Laundry Cycle

I know, it just gets more exciting every day doesn't it? Freezers, the weather and now laundry!
What can I say? This is life.

I have a weekly laundry timetable. Yes, really. It makes life easier especially if you have several beds to deal with. I wash every day, usually two loads, occasionally one and quite often three. As well as clothes every day  on Tuesday to Friday I wash bedlinen and towels.

Tuesday  
Boys must bring their bed linen down with them in the morning to be washed.
They put fresh linen on their beds when they go to bed.
 (When I say linen I mean a fitted sheet, pillow cases and a duvet cover -I store them in sets inside a pillowcase).

Not pretty,  not coordinated, but efficient.


Wednesday
I gather all towels and wash them.
I do not put out towels for people.
Clean towels are collected from the airing cupboard where they are stored rolled up.
Everyone has their favourite towels, this way of storing them makes it easier to grab the one you want instead of pulling it out from under a pile of folded towels.

Again not pretty.
Flannels (face cloths)

Thursday
Katie must bring her bed linen down to be washed and put a fresh set on at bedtime.
Last night she 'didn't have time' to put clean sheets on her bed so she slept on a bare mattress underneath a naked duvet. I'm not sure why she didn't have time. I didn't see her doing anything other than watch rubbish on youtube from 4 pm to 8.30pm. 
This morning I got her up five minutes early (because five minutes is all it takes to make a bed) and asked her to do it.
Just before she left for school I said 'Did you make your bed?'

Freshly made bed

'Yes' she replied. 

Friday
I do our bed and reflect on the fact that Charlie is the only one who doesn't have to make his bed.

I also have a system for delivering clean clothes to their owners. Piles of clothing get taken upstairs (by whoever happens to be passing when I'm sorting it) and put on our bed. Next time I'm in the bedroom I swiftly distribute the clothes into three piles according to which room they belong in. I put my stuff away and hang up Charlie's shirts so that they don't crease and need ironing again. I don't put the rest of his clothes away. I carry the boys' stuff into their room and put it on Tom's bed (it being nearest the door) where they sort it and put it away. I put Katie's stuff on her floor where it stays until she can't tell whether it is dirty or clean. Then she puts it all in the washing basket again.

Spare bed linen neatly folded on the top shelf of my airing cupboard which I can't reach





Comments

  1. Your posts make me smile! This one did not fail.... I am still smiling!

    I have also planted a quince tree... really!!

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  2. I laughed my way through this, Sue: a delightful dose of reality. Being, alas, the compulsive sort, I have to restrain myself from zooming over to your place to freshly make Katie's freshly made bed.

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    1. I will be standing over her later as she does it properly. It offends my eye too.

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    2. Me too! I cannot stand anything but a properly made bed. Children being in charge of putting away freshly laundered clothes,my three would have thrown them on the floor with the dirty ones until the room was full.

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  3. This also made me laugh so much - with recognition. We have a similar system except that the boys Myles & Fergus, not 8 year old Finn, have to do their own washing. If I am feeling generous which happens more in the school holidays I will sort some of their stuff. Mostly I don't. Washing is also sorted from my bedroom - operations central. What is it about girls? My Erin has always been the same. She does seem to be getting a little better at uni so there is hope. My mother, rather unsportingly I feel tries to tell me that I was also messy at her age. Hmmm. Am now thinking about rolling my towels - so a busy evening for me! We are all so thrilling!

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  4. My stuff falls every where too or is piled in the cupboard! The kids get their clothes delivered to their rooms and onto their desk other than that I dont care what happens... I just close the door. Once every 3-4 months I dare to enter and direct cleaning. Love your posts.... It's the same the world over!

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  5. Now I quite enjoy laundry, but there are only the two of us. This does sound a bit relentless, but obviously works!

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  6. Sue, this made me laugh! It doesn't matter where in the world with live, we all struggle with the same reality of life and kids. I have a sign in my little laundry room that says.... "IS THERE LIFE AFTER LAUNDRY" I've come to the conclusion of No.... haha! Their will always be laundry.
    I decided when my oldest was 15 that it was time for her to learn to do her own laundry, especially when she was giving me instructions on how to wash/dry certain items. So all the girls learned at 15. Of course I break down now and again, when I can no longer stand walking past their rooms which look like the closet or hamper regurgitated clothes all over the floor.
    Have a great weekend. ~Sue

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  7. Anonymous4:09 pm BST

    Oh Sue, you make me laugh. I have an eleven year old son who sounds just like your Katie. He has a basket in his room for dirty laundry, but it still ends up on the floor behind his chair.
    Have a good weekend
    Donna

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  8. Hilarious! My three obviously came out of the same pod as Katie...
    eldest back from University adores washing her clothes but is completely incapable of drying, sorting, ironing or returning dry items to her room. I have had to resort to gaffer tape over the washing machine door until the backlogs are cleared. (They're still not)

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  9. Love this, especially the freshly made bed! I too am a creature of habit. I have a laundry system too: Washing Tues, Wed and Thurs. Towels tues, bedding thurs! I must have structure!!

