Now you may think this is because I have six people churning through several outfits a day, but you are wrong. My laundry woes date back to the newlywed era when I finally had to take some responsibility to keep the two of us out of dirty wrinkly clothes so that we could both keep our professional lives intact. I asked around a lot about this particular topic (some might call it complained constantly), and I vividly recall begging an unsuspecting older woman in my bible study to help me solve my laundry conundrum, as if I could tap into some special magical powers to get the piles processed without dominating my life.
Things devolved as kids were added to the point that I was pretty grumpy about any mention of laundry, and the kids were pretty grateful when their favorite nightgown happened to show up in their drawer. This summer we started what I optimistically dubbed the “Laundry Sing-Along”, which involved a weekly gathering of clean laundry into one big pile – more like a mountain really, inevitably becoming a mosh pit for the kids – and singing together as we all sorted and folded each person’s clothes into enormous bins. Success rate: moderate but grueling.
I am happy to report a complete revolution has overthrown the laundry dictatorship, and I want to tell you how (because I know you are simply dying to see more pictures of my unkempt laundry). I devote this solution in its entirety to a woman I would aspire to clean shower doors for indefinitely out of sheer gratitude for her suggestions: Debbie Pittman. She is a hilarious blogger/mom of many/organizational consultant/laundry mastermind who not only wrote about her approach for her 11 kids (yup, eleven!), but spent valuable personal time emailing me back and forth on how I, too, could tame the laundry beast.
I will let you read the eloquent details here, but her main points are:
• Do a load every single day
• Put away your load every single day
• Every. Single. Day.
I know, I know, it seems so simple. But somehow it’s taken me 20 years to get to this solution. So, just for kicks, here are my cute little baskets from the dollar store, tagged with the strategic title “Team Roberts,” along with nicknames and pictures for my non-readers. The kids are responsible for taking the baskets and putting everything away in their proper drawers. Even at 2, 4, 7, and 9, they are perfectly capable of taking this one for the team. Dad was alarmed at their small size, but it’s helped me know that I’ve gotten behind if my mini-baskets are brimming. Call it portion size for the laundry, if you will. So take that, you beast you.