Blogging about life in Minnesota, raising our six kids with Down syndrome while battling Breast Cancer.

Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the floor in the morning the devil says, "Oh shit! She's up!"

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Reposting: Who Made The Rule?

A friend of mine posted about this today on her blog, and so I'm going to RE-Post mine with notes now that I've been using the system for several months, read, enjoy, and think about how you hate the system you currently have. LOL


Who made the rule that says, "All clothing, after being washed and dried, must be folded and put away into drawers and closets." I've never seen that rule in writing, but I want to know where it came from!

I happen to hate this rule, because...frankly...I suck at getting any of this done! At one time I had 5 kids in the house and I was FAR more organized about laundry then than I am now. But even then, there would often be a mountain in the laundry room!

So here I am, with only 3 of us to do laundry for, and I can't keep up. This is silly though, because I'm no longer working outside the home, so clearly it's a priorty thing. I just hate laundry, the same way I hate cooking and I suck at that too. The laundry that DOES get clean rarely makes it back upstairs to bedrooms, closets and dressers. Instead it stays in baskets in the laundry room, and every morning we each go dig in there for socks, underwear, and whatever else we need. Occasionally I have a caffiene date with myself and get a ton of it done AND folded and put away! But...sadly...this is rare.

A couple weeks ago I asked my husband to do something for me. I told him about the silly rule and how it doesn't have to be this way. There really is no such rule and so no reason to live by it. I wanted a set of shelves in the laundry room. Well, really I wanted several for each person, then some for that oddball laundry like linens and towels. I drew it all out, and after making many promises to fold everything as it comes out of the dryer, he built them for me. The laundry room is now just one giant dresser! When the clothes come out of the dryer, I simply fold, turn around, and place on the appropriate person's shelf. All the clothes in the house are in ONE ROOM, and I can EASILY see when Dean or the kids is getting low on clean underwear and socks! ;-)

Dean is actually loving these shelves, since it's right next to "his" bathroom. Every morning he goes to the laundry room...I mean family closet...picks out his clothes that are easy to see and find, then heads to the shower.

This is also helpful for Angela, who is really wanting nothing to do with Mom picking out her clothes each day anymore. So I bought her this really cool daily clothing stacker thing from Lillian Vernon.

So, I'm removing the dressers from her room, because A) her room is crowded and b) she doesn't need them anymore. On Sundays we pull her clothes for the week from the laundry room, and put them in her are in her daily stacker which hangs in her closet, and she has happily been getting up each morning, pulling out her clothes for that day, and putting them on! And...tricky mom that I am...when the clothes don't match the forcast for the next day, I sneak in there before she gets up and switch 'em! LOL

Maybe tomorrow I'll take some pictures of my laundry room. Now it needs paint and flooring.....sigh.....

So we've now been using this system for several months. A friend of mine tried to duplicate it but found out the hard way you have to do the shelves the right way. First, do NOT use shelves like these:

The reason these shelves are bad is because they're too wide, so the stacks of clothes will fall over, and end up being just as much a mess as the mountains on the floor were. You'll quickly find that you hate these shelves. Instead, have your handy dandy husband build you shelves using melamine. Build towers that are no more than 14 inches wide. (just wide enough for folded clothing, and it will keep your stacks nice and neat. For little kids clothes it will hold two stacks, while still keeping them neat) Attach the shelves to the walls. You can leave a space between shelves to have hanging areas if you wish. (If I get my new camera for Christmas I promise to take a picture of what we did. It works REALLY well!)

Decide how much space each person needs. We have only 3 people in our house, Dean, Angela, and myself so our space is easy. ALL of our clothes (not just seasonal) are on these shelves, so we need a fair amount of space for each person. Each person needs 2 sets of shelves that have 5 levels, 14 inches wide x 24 inches high. Kid's shelves can be a bit more narrow, around 8-12 inches.

So, each person has 2 sets of shelves right next to each other. On the bottom (on the cement) of each I have decorative baskets. One holds socks, the other underwear. (I don't fold underwear. LOL And Angela's is "underwear/swimming suits" ) The other shelves are organized to t-shirts, sweat shirts/sweaters, long sleeve shirts, pants, shorts, pj's  On the top shelf, which is harder for me to reach, I have stuff that isn't worn very often.

There is one set of shelves for just towels and a wider set for bedding.

I'm still waiting for Dean to build me one more set of shelves. These will be wider, and will hold bedding.
Another update:
another friend of mine has also converted to this system. Her laundry room is barely big enough for her washer and dryer, but her dining room? Yeah, well the table has never been used for anything other than a laundry folding table, and they NEVER eat in there! So her husband built the shelves they needed for each family member, plus a hanging area, and they now have a family closet. EVERYONE in the house is much happier! And, mom is often folding clothes while her home-schooled kids are at that very table...the one that used to be full of laundry...working on lessons right there with her guidance. PERFECT!


Kathy said...

Smart! Our laundry room isn't big enough (sadly) or I'd be on THAT band wagon! Right now, the love seat in the living room is the depository for clean, dry, unfolded laundry... Oh well. PJ loves playing with the clean clothes, (pull to stand) LOL.

Shelley said...

I'm glad to know this system works! I'll be posting pictures as soon as mine has all the stuff moved in! I realized today that my life has surely changed.....I never thought the laundry room and closet area would ever be my favorite things about a brand new house.

SunflowerMom said...

I think that sounds fabulous! I'd love to see photos. I've always thought that houses designed with the laundry room on the same level as the bedrooms is just genius (no carrying baskets up and down.) But this is even better and frees up space in bedrooms.

Isn't the Duggars' house like this? I remember seeing it on one of their shows and thinking "now there's an idea I like!"