Why is it that everyone I know has an issue with laundry? I hear, “I can’t keep up” or “it is never done” or “I can’t find a system that works.” Well, I can’t say I am perfect and I really can’t say I enjoy getting it done but I will agree it is a beast and it needs a system.
First, seek help. You are not wearing all the clothes, why should you be maintaining them all? Every family member should have their own hamper in their own space. This helps with making sure there is a home for dirty laundry but it also leads to the second decision.
Second, when is it done? Make the decision – will it be laundry DAY (all done in one day and what day is that), will each person in the family have their own day (Mom – Monday, Dad – Tuesday, etc) or is it whites on one day and colors on another (this will mean going to every hamper and separating if you so choose. I guarantee you if it is a free for all – do it when it gets full, one load a day, or something other than a schedule the laundry will either never fully be done or it will be a battle for everyone in the home wondering their favorite shirt is or when clean underwear will arrive. A schedule is a must.
Laundry itself; decide if you want to separate and what you want to separate, how stains will be marked, how “special” items will be pulled out, etc. This is all part of the overall system. I personally wash reds separate the first or second time but then they go in with colors (they have color sheets to put in with wash if you are hesitant). I also wash my whites separate from my colors for the adult clothes, but I put all my kids’ laundry in one load, once per week. Yes, you heard me right!! I don’t separate colors. And, I have never had one issue! I do adult laundry one day and kids another day.
Kids. Yes, they can help. As young as 3 or 4 they can make piles of socks, pants, jammies and then you can fold them. As young as 6 they can be taught to fold and put away. It takes time and patience but having the help is so worth it. Some significant other training might need to be done too.
Don’t neglect supplies. Enough laundry baskets, stain sticks, hangers, locations for folding, etc is as critical as doing the actual laundry. I bet for under $100 you could get all those supplies you were wishing you had. If space is limited, consider grabbing space in another part of the home or a roll-in caddy or a cabinet just outside the door. Searching the internet or Pinterest for ingenious laundry ideas will help.
Make decisions and write up the system and share with all part of it. This brings clarity and responsibility. So, get to washing!