Thursday, September 25, 2014

My Day In A Nutshell - 30 Day Challenge Day 17 - #TBT And Laundry Organization

Sorry for the complete lack of post yesterday.  Some days there just isn't anything that I feel super inspired by and while I could tell you all about how I brushed my teeth and how many times I went to the restroom I'd imagine it would be about as interesting as no post as all, so I just went with no post.

Today is #TBT so in the spirit of things here is my contribution.    

Bonus points if you were familiar with that one already!

So, a while back I mentioned that I would break down my laundry organizational habits for you.  Might as well do it today.

First I use a 3-bag laundry sorter/hamper just like this one (except the bags on mine are all cream colored).

As the dirty clothes come off I divide them up by the temperature of the water they are supposed to be washed in.  The bag on the right gets all of the cold water laundry (including all bras because I find they last forever of you wash them in cold).  They bag in the middle gets all of the warm water laundry (and all underwear because the warmer water will kill more bacteria than cold water without damaging the fabric by washing them in hot water).  The bag on the left side gets towels and blankets.  Basically anything that should be washed in hot goes in the left side.  (I realize that some people like to conserve energy and wash everything in cold, but I prefer to use water temperatures that ensure the fabrics will last longer OR that is hot enough to kill the bacteria and critters that reside in certain pieces of laundry.)

Then when I am ready to actually do a load of laundry I already know what the temperature of the water should be and from there it is super easy to separate what is in the specific bag into whites, light colors, and darks.  The exception is that my hot loads (the bag on the left) don't get separated by color.  They get separated by "like" purposes.  I tend to wash bath towels and blankets and even pillows together (because they get fabric softener).  I wash dishtowels together (because I don't want any funky food particles or mold or mildew that might be hiding in a used dishcloth mixed with my washcloths that I will be scrubbing my face with).  I wash cleaning rags together (because I don't want harsh cleaning chemicals like bleach or rust and limescale remover to possibly discolor my nice bathroom towels).  

You know that I normally do one load per day.  If I have laundry for more than one person it might mean a second round of the same load (for ex: I would wash my cold water whites and then do a second load of my child and my husband's cold water whites combined) or a second load of bath towels every day if I had guests.  

I used to wash all three loads of colds in a row, then all three warms, then towels over a period of about a week, but I actually found that because I hang my clean clothes at the back of my closet and continually rotate through my clothes (I refuse to own clothes that I never wear and this process ensures that I am forced to put everything to good use) doing my laundry this way meant that the exact same items were getting hung back up in pretty much the exact same order every time which was making my outfit selections too repetitive and my chore life boring.


here is what I do now...

stay with me here...

Just for example's sake let's just say that I'm starting with a cold water load.  So I grab the first item out of the bag on the right and let's just say it is a white item.  So I take the items out one at a time so I don't miss any white items and socks stay together and nothing hides in a pant leg or anything like that.  I put the whites in a hamper and just start piling the rest one on top of the other on the floor or wherever.  I'm washing whites.  

Then let's just say that the last item I pull out is a dark.  So as I start to put the "non-white" items back in the hamper I put the darks in a hamper and the only items that end up back in the hamper are light colors.  The darks get washed tomorrow.

Then the third day I do the same thing with the warm water items in the middle bag.  Whatever color is on top gets washed first and whatever color is on the bottom gets washed the next day and whatever color is left goes back in the hamper.

Then I do the same with the items in the hot water bag on the left.

After that is done I start over with the cold water bag again and since we know that what was left in the bag the last time was light colors I start with those and the process begins again.  

It's a bit detailed I know, but it really works for me.  All the laundry gets done and the never ending piles are maintained, but my closet never ends up stale and boring since I don't do it in the EXACT same order every single time.  It makes mixing and matching your wardrobe that much more fun and I would suggest it if the process of making things organized is fun to you, but you don't want life to be too repetitive.  It is the laundry version of color coding your planner or of alphabetizing your DVD's.  It also still works if you like your closet to be organized by color which I go through phases with (while still rotating the items so everything gets worn).

If you don't really have a plan or if you have a plan that you are bored with then give it a try.  Sometimes we just need to change things up in order to keep chores interesting.

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