When we moved into our new house this summer, I swore that with that clean slate, I’d stay on top of the housework. That I wouldn’t let things pile up and I wouldn’t get so far behind on the cleaning.
But with three boys (plus all of Hubs and my stuff- let’s be honest, it’s not just the kids), things can get out of control rather quickly. So I’m going to share some of my anti-slob tips with you, starting with how to keep up with the laundry, since that’s a pile that can rapidly grow taller than I am.
Wash it all. Before we moved, our laundry room was pretty terrifying. I let things pile up and was only washing what we absolutely needed for the next few days. And it was easy to let that happen because it still felt like I was doing tons of laundry. But by doing it all(or as near as you can get- no need to have your kids sit around nekkid), you’ll see what all you have. AND it’s so much easier to stay on top of the laundry if you aren’t starting out behind.
Purge. Now that you have it all washed, be honest about what it is that no one actually wears. Go through the laundry you just did and what is in closets and drawers. If it’s too small, ripped, ugly(you know those outfits that were gifts, usually from a grandparent), or hasn’t been worn in a year- get rid of it. By keeping these items, you’re taking up space you need for what you actually do wear. Make a pile to be tossed out, to be sold, to be given away: and then actually get rid of it.
A place for everything. Take a look at the space you have and figure out where things can go- it’s better to have a plan to keep everything organized. Maybe you need to look into getting another dresser. I make use of the space we have by getting sliding plastic bins for under my boys’ beds for their out of season clothes. A shelf in the hall linen closet is where I keep all three of my boys’ soccer uniforms/practice clothes. When it’s time for practice or a game, I only have to head to that one spot to find what we need instead of letting those clothes get mixed in with the others and having to dig for them in three separate places.
That includes the dirty clothes. For a while, we were using laundry baskets for both clean and dirty clothes. Which led to the confusion of is it dirty or is it clean, which led to even more loads of laundry for me. My boys know their dirty clothes need to go into their shared clothes hamper in their bathroom. Hubs and I have one in our room. If there are dirty clothes downstairs, I generally just toss them straight into the washer. Anything that needs pre-treated goes on top of the washing machine to be treated ASAP and then put into the washer.
Embrace mixed loads. Unless you have a really good reason for washing something separately(I like my towels and sheets washed separately, on hot. And sometimes really muddy soccer gear goes alone. Or the delicates), don’t worry so much about whose things you are washing- just fill the washing machine(using good laundry detergent is a help with this- I’m obsessed with Tide). Except in those exceptions I mentioned, when it’s time to start the washing machine, I make sure that I have checked all the hampers for dirty clothes and try to make as large of a load as I can. It’s a more efficient use of my time(and more economical).
Put it away NOW. Even if you did the largest load of clothes that will fit into your washing machine, it’s still not going to take you THAT long to put the clothes away. But if you toss the clean clothes on the couch and then do the same thing with the next load or two, it will soon be overwhelming. I do a quick sort- making a pile for me, Hubs, each of the three boys, and a soccer pile. Then I take the individual piles where they need to be and put away from there. (Oldest and Hubs are both just given their piles and they have to put them away).
Don’t let the socks get you. I hate matching socks. It’s a pain in the butt. However, it’s much easier to match one load worth of socks than to wait until you have multiple loads’ worth and try to match those.