Family Laundry Room?

posted on January 23, 2010 by  |  posted under Cleaning, Organization  |  32 Comments

A Family Laundry Room

Why didn’t anyone tell me about the greatest invention in laundry history???  Okay my mom probably did I  just wasn’t listening.

The laundry sorter…and only one per household.    laundry1

About 5 months ago I was drowning in laundry {know the feeling?}.  With 6 people in the house, (2 of which are babies) I couldn’t keep up.  It ‘crawled’ up my walls!  Closing the door would have been great to hide it, but there was too much laundry in the way and I couldn’t get the door closed! I would take one day a week and go around to all the baskets in the house and sort them into huge piles that you had to climb over just to get down the hall.  Then I’d spend the rest of the day washing…laundry3

Laundry Organizer

The person that invented this gets my vote for the Nobel peace prize!   Are we getting sponsored for writing this post…NO.  I should though:)

After my sweet husband bought me this {yes… I did think it was sweet!} I got rid of all the other laundry baskets  in the house.  That saves me time in going to each basket and collecting the laundry.

Then we had a ‘family class’ on darks, lights, and whites.  More time saved for me! New Family rule: It goes in the sorter or it doesn’t get washed.

{My daughter learned that quickly when her favorite shirt was not clean!}

Now I have more time because I am not lugging baskets around and sorting laundry into piles.

Then I saw ‘Family Laundry Rooms’ and fell in love!!!

What a grand idea…a room with all the clothes in one spot!  That would seriously save time in putting clothes away!

A Family Laundry Room

Lots of Kids

A Family Laundry Room

Musings from the Heart-they sure have a lot of levi shirts

A Family Laundry RoomTrue moments of Family

So over the past 5 months I have used the laundry sorter and have built shelves (ya I’ll have tutorial on building shelves…it’s coming:).  I do a couple loads each day so that I am not locked in my laundry room for one day a week.

Each shelf is labeled with a child’s name.  I fold their laundry and place on the shelf.  They are in charge of putting it away.  HUGE time saver!!!  I haven’t converted a ‘room’ into a laundry room, but I have made my laundry closet very useful and  the only ‘drop spot’ for dirty clothes and ‘pick up’ for clean clothes.

I can honestly say this has taken the scariness out of laundry and piles off the floor.

WAHOO  I am caught up!!!

How do you deal with your laundry?

