Wednesday, December 12, 2007

WFMW: Keeping laundry away from my toddler

About a month ago, maybe two, I was lamenting to my husband and my cousin how frustrated I was with my laundry situation. You see, I am one of those people who actually enjoys doing the laundry a little bit, but Ariel was making it impossible for me to take pleasure in it. Every time I would sit down to fold, she would rush to ransack my piles and drag clean laundry all over the house, which would inevitably get mixed up with the dirty laundry and have to be washed all over again because I didn't know what was what. What is a mama to do?

Well, I've finally come up with a solution that works beautifully for me, and I'm really starting to enjoy the process again. Here it is!

First, I gather hangers. I always keep my daughter's empty hangers over the washing machine, along with a bag of clothespins for her pants. That way I can work on the laundry when she's napping, if I want.

I also grab some of Dan's and my hangers. Yes, I color code my hangers. It's one of my few obsessive-compulsive indulgences. I made Dan get rid of his multi-color hangers and buy new ones when we got married. Am I a freak?

As you can see, I position a laundry basket below the dryer to catch the laundry as I pull it out. I don't actually take all the laundry out and put it in the basket - I just leave it there because sometimes you go to remove something and a big old ball of laundry falls out.

So now, it's time to start folding. Pulling directly from the dryer, I start folding items and putting them on top of the dryer, where little hands can't reach them.

Socks get placed in a small container on the washing machine. They will get matched at the very end, when I know they're all present.

Ariel's clothes get hung and returned to their spot above the dryer. Sometimes I hang them on the oven handle, instead, since our washing machine is by the kitchen.

If you're wondering why I hang my toddler's clothes, it's because she gets into her drawers and dumps everything out, and the drawers aren't designed in such a way that I can put toddler locks on them.

I also place Dan's and my clothes on hangers and re-hang them.

For some reason, Ariel doesn't mess with the clothes that are hanging here, but they are still the first thing that I put away. I want to be cautious, in case she suddenly develops a new naughty habit. She does that a lot.

The beauty of this system is that, at any moment, I can walk away to take care of Ariel and Felicity. All I have to do is shut the dryer door behind me, and everything is safe and out of Ariel's reach. If there are still clothes in there that cool and get wrinkly, I just re-heat them for 10 minutes before beginning again. It may sound like cheating, but it Works For Me!


Lady Why said...

Oh, if only my laundry were that organized! ~sigh~

That really is a great system!! Thanks for the ideas!

Katz said...

ooh! that might be something for me to try! thanks!

the mama said...

doesn't it feel good to have a system?! i'm also in the process of revamping my laundry system and your post was oh-so inspiring. i'm getting excited now to clean up that space in our basement that's supposed to produce clean clothes.

EdibleEducation said...

no you are not the only one that color coordinates your hangers.

My dd's and ds's are the smaller hangers - pink & white for dd, blue & white for ds. It irks me to have to use a pink one for ds or a blue for dd.

For dh and I - they are not color many hangers bought at different times. sigh.

One thing I cannot abide by are those metal wire hangers! Or a closet with a mixture of wire, plastic, wooden hangers - yikes!

SAHMmy Says said...

You just gave me an AHA! moment--clothespins for toddler pants! I hang most of my kiddos' clothes but I hate having to gather up the hangers with the attached clips. With a basket of clothespins like yours any hanger would be ready to use! One vote for "Not Crazy" on the color coded hangers--unless I'm crazy too--then at least you have a friend with a quirk in common :)

She Reads She Writes said...

Wow. I'm not sure my brain is capable of this level of organization. I'm impressed!

Laane said...

Great system!

I like to use hangers too, because they can take one wothout the whole pile falling. They always want the stuff on the bottom. LOL!

Feel welcome to visit my blog

Laane on the World

Have a great day!

HART said...

Hi Jenni,
I had the same prob...I'd get his undershirts folded and then crash...they went flyin to the floor and sometimes they even found their way onto my poor cat sleeping on my bed. YOur plan looks like it works great! I started putting all of the socks on the bed in a smalled basket(for her to play with) then I was able to put the clothes away in ou rcloset from my big for me! I like reading your ideas...keep'm comin'

Jessica said...

That is amazing.
I call it good if we have clean clothes. I don't have a system. At. All.