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For those without a utility room - How does your laundry system work?? (Disclaimer: Despite the thread title I am actually quite an interesting person!)

34 replies

bigonsmalltalk · 22/08/2012 20:02

I'd love a bit a of advice from anyone who has a good laundry system running in a small house without a utility room. A couple of friends have utility rooms and it seems to give you a really efficient system but I will never have one Sad

DCs and DH are well trained to put laundry in one of two laundry baskets in our bathroom (One basket for whites, one for coloured). Every night I put on a wash and then take out in the morning and put in the tumble dryer in the garage or hang out to dry. I then put a wash on in the day and tumble or put on airer overnight.


At this point the system falls apart. I bring dry washing into the lounge (no cupboard space in kitchen) and dump it on the spare armchair where it hangs about until I put it in the airing cupboard and ignore it until we run out of clothes...

I have a tiny cupboard under the stairs that I can't fit my ironing board into - so it gets hidden in the dining room and then gets put up for use and left out for days as its such a faff putting it away.

I work four days a week and find it hard to iron in the evenings.

I know a lot of people on here don't iron at all, but I've tried that and I'm not convinced you can get away with it... I'm sure some people do fine - but we just looked creased when I tried it!!!

So - care to share your system? Even if your system goes wrong like mine I'd be interested to hear about it.

Life is too short for this stuff but I'd like to be more efficient so there is time to do other less boring things.

OP posts:
Nottigermum · 22/08/2012 20:07

When I tumble dry, I fold right away on the kitchen counter. The clothes might stay on the counter for a while but at least it doesn't get creased.

I put the clothes away at night when the kids are sleeping and they don't wake up.

I have a (small) basket where I put spare socks and what needs to be ironed. DH irons his shirts, and I iron by boys polo shirts. For their school trousers, I don't put them in the tumoble dryer I hang them streight on hangers, and I 'press' them with my hands whilst damp, so they dry on the hanger and they don't need ironing.

Nottigermum · 22/08/2012 20:08

yes I do have a tumoble dryer.

ANTagony · 22/08/2012 20:10

I fold, pair straight from the line/ airer so we don't have bags of socks, baby grows and undies hanging around, just ironing. I use big blue Ikea bags for the ironing and hang them on the coat hooks in the corner of our dining room if I can't iron straight away. We sort at source and have lights and darks bags in each bedroom for washing that I then gather up/ alternating washes. I wash towels one week and sheets/ bedding the next checking the weather forecast to choose the driest day so that it's washed/ dry/ away in a day.

All very sad but I guess at 38 with 3 DC it's tie I have some sort of resemblance to being grown up.

Ktay · 22/08/2012 20:13

I have a utility room and don't iron much BUT one 'system' I use that you might find useful is to have a big ?polyurethane? bag (bit like those laundrette bags but I got some with pretty rose patterns off eBay) for each member of the family & a further one for towels/bedlinen. Then as I take dry washing from airer/line/tumbledrier I put it in the relevant bag so stuff is semi-sorted from the start. The theory is that I then put away each person's laundry (Dds are 3yo and 6mo so fair enough) although in practice these bags have become like substitute wardrobes Blush. You could always at least stuff them away out of sight in actual wardrobes though I suppose - I've stopped noticing them but they are a bit of an eyesore in each bedroom. They fold down easily when not in use though.

marge2 · 22/08/2012 20:15

All the dirty clothes get dumped in the corner of the master bedroom. Dirty kids clothes get brought downstairs by me after I put them to bed. Don;t rely on them putting them there. Once there is enough whites or darks for a wash, I'll put one on. Certaily not every night though, that would cost a fortune in electricity wouldn't it? I out it on early evening so it fiishes during the evening and doesn't sit in the washer getting smelly.

I have a fairly large bedroon so I have space for one of those expandable washing hangers things. It's about 5 feet high and a couple of feet square. It's can get two full loads of washing onto it. I have a small rack that fits over a radiator and I put socks and kids pants on that. I don't use the tumble dryer regularly at all. PErhaps say once a month or so. Ironing is another matter. I iron when the pile gets too big to ignore any more. Ironing board fits beside my fridge and the iron just sits in the living room. I iron in front of he TV (if at all!)

Ktay · 22/08/2012 20:15

Xposts... ANTagony has put it much more succinctly with 'sort at source' Grin

Roseformeplease · 22/08/2012 20:16

Each person has a clean laundry box which they are expected to empty and put away weekly. I do mine an DH's (but he does all the cooking). This helps enormously.

sweetkitty · 22/08/2012 20:22

Tiny house 4DC, my system at present, dirty bag/box in our bedroom, every day wash (some days x2), if it's nice hang out if not hang over airer which is IN the bath (only DCs bath every other day when we take it out), it hangs overnight then gets tumbled in the morning for about 30-40 mins, if I don't hang it it takes about 2 hours to dry and £££s, from there every day take it upstairs and separate into ironing which goes into a basket or gets put away straight away. I have nowhere to hoard it. Iron once a week and only things people see.

