Routine – Folding Clean Laundry

Laundry, it is a depressing word isn’t it, ahh.  I have been reading alot through the comments and facebook page that many of you are frustrated with the laundry, especially having to put away the clean clothes.  It is a never ending task that unfortunately needs to be done.  Create a routine and system that suits you and with perseverance soon I’m sure you will be able to keep ontop of it.

Do you have a pile that looks like this? Let’s try and tackle it today! 

This is my pile of washing when returning from holiday’s last year, I think this was easily 3 loads. 

My routine to putting away clean clothes

I do washing 6 day’s of the week, taking Sunday’s off (you can read more about my washing routine).  Most weekday’s I bring the washing in around 1.30-2pm (weekends are whatever time fits in around the family).  I dump it onto the couch, turn on the TV, more than likely I put on a program I taped the night before and then start folding.

I have two lounges together, I use one as the dumping ground, the other to help me sort.  If I have a big load I will also get out the ironing board to hold folded clothes.  I keep the ironing basket close by to throw in items that need ironing.  Each day when folding I create the piles in the same place, it has just become a habit making the process faster.  I have an area of the couch for each child, piling up as per their wardrobe shelving, I throw their items that need hanging over the back of the couch.

I make sure I put it all away when finished (usually I do this in a hurry so I can get back to my program before picking kids up from school).  My pet hate is when I don’t have time to fold and the kids are saying in the mornings “I can’t find my uniform” therefore having to rumage through a pile, so I ‘try’ to do it most days.

Other methods to put away washing:

  • Ensure you can do a load of washing a day, when it comes to putting it away it won’t take you as long as 4 loads will.
  • Put on some music or maybe you prefer silence, do whatever you need to do to make folding enjoyable.
  • Get the kids to help put their clothes away.
  • If kids are away, put piles on their beds for them to put away later.  You may find the pile on the floor but remind, encourage and help them and soon they will have created a new routine.
  • Dump washing on your bed, kitchen counter, or favourite chair and this will make you put it away before you go to sleep, make dinner or relax for the evening.
  • If you have only a very small load, fold it when getting off the clothes line, then put away as soon as you get back inside.
  • As suggested in the comments in last Monday’s post washing clothes, a few readers suggested they had baskets labelled for each child and sort clean laundry into baskets ready to fold and put into each room.
  • Putting laundry away is much more pleasant when you don’t have to tackle crammed drawers or shelves, consider purging some clothes.

Remember a load a day keeps the laundry piles away!

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43 comments

Becci Sundberg March 7, 2011 - 7:10 AM

I do try to do a load a day with a family of 5 at home (mind you my 15yo is responsible for his own) you really have to. The odd day gets missed and I am gentle on myself on shopping day (every second thursday).
I try to fold the washing of the line where possible. Sometimes rains coming and I have other pressing matters to deal with so I’ll grab it off the line into a basket and put it on my bed to fold up, lots of room. Or if it’s really hot I’ll fold up inthe lounge with the air con on. Tv going in the room that I’m working in too.
I first fold up Brians and my washing, doesn’t matter if they get mixed up easy to put away. Finishing with our underwear.
Then I choose either Ethan or Eli’s clothes to be next. I look at the side of the line facing me (have a lovely huge old hills hoist) and say I see a tshirt of Ethans first then I grab all of his tshirts and fold them together, then I see the next item of Ethans, say it a pj top, I’ll grab all of his pjs and fold. I go around the line in one direction until all of Ethans clothes are folded into piles (in the basket) finishing again with underwear.
Then I start on Elis and work in the same fashion. This way I don’t miss anything, when putting clothes away (boys are a bit too young at 2.5yrs and 1.5yrs) I can just grab the pile of Ethans tshirts and put away, Eli’s pants and put away etc.
It’s a little bit of time at the line but saves so much time later on. Even if I don’t get to put the clothes away straight away, they are safe and clothes aren’t getting creased in the basket.
When it was just Randall and I, I would hang out clothes on separate sides of the line to make it easier. with towels and linen on the other two sides.

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Joelene Accatino March 7, 2011 - 7:18 AM

I actually don’t mind folding and ironing, but I think my problem is that there is no room to put it after it’s been folded. So sometimes it just stays in the basket until needed. Maybe I should do a cull….. Good idea!

