Laundry By the Room – New House, New System!

Once upon a time, my laundry room was in my kitchen.  I hated it.  That is, until I moved and my laundry room was in my basement.  I had a terrible time keeping up with the laundry because out of sight-out of mind truly does exist!

This house has the laundry tucked away behind doors in the hallway.  Something I always thought would drive me crazy…after all, where in the world would I pile all my loads of laundry???

I knew I would need to totally revamp my old laundry system in order to accommodate my new laundry “room.”  Here’s what I came up with:

*Each room has a laundry basket. There is a small one in the girls’ room, a medium one in the boys’ room, and a large one in mommy and daddy’s room.  Three total.  All placed where I can quickly walk by the room and tell, at a glance, if that room needs laundry done up.

*Laundry is washed by room “as needed.” Originally, I thought I would have a schedule that went something like this:

Monday = Mom & Dad
Tuesday = Boys
Wednesday = Girls
Thursday = Sheets/Towels
Friday = Any extras

However, I quickly realized there was no way this was going to work.  It worked much better to do the laundry “as needed.”  I also love this system because I know I only have to do the amount of laundry in that particular basket. It is NEVER over 3 loads.  I cannot even remember the last time I ONLY had to do 3 loads (confession: even though I had more than 3 loads to do, I rarely got more than 2 loads done in a single day…again, out of sight, out of mind)

*The same laundry basket is used for dirty and for clean. Yes, I know I just grossed a few of you out, but here’s why I can get by with this…I keep anti-bacterial spray and paper towels on the laundry room shelf!  Once I’ve sorted the laundry out of the basket and onto the hallway floor, I give the basket a quick spray and wipe it out.  It’s ready to go once the first load comes out of the dryer!

*The dryer buzzer is my friend. When the laundry was in the basement, I could not hear the dryer buzzer.  Now I can!  What a difference that makes!  Clothes are taken out immediately, folded (or hung up because all the closets are nearby), and put into the basket and into the right room.

*The children put away their own clothes. Blake (age 12) is in charge of the boys’ clothes and Megan (age 10) is in charge of the girls’.  The younger siblings help, but ultimately the putting away of the laundry is their responsibility.  Micah (age 2) has his hanging clothes in my walk-in closet, and Garin (age 5 months) has all his clothes in my closet.  Blake is responsible for putting these away as well.

And the process starts all over again…

This is very different from my shelf and basket system, but the more we settle into this house, the more acutely aware I am of how very different homes can be and how you must adjust accordingly.  And honestly, it has been kind of fun to revamp our lives!

{And since we are talking laundry, let me point you in the direction of an awesome blog for all things laundry from a dear friend of mine…Lauren at Mama’s Laundry Talk.  She has a post on different methods of sorting laundry, and also WHY you should organize your laundry room – just in case you needed some motivation!  I know I’ve mentioned Mama’s Laundry Talk before, but it deserved being mentioned again because the laundry and the laundry room itself are often difficult for us moms, and Lauren’s posts are just the kind of energy shot we need to stay on top of Mount Washmore! }

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20 thoughts on “Laundry By the Room – New House, New System!

  1. Hi Amy- I haven’t commented in a while, but have been following with great interest- especially since the move! I’m typing in denial- my back quite literally turned to Mount Rushmore (Slieve Washard?) and this post has really made me smile! As has a brief visit to Mama’s Laundry!

  2. We recently moved, also and I’ve had to totally revamp my laundry system, too. I went from a do-it-all-in-one-day system (b/c the laundry was in the kitchen) to a scheduled do “x” laundry on “x” day because the laundry is tucked away on the lowest level in the farthest corner of the house. I still find myself having to set the alarm on my cell to even remember the 1 or 2 loads I do most days…

  3. Amy,
    We also have our laundry area in the hallway behind doors and I do our laundry using the EXACT same system! I’m not grossed out by using the same basket…I do the same thing! I bring the basket into the laundry area as it becomes full, wash the laundry that was in it, fold it onto the couch and then put it back into the same basket sorted into piles of each family member’s clothing. Works great for me…and glad it’s working for you!
    Nicki

  4. I also used to have a laundry schedule. I did ALL the laundry on a certain day and it was exhausting! Now I do laundry through out the week as needed and on Friday I do bedding and rugs and whatever else is left over. I try to never do laundry on weekends unless it’s absolutely necessary! Each family member also has thier own basket and my son (9 yrs) is responsible for folding and putting away his laundry.
    I also use the same basket for dirty and clean clothes. ; )

  5. Amy, That is the exact system I use! I thought I got it from you. haha. My son does his own laundry-he turns 11 next week. I will bump it for him though. I tried the specified room on a specified day method, that didn’t work, so I had moved to baskets washed “as needed”. Blankets and sheets once a week. I love this method-so far!