    S x

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  10. Anonymous5:35 pm BST

    If you didn't have to re-wash clean clothes (your daughter's) you'd have less washing!
    You obviously don't do as much ironing as you do washing! (un ironed bedding)

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    1. I don't rewash her stuff. I put it back in her room again and nag her about putting it away.

      Frankly, I've got far better things to do than iron sheets!

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    2. Anonymous3:29 pm BST

      I meant the duvet covers and pillowcases (I don't iron sheets either)

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    3. Well each to their own, but ironing any bed linen is top of my list of things that don't need doing. Keeping them clean is my priority.

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  11. Yes sounds like my house until a few years ago! Then university........I'm sure two of mine took/bought clothes to last the term and bought it all home to wash (I always said they are on bits of elastic and they PING back home!) which they wash and dried themselves, if they wanted to use the use tumble drier they had to stay up at night as we are on economy seven but that is what students do isn't stay up all night.......?
    Now they have partners they do their own washing and ironing. There is only us two now!

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  12. Loved your blog - the reality of domesticity and laundry is so under-rated. :-)

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  13. Ah, the joys of laundry! So much easier here now three of the four have moved out. But number four is of the 'washing will miraculously make it's own way to the laundry basket' ilk. I end up doing his washing for him just so he'll have something to wear.

    I too have spare bedding on a shelf I need a chair to reach. Doesn't everyone?

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  14. Laughing here - Sue you are my organisational heroine. Once upon a time I had a system, nothing flash, just a sort of easy rhythm that got me through the week. Then came friends staying, boyfriends staying etc etc. Now I wash what I can see around, usually 2 to 3 loads per day. Your daughter's bedroom looks fine to me. I couldn't put my son's clean clothes on the floor there isn't space! The only thing I make sure I do is husband's shirts, without those he wouldn't go to work and we would starve.

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  15. I learnt a new word this week - floordrobe - my sister was a big fan of it when she was Katie's age.

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  16. Sue, do you mind sharing your thoughts and knowledge of "airing cupboards"? We don't have them here in the States, yet I have always read about them in my English books.

    Is it just a linen cupboard with radiator pipes running through to keep things dry? Or is there more to it than that? I am also wondering if they are built into modern homes or if they are an old-fashioned thing?

    Always enjoy the glimpses of your domesticity, in all its authenticity.

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    1. Interesting question. In my experience Lesley, yes they are just linen cupboards with pipes and the water tank in and are therefore warm. Modern houses seem to have them as a matter of course. My parents' house was built in the 1860s and doesn't have one.

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    2. Anonymous7:40 am BST

      just to be sticking my nose in a bit!

      my experience of airing cupboards is that they are always linked with the boiler (for central heating) or the hot water tank so are usually a consistently warm temperature and there are usually vents or grills in the doors to keep the air flowing (think its a safety thing with boilers).

      Think they are something that life created to fill the void made by the pantry being swallowed up by kitchen cupboards - pantries go out of fashion around the same time that airing cupboards start being fashionable!

      Sue - your blog is great. Its like a housekeeping bible. You are the new Mrs Beeton! :o) I have two boys (under 3) and am watching with interest to see how they develop. I'm trying the start 'em young, keep 'em clean approach - hoping that putting things away becomes second nature but beginning to think that won't happen....

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    3. wouldn't it be nice if houses had airing cupboards and pantries? And big utility rooms.

      I'm sure Mrs Beeton would be horrified by my unironed linen but thanks! My boys are tidy chaps, not sure why Katie isn't. I expect it is just down to personality.

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    4. Anonymous3:31 pm BST

      I've got an airing cupboard, pantry and utility room!

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    5. Thanks so much for the airing cupboard thoughts...one small mystery solved. I found the water heater part interesting as ours have always been large and out of the way (basement, garage). So much smarter to use their heat...tho' I suppose it simply isn't as damp on a regular basis here, so that never became the fashion?

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  17. I am even more control-freakish. I take the laundry off the line in person grouping, clothing grouping, (ending with SmallBean's pile as his room is the first I come to upstairs) and fold as I go. So the piles just get put straight into drawers. I think the Beans must think there is a laundry fairy. Must start the putting-away training very soon. And anyone who irons sheets is a nutter.
    Hope there is sun to dry the basketloads this weekend, have a good one, Ax

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    1. The temptation to put Katie's laundry straight into her drawers is strong, but I just think she should do it herself.I like your folding system.

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  18. The slut confesses - I don't change my bedding every week - and as I don't have any children I don't have to be so organised - when the laundry bin is full I do the washing although I am very particular about my loads - colours, type of fabric etc. And then we have a his and hers ironing piles.
    Bedding never gets ironed - well pillow cases but not duvets - but they do get folded in a particular way.

