I’m what you would call laundry-challenged. It’s amazing I have a five kids. I’m so not the domestic type. I can’t cook. I can’t seem to remember the kids’ dentist appointments. [Sadly, I just forgot another dentist appointment earlier this month.] And I can’t do laundry. Lee has quite a few pairs of pink underwear thanks to my ability to always accidentally throw one red sock or shirt in with the whites. Major fail.
I also hate HATE putting laundry away. Throwing it in to the washing machine and then the dryer is no big deal. It’s the act of folding and putting away that I loathe. It’s so repetitive. And boring. And then you have to carry it all upstairs. And shove it in to dressers. Or hang it on closet rods. It makes me shudder just thinking about it.
But I have some tricks to make that part a little easier.
First, I make the teens do their own laundry. I don’t even want to see their laundry in the laundry room. That’s just another pile of clothes I don’t need to care about. The less laundry for me to do the better.
Second, I make the younger kids put their own clothes away. I actually fold and hang up Caleb’s clothes. He’s only 6. He still needs a little help. But he carries all of his clothes to his room, put them away in his dresser, and hangs them up in his closet. For Skyler & Spencer I just pile their clothes up and make them come get them. They then fold them in their room and hang up the rest.
Third, we have a sock basket. I don’t match socks up anymore. I just throw them in the sock basket. The sock basket stays in the laundry room. So every day everybody comes downstairs to search for a pair of socks to wear. It works. I’m telling you. Go the way of the sock basket and never spend a whole Sunday matching socks again.
Fourth, Lee set up a laundry system in the laundry room. It started as his closet (which is still there on one side of the wall) and turned in to shelves and rods galore. Our towels haven’t made it to the upstairs hall closet in years. I just fold them and leave them on a shelf in the laundry room. I also have a big counter top where I fold clothes and make piles for the kids. Love it. My whole laundry system was one of the best gifts Lee ever gave me.
Since Lee’s “closet” is in the laundry room I never have to carry his clothes upstairs. And in the last year or so I’ve given up on taking my clothes upstairs too. I just leave them folded on the counter top. Or hanging from one of the rods. When the seasons change I have the kids help me carry everything upstairs and then I keep the current seasons clothes downstairs. The first thing I do every morning is come downstairs to check my cell phone (email) so I walk right by the laundry room, grab a towel, and my clothes. Then I go back upstairs to shower. It’s quite a system I have going.
But for some reason, when we got back from Disney I decided to put clothes away. I think it’s because the suitcases were upstairs so I thought I’d be nice and put the kids’ clothes away for them. And apparently I put my clothes away in my bedroom too. Mistake.
For the last several weeks I have been missing my favorite pair of jeans. I washed every. single. article of clothing we had in this house. But I still couldn’t find them. I was on the verge of accusing one of the boys of stealing my totally awesome jeans when all of a sudden I had a flashback to the day we returned from Disney. Surely I didn’t put my very favorite jeans in my dresser. It’s winter. My jeans don’t go in my dresser. Only my shorts are in the dresser.
I decided to go look…just in case. And there in my jeans drawer (that is normally completely empty all winter long) sat a lone pair of jeans. My very favorite jeans in the whole world.
So see, sometimes it doesn’t pay to put things away. Sometimes away isn’t where it’s meant to be. It’s kind of like making your bed when you’re just going to get in to again in another 12 (or 18) hours. Just throw the sheets up towards the pillow and call it a day.