I live in hop of a utility room (actually have one built into new extension plans)

An0therName · 22/08/2012 20:27

don't have utility room - wash on every morning - on airer in (spare) bedroom -in the evening - and at same time dry washing sorted - into piles for DS1, DS2 - and DH and me -and ironing, Dh and me piles goes into our room onto chair - DH puts his away, I normally put mine away pretty quickly, and DCs have a spot near where their clothes live - when I get a chance I put it away. I iron a fair bit for me, DS1's school uniform and the odd other thing for DCs -they go in a pile/bag in the living room - it a sort of corner so doesn't look too bad -I normally do it sunday evening in front of TV. DH irons when he needs a shirt so they are in his wardrobe

relaxingathome · 22/08/2012 20:34

wash /dry/ iron/ put away.
I do about 5 loads a week, I manage to complete the whole task in a day ( and yes I do work) Wash goes on as I wake in the morning, hang out or put on airer before I leave for work. Get in from work , anything not iron dry gets a few minutes in the tumble. Ironed and put away in the evening.

Crocodilio · 22/08/2012 20:35

Ok, to hijack a bit and keep the discussion going, for those with a utility room, what is the ideal system? We are about to design an extension to include a utility and at the moment have piles of clean washing just like the OP, heaped up in our room but not sorted or put away, and there must be some easy design that will make the washing fall easily into the right place? Would an upstairs utility help, with only items being line dried going downstairs?

Landofsoapandglory · 22/08/2012 20:36

We have a laundry basket on the landing where all the dirty laundry goes. Most days, we do at least one wash. If it is nice it is pegged out, if not it is sorted between what can go in the dryer and what can't etc. I dry lots of shirts, skirts, trousers on hangers over the shower curtain rail in the bathroom and somethings on the airer in the wet room.

When the underwear, socks, towels, tea towels are dry they are folded and taken straight up stairs into the right room/ airing cupboard and put straight away. The ironing is folded into a basket and put in the hall ready for ironing. I try to iron before it gets to be too big a pile,and would rather do three lots of an hour, than 3 hours, then it is all put away.

RobinSparkles · 22/08/2012 20:36

We have a big wash basket that lives at the top of the stairs, on the landing, next to the bath room. All the dirty clothes go in there, darks, whites, coloureds etc. I separate it as I do each wash load.

Our tumble dryer is in the conservatory and we have one of those plastic basket thingys that I leave on top of the dryer. As soon as the clothes are dry (whether off the line or out of the dryer) they get folded and put into the basket. Socks get thrown into a laundry bag, that also lives on top of the drier, and they get balled up when I can be arsed. I put things that don't need ironing - underwear, towels, sheets, pyjamas for eg away straight away. Everything else gets ironed.

At the moment, because it's the 6 weeks holidays and I'm not working I can do the ironing when DD2 is napping during the day. I've been doing it upstairs and putting things away as I go but when the 6 weeks are up it'll probably be back to downstairs and in the evenings. I hate ironing in the evening!

bonzo77 · 22/08/2012 20:46

No utility room. No tumble dryer. Me, DH and DS aged 2. 2 laundry bins, one for whites and one for colours. I do a wash as soon as I have enough for a full load, or sooner if DS has wet himself or we need something urgently. I dry stuff on a ceiling airer in the kitchen, an airer in the spare bedroom and the line in the garden. Everything gets folded and put away as soon as its dry. I encourage ds to help with loading and emptying the machine and putting his things away. Only iron shirts and my work uniform, DH does this as he does fuck all else. System works fine now. Not sure how it will go in January with a new baby, DS in his new room (where the airer is) and crap weather. Might have to get a dryer and put it in the garage.

Olympicnmix · 22/08/2012 20:53

I throw non ironing stuff into piles for the dcs to put away straight away if they are here, otherwise I do it. Towels straight to airing cupboard. Ironing to ironing lady, which goes once a week.

MousyMouse · 22/08/2012 21:02

we have 3 baskets (well 1 basket and two laundry bags) for the dirty things in the kitchen: lights, darks, towels.
I put one wash on in the morning so that I can hang it on the airer in the evening. airer goes on the decking when weather permits.
dry clothes get taken off the airer and folded and put away immediately. I do not iron at all (don't even know where my iron is after moving...)

EyesDoMoreThanSee · 22/08/2012 21:22

I have a tiny utility in the house we have just moved into but the previous house we didn't have a separate room.

