Saturday, August 12, 2017

The Laundry Line Series || Part 5

Fifth Myth. It is silly to fold laundry. It takes too much time. Besides, it will just get messed up and unfolded again by the time everyone sorts through and gets theirs and it finally hits the drawers anyway. And the ironing pile never runs out!

There's a whole lot of things that we do in life, not  because they are the most convenient things, but because they just seem to make sense and work. That's how I feel about folding clothes. I like when things are organized, and for me it seems to be easier to organize (stack, arrange, etc) when things are folded. The more things are folded, the less have to be ironed. Also, for me, there's just something about going to the drawer and getting out clean, folded clothes. I've always been used to that, and I love it. It isn't a right or wrong thing, just a preference, but I do think it is easier to be organized this way. I know lots of people who have drawers for each person's socks/underwear and that works great for them. I personally like my socks matched when they are thrown in the drawer, and I like everything else folded. I hang up most blouses, skirts, and dresses, and tend to fold knit tees, jeans, etc.

Clean, folded laundry is a beautiful sight in my eyes! This is my counter after returning home from a tour and having a huge laundry day!

You won't have to iron as much if you hang or fold your clothes. I always try to hang button shirts right after they come out of the dryer, so I hopefully won't have to iron them as much later. Knits can obviously lay in a pile for a quite a while and then be folded and still not be too wrinkly.

My very favorite laundry hack of ALL TIME is the dot system. I don't remember who told us about this but it has been a huge game changer in helping with the organization of our laundry system.

As I mentioned in the introduction post, for years I did all the laundry for my family. I would wash, fold, and then have a pile for each person in our family to "pick up" in the laundry room, at the end of the laundry days. I have a pretty good memory, and with doing everyone's laundry every week, I was familiar with whose clothes were whose. But those (especially!) were the days where my brothers seemed to be outgrowing and passing down clothes nearly every month! And I just couldn't keep track of whose was whose. Also, whenever I would leave on a trip or something and someone else had to do the laundry, then they didn't know whose was whose. So we began the DOT SYSTEM. One dot for the oldest boy, two dots for the second...and on down the line. When Mitch outgrew something, and it got passed to Carson...I added a dot. (see picture above for example of the dots) For shirts, I was careful to place the dot on the thicker ribbing part, because if it was done below that, the dots would show right through to the back of the shirt, and that wouldn't be good!
*With my sisters taking over the laundry this year, the dot system has been a huge help to them in knowing whose clothing is whose.

I'm going to finish this post with a few questions that have been asked over the course of this series:

"Have you been able to restore shrunken clothes?"
The only tip I have for this is rewashing. It has worked a few times, but not nearly always. Sometimes if I wash something and forget and put it in the dryer (and it shrinks) it will resize (or close) if I wash again and then HANG TO DRY. This doesn't always work, but it has a time or two. Typically things will only shrink if they are dry clean items, or poor quality items, or if they are supposed to be washed cold and are washed hot. I would definitely advise paying attention to the labels on clothing when washing! If an item is cotton, you can probably get by washing it however you want. But if it specifically says "wash on cold, gentle cycle, dry flat" then best results will definitely come by doing just that.

"When you wear clothes and they aren't dirty, do you put them in a hamper anyways or what do you do with them?"
Yes, if they aren't dirty, we just hang them up and wear them again.

"What do you do with smelly rags?"
I've found that it is extremely helpful to rinse rags well (even in soapy water) before throwing them into the laundry pile. This really helps with the smell. Another idea is to have one specific laundry basket to throw all the rags/towels into. This keeps them from spreading the smell/wet to other items of laundry, and helps contain the dirtier portion of the laundry. If you do these things, you shouldn't deal with too much smell only washing two days a week.

"How do you do laundry only two days a week and still make it from time to time with also having hardly any clothes?"
This isn't actually that hard. All you need for this to work is four sets of clothes, and everyone I know has quite a bit more than that. =) Also in our family we often wear jeans/skirts two days in a row, without washing in-between. 

"I was just curious if you would recommend how to make it work to do less laundry days per week, when your family members don't have many extra sets of clothes?"
I love it that this question and the one above it both came from farm girl readers. =) For farmer's wives + daughters, this whole laundry thing has a whole new element to it. And I am right there with you-the struggle is real! It is a little difficult to answer this question, because every situation is different. But here is how we do it. Some of our guys wear coveralls over their clothes, and then hang their chore clothes, and re-wear them several days in a row. In the summer this isn't an option, because they get so hot and sweaty and their clothes wouldn't last several days without washing. They each have about four sets of chore clothes, and the barn laundry is the main reason we wash twice a week. Their chore clothes are nothing special-just older/worn clothing. The guys often have patched jeans and then older tee shirts that are more worn out.

"Can you discuss how to minimize clothing?"
This might be a totally new topic for another post! But basically, it is all about just choosing a simpler lifestyle of LESS IS BETTER. Now, this advice is coming from the person who is considered to be the biggest clothing/fashion junkie in the family. (whoops!) I have long been a minimalist in many areas, except for my closet! However, I finally realized that having so much stuff that I never wore, was just ridiculous. So I began to purge, and shop more intentionally, and I love my wardrobe so much more now. Just choose to do it. If you have lots of clothes that you haven't worn in months and months and months, ditch them!

Missed the other posts in this series? Click the links below!
The Laundry Line Series || Introduction
The Laundry Line Series || Part 1
The Laundry Line Series || Part 2
The Laundry Line Series || Part 3
The Laundry Line Series || Part 4

Thank y'all so much for joining along with me on this laundry series!
It's been fun!
And I apologize for the lateness of the last post. Wednesday escaped me! =)


  1. The dot system is great! During one phase in our family, we used different colored markers on the clothing tags. One color for each child. It quickly becomes easy to associate a sibling with the particular marker color assigned to their clothes. :)

    This has also worked for us with socks. Put a little mark on the toe in the siblings color and a lot of sock finding (or rather losing) woes go away.

    We've also done this with different color thread on tags or socks instead of markers.


  2. Thanks for finally writing about >"The Laundry Line Series || Part 5" <Loved it!

  3. The dot system is a great idea! Being in a family with four brothers makes laundry a little challenging for me to remember which clothes go to which person( especially when they pass things down to a younger brother!) but what I have done that works great for me is to write their initials on the tag. Thanks!!!


  4. Though I have very little involvement in the family laundry this season in my life, I will remember these helpful tips and advice for the future. I was also blessed by your advice on keeping a healthy and grateful mindset. This was definitely an encouragement to me specifically because I cook dinner, meal plan, grocery shop in our family.
    Oh and I love listening to things while I cook! It's a blessing for sure.

    Thanks for sharing with us on this timeless topic, Chelsy!


  5. I enjoyed hearing from a highly experienced laundry lady! Thanks for your effort:)

  6. That is such a cool system! Question: how do you keep socks sorted? Even though we don't have a big family, inevitably someone will end up wearing another person's socks.

  7. Hi Chelsy, I haven't taken the time to read your posts about laundry,but, I did want to say that doing laundry is my favorite house work!! :) I love doing laundry!
    ~ Loretta Bartsch

  8. Thanks for sharing! I have used initials before but this is definitely better for brother's who continually pass on their clothes!


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