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Casey March 7, 2011 - 8:15 AM

Hey Katrina, absolutely loving the new format! Wish I’d thought of it myself 😉 But I’m just in the process of becoming an organised housewife! I have recently rediscovered the joy of ironing! That’s right… The joy! my fiance saw me ironing and actually said ‘oh… i didn’t think you knew what that thing was!’ Cheeky… (it was said completely in jest).
Though my favourite time saver is to hang things out on their hangers and then bring them straight in to hang in the wardobe.
Katrina, how do you keep up in the wet months?

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Carolyn Rogers October 19, 2012 - 7:17 AM

What wet months? This is Queensland, beautiful every day

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Katrina October 19, 2012 - 12:01 PM

Yes, here in Qld we don’t have wet months, it’s very dry. However, when it does rain here it rains for a few days and at this time I use my clothes dryer for some clothes, I have a little clothes airer on the wall in my laundry (which I normally use for kids swimmers) and I have a clothes hoist that I put in the garage while hubby’s car is at work.

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Rachael October 19, 2012 - 8:35 PM

In Norh Qld summer is hard. Rain almost non stop for 3-4 months. Clothes on the airer take all day (even with the aircon on) to dry. Thank goodness for cloths dryers! 🙂

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Joolz March 7, 2011 - 8:34 AM

I always do at least one load of washing per day (although there are only 3 of us here at the moment). I gave up on an ironing basket years ago, when I found earwigs at the bottom of it!! It is a great sense of achievement to bring in the washing and fold it and put it away so I aim to do that each time, and before 5pm.

I hang hubby’s shirts on hangers straight away, put them away ready to iron. I iron my husband a business shirt each morning as part of my routine (eg. as soon as I hear him turn on the shower, I iron it). He is also capable of ironing his own shirts if needed. The only other thing I iron right there and then are any hankys waiting on the ironing board. My two girls have ironed their own T Shirts, shorts, jeans since they were about 10 years old.

I must confess, I tumble dry all our smalls – with 2 teenage girls, the knickers and socks just become too much to peg out. I love folding smalls when they are warm out of the dryer.
So I have found, if I wash daily, I really do keep up better.

Loving your blog – you have some great ideas and hints to making life easier around the home.

Cheers – Joolz

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Niki March 7, 2011 - 10:38 AM

Similar to other readers, I try to do a load a day and sort it as I hang the washing out so my husband’s washing is all pegged together, then mine, then my eldest daughter, then youngest (same with smalls but on the inner part of the line). That way when dry, I fold it in the basket still grouped and ending with the youngest one’s clothes all together on top – go inside and put them away for each person in turn. As for ironing – hmmm – just when absolutely needed, even school uniforms get hung in the wardrobe and are not ironed until the day they are needed-I still need a bit of organising here 😛
Thanks Katrina for all the wonderful advice and help.
Niki

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Corinna March 7, 2011 - 11:46 AM

My routine is pretty much the same as everyone elses, i hang the wet clothes in a line depending on the person they belong to, so just take off line and fold into piles in the washing basket when dry, i also use fabulon in the trigger bottle (not can) to spray clothes that could do with an iron and then hang in the wardrobe it saves alot of iron (i only iron when necessary) the fabulon saves a heap of time

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Jen Walpole March 8, 2011 - 4:45 AM

Three loads, wow you must have a big machine! I purged my drawers and put the extra clothes away in unused suitcases, makes so much difference being able to shut the drawers without arranging everything each time!

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katepickle March 8, 2011 - 1:15 PM

I hate doing the laundry and most of all I hate folding it and putting it away. I try to wash dry and put away a load a day… I usually manage the first two (weather permitting as we don’t have a drier) but never the third. But it kind of makes me feel better seeing your photos of the piles of washing, except my house looks like that ALL the time!

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Leisha March 9, 2011 - 1:21 PM

Hi Katrina – could you include in another post your routine for … dread I say the word … “Ironing”!

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Eleise Bott October 19, 2012 - 9:23 AM

I iron when there is a show I want to watch!