A Family Laundry Room

    1. January 23rd, 2010 at 1:37 pm
      christina g says:
      We have 7 in our family...and I'm still searching for the "perfect" laundry solution. Right now I have wire rack with 5 removable baskets - as I pull laundry out of the dryer I put the kids' laundry direction into their basket. Theory is they come get their basket, fold, take care of the clothes, then bring the empty basket back. All other laundry (parents, linens, etc.) still goes in a large basket for me. I LOVE the family laundry room idea. If I only had a room!
    2. January 23rd, 2010 at 3:42 pm
      wendy jackson says:
      I just got one of these sorters...for my bday...& yes, I did ask for it!! Mine has a rod at the top for hanging and a shelf above the rod. I keep all of the delicates on top for hand washing. The great part is I can ROLL it outside on a sunny day to dry at least a few items. Had not thought of a family laundry room...I love your ideas!
    3. January 23rd, 2010 at 3:49 pm
      Shelley says:
      I love LOVE the idea of the laundry sorter, but my hamper is often out on 'display'. I am going to go buy cheap wicker laundry baskets from TJ maxx, spray paint them all dark brown, tag them (darks, whites, etc) hanging by a cutely mod podged clothsline pins, a vwalah! Cute! Holds MORE laundry,...and functional! I've been wanting to do this for a while now. This post just may have inspired me to actually do it! When I get it done, I'll take pictues! :)
      • January 23rd, 2010 at 3:50 pm
        Shelley says:
        Except I will need to figure out how to get wheels on it! ;)
        • May 4th, 2011 at 5:37 am
          Lauren says:
          You could get a pot plant mover from the hardware shop. The are liitle trays on wheels that you sit pot plants on so you can move them around. They might work for your laundry baskets.
    4. January 23rd, 2010 at 5:13 pm
      Danelle says:
      I have 5 kids and the laundry was OUT of control. I'm still not great but keeping the laundry sorted by room (girls room/boys room/mom and dad's room) has helped a great deal. The kids each have a basket in their closet for dirty clothes (white shirts are the exception, they go in mom's whites basket). Then I wash and dry the clothes from each basket and put them back into the hamper for the kids to put away. I spent a lot of time before sorting the laundry by colors, then sorting by person once the laundry was clean. I also don't fold the kids clothes. If they want them folded, they have to do it. They would always pull apart all my folding work when searching for clothes to wear, then shoved the clothes back into the drawer. My friends think I'm kidding but giving up the folding battle has saved me time and frustration.
    5. January 23rd, 2010 at 6:16 pm
      Jess says:
      I don't sort by color, I sort by person. It makes putting away SO Much easier. If we get new clothes that might bleed, then I wash those with the towels for the first couple times. Once in a great while I will make up a bleach load when the whites are getting dingy. And I try to do one load a day. I am a SAHM so it works for me to do this. When I get up I move the wet clothes to the dryer and start a new load. Then I fold the dry clothes while I am drinking my coffee. Because all the clothes belong in the same room, it takes only a couple minutes to put them away.
      All our dirty clothes go into a basket in the bathroom. On my way to the laundry room, I grab those and sort them into the correct baskets.
    6. January 23rd, 2010 at 6:18 pm
      Natalie Kay says:
      Laundry and Dishes are my two weaknesses as a mom.... I, too, have spent one day a week doing laundry ALL DAY. It's overwhelming and exhausting. And the worst part is when I'm so tired from laundry duty that I choose to put away the folded clothes the next morning and my kids run throughthe piles before they get back intot he drawers and closets. FRUSTRATING. And then when 'laundry day' comes around again, I'm dreading it!

      A great friend of mine taught me the trick of doing a couple loads of laundry a day, in the morning-- right after breakfast and kids/dad are off for the day. I've followed her schedule and it has SAVED ME! I adapted some things to fit my family's needs. You could do Darks, Jeans, Etc. This is my weekly schedule:

      Monday: Whites, Baby
      Tuesday: Towels
      Wednesday: Boys
      Thursday: Bedding
      Friday: Mom and Dad
      Saturday: Last Chance (anything you need for sunday)
    7. January 23rd, 2010 at 6:21 pm
      Norma Lee Good says:
      I love my sorter but I am definitely interested in your shelves!I love the idea of a large family laundry room. does that work? Somebody loses a bedroom? You know how few clothes toddler boys have {poor things...their clothes just aren't nearly as cute as little girls are}, I could put all of his clothes in my closet. That would be a good idea! Thanks for sharing this, i've never seen a family laundry room.
    8. January 23rd, 2010 at 6:40 pm
      Emily says:
      Laundry is one of the few household chores I feel I (usually) have a handle on. (I have 3 kids, all girls.) I have the same sorter which lives in the laundry room only. (I don't pull it out and roll it around.)Each bedroom has a small basket or hamper to put dirties in, and each family member is responsible to bring it to the laundry room for sorting when it is full. (Otherwise my sorter starts to spill over the top and I do NOT like that). I do laundry 2 days a week, 3 loads each of those days. I do lights, darks, and bleach (all whites, socks and underwear). I also will give a call out when I am doing a load if I don't have enough to fill it and the kids bring their baskets and sort it. I fold it in front of a TV show (the only time I allow myself to watch) so that's a treat. While folding it, I pile it by child/drawer. When I am done, I call the kids to come get their clothes and they put them away right then. I am just in charge of putting away mine, hubbies' and baby's. That is where I sometimes get hung up, but otherwise, all is good. I love my system!
      • September 21st, 2010 at 9:25 am
        Candace says:
        You are amazing! Thanks for sharing
    9. January 23rd, 2010 at 10:25 pm
      Patty says:
      I love our laundry room. When we built our house, I had saved some ideas for years to be able to incorporate them. We're lucky enough to have a laundry shoot and the clothes land in a basket. Then, I can easily sort the dirty clothes into either the whites or colored hampers underneath. We also have a vertical stack of 5 shelves, each big enough for a large laundry basket. After washing/drying, I fold clothes and put them in the appropriate basket/shelf. My 4 kids and dh each have one; I just take my own folded clothes and put them away. Organization (plus big machines) make doing laundry an easier task than it ever was before.
    10. January 23rd, 2010 at 10:39 pm
      Maryanne says:
      wow Family Laundry rooms - great idea. Doubt I'll ever get one...I want to many other types of rooms first. =D At the place we rent, they have special large drawers that equal one large load for the wash. We have 4 of them so it's pretty useful. The Family Laundry room would possibly help my husband put his dirty clothes in the right spot though!
    11. January 24th, 2010 at 8:05 am
      Peggy says:
      Love the idea of a family alundry room. I don't think we need it just yet, since we just have two adults and two kids. I deal with laundry with two rules: washing everything but my husband's work clothes and delicates in cold water; and two loads a day from basket to drawer. Of course, things with stains or that need specail treatment get washed accordingly, but this works right now, having a toddler and a preschooler.
    12. January 25th, 2010 at 12:30 am
      Cathy says:
      Love all the thoughts about laundry!

