When we were newlyweds, Hubby and I would do laundry once a week. We would take our load or two to one of our parents' house and spend time with family while washing clothes. Then we would come home and fold and put it away together before bed. This was a very special time for us and really strengthened our marriage. For some reason we ended up having some of our most intellectually stimulating conversations during these "laundry chats." Sigh, those were fun times.
Then kids came, number of loads increased, and Hubby worked full time. I would take the kids one day a week to visit Grandma while I washed and dried clothes. Sometimes the pile of clean clothes would sit for a day or two before being put away.
Then more kids meant more laundry and more busy lives. Eventually we stopped bumming laundry machines off our parents and instead used the apartment complex's laundry room a couple times a week like real grown-ups. And again, the pile of clean laundry would sit until I found the time to fold and put it away.
Then we moved into our house, had a fourth kid, and got even more busy. The weekly laundry pile became laundry mountain. I was really good (with help from the kids and Hubby) about moving the dirty stuff from machine to machine. But then after coming out of the drier, the clean clothes would get piled on the living room couch and just sit there.
The only times the couch was empty was if we had someone coming over so I would call for "all hands on deck" and then we would get it all put away (or lazily move the pile to my bed). Inevitably, as soon as our guest left, another load would get pulled out of the drier and Laundry Mountain would start to build again.
I have now learned that the only way for me to keep clean laundry from piling up (and getting spilled, and stepped on, and dirty again) was to put it away AS SOON as it came out of the drier.
We're fortunate to have a laundry room between the kitchen and school room so it's a very convenient location to stand and work while still being aware of what the kids are doing.
So I just stand by the open drier and pull items out one at a time. They are either folded and put in a pile on top of the washer...
...thrown into a bowl (I have one for socks and one for each child-they organize and put away their own clothes)...
...or hung up.
Then as soon as the drier is empty, all that laundry HAS TO BE PUT AWAY! If the kids only have one or two items in their bowls, then those can be stacked, put out of the way, and worried about later when they're more full. But piles on the washer MUST be put away immediately or else I won't be able to start the next load. And those shirts and dresses hanging on the doorjamb by the kitchen will fall down if they're left unattended too long.
Putting laundry away is not as daunting a task if it's done a little (one load) at a time.
This totally works for me! I'm often still behind with big piles of dirty laundry waiting to be cleaned, but those are hidden away in hampers in bedrooms so I don't feel too bad about that.
At this point I want to give a plug for this awesome blog I found. This woman inspires me!
This is a description of how she tackles laundry.
What are some laundry tricks that work for you?