear you have your laundry under control, and are feeling generally less stressed out.

I wanted to address the question by reagentmel that I didn't notice until today. There is a hanging rack in my guest room, which is where I hang a lot of my clothes to dry. I put them on (plastic) hangars and turn on the ceiling fan so they can air dry, since I discovered a long time ago that my clothes last longer if they don't go through the dryer. (This also gives me a second chance at stains if I missed them on the first wash.) This room is right next to the laundry closet, so I take my dry clothes in on the bed to fold them there before I put them away. It also is where my husband's closet is, and it's used as a dressing room; my closet is in our bedroom, so this system works for us. We try to keep the clothes rack fairly clear, so it's ready for the next batch, and I am always transferring hangars from the closets to the rack. I've found this fairly easy to manage since it's all close together...

    Bookmark   January 24, 2006 at 6:43PM
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Emmhip, I'm glad it's working better for you. I only now have my dryer back, after a month of it being broken. I am proud of myself, though, because I kept doing a load a day and hang drying ALL of it. (I have decided that some clothes just aren't meant to be hung dry - stiff as heck!) After going a month without a dryer, no one should be hearing me complain about doing laundry for quite awhile. (It was the motor that died, and DH purchased a new motor and replaced it. Much cheaper than a brand-new dryer!)

I will continue to stay on my routine of "a load a day" so that I don't have the mountain nightmare.


    Bookmark   January 25, 2006 at 1:42AM
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This is sort of off topic and if you think I should be asking at the laundry forum, please let me know.

I used to hang all my shirts to dry but I stopped doing that recently. Is it recommended to hang them? I have been drying my good shirts and sweaters on low knit heat but sometimes I do miss a stain that is probably now set.
When hanging, I remember the shirts getting stiff even though I always use liquid fabric softener in the washer. Is there a way to avoid this?

Should I go back to hanging?

    Bookmark   January 25, 2006 at 2:14PM
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I always dry shirts & sweaters at least part of the way (drying tumbles out wrinkles and makes them softer). There is a "rule" on some knits that if you machine wash them you should machine dry them (why, I don't know).

Stains aren't really a problem here. If they're my clothes, I check them before I throw them in a basket. And my family HAS learned the joys of Spray & Wash (or Shout? whichever we use, LOL) so they know to spray spots when they take off their clothes.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2006 at 6:27PM
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An old thread, but just in case...

When my dryer takes too long, I know the vent is clogged with lint. It is about a 12 foot run and has to be taken apart in two places. But cleaning cuts the drying time from 1.5 hours to 45 minutes. I do it about every 2 years.

For sorting, I keep 6 1.5 bushel laundry baskets in the basement and sort into them from a small basket in each person's room. The baskets are: white, dirty white (undies and my DSs' socks, grey/tan, red, dark, and blue/green. As soon as one is full it goes in the washer. I usually do 6 loads on a saturday or sunday and fold the same day - big stacks that all get put away at once so I'm not doing the "running to everyone's room" thing every day.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2006 at 8:51PM
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For those things I don't dry in the dryer but need to hang on hangers to dry, I put a tension shower curtain rod in the bath/shower, leaving it loose enough to move to the center and I hang things there to dry. Keeps them out of the way. Socks and underwear I hang on a folding rack.


    Bookmark   January 29, 2006 at 2:52PM
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