Would it be weird if I asked you where you keep your underwear?
What if I asked about your socks?
Ok, I’ll stick with the socks.
What about the clothes for the kids/babies in the family? Where do you keep them?
Wow, I’m getting awfully personal this morning!
Traditionally, we wash clothes according to their colors: whites with whites, darks with darks, and no matter what you do, make sure you keep those sneaky red socks under control because we all know what happens when they party with the husband’s white undershirts…
During one of the many times I washed, dried, folded and put away the kids jammies, I had realized that I was ALWAYS washing, drying, folding and throwing their jammies into a drawer (because let’s be honest, what’s the point of folding them? The kids are going to rummage through to pick their favorites for bedtime and they’re all gonna get messed up anyway, right?). Thanks to “tradition,” the lighter jammies were washed separately from the darker jammies and those were separate still from the red jammies and so I was literally washing a pair of jammies in nearly every load of laundry.
I asked myself a question: Why can’t I just wash them all together in the same load? They’ve all been worn at least a couple of times (some many more than that) and I seriously doubt that the boy’s navy pants will have pink splotches in the end. And if they do, so what?! No one will even see them!
So I threw tradition out the window and started washing all of the kids’ jammies, underwear and socks together in the same load. Do you know what happened?
I washed, dried, folded and threw the clean clothes in their drawers – ONCE. Only once and I was done!
The clouds had parted, a harp was struck and the sun shone down on me in my moment of glorious bliss to be finished with the kids jammies in merely one load.
Well, maybe not the harp, but the sunshine part is right!
The concept of washing similar clothes together, instead of similar colors, has totally transformed the way I do laundry. When I sort laundry, EVERYONE’S underwear, socks and jammies go into the same load. But I don’t just stop there – the other piles have changed too.
- “Work” or “nice” clothes get washed together.
- Non-work/nice clothes (i.e. jeans and t-shirts) get their own pile.
- The regular kids clothes go into another pile.
- Unless I have lots of them, towels and sheets get thrown into whatever pile is the smallest (and yes, I sometimes even wash the pillow cases separate from the sheets – gasp!).
The method for my madness? Going back and forth from dresser to closet to hanger to dresser again was driving me bonkers. It still does. However, with washing clothes according to their type, once I’m done with all the socks, they all go to the same place – the sock drawer. Once I’m done with the underwear, they all go into the underwear drawer. The jammies? You got it – the jammies drawer.
When the work/nice clothes pile is done, it all gets hung up immediately. I don’t have to worry about a stray pair of pants or blouse that gets left in the washer or dryer too long… which inevitably creates more work for me in the long run because now I have to iron it too!
Granted, there may be times when the whites are looking dingy and they need to be bleached. You certainly don’t want your nice black slacks to be in that load. And there will be times when putting the dirty kitchen and cleaning towels in the washer with your pretty panties just grosses you out. I’m not talking about that either. I’m talking about the myriad of other loads that we do where it frankly doesn’t matter what color the clothes are. Have they been washed before? If so, you’re good to go!