Doing What Works . . . Or at Least Works Better

It was a good idea.

An idea proven by many wonderful mothers and housekeepers since the invention of laundry baskets and drawers, I’m sure.

But it just doesn’t work for me right now. 

About three or four weeks ago, I started putting folded laundry directly into baskets for each family member.  It’s so much prettier and more-organized-looking than piling them on the couch.

And it totally SHOULD work.

The first week, I sent the kids off to their rooms with their baskets and stood. right. there. until they brought them back to me.  Still, the boys somehow switched baskets and wore the wrong clothes all week long.

The second week, I sent them off to their rooms and planned to stand. right. there. until they brought those baskets back.  But, shockingly, I got distracted and ended up hunting in their rooms for the baskets a week later . . . when it was time to do laundry again.  And my own basket remained full all week long.

The third and/or fourth week, I never did remember to have them take their baskets to their rooms, but was happy that the baskets made a prettier-looking-unfinished-task than the piled-up-with-piles love seat ever had.

But here’s the deal-breaker.  With the way I used to do things, it wasn’t unusual for folded clothes to remain in piles on the love seat.  If I didn’t complete the laundry on Monday, they would sometimes stay there for a few days, until I had a burst of productivity . . . or knew that someone was heading over to the house.

When those moments came, they got put awayBecause that was the easiest thing to do with them.  If I’m going to pick up a stack of clothes, or have the kids pick them up, they might as well go straight into a drawer.  

But . . . . when they were in baskets, easily movable as a stacked-up-whole, it seemed easier to move them into the master bedroom, just for now, than to take the time to actually put them away.

If you happen to be new here, and you’re normal, and you’re horrified because that doesn’t make any sense . . . know that I know that.  And read this.

To my slob-brain, it makes total sense.

Anyway, the result is that we’ve been living out of laundry baskets full of clean clothes, sitting in the master bedroom.

And that most definitely does NOT work for our family.

Because this family just MIGHT include two boys who are not quite as passionate about clean undies as their mother is.

And those two boys MIGHT think it’s logical to save time by not bothering to ask mom where some clean undies are.

And those two boys MIGHT just think it’s easier to grab a pair of undies out of the dirty-clothes-hamper.

MIGHT.

It’s a lovely idea, and I definitely plan to give it another shot at some future phase of life, but for now . . . I’d rather have piles of folded laundry on my love seat than fight this losing battle.

It’s all about finding what works for this brain of mine.

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Comments

  1. Mary @ Giving Up On Perfect says:

    You have to do what works for you, that's for sure! I have yet to find a laundry system that works for me. Our dryer is constantly covered in clean clothes, just waiting to be put away. Grrr!

  2. hsmominmo says:

    The laundry basket thing does not work for me.
    We are much more likely to put our clean laundry away when Dad is sitting across the room getting ready for our nightly family devotional, and the only place to sit is on top of the folded laundry piles. So, I'm building in time for laundry putaway before devo time.
    Whatever works!

  3. Joy Finding says:

    I discovered that I needed little dollar store net hampers lined up in my hallway, one for each "color" group. A friend who was trying to "help" me always moved them and tucked them away where "company" (like I have much) couldn't see. When she did that, it set me back days/weeks. I have finally stopped caring what works for others. This works for me. I learned a phrase that has helped me along my cluttered journey – "I'll work on perfection later." Congrats on doing WHAT WORKS!!!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Hi… Love your blog…If I can figure out how to do it.. I will post a pic of my laundry room… Baskets labeled with names of each place they need to go… neatly folded, and waiting… just waiting… Kids never come pick them up like they are suppose to…. just go down and dig out what they need… husband.. doesn't bother to get his.. Just wears his good clothes to work… Me??? Well, I just head to the laundry room and get dressed in the morning..

  5. Nony the Slob says:

    Whew! It's nice to know that others can't do the basket thing either!

    Anon, I'd love to see pics. I think the best way to post them would be on facebook.

  6. I lived out of a laundry basket during high school. We each had our own basket and my mom was/is a fold each peice as you pull it out of the dryer person. I would get up, go to the basement, pull out what I wanted, and then go back up for my shower. It drove my mom nuts, but she refused to take our baskets up for us. My own kids are still too little to put their own clothes away (3 and not big enough to open her drawers yet! and 8 mos). So I am also a do it all on one day girl, and I fold it on my bed so it has to be put away before bed.