      I hate laundry. So I do it all in one day so I don't have to think about it every day. I have a family of NINE... and do about 9-10 loads on Mondays.

      My rules:

      - If it's not in the hamper, it doesn't get washed.
      - No one eats dinner until all clothes are put away
      - When you turn 12, you are starting "missionary prep" and will therefore be doing your own laundry
      - I wake up early and keep it moving all day long. I just plan on not going anywhere. I pay my bills on this day as well (as well as blog of course!). Easy to stop what you're doing when the buzzer is screaming at you!
      - I've found that if it spills over to Tuesday, it sits.
      - One towel per person through the week really helps cut down on the amount of laundry.

      Family laundry room - cool. Won't work for me in my overflowing house!
      • October 18th, 2010 at 9:30 pm
        Katie says:
        THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THIS POST!!! You have saved my life. I have always had gigantic piles of laundry that I feel like I am drowning in. I do well for a while and have tried many different things but THIS is the one that works. I laid it out for my children (3,6, & 9). I told them it seemed kind of strange that I gathered all the clothes, lugged them downstairs, washed, and you know the rest while it was THEIR clothes. The RULE has changed! Now, after they bathe at night they bring their clothes down and sort them. Even with 5 of us in the house I am only doing on average 4 loads on Monday!!! THAT'S IT!!! Monday night before dinner everyone has to get their basket, take it to their room, put their clothes away, and bring the empty basket down or no dinner! Not only is the 3 year old putting his own clothes away he has just about taken over the washing! The change has just been amazing! I CAN'T THANK YOU ENOUGH!!!
    13. January 25th, 2010 at 9:52 am
      Rochelle says:
      My laundry is in the kitchen so I always have spillover! I have found that the sorter helps a lot even though I didn't think it would. I thought the pockets on mine were too small but they wind up holding a lot more than you think.

      With 5 of us in the household, socks are the huge downfall. I did find a trick that helps, I stopped buying all different brands of socks... I will only buy the Hanes for each of us with the colored toes. Not having to match up 5 different brands of socks for each of us has cut down a lot of time. Then other upside is that as they wear out or get lost here and there, you don't have one sock floating around because you have used it with another sock that lost it's mate and made a pair.

      What works for me is to get a load started in the morning after my oldest leaves for school, I find that if I get something going, it just keeps moving and before I know it I have a few loads done.

