Soon after my son was born, my younger brother came to visit and quickly saw how crazy and busy things were with a newborn in the house. He remarked that, like ancient history, our life could be separated into “B.C. and A.D.,” although in our case it would stand for before child and after delivery since so much had changed! With that in mind, let me tell you how our simple A.D. laundry system has improved my sanity.
Our Old Laundry System
First, the B.C. way. Way before child, my husband and I shared a bulky laundry basket and every weekend I would separate the clothes into colored, white, dry cleaning, and towel piles and do three loads. Not only did I consistently dread laundry day, I also didn’t like that the basket took up valuable floor space in our already small condo and was always overflowing (since we were putting four piles of laundry in there).
As we were getting ready for the baby to arrive, we decided to ditch the laundry basket to free up space. In its place, I made three ever-open laundry bags to hang on the back of the door– one for the hot wash, one for the cold wash, and one for dry cleaning. Now, not only did we not have an ugly basket on the floor, but, since the loads were already separated, I could grab a bag mid-week if I wanted to and get it out of the way then. This laundry system worked great for a few months.
All That Laundry! Our In-between Laundry System
Then came A.D. time and all of the laundry that comes with those little bundles of joy. Leaving poop- or spit-up-stained clothes in a laundry bag for a few days wasn’t working for us because it was making the whole room smell. So, we started a pile of dirty baby clothes on the floor and washed those every other day. We outgrew this system pretty quickly because, in addition to the baby clothes which I would wash every other day, there were also the adult hot and adult cold washes to do, and I came to hate laundry again.
What Works For Us Now
Finally, I dug an old hamper-turned-toy-bin out of our closet and we started using that for all our clothes. Hot and cold didn’t matter anymore (I was only rotating through my two stretchy outfits that fit, anyway) — everything was going to be washed in warm water! This has worked out great. Baby clothes, my clothes, and my husband’s clothes (except for dry cleaning– that still gets its own bag) gets dumped in one hamper. I do a load every other day so the clothes don’t pile up (I find it less overwhelming to do smaller loads). Our hamper is a flexible one from Ikea and we stick it under our narrow bedroom table so that it’s out of the way. This simple system has made a world of difference in my perception of laundry. I know it’s probably best to wash delicates in cold water and other things in hot water (after all, I did do exactly that for 30+ years), but it’s so much easier to just throw everything in the machine together and compromise with warm water. And guess what? Our clothes are fine!
So that’s it! I’m hopeful that we can keep up our little laundry system as our little one grows up so that I don’t have laundry baskets in each room to go through. If everything can just go in one central basket and we can keep up the rhythm of doing loads pretty regularly, I think we can manage to not drown in laundry. At least I hope so!
What are your sanity-saving laundry hacks? Let me know below!