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The first illness of fall has arrived in our little time zone. It sure doesn’t take long for the sniffles and coughing to begin once the kiddos head back to school. As can be expected after a week of feeling under the weather, our laundry situation has gotten…um…let’s just say “a little out of hand”. Luckily, this isn’t my first rodeo, so I have a tried-and-true method for dealing with the mountains of clean laundry that are hiding in randomly-positioned hampers throughout the house.
My little system became necessary while I was working full-time as a teacher. I found that I just couldn’t even think about laundry during the week. So Mr. Blue Eyes would spend his day off on Friday washing all of the laundry and then I would fold the baskets upon baskets full of clothing on Saturday. It was a method that got us through those crazy years, but even now that life has slowed down for me, I still have an occasional mountain of laundry to deal with on busy weeks and this definitely comes in handy.
Step One: Get All of the Laundry in One Place
Make sure you have that load from the dryer that you’ve hit “wrinkle release” on and forgotten about like ten times. Clear off the drying rack while you’re at it as well. Those pants are part of the decor by now so they are easy to overlook, but you’ll want them. I always like to make sure that I have every piece of laundry so that I don’t have any unpleasant surprises when I think I’m done. Then it’s time to dump it all out. All of it. One big pile. Get good and overwhelmed.
Step Two: Speed Sorting
The Professor and Mini-Me love to help with this part. I have one laundry basket designated for every person and we quickly sort the huge pile. (One day I will have a cute sorting cart like this, but for now my mismatched hampers will do). This sorting might seem like just one extra step when time is of the essence, but it goes super fast. It is self-explanatory that sorting by person breaks this huge chore into smaller chunks, which makes it less daunting. BUT, sorting saves so much folding time, as well. Which leads us to the next step…
Step Three: Fold and Put Away
While the kiddos are sorting, I start folding the towels, tablecloths, and blankets. Getting them out of the way helps the kids find the smaller items to sort and helps me gain momentum. Once we have sorted the laundry by person, I dump one basket out at a time and we start folding.
The sorting helps save folding time in two ways. First, I can easily find matching socks, PJ sets, etc. because I don’t have to hunt through the whole laundry pile. Second, if I was folding for the whole family at once, I would have 20 different piles all over my bed; finding the right place to stack The Professor’s Star Wars shirt is much easier when I am only dealing with his four piles at a time (shirts, pants, PJs, and underwear/socks). The cubbies are then filled with complete outfits for the week (read about my undying love of cubbies here). Then the kids help get the rest of the laundry put away. Stacking the empty baskets back in the laundry room is so gratifying!
So that’s how I fold a crazy amount of laundry in a hurry.
I’m sure most of you have had mountains of laundry to deal with at one time or another, whether it was due to vacation, illness, or a busy week. How do you quickly conquer a mountain of laundry? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!