When I was on my own, I did laundry twice a month. I would put all the dirty clothes in a large plastic trash can, drag it into the laundro-mat, fill it with the newly cleaned clothes and drag it back home. Most of the time the clean clothes stayed, unfolded, in that trash can until I needed it again. They got horribly wrinkled and in order to find anything we had to dig through the entire can.
After moving into a house with laundry machines of my own, I tried to get into a habit of doing laundry more often. It was common for me to forget the laundry in the washer and have to rewash multiple times before I remembered to dry it while it still smelled clean.
Eventually I got that one licked and was able to shift the loads through the machines, drag the clean clothes into the house and pile them on the couch. We would dig through the pile and take what we needed but never really got around to folding unless we had company coming over.
With the addition of a couple more kids I was so busy mothering and homeschooling that the pile didnt even get folded for company and was often just shoved aside for extra seating... or dragged into the other room and piled on the bed.
It has now been almost 2 decades and I finally figured out how to finish laundry. It occurred to me that I love seeing a stack of perfectly folded towels. I love feeling all the warm clothes fresh out of the dryer. And I like not having laundry all over the house, clean or dirty. I thought I was just slow to figure it out... but then I read a bunch of blog posts and realized that everyone laundry's a different way and that it was a similar situation to my desk... I had to find what worked for me... Ahhhh. Clarity.
So how do you laundry?
Now that I have reliable machines (and no longer have to sit on my washer to keep it from walking away), I try to do a load or 2 everyday. Whatever is dirty, I wash it. I hear that alot of women wash certain items each day. That just doesnt work for me. I do not like digging through all the dirty stuff just to find dirty socks and undies. But I wash what is in the hamper. I wash, check back after an hour, dry, check back after an hour and fold immediately.
Folding immediately seems to be the key.
But folding seems to be controversial too. Some women sort the basket of clean laundry and then fold. Some women leave the folding for another day. Some women have someone else fold. I even have a friend who folds but doesnt put it away.
I try to impose the TOUCH IT ONCE rule as often as possible. So when I am folding that means that whatever I grab out of the basket first, gets folded first. I fold on my bed. It seems to be the perfect height. So I reach into the basket, grab the first item, fold it, start a stack of like items and move on to the next item. When I am finished and the basket is empty I have a bed covered in piles of perfectly folded clean laundry that I immediately put away.
Of course, the kids are expected to fold their own laundry. Waiting for them to bring back my basket is painful some days so I just fold their clothes for them and call them to come get their piles off my bed. Yes, I am moody and it translates over into my laundry.
No matter who folds it, it is finished and put away the same day. That brings me laundry peace.
For other ideas on laundry see these great blogs: