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There’s something about the cooler weather that makes me want to clear out closets and organize things. I suppose it’s because I know I’ll be spending more time in the house during the winter and I don’t want to stare at clutter the whole time. My main projects this fall are organizing my closet and getting the kids’ laundry situation under control. Their clothes get clean, and I spend hours folding and putting away, only to find the entire contents of the boys’ dresser on the floor the next day. This does not make for a happy Heather.
My own closet will be remedied by a lot of clothes purging. I haven’t worked in an office in more than a decade. It’s probably time to get rid of those suits that have gone out of style, come back in style, and gone out of style again. I’m definitely guilty of having a closet full of things I haven’t worn in the last year, so I’ll be hauling several bags of goodies to Goodwill. I also ordered another Floor to Ceiling Rotating Shoe Tree. This thing is awesome for your shoes or kid shoes. Everything is off the floor, there’s an accessories basket, and it rotates so you can gaze lovingly at every pair of shoes. If you use it for man shoes, it won’t hold as many, but it’s still functional. I only wish it had some boot spaces, but that would reduce the shoe space by a lot.
The boys’ closet is more challenging, because they are not very good at doing the folding and putting away, and I want them to be able to handle a lot of it themselves. I do the laundry, but I’d like for them to put it away. And put it in a laundry basket when it’s dirty again. Hence, our new, fancy boy laundry system. Each boy has two laundry baskets, square ones, and the baskets sit in their closet. One basket is for dirty clothes. Revolutionary, I know. The other basket is for clean clothes. That’s it. No folding and putting in drawers.
Honestly, I don’t know very many moms of many who don’t cop to having baskets of laundry that never get put away. I could find at least three such baskets in my house right this moment. We shyly admit to just picking clothes out of the clean basket to dress the kids. Everyone does it. I’m making it my total boy laundry system. No shame. No folding. The only rule is that they have to hang up their button-down shirts and church-type clothes.
If they want to go really hog wild, they can place their socks in the mesh zipper bag I provided, which hangs on their closet door. Then the socks are all still together after washing.
I can’t tell you how much easier this is on all of us. I no longer have to ask for laundry to be put away repeatedly. All they have to do is put the dirties in the washer. I clean and dry them. The boys return the clean stuff to their clean basket. Ahhhh. It’s so lazy and yet SO refreshing.
When I prepare laundry, my primary stain treatment is Norwex dishwashing liquid. I know, it sounds weird. But it works on lots of types of stains, especially food stains and greasy stuff. I keep a bottle of it in my laundry room by the detergent. However, one cannot simply leave stain treatment to the children when it involves a bottle of dish soap. Trust me on this. There will be bubbles. So many bubbles. Now I also keep a regular stain treatment stick where the boys can reach it. They can smear it on any stain they see, and it doesn’t cause a bubble explosion if they use a lot of it. We’ve been using Norwex Ultra Power Plus laundry detergent for the last year, and it’s amazing at getting rid of the everyday grime on the kid clothes. That’s helpful when the boys miss treating a stain. Note: The Norwex detergent can be used in any kind of washer, but I don’t think it’s cost-effective unless you have an HE machine. With HE washers, you only need a quarter scoop for a full load, so you get 4 times as many loads as are listed on the bag.
We also stopped using dryer sheets last year. Now I have wool dryer balls (mine are Norwex Fluff & Tumble) but there are several brands available) that reduce dry time and prevent static.
I’d love to have a perfectly organized house all the time, including nicely folded and matched clothes in drawers. The problem is that the perfection only lasts for 30 seconds in my house and then I feel like my time was wasted. So I’m letting go of this one. No more laundry perfection expectation. Baskets. That’s the laundry revolution.