Family Nature

My Dirty Little Secret

Sometimes I wonder what people think of me. Do I look like I have it all together? Does it seem like I manage things well? I’m undecided. Most days I feel like I have a pretty good handle on things, but at the same time I always feel like I’m on the edge; as if things could fall apart at any moment. Somehow, it all works out. Things get done eventually.

When people ask me, “How do you do it?” sometimes I just have to laugh. Sure, I made homemade pizza dough today, but I also just filed my 2008 taxes last week and if you open any one of my closets a whole bunch of stuff will come tumbling out. And then there’s the laundry … oh, the laundry.

I’m going to share with you all one of my dirty little secrets. I actually don’t have it together quite as much as some of you may think. It’s kind of like I’m airing my dirty laundry. Literally. Here it is:

This is what my laundry room looks like on a regular basis. Most of what you can see in the picture is clean. I just can’t manage to get it folded and put away, but I’ll let you in on another one of my secrets: my chaotic sophisticated laundry system. The beige hamper on the left is dirty laundry. The baskets all contain clean laundry sorted into separate baskets. There is one each for pants, shirts, socks and underwear, linens and jammies. I fold my and Mr. Family Nature’s clothes right out of the dryer and pile them on top.

It’s not a perfect system, I know, but it works. Mr. FN isn’t all that thrilled with my laundry system. “But we have to go downstairs every time we need clean clothes!” he says. “Umm, what’s your point, honey?” I ask. He shakes his head. I encourage him to come up with a better system. He says, “How about the clothes folded and put away in the drawers system?” One day, dear. One day.

14 thoughts on “My Dirty Little Secret

  1. Susana

    Tell Mr FN that his wife’s system is THE system my husband has been asking me to put in place for y-e-a-r-s – one hamper per person and then we don’t need dressers 🙂

  2. Barbara

    Word Sister. I hear you. Laundry is one of the big things that I just can’t seem to get together. It’s not the doing of the laundry but finding the time to fold and put away! We usually just fill up the play room with clean laundry baskets and then my husband puts it away on the weekends. Everyone leaves the house wearing clean clothes so what’s the big deal.

    As a friend let me tell you that in all ways that count you have it together. Your priorities and just fine. 😉

  3. Andrea

    Besides folding it and putting it away, it’s the getting it all the way downstairs that’s my problem! With a toddler whose got her radar locked on me at all times I can’t manage the -all the way up to get it, the the-all the way down and put it on, before hearing MAMA! Oh well, with the new hydro prices I guess I’m going to be doing it all at night now anyway!

  4. Jamie

    I have one basket per family member, one for ironing and one for hanging out washing.
    As I take the clothes off the clothes line I fold them and put them in to each persons basket.
    I’ve started getting the older (5 and 6yrs) kids put their own clothes away.
    Interestingly, it is my husaband and I who have two baskets of washing which needs to be put away sitting on our bedroom floor!

    I grew tired of washing every day and the cycle never ending. So, I started only washing clothes on Saturdays. I get up early to start washing, or will even start on a friday night and line up the baskets for early hanging on Saturday morning (before sport and piano lessons). It all comes back in on Saturday night and packed away. Ironing is done on sundays.
    Although I still wash towels on wednesdays and sheets on thursday (unless they are wet at another time) I feel like a get a break from washing some days and that there is a point when it is all sorted at some point in the week (sunday night). It is really nice at the moment as we’ve just finished our last in nappies (cloth), so I am enjoying the break from washing those after 7 years straight.

  5. Alexandra

    You know, I *just* watched this slideshow of a family house here in Toronto:

    and I was so happy to see this busy, messy, happy family home. I think all the “shelter porn” magazines do us a tremendous disservice, because they make us think the scene above (of your laundry!) is not normal. It IS normal. My personal mantra about mess is: This is what life looks like when it is working.

  6. Patience

    For what it’s worth, I take all the clean laundry and pile it on my bed. That way I am forced to at least sort it and divvy it up to the owners. (yes I know I could just knock it off onto the floor but I try to impose a little self discipline)
    I then put a pile in each kid’s room. Older dd does put hers away after much nagging and I am still training younger dd. I put away mine and dh’s.
    I do have a second floor laundry but it still won’t sort and put itself away. If it was in the basement; I think I would just make multiple trips at various times of the day until it all made it’s way upstairs.
    BTW; I just pull the pile out of the dryer into the basket, walk it to the bed, dump and sort. I then drop them into the wire basket drawers. They don’t seem to be any more wrinkled that way and it saves time.

  7. Chris

    Love it! My system is similar, only I sort by person. It is hard to get it folded and put away, though. If I don’t do it twice a week, the piles are overwhelming. My motivation to get it folded and put away is not having to root through the baskets every morning to find clothes for everyone! If it’s in their drawers, the boys are expected to pick out their clothes before they come downstairs in the morning. My biggest problem is DH. I hate inside-out laundry, so if I get it that way, I fold it that way! And his dresser drawers drive me nuts, too! If only he would leave all the pants in one, sweaters in another, etc. (So, I won’t put it away anymore, it sits on our floor in baskets, grrr!)

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