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Katrina October 19, 2012 - 11:57 AM

That’s the only way to do it!!! But I can’t iron to some shows like Greys Anatomy, I have to sit down and give it my full concentrations J

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Rebekah May 23, 2011 - 4:22 PM

I hang my hanging clothes on their coat hangers as I place them on the line. This makes the process much easier and definitely saves ironing (which I hate) Also have colourcoded coat hangers for the kids clothes so my husband has no excuse when taking them off the line.

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Pam G December 20, 2011 - 5:52 PM

I dump the clean washing out of the basket onto the bed so I can’t go to sleep without sorting it and putting it away. I tend to do all my washing on one day so at the end of it I have a HUGE pile to sort. To stop it being so daunting to get started, I find that sorting it into 5 piles (me, husband, baby #1, baby #2 and linen) really helps. Then I tackle one person’s washing at a time, as 5 small piles are much less scary than one huge one. My sister often comes round for dinner the same day, so sometimes I bring out the baskets of clean washing after dinner and she helps me fold it! Listening to music or watching TV/a movie is also great. My husband dislikes chores, but he’s quite happy to absent-mindedly fold clothes while watching sport, for instance 🙂

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Katrina December 22, 2011 - 1:09 AM

What a great sister!

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Tegan Kirk September 5, 2012 - 12:13 PM

When i hang the washing on the line i hang it in groups according to whose it is. Then when i tske it off the line it is in groups in the basket. I take the basket to each room and fold or hang the washing as i take it out. If my son is in bed i fold his washing and put it in piles on the pool table.

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Bubbles74 October 19, 2012 - 8:39 AM

I also do this. What’s even better, if my mum pops over, she always folds my washing. By having it sorted on the line, she can easily tell one persons laundry from the next.

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johnnie October 19, 2012 - 4:25 AM

ugh! laundry! Each of us have our own hamper in our rooms (3 total). I do one each day (ie: one person). I wash all that person’s items together, hang dry or put in dryer, then take right back up to put away. typically I hang dry all but towels, underwear/socks/pj’s. I noticed that I “sort” too much before doing the families together – sort by color, sort when folding, then sorting by what room to put away.

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Sue October 19, 2012 - 6:46 AM

I barely do any sorting of washing! My kids are 10, 13 and 15 and they’ve been doing it for years. They hang smalls on a clothes horse (over a heating duct for most of the year as we live in Melbourne ) and anything that can go on a hanger hangs on a rack in the laundry. When it’s dry, the same child (whichever one is rostered on to washing for the week) puts things into each person’s clean washing basket (in the laundry – a set of drawers similiar to what Katrina uses for dirty washing). Clothes to be ironed stay on the rack on plastic hangers and go onto proper ones after I’ve ironed them ready for their owner to collect (so ironed can be distinguished from unironed!). Towels get washed on Saturday and my husband usually hangs them out, and I generally hang out the sheets and fold them (kids fold towels but not sheets). And no – I’m not lazy. I’m just a busy woman who thinks that kids need to know how to run a household!!!

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Amy Byrne October 19, 2012 - 7:08 AM

For socks, undies, bras and bibs, I’ve bought an item from Target with 8 arms, 3 pegs on each, with a hook at the top. A pair of socks per peg, depending on how hot it is, double up on other stuff too, just unhook it off the line to bring inside, socks paired up, less work than actual pegs, also use it to hang smalls during winter in front of the fire. Bought a couple of these when daughter was born, she’s now 4 and still use them every load. Also saves on line space if you have a small line.

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Katrina October 19, 2012 - 12:02 PM

I’ve seen a friend use these and she find it really handy too J

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Eleise Bott October 19, 2012 - 9:21 AM

I wash fairly regularly unless it rains. When I bring it in off the line I dump it on the lounge in the kitchen, it is only a two seater and where everyone sits most often {because I live in the kitchen} That way when they want to sit down they have to fold some washing first. Also I do all the washing and hanging out and hubbys job it the folding!

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Catherine Hicks October 19, 2012 - 10:04 AM

I fold as I take the clothes off the line, to eliminate any unnecessary ironing. I sit at the kitchen table to sort clothes into piles – each person in the family has their pile of clothes at their usual seating place. When they come home from school or work they put their own clothes away. If they don’t put their clothes away they can’t have their dinner put at their place.

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Katrina October 19, 2012 - 11:56 AM

I love this plan, very clever!

