Laundry has been a thorn in my side for as long as I can remember.* Even when it was just Lucas and I, I struggled to keep on top of it. There were days when the poor man had to remind me that he needed to have certain unmentionable items available to wear to work! I admit that the main reason was that scrapbooking and blogging were just so much more fun then sorting, washing, drying, folding and putting away. I mean really, couldn't we all just agree to go naked so that I could use my time doing fun things instead of that dreaded chore? (Among close friends we refer to it as Voldemort - the chore that shouldn't be named)
*I mean since getting married. Somehow when I was single it never seemed like a huge deal. Why is that?
When I got pregnant though, I knew I had to do something. I knew enough from my friends with kids to know that things would only get worse. And to make it more interesting, we decided to use cloth diapers! So I started the battle by being determined to get the laundry basket empty once and for all. You know how certain things just kind of linger in there because they need to be hand washed or dry cleaned? (It shouldn't surprise you that if I found it hard to keep up with machine washing, that hand washing stuff was out of the question!)
It took me a couple months, but I did it. Then to come up with a routine to make sure the laundry basket didn't start exploding again. I vacillated back and forth between doing a load a day (but I'd rather scrap or blog! Cause after the baby comes I will have NO time!) or letting it pile up and doing it all on one day (but I'd rather...see above)
I'm proud to say though that even in those first sleep deprived months after Kieran was born, I did mostly keep up with it. I had to make sure those diapers were washed every two to three days, which actually helped me to get into a routine. The big problem though was the sorting. I just hated having to dig through the hamper, sort the laundry into piles and then decide which was the most pressing pile. Whites? Colours? Darks? There had to be a better way.
When we moved back in October, I decided that something had to be done. I needed a solution to have everything presorted! That way I could just toss the biggest load in the machine while whistling happily and dancing a jig! (Whatever it takes to motivate myself). We have a small bathroom, so I envisioned some sort of multiple drawer storage piece, one drawer for each load.
Then when we were at Ikea I saw these bins in the Home Organisation area and a light bulb went off in my head. I took note of the dimensions, and measured up the space available in the bathroom. It would work! I now have four bins stacked on top each other as you can see in the photo above. From top to bottom: Whites, Lights, Brights and Darks. I used my Slice electronic cutter, and scrapbooking papers to make the labels, which I adhered with a PVA glue. A full bin is the perfect size for a load.
Now I do one load of laundry a day. The loads go in right after breakfast, so that the cycle is over around the time of Kieran's nap. Once he's up then I toss them in the dryer. I actually only fold the next day, it's my cool down activity after I work out. I know it's better to fold right away, but for now, this works. So it goes: clothes in the washer, work out, fold previous day's load (Kieran "helps"), clothes in the dryer after lunch and naptime. Sadly, there's still no singing and dancing of jigs, but things go pretty smoothly. I do get lazy sometimes and have to do two loads a day to catch back up, but I'm pretty sure that Lucas always has clean unmentionables now.
There's still room for improvement though: putting the darn folded piles away! Those stick around on the couch, in crates or on our bed way too long. I'm working on it! Oh and the hand wash items? Still lingering around in the old laundry basket.