When Pete did laundry at my house, when he came to visit me... I laughed at him. Honestly. (Sorry, my love.) Having always been taught to separate by colour, personally, it seemed funny to me to see someone sort their laundry by garment -- a load of t-shirts, a load of trousers, etc. I may even have asked, "Whoever taught you to sort your laundry like that?" (It was Brenda -- perhaps obviously. Ooops.)
Upon further reflection, I've seen the method in the madness, to a certain extent. All the t-shirts, for example, are likely to be just as dirty as all the other t-shirts, and so it makes sense to wash them all together, right? Personally, I can't fathom (grey) dress pants needing the same treatment as (blue) jeans, but apart from that, I can see it.
That is... never... going to work for me.
Because the thing is... I've come so close to becoming a slob. Or, to put it another way, I have been a slob, especially in my teenage years, and I have come a long way since then. But, I know that it only takes two broken routines to be back where I was before with the need to start over. I'm working on it still, but I can't say that doesn't still happen from time to time either, unfortunately.
So, when I find a routine that works, works for me, I have to stick to it. I have no other option. I have to do it the way that works.
Fortunately, I have a laundry system that works. Unfortunately, it's nothing like Pete's. And as laundry ones go, it's quite a complicated one -- because, at least for some things, the more complicated it is upfront, the more time is saved on the other end. The more decisions I can make now, the fewer I'll have to make later (always a good thing!).
My laundry system involves a lot of laundry baskets. When it's working really smoothly, I have about a dozen (yes, a dozen!) baskets lined up that dirty laundry gets tossed into when it becomes dirty; like, when clothes get taken off, towels get used and they've already been used a few times so they shouldn't really just go back on the radiator, that kind of thing. Are you ready?
There's the obvious first: whites, darks, whites-with-patterns-on (the ones I don't wash at a higher temperature), towels, bedding, kitchen linens (aprons, tea towels, dish cloths, etc). All of those are really loads by themselves. When it comes to colours though, I separate further. Which are the two colours most likely to run? Reds and Blues. They each get their own tub. Ideally I'd like to separate out the rest of the coloureds a bit more too, but they can all go together if needed. The same applies to blacks and darks.
Then I need more laundry baskets for moving from washer to drier, carrying back upstairs to put away, etc.
My system works, for me, but I do end up with a parade of laundry baskets in the laundry spot. I justify that this is better than piles of laundry on the floor.
I find having a routine I can depend on to be like a walking stick to help me get through these tasks. If I'm going to have one, I want it to be robust enough to support me.
As the kids start their summer holidays and we begin making a plan to see us through them, I'm also giving Laundry Day a try, rather than the oft-lauded do-a-load-every-day-business. I'll keep you updated.
I'm trying a couple of new things here too: I'm going to try to schedule this post for tomorrow (wish me luck!), and this is also the first "Make-a-plan Monday." If it goes well, it'll be a regular feature around here.