Our washer & dryer are in a closet off of our kitchen.
It’s truly NOT ideal for a family of five. But it’s what we have, and I’m trying to make the most of it.
For years I’ve struggled to come up with a laundry system that accommodates our lack of laundry room space, and I’ve not found a proper solution. Until last week, that is!
I’m so excited about it, I wanted to write a quick post about how I set this up so you can do the same if you don’t have a laundry room and have to basically keep your in-process laundry out in the open for the world to see.
What I Used to Do & The Stress It Caused
My old system was basically this:
- Wash the clothes (in batches, one basket per day, on a predetermined “wash day”…I’ve tried them all)
- Take the clean clothes upstairs and go through the baskets one by one to fold & distribute them to the proper closets (sometimes I would get ambitious and pile several baskets worth of clothes onto my bed in an attempt to tackle a ton all in one day)
- Separate the girls clothes out into their own basket for them to put away (this was great in reducing my laundry time now that they’re old enough to help…they’re 8 and 5 now, but the basket would usually sit around for a day or two until I remembered to give it to them / they had time to work on it)
- Completely stress out when I got to the end of the day and I still had unfolded clothes sitting on our bed OR baskets waiting to be tackled.
My new laundry system:
- Bring three baskets of laundry downstairs at a time. One full of clothes and two empty.
- Wash the first load of laundry
- Transfer the first load of clothes to the dryer and go upstairs to retrieve one more basket full of clothes
- Start a second load of laundry while the first one dries
- Immediately after the first load of clothes are dry, sort them into the two baskets. Throw anything belonging to the girls into basket. Into the other basket, place my / my husband’s / my toddler’s clothing / folded towels.
- Dry the second load of laundry then repeat the sorting process right in front of the dryer.
- Give the girls’ basket to them to take straight upstairs and put away, then take the other basket to my room to put away our clothes, towels, and put my toddler’s clothes in his room.
This is what two loads of laundry looks like placed sorted into two baskets. Neat, Two loads of laundry done, and I am only left with one basket to put away, and most of the folding is already done before I even carry it upstairs!
Why My New Laundry System is Easier & Less Stressful
Now, you might be saying, “The new system is more complicated!”
But It really isn’t. There are three reasons for this.
- I moved the majority of the active part (sorting and folding) to the original source – as I pull the clothes out of the dryer. This removed the next step of having to re-introduce myself to the same load of laundry upstairs. The mental burden this lifted off of me is tremendous! Clothes are no longer “waiting for me” when I go into my room, and I never run the chance of having a pile of clothes left on my bed at night.
- I eliminated the chance that I would forget to tell the girls to put away their basket of clothes. When the basket is sitting downstairs, it’s in our face, and I can easily remember to tell them to “take it straight to their room and put everything away.”
- Last but not least…did you notice how this system essentially shrinks my loads by half? For every two loads of laundry I wash, I only walk away with one load to fold. If I’m feeling ambitious, I sometimes can fit three loads of laundry into two baskets (one for the girls and one for me), so I literally feel like I’m getting away with something when I do this!!
Today I was able to get 3 loads of laundry done with about 35 minutes of active working time. No touching and retouching of clothes involved. I just did what I described above and got it down in record time! I estimate that this new system takes me approximately 1.5 hours of my time each week. I’m pretty sure I was spending 3-4 hours a week before to was all the clothes & linens for our family of 5….actually, more like getting to 3 hours in and giving up because I was over it!!! :/
I’m so happy about not having to constantly think about clothes now. I don’t do laundry on a set day (although I’m sure that could make this even better)…I just do 2-3 loads on days I know I have up to 30 minutes to spare. Today I did ran these loads in between doing my weekly Bible study and finished up just before dinner. I swear, this has revolutionized my life!!!
The Results. Are you in?
This laundry system cuts wayyy down on the stress my laundry causes me. And my husband even noticed a big difference! Or, rather he noticed the lack of piles and piles of laundry laying on our beds upstairs! 🙂
Are you up for giving this crazy simple laundry system a try? If so, please tell me how it goes in the comments! And if you already do this and think I sound completely moronic for having this epiphany, please don’t tell me. LOL
Oh, one more thing….
You might think this makes a mess in your hallway while you’re doing the laundry. And you would be right. But those of us who don’t have dedicated laundry rooms know this is just a fact of life when you’re operating out of a “laundry closet.” My system at least gives me some sort of control over the process. It has a definite starting and ending point to it, whereas before I felt like I was just trying to keep the system going all the time.