Clothes when dirty are sorted into whites and not whites, every other day I check to see what wash needs doing next, it doesn't always alternate. I take the wash ut of the canvas laundry baskets and place in big plastic basket, take ti washing machine and after it's finished I hang out on the line or on airers. When it's dry I sort by person and then put away in each room. DH rarely puts my things away properly so I tend to put everything away and try to do it the same day.

I don't have different baskets for different people but will do in time i suspect. I do however put things back in my laundry basket in a certain order. First go towels or sheets, then clothes folded up, then pants and socks and anal though it sounds I know exactly which drawer in which room every thing goes inti so just do a round of upstairs!

EyesDoMoreThanSee · 22/08/2012 21:23

Oh and I don't iron!

reastie · 22/08/2012 21:34

I have a very odd system as our washing machine is in the spare bedroom (long story!). We have a laundry basket in the spare room next to said machine and I do washing several times a week as and when needed. I hang the washing up on the bannisters for sheets/towels/big items and the rest goes either outside or else on a heated airer in the dining room or I have overhead wall mounted type airer things both in the bathroom and kitchen. We don't iron anything, just hang carefully and then fold. Once things are dried they usually get put on the stairs to go up or piled upstairs if they already are upstairs then DH or I go through them as and when and sort to the correct place. that sounds incresibly dull doesn't it

OptimisticPessimist · 22/08/2012 21:37

Put on a wash every night - everything worn that day goes in apart from whites. Tumble it either that night or the next day, depending on how early I get the wash on and when I want to go to bed (the dryer is in my bedroom). Fold into basket, put away. I find I can smooth creases out when folding and have no need to iron, but we don't have anything like proper shirts which might still need ironed iyswim.

I clean a room a day, so bedding gets washed, dried and put away when each bedroom is getting done. Towels washed and dried twice a week on set days. Whites get thrown in when there's a bit of an accumulation (it's only really underwear and the occasional t shirt) and then dried with the next load of washing as there's usually not enough to put the dryer on for. Cloths/tea towels get done on a hot wash every couple of days, and again chucked in the dryer with the next big load.

marriednotdead · 22/08/2012 21:41

No utility room or tumble dryer. Family of 4 (2 teens). Single laundry basket in bathroom. I put on a load most mornings and hang it on airers in the dining room/garden before I go to work. Sometimes put on a second load which DCs hang when they get in from school.

Anything that needs ironing goes in the pile basket in my bedroom. I usually iron for an hour in the mornings a couple of times a week.

justtryingtodomybest · 22/08/2012 21:44

With my clothes, I just put them away when they are dry and then iron things when I want to wear them.
For DH's stuff, I have a basket in the cupboard under the stairs and try to keep up with the ironing so it never gets too full.

sweetkitty · 22/08/2012 21:45

In my new utility room I'm having the washing machine and tumble drier next o each other (at the moment the tumble drier is in a cupboard with the cat litter tray in front of it! On the work top above I'm going to have some sort of storage system, probably Ikea where dry washing can go.

Am also going to relocate the airer from the bath to a space in front of the radiator, we have zero storage in this house I'm having two larder cupboards cannot wait.

TodaysAGoodDay · 22/08/2012 21:47

Don't dump it on the armchair, fold it up straight away, put it away, then it stays nice. And for pity's sake stop with the ironing!

bigonsmalltalk · 22/08/2012 22:51

Wow! Thanks so much for the replies! (As promised by the thread title I had to go off and do something more interesting and have just come back to check if anyone replied!).

So, consensus seems to be that you simply have to have some self discipline and put dry washing away immediately!

I think I have to make an appointment with myself to do this! I usually do this to tackle housework jobs I can't find time for... if I set a day and time to do it I am actually motivated to do something, especially if there is a start and end time for the dreaded chore! I do Flylady very loosely and have good morning and evening routines so it will have to be part of this.

I wish I could get my DC more involved but special needs make it a real uphill struggle... Sad

My friend with an expensive kitchen has an ironing board built into kitchen units (it sort of pulls out). Next to this are two drawers with folded dry laundry - so ironing is kept with the ironing board so to speak.

ANTagony - I like the mention of the ironing pile hidden away in bags on coat hooks. Perhaps I need to be more creative with hiding the ironing pile? You have reminded me of someone else I know who has dry laundry stored in beautiful storage boxes in her dining room...

I did try sorting dry laundry into a box for each member of the family but I think it just prolonged the whole washing system.

Todaysagoodday - you made me laugh!!

Thank you so much for all the replies - probably my most boring thread ever but I am determined to improve my household efficiency - particularly with special needs in the house.

OP posts:
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