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I'm drowning in laundry. I hate doing it. And its the one thing I can't really hire a cleaner to sort out for me. Please help with suggestions!

(142 Posts)
oranges Mon 09-Jul-07 19:49:49

How do people cope? I have no garden, and am a real slattern when it comes to changing sheets, but I feel I'm forever sorting, drying, putting away. Short of discarding all clothes and buying a fresh set from Primark each week, what do I do?

JoanCrawford Mon 09-Jul-07 20:05:40

Buy the mother of all clothes horses {Ikea do good ones if I recall correctly) and resign yourself to the fact that your home will look lilke a launderette's for a few days.

I do at least one wash load a day. Some days that can go up to 4.

I only have 2 children and a partner. But I do appreciate it can add up. On the odd days out of the week that the washing is low on the ground - that's when I strip the beds and get them done. All in all, it's never ending but at least that way I, and hopefully you, will be on top of it!

oranges Mon 09-Jul-07 20:10:17

I was away for 4 days on a business trip and i've spent three days sorting the laundry carnage. beds are a nightmare. i tend to give guests clean sheets and ask them to deal with it!

Miaou Mon 09-Jul-07 20:16:19

Changing bedding is a biggie - time and effort involved plus the amount of washing. Can you get the kids to strip their own beds etc?

How many in your family and how old are they? The key is "little and often" - if you are away for 4 days you need to delegate the task to someone else in your absence.

I've got three children (one in washable nappies) and I can just about get away with doing one load a day - if I miss a couple of days, it really mounts up.

Fold stuff up as soon as possible once dry, and don't iron anything you don't absolutely have to - don't iron bedding, t-shirts, sweatshirts etc.

MadamePlatypus Mon 09-Jul-07 20:19:12

The first thing is to be honest with yourself about how much laundry you really need to do. If the reality is that you need to do 1 or 2 loads a day, the reality is that you will also need to dry and put away 1 or 2 loads everyday or you will drown in laundry. If you can't do this, take steps to reduce laundry e.g. make people wear things for another day rather than 'tidying' by throwing in the wash basket.

I empty my basket and sort all my laundry into loads on a Monday - whites, brights, darks etc. etc. I try to get through it all by Wednesday then I get a feeling that it is finished for the week, even though the laundry basket is still filling.

hatwoman Mon 09-Jul-07 20:21:07

sucks doesn't it? can you wash dc's clothes less often? actually look to see if it's visibly dirty before chucking it in the wash. ditto adult skirts/trousers (personally I draw the line at tops being worn twice, apart from jumpers). also do you dh/p get changed after work? in which case clothes that are worn for a couple of hours in teh evening could easily do several evenings. do you go the gym? in which case wear a worn t-shirt, iyswim. having said I draw the line at wearing tops twice, they're not exactly pongy and they're certainly fit for the gym. how often do you go swimming? use due for a wash bath towels instead of clean ones. also, in general try to resist the temptation to throw things in that aren't really dirty, because you need to put a wash on anyway - it just creates more of that folding and sorting.

hatwoman Mon 09-Jul-07 20:23:51

and one other trick - if there is a choice between 2 jobs, one of which is the kind dh might do later, and the other is washing related, which he won't, never ever do the former. in many cases the very act of doing the washing might in fact prompt him to scan around for something constructive to do

Miaou Mon 09-Jul-07 20:23:52

Oh yes, meant to add - Do NOT let your kids use the laundry basket as an excuse not to tidy away still-clean clothes! If I find stuff in there that is still clean enough to wear I chuck it straight out again onto their beds. Ditto trousers/tights with knickers still entangled. If things go to wash inside out, they are returned inside out too.

I used to sort the dds' stuff into t-shirts, socks, pants etc when I washed them but now they are older (8 and 10) I just hand them a pile of clean, folded clothes. That has saved me a lot of time too. The little things add up!

hatwoman Mon 09-Jul-07 20:24:43

dh would kill me if he saw that last comment...

LoveMyGirls Mon 09-Jul-07 20:25:26

Apparently the thing to do is to get 3 baskets or one of those 3 in 1 baskets then you have 1 for darks, lights and colours and when 1 basket is half full you wash, dry and put it away - Never do your ironing, if you do iron, do bare minimum. Dp irons his own stuff. If most stuff is folded and put away quickly it should needed ironing really.

