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!