Since I’m posting a blog every Monday about Prov. 31, I thought it would be nice to follow up on Tuesdays with a homemaking tip. I think one of the most essential ingredients to running a household is having some organization. This becomes more critical as more children arrive on the scene, so the sooner you can incorporate some level of organization into your homemaking, the better off you’ll be. Now…I am NOT an organizing queen – let me just put that out there, lest anyone get the wrong impression. However, there are certain little pockets of my life that do have varying degrees of organization, and as far as the rest goes…well…I need to keep working on those.
Today’s tip: laundry.
Everyone has laundry, and this seems to be on the top of everyone’s list as far as chores we do not prefer. If we can do a few things to simplify the chore, maybe it won’t be so burdensome. Here is what I’ve found to be a big help in our family. (I have not been able to implement this method completely since living in Africa, which has presented it’s own unique challenges for laundry upkeep. I won’t bore you with details, such as no hot water for the laundry, sporadic electricity, sometimes not enough water available to do a load of laundry, lizard poop and locusts in the laundry…stuff like that.)
First: each bedroom has a hamper for dirty clothes, and family members are responsible for taking their dirty clothes from the bedroom to the laundry area and sorting them. You can train your kids to do this! Make it a part of regular chores – make the bed, take dirty clothes to laundry area… I don’t prefer to have dirty clothes pile up in the bathroom, even if they are in a hamper, because I’d rather not have that visible, in case of unexpected company. Also, it looks neater in the bathroom without a hamper full of dirty clothes and it’s less crowded.
Second: Put a freestanding shelf in the laundry area. On the shelves there are several baskets, each one labeled according to how I want them sorted: Dark colors, light colors, whites, towels, sheets, and denim. If you have small children who aren’t able to read yet, include pictures so they can join in on the fun. (Towels and sheets can sometimes be mixed with like colors, such as light, dark, or white, but since most of ours are similar in color, it is easier to just have a load of towels, which I prefer to wash in hot water. However, now I have no hot water available for my washing machine, so if I want hot water, I have to boil some in a big pot on the stove and carry it outside and pour it into the machine, or boil the towels in the pot, and then transfer them to the washing machine.)
When laundry is brought to this area, each person must sort his/her own laundry into the appropriate basket. This has made it much easier for me to see when there was a full load of a particular color and much less of a hassle than sorting a mound of dirty clothes every time it’s time to do laundry. (Work with what you have – don’t go blow your budget for the week on new laundry baskets. You can buy one at a time, as you are able.)
If you want your clothing to stay nice-looking, don’t just throw whatever is dirty into the washing machine until it is full.
If you washwith colors, or lights with darks,
your clothes will look old and dingy in no time at all.
I’d rather try and keep my things looking the original color intended,
most husbands really don’t prefer used-to-be-white,
now dingy, pink underwear.
Third: TRY to fold laundry and put it away
as it comes out of the dryer.
It’s no fun to have baskets of clean laundry
stacked up and then have to deal with
several baskets of wrinkled clothes.
Fourth: Iron! It’s amazing how you can transform a garment, even though it might be a bit old and faded, simply by ironing it. Part of your job is to help your family look presentable. One way that we can show our family that we care about them is to make sure that they have clean, neat clothing. Don’t be satisfied with your family looking like they’ve slept in the clothes they are now wearing for work and worship.
Challenge of the week: tackle that laundry!