Here’s why I think the following is the best laundry system. As a professional organizer, I’ve read a lot about laundry schedules and recommendations.
Being a Jewish homemaker as well, I know how much laundry I tend to accumulate.
We are also under time constraints. We need everything clean by the Sabbath. Or, we go through days and cannot do any laundry! With these timely demands, we need to have the best laundry system in place.
A Laundry “day” is not enough for us. There are times you may want to have a “laundry day” in addition to your daily loads if necessary. Perhaps Thursday is a good day to change all the linens. Or Saturday night to throw in the white load and stains needing special attention.
Here is what I recommend.
Put a large long laundry table in your laundry room. Place 4 large baskets under the laundry table on the floor.
After every shower, every change of clothes, the dirty clothes are brought into the laundry room and are then thrown into the the baskets on the floor, labeled: whites, colors, towels, handwash/delicates.
Once any of these extra large baskets are full, you know it is time to do a wash. It will probably average out to one load a day.
On top of the laundry table, designate and label a laundry basket for each member of your family.
If you can pick a different color for each person, even better! Keep the laundry baskets in your laundry room (if the laundry room is very accessible). Once the clothes are clean, you can fold them on your laundry table (or hang up the clothes), put them into each person’s basket and let them know when their basket is clean.
This system is doable because of the presorted laundry system you have on the bottom. Kids know to bring their dirty clothing in right away and put them in the appropriate bin.
Other organizing advice may tell you to keep laundry baskets in each child’s room, I find that this is more work. Who is going to collect the dirty clothes from each room or bring in each person’s hamper? Rooms are neater and the laundry flows smoother.
This system is doable because of the presorted laundry system-That way, you don’t need to think twice how the clothes need to be separated. Put a picture of Shabbos clothes on one bin. A picture of socks, towels, and undergarments can go on another bin. you have on the bottom. Kids know to bring their dirty clothing in right away and put them in the appropriate bin.
Other organizing advice may tell you to keep laundry baskets in each child’s room, I find that this is more work. Who is going to collect the dirty clothes from each room or bring in each person’s hamper? Rooms are neater and the laundry flows smoother. This is another reason why I do think this way is the best laundry system.
If your laundry room is not very accessible:
Keep all of the dirty clothes in one area upstairs. When that area is full, bring the clothes downstairs. Sort the clothes into your presorted laundry bins. Wash and fold clothes and then bring each person’s colored basket up to the main floor and have the children put their own baskets away.
Could you possibly make your laundry room more accessible? What about installing a laundry chute or moving the laundry room up to a floor where the bedrooms and bathrooms are? You could even use a small closet in the bathroom or put the laundry machines in the kitchen.
If you are limited by vents or washing machine hook ups, or you live in an apartment, there is a solution that can work for you. Ventless washer and dryers do exist, here’s a link to one at Home Depot.
You just need a water-source, drain line, and 110 volt power. I know this kind of machine takes a little while longer to dry, so why not do the lighter loads upstairs, and then go back down to your basement for the towels/sheets loads.
It is definitely worth looking into if your laundry room is in the basement. Now you can move your machines upstairs and turn your upstairs into the best laundry system you’ve ever had!
If you still cannot move your washer and dryer to be more accessible, at least give your laundry room a facelift to make it more cozy!
Rebekah Slatkin, “Jewish Life Organizer”, has taught hundreds of Jewish families how to organize themselves to improve their Sabbath and Holidays. Learn more about all that she offers at [http://www.jewishlifeorganized.com]
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