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  19. Loved the post and once again we have similar systems. My neighbour recently told me she has returned to having a 'wash day' as there are now only the two of them. It reminds me of my childhood. Monday, wash day, involving pulling the washing machine to the middle of the kitchen and filling a hose from the tap. It had a central agitator and mangle, then we upgraded to a twin tub. Tuesday was ironing and tidying, Wednesday was baking. Thursday scrubbing, kitchen and bathroom. Friday was shopping after a trip to the pit. I still love the rhythm of the weeks.

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  20. I just laughed when I read this post - you could have been writing about my daughter - the rubbish on youtube for hours then not having time and the clean washing making its way back into the washing basket - I can so relate..

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  21. Pati from London8:47 pm BST

    Here too we do 2 or 3 loads of wash a day with the 3 little ones and my hubby's shirts being most of what we wash. Everything except for fitted sheets, towels and underwear gets ironed here (it must be a Spanish thing!). I just love the feeling of getting into a beautifully ironed, clean and fresh bed, even if it is wringkly the next day.
    We have a laundry cupboard here but we actually don't use it as such as I had never realised what it was for, until now!! (must be another Spanish thing as our heating systems over there are different and we don't have them). We store suitcases in ours here..... Pati x

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  22. You've made a lot of sad women smile today, Sue! When our boys were living at home we had a similar routine - when they were old enough, stripping and making their own beds, laundry to washing machine. We are less structured now there are just the two of us. HOWEVER! As we have the five Kiwis living with us for 4 weeks the machine is permanently on and the dryer - which is usually seldom used - is is pretty much on also, when we can't dry stuff outside. Sheesh! And I expect when they go home I will be washing for a week behind them.

    Re your recent post on the freezer, happy to say I prepared three containers of breadcrumbs today to freeze - the bread situation here is as bad as the laundry at the moment.

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  23. 26 comments posted already ....... you have obviously hit something that resonates with the rest of the world!!! Wish I had the gumption to make my son make his own bed ....I just shudder at what it would end up looking like!!

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  24. How ironic that I should read this after shouting through to eldest "Don't sleep without a duvet cover again tonight!. My boys think that putting any clothes clean or dirty in the washing basket is tidying up their bedroom - I do not. Quite glad to see Katie's bed though as I assumed girls would be tidier - happy to be proved wrong!

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  25. Yet again, I'm reading your post and thinking, 'why didn't I think of that'? I am henceforth storing bedding in sets in a pillow case. Brilliant idea, brilliant post!

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  26. I am relieved that your airing cupboard doesn't make me feel as inadequate as seeing your fridge! Though perdictably, my sheet washing system is less organized. I tend to strip beds when I need extra colourds or whites to make up a full load in the machine. I am anal, however, about sorting dry clothes into personal piles as I fold. everyone has their own zone in the airing cupboard.

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  27. Isabelle from Holland9:35 am BST

    Another great post. It's put me in a good mood.

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  28. Ooh airing cupboards - I wish I had one; I have never had one and have always had difficulty of finding a place for towels and sheets. No cupboards either and I have always lived in tiny too small spaces for the amount of things I have, which other than books I suppose is kept to a minimum. Piles of 'stuff' are popular in my house, that's probably why hearing about Katie makes me smile. Tidy doesn't seem to be a tag that suits anyone in my family unfortunately.

    I never used to make my own bed as a child either. We didn't have fitted sheets just over-large flapping things that I really found hard to deal with. Sometimes I tried but other times I just sat around while my lovely sister took pity on me and did it for me. Shame on me but she was also largely responsible for any of our shared-bedroom tidy ups that happened. I was and am not very domesticated in some senses, yet all of us have practical and crafty skills and all cook. There are pretty much no routines of any kind. Mind you my family is very small.

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  29. Anonymous10:06 am BST

    I found a way to half my laundry - empty son's laundry basket - pick out the clean clothes, shake, fold, return to owner who is mightily impressed with the speed at which you can turn around his laundry.

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  30. Anonymous2:12 pm BST

    Great ideas thanks. Any tips on organising cleaning?

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  31. This post had me laughing from start to finish! I'm not sure if it was meant to!

    Would you give me tips on how to get a teenage boy to PICK UP his dirty washing, let alone bring it down or put away clean stuff?

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    1. Oh, it certainly was meant to amuse. Thanks for laughing!

      I think it's a personality thing. My boys are naturally orderly, my daughter is emphatically not. What can you do? Nag, bribe, blackmail, do it yourself? Good luck.

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  32. My daughters also used to tidy their bedroom floor by putting everything in the wash whether it was clean and freshly delivered to them or not. Clean clothes were delivered to them by leaving a pile outside their bedroom doors. I gave up going in regularly because apoplexy always threatened : )

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  33. I love this post! All of a sudden it makes my laundry cycle feel quite normal! Love your honesty and humour....

    Have a great week
    Fleur xx

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