Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Simplify for Fall Challenge: Laundry & Clothes

In all honesty, dealing with clothes is probably my least favorite homemaking activity. I don't mind throwing the laundry in the washing machine - it's just the folding and putting it away that drives me crazy. I'm sure our overstuffed drawers and closets probably have something to do with that. And as for sorting through which clothes to keep and get rid of? It's tortuous. Too many decisions on what to keep and what to get rid of. So, I put it off...and put it off.

But, yesterday I decided to tackle our laundry system and girls' clothes as part of the Simplifying for Fall Challenge at Life Your Way. Did I get it all done? No. But, I did make some headway in that area, so that is good. I've got a better idea of what the girls need and do not need so that helps me as far as the back-to-school shopping goes.

The Girls' Clothes
I went through their drawers and removed what no longer fit. I added new items to L's drawers from the hand-me-down box. The whole process could have gone smoother. Instead, this was pretty much what I faced for the afternoon.

Apparently my sorting process needs some work, no? I should have been a bit more methodical about it. But no. Oh well. I'm sure there is another opportunity to do this again down the road.

Since my girls share a room and a closet, I decided to organize things a bit more to make it easier to put their clothes away and for Daddy to tell which outfit belongs to which girl. (He gets confused sometimes.)
  • Labels for the closet: I used my Creative Memories circle cutter to make clothes dividers. I just made a large circle with a smaller circle cut out of the center and then a slit from the bottom to the center circle. The labels just slip onto the bar. So, now we can all tell where each girl's jackets/sweaters, shirts, and dresses go without too much fuss.
  • Color-coded hangers: Yes, I know this organzation probably won't last, but it made me feel like I was accomplishing something. I feel more organized if the hangers are matching in color. In my closet, my clothes are all on white hangers. The girls have a collection of various ones, so I used them to sort out the types of clothes. Dress-up went on "princess" hangers, dresses on white hangers, etc.

Our Laundry System
I also thought through some things that will make doing laundry easier and made a few changes:
  • Label the laundry sorter: Last year I purchased a 4-bin laundry sorter. It was a revelation. A much needed improvement over my previous "system" which was for everyone to throw their stuff in the laundry basket on the floor of my closet. However, my family has trouble remembering what goes where. Our labels got lost in the move East, so I made some new ones. It would be really nice NOT to have to resort the clothes!
  • Clear off the dryer: I realize that I'm much more likely to get the laundry folded and put away in a timely manner if I fold it as I take it out of the dryer. Having the top of the dryer will actually give me a little space to do this.

One thing that I'm already doing that simplifies laundry for me is to order my laundry detergent through Amazon. We use "green" laundry detergent which is hard to come by here at the stores in Virginia. Amazon gives me a decent price, and I only have to order it about once a year. Honestly, it's nice not to have to think about picking up detergent at the store.

Do you have any tips to keep clothes and laundry manageable?


Anonymous said...

What laundry detergent do you purchase only once a year? I would love to get some info on that! :)

Janel said...

I buy Country Save powdered detergent. I started using it when my youngest used cloth diapers, and we've stuck with it. It is fragrance-free and rinses clean. I buy it through Amazon and get 4 boxes at a time. One order used to last me over a year when I had a front-loader. Now, it doesn't last as long, but it should last at least 9 months.