LoveMyGirls Mon 09-Jul-07 20:27:15

Oh and children older than 6 fold and put away their own clothes (and i dont just mean shoved in a drawer) train them and they will do it, my dd1 has helped me put away clothes from about 3/4 and now at almost 8 does her own.

Flamesparrow Mon 09-Jul-07 20:28:45

Get caught up by going to a laundrette - just bag up the backlog, and get it all done - then you can have a fresh start to keep on top of.

maisym Mon 09-Jul-07 20:28:50

put some in everyday and have an area for a drying rack - I use a tall on that can dry sheets, towels or clothes. Put shirts, anything that wont stretch on a coat hanger to dry - speeds up time and cuts down on ironing time.

Anna8888 Mon 09-Jul-07 20:32:24

Do you have a tumble dryer?

I have no garden (I live in an apartment block in Paris) and without a tumble dryer it would be impossible to manage for a family of five. These apartments were built in the days when laundry was sent out (by the maid...).

I wash several times a day during the week. I have someone in to do the ironing once a week (clothes, no sheets) but I agree, it's still a daily chore to wash, dry, hang out and fold and put away.

oranges Mon 09-Jul-07 20:46:13

Thank you for your comments! Its really got me down and I ended up a bit tearful this evening ploughing through it all.

ds is only 1, and is good at handing me laundry to dry, but I can't really ask him to do much else. You are right that dh tends to throw things in the basket without thinking. And though he's good with other things, he simply will not hang laundry up or put it away.

I have a tumble drier, but it doesn't seem to work so well - things are still damp when I pull clothes out. I usually put it in for 40 mins to dry. No garden s a pain too.

the thing is I HAVE A JOB, so am really pissed off that I have a household chore that I have to do each day.

oranges Mon 09-Jul-07 20:49:58

I mean a household chore that takes forever, rather than washing the dishes etc which i really don't mind doing.

CodinaKag Mon 09-Jul-07 20:50:19

imw iht you ornages
i started a thread abotu ti recnelty

CodinaKag Mon 09-Jul-07 20:51:26

Miaou Mon 09-Jul-07 20:51:40

Will your tumble drier go on for longer? I have a big one but if I put a full load in it has to go on for 2 hours to dry everything properly.

lol at your ds being 1 - think it would be a bit harsh of me to suggest he helps you

You need to lick your dh into shape though - if there is only three of you then you shouldn't have so much to do that it is getting on top of you. Either he has to change less often/wear things more than once, or help out a bit (particularly when you are away). It's not that difficult/time consuming to put a load in the wash then transfer to the drier after all.

CodinaKag Mon 09-Jul-07 20:52:27

yes i think you over load it
haev you taken al teh fluff out recnetly?

LittleBoot Mon 09-Jul-07 20:53:15

next laundry sorters

I have a John Lewis one which has saved so much time as you cut out the sorting. Sorry but if you have a job as well your DH has no excuse to leave that one huge unpleasant task to you. I'd stop doing his laundry if he's that uncompromising, it's not on, it's simply not fair.

Miaou Mon 09-Jul-07 20:54:42

Oooh I defluff every time I use it - vital imo! (Mine is a condenser drier though - not as efficient as a vented one - therefore needs to be on longer). Great side effect is that things don't need ironing afterwards anyway (well maybe cotton shirts) if you take them out when the drier is just finished (ie don't leave them sitting in there for a while).

peanutbear Mon 09-Jul-07 20:54:54

put it all in bags and take it all to the laundrette for services washes it comes back all clean folded and ironed if you ask and you just say your machine has broke

katylui1 Mon 09-Jul-07 20:55:48

There is a little laundry company near me - I don't use it but its good to know it exists. It is a little man with a very cute little van! If I went back to work I would use them to do all of DHs and Mine work clothes, bed linen and towels. Kids stuff is all quite diddy and I console myself with, if it looks unironed in the drawer, it will look 'worn' after 5 minutes of being on anyway so who gives a stuff.

I guess the only tip I have other than scouring for one of these companies is have enough spares of everything so that you could survive for a week or so if you ever can't be arsed. Not worth getting teary over, bet nobody ever says "Oh I know her, she always has clean clothes in the cupbourds"

katylui1 Mon 09-Jul-07 20:57:57

Didn't mean to sound quite so condesending about the laundry man, I'm sure he is of normal size and by cute I meant friendly looking.

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