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kiwi_lozza October 19, 2012 - 10:15 AM

I dump it on the lounge floor in the evening in front of my lovely husband and he folds it all for me – I just have to put it away!

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Katrina October 19, 2012 - 11:54 AM

Well…. You have to share your secret …. PLEASE!! What a great man to help you 😉

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Karen Matthews April 6, 2013 - 10:04 PM

Can I have your husband!

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Katrina April 8, 2013 - 8:11 AM

LOL. He is very helpful

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Fiona October 19, 2012 - 11:08 AM

I pick my wash days according to the weather, and semi fold as it comes off the line. Socks and jocks go in the dryer. Every Sunday night the two baskets of clothes etc and 1 basket of socks and jocks are ironed, folded and put away (during the ads). School and wok clothes are all laid out . I try to always start Monday with empty baskets. This comes after raising 2 children now 23 and 24 and having two young ones 8 and 5 still at home. I used to work full time as well as doing this and it seems to work…most of the time 🙂

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Katrina October 19, 2012 - 11:54 AM

Weather is a good factor to involve, thankfully here in QLD it’s usually always sunny, would be much harder to keep to a routine if it wasn’t always like this.

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Rowena October 19, 2012 - 1:24 PM

I put a load of washing on every night as the kids (2 & 5) get in the bath. It goes straight in dryer and then folded. Clothes put in pile in hallway outside bedroom doors and I put them away in the morning for them.

I also do other loads throughout the day – ironing is folded in basket and gets ironed when I have time. Clothes to be folded are dumped on my bed and folded straight away to eliminate more ironing. I’m not working at the moment and kids aren’t at school, so we have limited ironing. Folded clothes are put away before bedtime.

Ironing board is constantly set-up at side of lounge room and is only packed away when visitors come (unless it is my mum or mum-in-law – they will ‘notice’ the ironing and do it for me, usually in conjunction with babysitting!)

Hubby’s work shirts are hung on hangers over the drying rack on the dryer – dryer is on at least once a day – my cloth nappies go in the dryer and my clothes line does not get sun and doesn’t dry well in winter. Once shirts are dry they are hung on ironing board.

Side note – hubby is terrible at matching shirts and ties. I hang a tie around the neck of the hanger when the ironed shirt is hung back in the wardrobe.

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Pam October 19, 2012 - 5:15 PM

I hang all my families shirts on coat hangers when hanging the washing out as this cuts down folding and limits creases that occur from laundry piles

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mom2four October 24, 2012 - 4:11 PM

I too hate doing laundry!!!! I would rather clean toilets than laundry! I think says something considering I have 3 boys (ok, 4 with DH) So with that being said, we have a total of 6 people in our family. When we were building our house we decided to get two front load washers and dryers, I am soooooo glad we did. We owned our own business so I had to do all the loads on Saturday or Sunday depending on business. Well I am no longer working from the home, but I have found that if I do each child’s laundry on a different day, I do one load of clothes and 1 load of their sheets. it goes into the dryer and I take the basket of clothes from the dryer (we really should have planned a laundry room bigger – oh well, that will be the remodel 😉 ) anyway, I then take the basket into the child’s room it belongs to and fold it right there and then. We tend to hang all our t-shirts, so I just shake them out and lay them flat until the basket is empty. Then I grab the hangers from the closet put the shirts on hangers and hang… then all the bottoms, pj’s, socks, under ware, etc into their drawers and I am DONE! YEAH! This process has made it so much easier… hope it helps someone else!

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Megs - The Paper Doll Chick February 27, 2013 - 6:20 AM

I do a very similar thing except, I have 6 shopping baskets (the simple plastic ones with 2 handles – any “cheap” shop has them). Each person in my house has their own shopping basket and as i fold I put it straight into their basket. When that child gets home, they take their own basket and puts their own clothes away. Works a treat 🙂

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Katherine Peacock February 27, 2013 - 10:31 AM

I wash most days and towel and linen on the weekend – i have 6 white $2 kmart plastic baskets and a dirty clothes basket in each bathroom
1. for wet
2. for spare in laundry or linen / towels
3456 for each person – i fold into the baskets from the line and take the basket to each room – kids put stuff away and if anything needs ironing i go and get it the night before – that way its all sorted and in the right room – no wheres this or that

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Karen February 27, 2013 - 10:57 AM

