Helpful Hint: NEVER have a basket of laundry 'waiting' to be folded - how to keep up with your laundry

It's a typical day around here and I just popped into the laundry room to check on the dryer and found it was finished.  Without thinking about it I opened the door and started to grab warm clothing out and folded it, dropped into the basket and put a new load of wet clothes into the dryer.

I never thought about this as a helpful hint before... but then again 'laundry' has never been a big issue in our home.  Even at our busiest with full time jobs, kids in school, sports, dance, choir, band, part time jobs...  as hectic as life can get, laundry was never really an issue in our home.

Yet, I realize it's kind of an issue for some people.

There are a couple long term blogs I've read that the Mom constantly apologizes or makes excuses that any time she happens to post a photo there is pretty much always a pile of clothes on her living room couch 'waiting to be folded'.  Other parents complain there is just no time.  Most will pile the clothing in a basket and bring it to the living room or bedroom to fold "while they are watching TV" and yet... it never happens.  It never gets accomplished.  They get started but soon lose interest, get pulled away or they do half, the kids tumble the piles over in their play and the parent has to start over again...

I personally know two people who always "were going to fold that...."  but I don't think I've ever been in their home when their couch or bedroom was filled with piles of laundry that will never, ever actually be folded.

And if you don't care about folding laundry that's cool.
But if you do care, but can't seem to get a handle on it... well, here is one way that might help.

When I was a newlywed (a billion years ago) I started to fold straight out of the dryer.
I've never done any differently... and as our family grew and got insanely busy and grew more and got even crazier with schedules... this is something that still never changed.

The SHORT version is simply:   Do NOT take the clothes from the dryer and toss them into a basket.  Ever. Always always always fold straight from the dryer to the basket no matter what.

If you get them while they are still hot/warm it's very likely you won't even have to iron anything.  Shirts straight from the dryer and folded look pretty good and rarely need ironing unless they are 100% cotton (in which case I often 'hang' them on a hanger straight from the dryer after giving them a good snap or two with my wrists to shake them out first.

It does not take 'too much time'.  It's going to take about 5 minutes tops.  And guess what?  It's DONE.  No piles on the couch, on the bed, on the floor or in the basket waiting for you.

The longer version:  I have 4 hamper bins in the laundry room*.  One for whites, one for dark blues and blacks. One for reds and one for green, gray, browns.  Clothes are sorted into these bins and not all thrown in one huge dirty hamper.  When I need to throw in laundry I grab a basket, dump in the washer and turn it on.  No wasted time sorting since it's all done as dirty clothes are brought into the laundry room.

When the washer is done I transfer for the dryer and turn on.  If I'm going to be home longer or I'll be home in about an hour to get the wet clothes out, I grab a new colored bin and toss it in.

When the dryer is done and the clothes are still warm, I fold straight from the dryer quickly.  Even if I have something else I want to do or get to NOW - I make myself finish folding.  It takes less than 5 minutes and I know I don't want to do half a job and 'plan' to get back to it.  I finish.

If I am gone or get busy and the clothes have cooled down, I often fold anyway if they are everyday clothes, t-shirts, things that don't need creases or light ironing.  If they DO then I turn the dryer back on for a few minutes to get the clothing hot again.  Then I fold straight from the dryer.


Some people won't like this way.
Some people have other ways that work for them and their busy families.
But someone, somewhere, might think;  You know, I'm going to do this!  And it might help.

(On the flipside - out of 3 kids, two of them adapted this form of 'straight from the dryer' - my son and one of my daughters.  The other daughter either forgets them in the dryer, cold and wrinkled and/or tosses them into a basket, two baskets and then later, a third as they pile up because she never "gets around to" folding them.  And she then pours out all the clean clothes on her bed to fold... and almost never gets around to it.)

I also just smiled as I typed this because the two kids that DO fold straight from the dryer also adapted my way of hanging up clothing in the closet....  by color and kind.  Jeans in one area together, then pants, skirts & dresses, and then on to the shirts/tops.  Which are all arranged by color kind of like a rainbow. So if I need a green shirt or an orange shirt, I can see exactly and quickly what I need and where it is.  

But I guess that's a post for another day!

*Related Product:  I was going to check Amazon for some links on laundry hampers and saw this on my first search return.  This is MY folding hamper.  In the post above I mentioned that I have 4 containers in our laundry room for dirty clothes.  They are reds, whites, blue/blacks and green/brown/gray.  This is the hamper I use - which I bought through Walmart but they are now available through Amazon as well.

Mine have been used continuously for almost 7 years now and are still going strong....

You might also be interested in these related products available through Amazon links:

BirdRock Home Double Laundry Hamper with Lid and Removable Liners | Linen | Easily Transport Laundry | Foldable Hamper | Cut Out Handles
SAMMART Collapsible Plastic Laundry Basket - Foldable Pop Up Storage Container/Organizer - Portable Washing Tub - Space Saving Hamper/Basket (2 Handled, Grey)
Simple Houseware Heavy-Duty 3-Bag Laundry Sorter Cart, Chrome


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