Friday, May 4, 2012

You don't have to have an Electrolux to be Awesome

Are you like me and find that the laundry is sucking your life out of you? I've found myself fantasizing about what it would be like if that wretched chore would magically complete itself. But reality always finds its way in baskets and mounds to tell me I'm just wishful thinking.
I decided to investigate my laundry folding habits to see if I couldn't maximize my time and allow for more bon bon time (yeah...more like playing horsies with the girlets time).

I hope some of these tips help you. The most important tip is first! For this demonstration I used 4 large loads of laundry for 5 people and from start to finish (everything put away) I spent 25 minutes including getting snacks for the kids, getting a 2 year old to stop spinning all of the toilet paper off  the roll and putting it back on, pausing to eat snacks the kids made for me--thankfully they tasted good, entertaining a 4 year old chatterbox and being super quiet while putting away the kids clothes because the baby was sleeping (yeah, all 3 share a room). :)

1. Give Yourself A Pep Talk -- Seriously!
Look that pile of laundry in its big mound of a face and say to it :"You don't scare me!" Ok so maybe you don't have to say that but you at least need to think it. I found myself always feeling overwhelmed and told myself it would take forever and I would never finish.When I flipped my thinking, I have folded the laundry in half the time--seriously!

2.Prepare your battle zone Work Area
In a perfect laundry filled world I would fold as I pull the laundry out but that never seems to happen. I usually start with this:

Then I dump like this: (you could use a bed or a table but it is best elevated--not the floor)

Then I lay out a basket for each person:
Then I stand between the empty baskets and the mound and I begin to fold.

3, You Touch It, You Fold It
I don't sort. If the kids want to help I let them sort socks and things but if I pick something up I fold it. A few exceptions are allowed for this rule - socks, and items I hang. I find I save so much time by just tackling the mound instead of sorting first. Socks for everyone get their own pile on the bed and then I lay the hang up pile in separate his and hers piles either on the floor or on  the back of a chair and then I drape the kids hang up stuff over the edge of their basket.

Hang up pile
Sock pile
4. Getting to know your basket
I designate a spot in each basket for bottoms, tops, pajamas, unders, etc. This makes unloading really easy.

 Kids baskets:
Rag/towel basket: (I use a new rag/towel every day) 

 5. Finishing touches
After I do all the folding, I match socks, put the hang up pile onto hangers and then I put everything away.

*Note: My second timed run I had an overwhelming 8+ loads to fold. I set a goal to do it in 30 minutes. I have kids and well...I folded everything in 31 minutes but putting away took another 11  minutes for a total of 42 minutes. Not too bad! Do you have any laundry folding tips?


  1. I realize this is probably something of a space issue, but I have the opposite rule about folding-everything goes on a hanger. I find it takes me less time to hang and I rarely need to iron my clothes later.


  2. :) I think it is a space issue. We have 3 girls in one room--no way I could fit it all in their closet! :)

  3. This is so funny and I know I am crazy. But I'm picky when it comes to my clothes. If you're like me, you spend forever trying to pair socks with which sock goes with the other- based off of dirtiness (from running outside), how much they are worn, etc. So I solved the problem and now number my socks underneath. It's crazy, but it saves so much time if you're picky and have all matching socks from a Hanes bag!

    1. Such a good idea Ashley! Thanks for sharing!

  4. I just cam across your blog and love all of your awesome suggestions! Here is my tip for towels! I used to be the same and went through multiple towels a day and was doing way too much towel laundry! Norwex cloths are the best thing in the world!! Have you heard of them. If not, you totally need to check out my website!

  5. My kids are old enough now that they produce enough dirty laundry to make a full load each week. I pull all of their 'whites' out and wash the rest together. That way I don't have to sort- I know that this load all goes to one person. When I wash the whites, I do have to sort things (except for my 2nd child who decided that he wanted black socks, so his socks get washed with his pants and shirts). At our house each child is responsible for doing their own laundry when they turn 10. I am in charge of towels, bedsheets, whites and my clothes (and my husbands!)

    1. Sherron--you are so smart! I still have a few years yet till my kids are old enough but man will that be nice!

  6. My kids are old enough to help (there are 4 of them, 12 years old, 10 years old and 8 year old twins), and with chores, we have done this:
    Each week, they have a "job". (they also have a smaller daily job, like sweep the kitchen, or wipe off the counter)
    One child empties the dryer, and sorts the clothes by person. Each person then has to put their own clothes away.
    One child transfers the laundry from the washer to the dryer, and starts it (this has been forgotten MANY times)
    One child empties the dishwasher
    One child straightens the bathroom, each day (I hate a gross bathroom for friends to have to see or use).
    My hubby and I start the laundry, so the stains can get treated. In the laundry room we have 4 baskets, whites, darks, colors and towels. It works pretty well to have the kids sort their own things. We also load the dishes...although my 12 year old can be bribed to do this too!
    I know this was a long post, but I have really liked this way of doing chores, and laundry. I used to empty/dump the clean baskets in my room, and it was a nightmare...if I couldn't get them folded and put away, they just overtook everything, and we would have to wade through the clothes to find something to wear. With 6 people, it was a pain!!!

    I;m really liking your blog! Super excited to keep reading!
    Have you heard of Marilee Boyack? She is also LDS and has some great and funny parenting/chore books and relationship books!!!