      Another tip is for the times when the towels, blankets, and sheets are all dirty at once. I will go to the laundrymat and throw it all in a few of the giant machines. It is all done in about 2 hours and the kids love being able to get a treat out of the vending machine!!
    14. January 25th, 2010 at 11:44 am
      SarahAnne says:
      I have both those laundry sorters you for my kids, one for my hubs and me. He is 6'3 and his clothes take up so much room! I haven't gotten them into doing the sorting yet, but it's coming down the pike. (insert evil laugh) Right now they each have their own hampers and then one small basket for their school uniforms. Saturday is uniform day and they bring their baskets to the laundry room and I do the uniforms. During the week I take their hampers into the laundry room and sort it into the sorter. I love the idea of having the kids do that every night, and I REALLY love having a family laundry/dressing room. Totally perfect! Someday when I build the house of my dream, I am SO incorporating that. I am not efficient with the laundry rig-a-ma-roll in our home, and with 7 people you'd think I'd be more organized. But, I'm on my way. Now I'm off to read the other comments and glean from the more-organized than me. :)
    15. January 25th, 2010 at 3:37 pm
      Ali says:
      Wow! I'm not the only one that HATES laundry.
      In the past I have felt much guilt at my lack of skill in this area. I would wash it all but when it was time to fold, I just kept piling it up. It was frustrating my husband that 'Laundry Mountain' was between himself and our bed. Finding clothes to wear was soooo time consuming. I took some advice since my kids are getting older and decided to let them help a bit. While I can't give up control of washing yet, it is on our job rotation for a kid to bring all of the laundry down and sort it each day. (We also have some sorting bins) Now after I wash and dry it, it goes into each person's basket for them to fold or hang and put away. It has been much less stress on me and my husband is happy he doesn't have to summit the mountain to get into bed anymore! (It only took 17 years of married life to figure it out)
      • January 25th, 2010 at 3:39 pm
        Ali says:
        I also know someone that bought an extra dryer so they could get even more loads done in a day!
    16. January 25th, 2010 at 4:35 pm
      Kim says:
      I have laundry baskets in a central location in our home (my walk-in closet). There is one for each type of load (whites, darks, etc.) My kids, 10 and 4, and hubby are each VERY WELL trained to put their dirty clothes in the correct basket when they take them off. It was easy - just ask them to do it. (Kinda like if you build it, they will come.)

      I wake up in the morning and start laundry and stay on it. The laundry goes from the dryer, gets folded or hung, and gets put away right away. If my kids are home for this - they put their laundry away. If they are not, I do it. The trick is DO NOT LET IT PILE UP.

      Oh, and I only do laundry on the days my hubby works - I work when he does so we can play/relax together on his days off!
    17. April 26th, 2010 at 10:32 pm
      Nancy says:
      question: did you by chance post a tutorial on building your own shelves? I know you are busy, just wondering if it's somewhere on your blog and can't find it. :)
    18. May 13th, 2010 at 10:27 pm
      Amy says:
      That is perfect, just what I need!
    19. June 29th, 2010 at 1:13 pm
      Julie says:
      I have three teenage girls who all share (sometimes unwillingly) clothes, so I wish we had room to create a shared space like the ones pictured. We do have a community sock drawer which eliminates the hassle of who's socks are who's...they revolted, however, at a community underwear drawer(; Sounds like a lot of you have very young children, so this idea might not work, but, this summer we implemented a laundry day for each child. Each child is responsible for starting and finishing 2 loads of laundry on his/her day. We usually watch a show together as we fold or hang (we hang up 90% of the clothes which nearly eliminates the "unfolding" problem) and they're learning the finer points of why we sort, and how to wash delicates, the importance of checking pockets, etc. We all get a day off on Fridays and I do any catch up stuff on Saturdays. As a side note, we have 6 sorting baskets: light delicates, dark delicates, whites, colors, darks and towels (so many of the girls' clothes need delicate care, this sorting method saves the trouble of checking tags) Happy washing!! Also, cute song for preschool moms called The Laundry by Charlotte Diamond can get it on itunes
    20. September 26th, 2010 at 4:47 pm
      vahnee / crunchy says:
      Ditto on the sort-as-you-go. We have a small house and few "special care" or handwash items, so we keep two popup hampers ready for whites/darks. Even our two-year-old can figure out to put her dirty clothes in the right hamper. :-)

