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Life Lessons of a Military Wife (overseas in Europe!): A Better Way to Sort Laundry

Life Lessons of a Military Wife (overseas in Europe!)

My goal here is to make your life easier, especially those who are in the unique situation of being a military spouse. Yes...I've been around...but in a good way...and hopefully can share those tips, tricks and shortcuts with you too. I've been on this military bus for over 40 years now. My goals in life are to have a well-run home, few money worries, well adjusted children, money socked away and whatever happiness I can scoop out of life.

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Location: United States

After life as an Army brat, being in the Army myself and marrying a soldier, I can honestly say I have a bucket full of life lessons I can share to help you make your everyday life easier and enlightening. Don't waste your time making unnecessary mistakes and benefit from others who have come before you on your journey through life.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

A Better Way to Sort Laundry

I absolutely HATE doing laundry. It's like every day is "Ground Hog" Day. You do a load of laundry, and I'll be darned if I don't look in the laundry hamper the next day, and there is more stuff in there. Then you have to do it all over again. It's never ending, isn't it? There IS a way to get a handle on it, to where it doesn't halfway ruin your life...or your peace of mind.

Wouldn't it be great if all houses had laundry rooms right next to where you take your clothes off? This is most times in your bathroom or bedroom, right? I never understood, why we, in a two story house, have to carry dirty clothes downstairs (sometimes even down two stories to the basement) and then have to carry them back up again, clean. What bozo came up with the location of the laundry room in most houses? Well, I have been pleased with a few of the new houses around here when I went on a local Parade of Homes. Some DO have laundry rooms upstairs. Now, I just hope they are soundproofed. A washing machine banging against your bedroom wall as you are trying to sleep is not my idea of a peaceful night's rest.

Anyway, so that is something you can't really change about your current situation. So, let's focus on the things you CAN change. If you take your clothes off in the bedroom, the laundry hamper needs to be in there. Do your thing in the bathroom? Then put it in there. I actually go one step further and have two laundry bins, one right next to the other. One is for lights and the other is for darks. My kids have their two hampers in their bathroom, and my husband and I have ours in our walk-in closet...which just happens to be in the master bathroom. I know, that's strange, but it really works well. Don't tell me that laundry hampers are too ugly to put anywhere either. I've seen some nice ones at some of the specialty stores, such as Bed, Bath & need to use those ugly plastic things!

I do laundry every few days. I'd rather do a few loads here and there, than wait til the weekend, to see an overflowing heap of dirty clothing that has already overflowed the hamper. Try'll like it. I typically, take a large armful (or take out the bag inside the hamper) and take it to the laundry room. You really don't need a laundry basket, although I sometimes use mine to fill with sheets and in the evenings, when I go through my 15 minute pass thru of the house.

Now comes the interesting part. Again, here's another opportunity to teach your kids responsibility. Have a dishpan in the laundry room for each child. Fold up their clothes and put the neat stack in there. When they come home from school, they are to check if their bin has clothes in it,and if so, they take it upstairs and put the things away. When they're done, the bin gets brought back to the laundry room for the next time. It's that simple.

I go ahead and take care of mine and my husband's stuff. It's the least I can do to help him out, right? He works hard everyday. I also don't iron, BTW. I feel lucky that the new Army uniforms don't have to be ironed. They come out of the dryer looking nice and smooth. And that's the soon as your dryer buzzes, take that stuff out of there! The "sitting in there" is what causes the wrinkles, not the washing! Now, I must admit, if there is a dress blouse or a dress with material that wrinkles easily, I do go ahead and iron...but I like to stockpile a few articles of clothing behind the laundry room door on hangers, before I get to that point. In our house, there is no place to conveniently put an ironing board, so inevitably, it's a huge hassle to get the thing out. Don't pull it out for just one item.

What do you do in your household to make the laundry sorting easier?



Blogger (army)Wife said...

We actually have a laundry hamper that has 4 bags on it. One for lights, one for darks, one for reds, and one for panties (I do not spend $10 on a pair of underwear to have it ruined by getting stuck on a zipper). Also, all uniforms and uniform components go in a seperate pile so they can get heavy-duty washed. I hate laundry too, so I try to set aside one weekend every couple of weeks when I can just do it all at once and get it done with.

November 7, 2007 at 3:37 PM  
Blogger ****Veteran Military Wife**** said...

Thanks for the additional sorting tips! Wow, you are able to go a few weeks without doing laundry? With kids in school and sports, I'd have to have x number of back-up uniforms and things for me to get away with my laundry room would be overflowing with clothes! Please, enlighten us to your system:-))

November 7, 2007 at 5:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Love it, love it! Please keep all the good tips coming! I regularly read your place for great tips around the house and with your kids and things...have you considered writing a newspaper column like Dear Heloise?

November 7, 2007 at 7:13 PM  
Blogger Reasa said...

I have a white basket for whites. light brown for lights and a dark blue one for darks. Everyone has to sort their own clothes or go without. I do not walk through the house looking for laundry. If the Kids and even Hubby want something washed then they need to put it in the laundry room. At the end of the night I will walk through and pick up discarded clothes and what not and put it away but the rest of the day the Kiddos and HUbby have to make sure what the need washed is already in the laundry room. Once clothes are folded then the Kiddos put away everything of thier pkus the towels and sheets. Hubby puts ours away sinc he works full time and I am in school full time he has picked up the slack in that area.

November 7, 2007 at 9:22 PM  
Blogger ****Veteran Military Wife**** said...

Very good ideas! Let me clarify, that I do not go thru the house looking for laundry every evening...just general things out of place. Please read my article "Before You Go to Bed" which explains that better. Thanks for sharing!

November 8, 2007 at 1:46 PM  
Blogger Cyclone said...

I just saw you were using some of my photos for your illustrations. :) Glad they could be of use to you, they worked out well! (FuschiaFoot on Flickr.)

November 10, 2007 at 3:58 AM  
Blogger ****Veteran Military Wife**** said...

Thank you so much for allowing their use! I've already gotten some emails on the cute photo. As you can see, I've linked the photo to your album:-))

November 10, 2007 at 1:16 PM  
Anonymous JHS said...

We don't have a special system, except that I don't check pockets. My oldest has found out the hard way that I mean business. I have washed and dried both of his cell phones. Interestingly, the Ericcson still works just fine.

Thanks for contributing this post to the Carnival of Family Life! I appreciate your support and participation.

The November 19, 2007, Carnival will be hosted at An Island Life by Kailani. Be sure to submit your entry by Saturday, November 17, 2007, at midnight (Pacific time). Details available at Colloquium.

November 13, 2007 at 8:34 AM  
Blogger Awesome Mom said...

We actually have our laundry area upstairs which I love. I keep a basket downstairs behind our couch because I like to dress the kids downstairs in the morning. I just toss the pjs over the couch and into the basket.

November 19, 2007 at 6:17 AM  
Anonymous plastic laundry hampers said...

You actually have nice tips in here. Taking care of the laundry is something that I hate to do.

January 22, 2011 at 6:45 AM  

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