My method is to sort and fold the washing as I take it off the line. Sure, it takes a bit longer but I reckon it saves time in the long run. There are four people in my family, so I go in order of size… I take my husband’s clothes off first, folding them neatly as I put them in the basket, next is me (although my son is rapidly overtaking me in size, but I think I will stick with the same order). Then of course its my two sons. Then when I walk inside, I take my youngest son’s pile of clothes which are on top of the basket and take them to his room. Next is my oldest son’s clothes and I’m sure you get the picture. Obviously this won’t work on a rainy day when you need to get the clothes off the line in a hurry, but it works for me most days. I rarely have piles of clothes lying around waiting to be put away.

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Shirley February 27, 2013 - 5:35 PM

I do the washing on my days off (Tues & Thursday) and Sat morning for left over uniforms. My 12 year has to sort at least 2 baskets of clothes per week and put them away as part of her weekly allowance checklist. Uniforms are washed and hung straight onto coat hangers and hung up on the clothes airer (to avoid ironing). Then either the husband or 12 year old collects the uniforms and puts them away for each child. But I must admit folding is way down on my favourite chores. I’d rather watch tv than tackle mismatched socks.

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Josie October 11, 2015 - 6:52 AM

Washing in my house is done on Saturdays. I work full time and just find it easier to do it all at once. I have two teenage daughters who help, and hubby pitches in if home. I am an early riser and would normally do 6-8 loads, half before anyone else is awake. My rule is everything has to be put away by Sunday night so we start the week organised. In summer it is usually all finished Saturday – washing, folding, ironing! We all do our own ironing so the task is spread between us. The kids and hubby play sports, I am often driving kids to sport or part time jobs and sometimes things get in the way, but the whoever is left at home just keeps going with the routine. I never have a huge folding or ironing pile.

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Josephine November 5, 2015 - 9:00 PM

6 months ago: I did all the laundry on the weekend = no family time, empty wardrobes and out of control clean washing piles!

Today = we have full wardrobes, empty laundry baskets, and more family time, achieved by a laundry routine and a ‘put away clothing un-ironed’ strategy comprised of:

– 3 basket system we all use for dirty laundry.
– washing a load almost daily (usually 6 loads a week).
– (living in Melbourne) towels, underwear, and as many other items as possible in the clothes dryer, supplemented with a clothes rack or two over a heating vent (these are line-dried in summer); this is annoying but it works.
– Miss.8 sorts and I then fold or hang almost everything.
– Hubby’s shirts go straight on hangers in the wardrobe and he irons them himself as needed, as do I with most of my own.
– jeans, my daughters uniforms and dresses are bulk ironed then put away, (my only ironing fetish is ironing hankies for Miss. 8 to take to school – sad but true!).
– t-shirts are smoothed flat while on the dining table; I ‘store’ fold them and by the time they are worn they rarely need ironing….

The last point has been THE BIGGEST IMPROVEMENT EVER!!
I just thought I was getting rid of the ironing pile = I had no idea it would eliminate the need to iron most items!

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Lesley Edwards November 5, 2015 - 10:25 PM

I changed my laundry habits last year as I was sick and tired of clothes hanging around the lounge room or kitchen table. I now do a load of washing a day. Somedays I now don’t do any at all. I hang all clothes in order on the line, so whoever gets the clothes off the line knows whose is whose. When you take the clothes off the line each item is folded, placed in sorted piles and placed on each persons bed. I taught everyone how to fold T Shirts easy so most of these require no ironing. Their responsibility to put away. Those clothes that need ironing go in an ironing basket in the laudry. I made a space in my spare room that has a radio and I iron once a week. The art of folding actually cut my ironing right down. De cluttering the linen press also helped everyone to know where everything went. A much organised laundry has resulted.

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Jane November 8, 2015 - 6:53 AM

Once washing machine finishes I sort the wet washing. When I hang the washing on the line I hang in “drawers” e.g. all husband singlets, together, all his under pants, men’s socks,my knicker,bra etc.
Then when washing is lovely and dry, I fold the sorted washing into linen basket (on trolley) into drawers. Then push trolley to each appropriate room and put away the sorted washing into each family members room or linen press.
I follow the KISS principle e.g.( Keep it simple stupid) ,make like easy

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