      I couldn't imagine having to dig through dirty laundry to sort it. We line dry, and so we even use sock clips to clip dirty socks together before tossing in the hampers. They keep the socks together though the wash and make it easy to hang them for line-drying. (I imagine they're dryer-safe, too.) When I put the laundry away, I just dump the clips back into the side pockets of the hamper to be used again. HTH!
      .-= vahnee / crunchy´s last blog ..Roasted Butternut Soup =-.
    21. November 23rd, 2010 at 8:06 pm
      Gary Carraghan@ Best Washing Machine says:
      I have been debating whether or not to purchase a laundry sorter. The thing is i'm not 100% sure I would have the time to actually use it enough to make it worth while. From your article however, it seems to be quite a big help, so I will have to give it a try. Thanks for sharing.
    22. January 25th, 2011 at 5:07 am
      Lila says:
      We have four children and LOADS of laundry!

      I use three stackable plastic boxes (like here for laundry. One is for white, one for red and one for dark clothes. That's enough for rough sorting - and the whole family doesn't get confused.

      My husband and I have a walk in closet which is great, but for the children, we bought a large wardrobe. It's our version of the family laundry room because it's in the laundry. When I take things from the dryer, all I have to do is fold it and turn around to the wardrobe to put it away.

      Every child has three shelves. All the shelves are organized according to the same principle. Lower shelf: bottoms, middle shelf: tops, higher shelf: special stuff. The shelves are labelled, too. It helps me tremendously to keep everything in order.

      The children take out their outfits for tomorrow the day before. For them, the family wardrobe means more space in their rooms. And I have total control over my laundry.

      I love this system!
    23. March 7th, 2011 at 10:11 pm
      Frazzalicious says:
      I just did a blog post about rearranging our house and this hit the nail right on the head!
      The post is here. It's a bit unconventional.
      Thank you for this!
    24. January 15th, 2012 at 5:49 pm
      lupe says:
      sorry to insist but i havnot get my free printables could you send to my office mail it is [email protected]
    25. February 15th, 2012 at 7:48 pm
      Rebecca says:
      Where do you put your linens? I'm thinking about those late night sheet changes when someone throws up or wets the bed. If you sleep on a top floor & your laundry is downstairs, do you walk down to get a new set of clothes? Or maybe you have one upstairs? I'm just brainstorming - I've wanted to do a family laundry room for years now!
    26. May 7th, 2012 at 12:10 am
      Shaina says:
      We have 6 in our family and I am sad to say my washer and dryer are in my Kitchen!! My kitchen is so small, its just FRUSTRATING!! I used to have one of these sorters but it didn't fit well and I didn't care for it!
    27. September 9th, 2013 at 7:42 am
      Lil says:
      We have 7 children and would dearly love a laundry room to hide the laundry in! Unfortunately, the washer and dryer are in the kitchen and there is no space for a big enough laundry sorter in one place (that would need a room of its own for my family!). We have 4 laundry baskets - white, dark and lights downstairs and then an all-in one upstairs. I wish the fourth one wasn't necessary, but apparently the act of carrying dirty items downstairs is just too difficult to perform (this includes mugs and glasses as well as clothes!), so an all in laundry basket was the lesser of two evils.

      Keeping on top washing the mountains of laundry and drying it isn't too bad (especially in nice weather when I can line dry as well as tumble dry),
      But folding, ironing and putting away are always pretty hit and miss. My biggest complaint though has got to be spotting items in amongst the dirty, wet laundry, that you know haven't been worn (and are sometimes still ironed and folded) and were apparently dropped into the laundry basket rather than their drawer! But having been sandwiched between a mechanic's overall and a soggy towel, I have to wash and iron them again! Kids huh?! I'm sure I wasn't this much trouble when I was young!
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