Tuesday, March 15, 2011
It's Probably a Good Idea
If I could hire a maid to do just one of my jobs, I would immediately usher her into the laundry room. It's not so much the sorting I mind (especially since the kids are starting to get the hang of it), and I certainly don't have trouble cramming stuff into the washing machine and then transferring it to the dryer.
But the minute the dryer signal sounds, that load is doomed. Sometimes it makes it into a basket, where it quietly resides until the basket is overturned by the child who needs to use it as a crib for her dolly. Sometimes the load makes it to the couch, providing extra padding during family movie night. Sometimes I exaggerate just a tad. But you get the idea. Laundry is not my favorite.
I've tried many systems, such as attempting to do all of the laundry in one day (epic fail) or tackling just one load per day (we go through too many loads for that to work). I've come up with a new plan, and I think it's probably a good idea. It worked really well for a while, and then I got sick. (I don't think the two were related.) I still think it's a good idea.
Here's the plan: Two a day, then put 'em away.
I realized that we're much more likely to fold a basket of laundry that is just moderately full -- it's not so daunting. Compared with that towering mound of whites? Oh, it makes my stomach churn just to think of it. So I'm trying to do two loads a day, even if the load isn't quite full.
I've also calmly explained the situation to the dear peeps: Mama needs your help!!! Today during our afternoon reading, for example, they folded and put away their laundry. It was extremely helpful, and it's a system that is becoming more and more efficient the older they get. Drew and Bethie also sort the kids' dirty laundry. They have a hamper that is divided into two sections, so the lights and darks are already separated. Their job is to make sure the jeans aren't wadded into balls and the pockets aren't full of LEGOS and pennies.
This is what the week boils down to:
Monday: Two loads of kid laundry (darks)
Tuesday: One kid load (light), one parent load (darks)
Wednesday: Two parent loads (delicates, whites)
Thursday: Two loads of linens (towels, napkins, dish rags, etc.)
Friday: Two loads of kid sheets/blankets (alternate boys/girls each week)
Saturday: Two loads of whatever is left (our sheets, cleaning rags, etc.)
Being caught up on laundry is especially helpful on unexpected snow days . . .
The kids are being trained to fold and put away their own laundry. (Drew and Bethie have it down. The others are still working at it. I am ever hopeful.) Every Monday morning I also have them do a quick drawer tidy-up in their rooms so it's easier for them to put in the fresh laundry as it's ready. They also help round up towels, bedding, napkins and other linens as necessary to keep that machine hummin' all week.
Their diligence helps me stay on task, too. Surely I can handle putting away Daddy's and my laundry. Right? (Cue the chirping cricket.) Of course I can handle it. I just need to do it.
The goal is to wake up Sunday morning with an empty washing machine, an empty dryer, two empty baskets -- and an empty couch. And now if you'll excuse me, I have some laundry to fold.