Our Shelf and Basket Laundry System

I’ve talked a bit about our laundry system before, but I’ve never really fully described the whole cycle (pun intended) for you and thought I’d take a moment to explain how we handle laundry baskets around here.

Next to my washer and dryer is a 3-tiered shelf.  On each level sits a laundry basket.  The top level is the basket I share with my husband.  It is the largest (for several reasons I’ll explain in a moment).  The second level is the basket that goes to the Boy’s Room and the 3rd level is the basket that goes to the Girl’s Room.  We labeled the bottom of each basket with the initials of each child who’s clothes go in that basket (and Emily’s “E” is still there).

Labeling this way  is particularly helpful if you don’t have a designated boys and girls room.

As part of morning chores, the older children grab their baskets and haul them upstairs.  Theoretically, the little kids are supposed to pitch in and help put away their own clothes; although I’m really not sure how often that actually happens.  I do know Micah is banned from helping because he does more “throwing” clothes than “putting away” clothes!

After they have put away their clothes, they get to toss their laundry baskets down the stairs.  Yes, I do allow this because I have to admit, there is something quite satisfying about throwing an empty laundry basket down the stairs!

Now, the quick why behind my basket being so much bigger. (and yes, I throw mine down the stairs too!)  Besides the obvious fact that my husband and I are bigger than the children, I also put towels and sheets in my basket.  I am the one who puts those away, but I suppose you could have yet another basket just for those items that don’t really belong to anyone, but still need to be put in their rightful places.

When I head out to climb Mt. Washmore, I simply grab the discarded laundry baskets at the foot of the stairs and put them back on their shelves.  Each shelf is labeled accordingly.

As each load comes out of the dryer, I pull the baskets out and fold the clothes right out of the dryer and into each basket…girls…boys…mine…etc.  I put the baskets back into the shelves and the cycle starts all over again.

This is the way we’ve been doing it ever since we moved to this particular house where the laundry is downstairs rather than on the main level.  It keeps the laundry room tidy and makes it easy for the children.  And hey, it Works For Me!

Oh, and in case you are wondering what that piece of paper taped to the wall next to the baskets is:

Sometimes we need to be reminded Who truly does the washing…
Catch me tomorrow at The Homeschool Classroom!
Yesterday I was at EcoBabySteps.com and totally missed it!  Head over there and read my first guest post:
Breastfeeding and the Fringe Benefits of Frugality