The other 3 Moms:
Welcome back! This time, we’re going to air our dirty laundry, literally. You have questions, we have laundry.
Oh, you were hoping for answers? Sorry. I have more laundry than answers. Maybe you can sympathize? I thought so.
I have to admit that we might have less laundry than you would expect. All told, we wash 12-15 loads/week. Cloth diapers added 3 loads/week, but we’re taking a break from those. At the Baby Conference, I mistakenly told the audience I did 3 loads/week instead of 3 loads/day. I’d like to know what they thought about that.
We ditched the electric dryer nearly 2 years ago, opting for the solar powered one instead. This saves not only on the electric bill, but also makes clothes last longer and is surprisingly quick in warm weather.
With our huge and very cool drying rack from IKEA, we can hang up to 3 loads in just a few square feet.
The breeze and heat outdoors dry the laundry almost faster than we can wash it if we keep on top of things. In cold or rainy weather, we dry the laundry inside with a fan blowing on it. This takes longer, of course, but it’s still not hard to keep up.
Question: If you line dry your laundry, how do you prevent lint build-up, especially on dark items?
This is one problem that has plagued us. We sort colors carefully and wash towels and rags separately, but somehow we still get enough lint to cause problems.
Speaking of sorting laundry, I do love my stacking bins from The Container Store. They weren’t cheap, but they are super sturdy and just the right size. We have 4 of these, labelled white, light, dark and towels.
Each bin holds one load when it’s full, and the laundry is already sorted and ready to toss into the washer. They can easily be rearranged or moved, and can also serve multiple uses – we find them very handy in the van on road trips.
For detergent, we briefly made our own. It was fun and cheap, but unfortunately it’s not a good choice for extremely hard water like ours. Nothing really works well in our water, but for the time we have settled on Charlie’s Soap. It’s as effective as anything I’ve tried. I love that it doesn’t have fillers so it’s very concentrated: we’re a year into our bucket and it looks like it will last for several more months. Not only is it inexpensive, it’s also one less thing I have to remember to buy.
Right now, dry laundry is sorted in the living room, either on the sofa or the coffee table, and people are called to come put away their laundry RIGHT NOW. Stalling or forgetting is a third degree misdemeanor, punishable by forced nudity. OK. Maybe not, but it sounded good, didn’t it? Anyway, they’ll do it right away if they know what’s good for them.
I still look back with fondness on the days when all the kids were little and I sorted their laundry on the dining room table. Each child’s pile was at her place, so she couldn’t eat until her laundry was put away. I just might go back to that system. I didn’t have to issue threats and reminders then. Food is a mighty effective incentive. Maybe better than clothes, at least for some people.
Want to share how laundry works in your home? Join the linky below. Remember to make sure your link points to a single post about your laundry, and the post must link back to at least one of the 4 Moms.
- September 16th: Storage Solutions
- September 23: Questions for the Four Moms, in which we answer questions from our mailbag.
- September 30: How to find individual time with our husbands without spending money