  6. I try to do all our laundry on Mondays….you know, the traditional “Monday is washday” (I think Little House on the Prairie?). But I line dry (I have a very nice dryer but prefer to line dry, even in 30 degree temps, as long as there is no precipitation). I do sheets/blankets 1x every 2 weeks, except for my little one, she gets her bedding washed every week. I do the bedding stuff on either Thurs. or Fri. I try very hard to do no laundry on the weekend—I am home all week and my husband works all week and I like to have the house cleaned and the laundry done so I can have a somewhat break too. I will do laundry on the weekend though if I’ve had a bad weather week or they are forecasting a bad weather week. (Much of this is winter–in the summer, the weather is better.) I have enough towels/rags/washcloths to get through easily 2 weeks and I only do white laundry 1x every 10 days or so. I put up my laundry and the little one’s laundry, every one else puts up their own, although I do fold tshirts and stuff for them. I hang my husband’s shirts but I don’t put up his pants. I don’t have as many people in the home to laundry for but I do enjoy laundry, I enjoy hanging it out and getting it in and I don’t really mind folding. Ironing is another story!

  7. I love hearing how other people manage their chores. Laundry is so personal, and the best plan depends on your set up, like you have. I am so glad you are settling in to your new place! Lisa~

  8. My washer & dryer are in my pantry in my kitchen. HATE IT! But, it keeps the laundry flowing because if it piled up we would have to walk through it to get to the food. We keep hampers in each bedroom too & the older kids have a “laundry day” so I”m not doing laundry everyday. Yeah! I still have a hard time getting it from the basket to the closets though. Love your blog!

  9. Amy, your blog speaks to my heart with every post! I love how real and honest you are…all the time! I walk away every time with a yummy recipe, inspiration for the day, practical tip, fresh perspective, and always with the feeling of being understood! Thank you for all the time you put into this blog! :-)

    • Lisa,
      You warm my heart! Thank you so much for your kind words affirming what I’ve always desired to be the goal of this blog…real struggles, real Hope. :)

  10. I found your blog through a friends and really have enjoyed reading it over the past few weeks. We actually moved on the very same day. lol My laundry system is looking to be very similar to yours (though I have less kids, only 4). our old house had the laundry in a closet off the dining room. That was so hard!! Thanks for sharing everything you do on your blog. :)

  11. What a great method! We have just added to our family through foster-to-adopt with our first new son and will hopefully have his brother before school starts. We have 2 biological children. Our ultimate goal is to add 6 children to our family through foster and adoption.

    The amount of laundry has taken me by surprise, especially because of bed-wetting. Our problem is leaky night-time pull ups :-( We have now made huge mats for the beds out of the fabric that was used to make lap-pads decades ago for babies. Still, they will need washing, but at least we won’t have to strip beds on a daily basis :-(

    I think I am going to give your method a try for a while. It just might make my days run smoother around here.

    Thanks!

  12. I agree with you about revamping your routine after a move to fit the house. With my husband’s job we move every 2 to 3 years and have to change our system often. I actually like the challenge of figuring it out each time. I have so enjoyed reading all of your ideas. Thank you!

  13. Ah, laundry! Not the chore that I hate—it’s the chore that hates me! I, too, have a basement laundry room. “Out of sight, out of mind”-you got it, you were right on! Going up and down the stairs in my three story house, yeah, that gets old. And so many other things seem to demand my immediate attention…hence, I’m always behind on laundry. Not to mention the three toddlers living in my house who have recently discovered how to change their own clothes and think it’s the greatest game in the world to empty every clean dresser drawer, try everything on, and leave the contents strewn about the floors of their respective rooms, mixed in with the dirty laundry that they pulled out earlier. I really don’t hate laundry, but, all the aspects of laundry combine and rise up against me daily, Lol! This is every woman’s story, this Laundry Plague. :D I am intrigued by your one basket system. I like that a lot. Thanks for sharing!

  14. You mean everyone doesn’t use laundry baskets for clean and dirty clothes?!?! I do good to keep my CHILDREN out of my laundry basket. They like to play in it and use it as a “baby kennel” for the youngest lol. And there’s been more than one time that an overzealous “helpful” toddler has put an armful of dirty clothes on top of a freshly dried load!!

  15. I am here looking for some inspiration. I cannot keep up the messes in my home. My laundry is never ending because 3 of my children are bedwetters. Two go through pull ups and one is 14 and refuses an adult diaper. I have enough dirty laundry to fill 8 large rubbermaid buckets (fit a 7 ft christmas tree type). My children do attempt chores, but they are AWFUL at them, no matter how many hours spent on instruction. I don’t remember the last time I slept more than two hours. The giant laundry monster haunts me. I must answer the buzzer to keep the house from smelling of ammonia. I have a laundry room with two washers and dryers. One set is new but broken. I have seven children. My husband works two jobs and tries to help. He spent his entire day off [today] cleaning the classroom. I am seriously considering burning the laundry. :(

    I apologize for my long post and my depressed mood. When my brother and sil passed last year, I wasn’t thinking logistics. I was thinking pick these four children up before they are placed in foster care. I love them the same as my own. I must get a handle on having a large family.

      • I don’t know if you are still writing this blog, but thank for the prayers. I started budgeting for $80 at the laundry mat, which means skipping one fun activity. I have my sanity, plus we got into board games. I still wash at home too. I don’t let anything overwhelm me. I ask my childless sister for help. She only does laundry and grocery due to her long work schedule..hey it’s something! Love and blessings to everyone :)