Today’s subject is laundry.  When I listen to moms, I hear the same sentiment over and over. Laundry is consuming their lives. They don’t know how to keep up with the laundry.  After seventeen years of marriage and twelve years of motherhood, I have perfected the laundry system (with a little help from my best friend).

1.) Now, I don’t think this particular system will work unless you stay home all day everyday….so….sigh…I guess if you’re going to be a successful laundress, you’ll just have to quit any other jobs you have.  That’s step #1. Or maybe we could discuss how to modify this system for working parents….

2.) Purchase two laundry sorters. I found mine at WalMart for $15 each. A laundry sorter is basically plastic pipe and mesh bags, and, at first glance, a rip off. But not so, my Learning-One!  Once assembled, it becomes a magical invention. Place one of these in the bathroom and the other in the kids’ room (or upstairs if your house is two-story). There is a bag for whites, one for colors and one for darks. Ah! The complex simplicity.  Now teach your little buggers (incl. the big bugger) their colors. Voila! Your laundry is sorted. (you may need to stand over it with a very large stick the first week…they’ll catch on if you look, sound and hit mean enough! I jest! I jest!)

3.) Purchase stacking plastic containers that are big enough to hold the amount of clothes one person in your family would wear in a single week.  Purchase the same number as there are people in your family + one.  The extra one is for towels and sheets and such.

4.) Purchase a metal hanging bar and place near your dryer.

5.) Monday morning before you even make coffee, bring the dark mesh bags in the laundry room and start a load. (Tuesday you’ll do colors and Wednesday you’ll do whites).  There should be two-three loads depending on the size of your family and if you make them re-use their towels (which, by the way, you should!).  When you’re fixing breakfast, take a quick trip to the laundry room and move them from washer to dryer.

6.) When you hear that dryer ding (or when you want to escape from your kids with a telephone at your ear), open the dryer door and STAND there! DO NOT move!  Pull things out and put them in the right container for each person in your family! Towels/sheets have a container to themselves. Hang up your husband’s work shirts. I repeat…do not move!! Do not allow yourself to leave that place until everything is out of the dryer and in the containers (and, by the way…who really gives a rip if they’re folded? huh?) or hung up.  Take ten minutes two-three times in the day to do this.

7.) Ta-dah!! All your laundry is clean and sorted by Wednesday afternoon! Thursday have each child take their basket and put their clothes away and return the basket to the laundry room. You do not have to do laundry again until Monday!!!

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