  7. This is how we do laundry with 4 children…and our 5th coming home from China in the next 6 months or so.

    Sun. night all girls laundry done.
    Monday-girls fold and put away their OWN laundry. (I start them young at 4 yrs old!)
    Monday-Mom/Dad laundry done and boy laundry started.
    Tues.- All boy laundry done/folded and put away by the BOYS. (And towels, sheets etc done this day too).

    It works great for us and I only have to fold/put away our OWN laundry..its heavenly to not do have to fold or put away any of the children's laundry anymore!

  8. I am single, no kids, and have NO excuse not to do my laundry and put it away in a timely manner. I mean, really, even if I go three weeks without doing laundry (yes, I have lots of underwear), it’s rarely more than three loads. And, yet, I STILL will do the least amount I can get away with, and leave piles of laundry on the side of the bed I don’t sleep on (luckily my dog can’t reach the bed, otherwise he’d make himself a nice soft bed with my dresses and jeans).

    Finally, I started using a laundry service. It’s definitely more expensive than doing it myself (~$35 versus $7.50), but not having to sit for the two+ hours it takes for the laundry to be done (I have to go to a laundromat), AND being able to put everything away as soon as I pick it up (they fold and hang everything), it’s TOTALLY worth it to me.

  9. How on earth do you get your kis to put away their own laundry? Mine refuse to even help me sort. I also have four kids, although all boys. Im currently trying to put away my weeks worth of laundry for six people which is piled up on the couch. We have to search for matching socks in the morning, asi can’t seem to ever take the time to match them all up, so the adults have a “sock box” and the kids have a “sock box”. It’s awful.

    • I would suggest a different color mesh laundry bag for each person’s socks. Dirty socks are thown into the zip bag, and then the whole thing is thrown into the washer/dryer. Viola! Each person’s socks are all together, no matching necessary. Works for me!

      • That’s what I do too!! If you don’t have different color ones, just write their name on a plain white one with Sharpie :)

  10. It takes a month before something you do becomes a habit. I admit to living out of my laundry basket and not putting them away when I do have two dressers in my bedroom. Clean clothes would be stacked up on top, not inside the drawers. My kids… they do same thing. They do things same way I do. So I am SLOWLY working on my new habit: fold clothes and put away. The End.

  11. Elizabeth K. says:

    First of all, I totally get the “Slob Brain” thing because I TOTALLY have it. And, I too have had clean clothing sit in a basket (or multiple baskets) waiting to be put away for up to and over a week at a time.

    I don’t write this to offer a suggestion or do anything constructive. I really just want to say that I understand and you’re not alone in your efforts to combat the Slob Brain.

  12. I’m so with you. I just realized that my clothes in the laundry baskets, in my mind, are “put away”.

  13. The only thing that really works for me is folding the clothes on top of my bed (or my girls’ bed, if that’s more convenient.) Because at some point someone is going to have to sleep in that bed, so the clothes will get put away.

  14. I agree totally with the folding on a bad because someone is going to sleep and it… although I am the only woman to boys husband and male dog.. they will push it right on the floor.. or lie on top of it… I have the best of best friend/sister… I watch her daughter s…and she comes over and does laundry.. or dishes.. but lately she has not been by cause her baby’s dad is in town and watching her daughter. I have now resorted to looking online at this blog.. needless to say I still have 4 laundry basket of clean clothes in my master bedroom lol…. I know get up off here and do it!!! I wouldn’t have got on the blog if that was so easy… 1 mom to another thanks for listening

  15. Karen Luebke says:

    I tell myself that I get more exercise with my “system” of carrying one armful at a time from the dryer clear to the other end of the house to our bed, and then carrying one folded stack at a time to the kids’ rooms to put away – which may be true, but it’s also true that the 4 laundry baskets I do own are full of clutter. Eeesh.

  16. Kentucky Bound says:

    I know this is an old post, so maybe you’ve figured out a system to get the laundry put away, but I thought I’d share what works for me, in case it’s helpful.

    Don’t sit down!

    I fold standing up. I dump it all on my bed, in my bedroom and sort some (to make it seem less daunting). As I build up piles, and run out of room to fold more, I’ll either put them away or holler for someone to come take them and put them away.

    I wear a pedometer and watch my steps – so this helps with that as well.

    But if I sit down to fold, or do it while I watch TV, there is no hope of me having enough focus to get it all put away. I LIKE to watch TV while I fold, but I really LIKE not hunting through a laundry basket to get dressed.

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