Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Hallelujah! (Or, I found a laundry system that works)

If you've been wondering about me and my mental health, then you should know that things are getting much much better. In fact, I don't want to jinx anything, but there is a possibility that I may have things somewhat under control. Wells is a sweetie pie who has turned from a somewhat enigmatic newborn to a chubby, happy, adorable almost 4 month old bundle of cuteness. So things are better.

Part of the reason why I feel sort of sane again is that I have finally found a laundry system that works for me. With 6 people's clothes to clean--including disgusting clothes from the dog sledding adventures that smell horrendous--laundry has been crushing my spirit lately. I have no trouble washing and drying clothes, in fact I enjoy it. But folding and putting away is really hard for me. I may fold, but then putting away eludes me. Or I may never even get around to folding, and we all live out of the laundry basket. Not to mention the fact that if I miss one of my designated laundry days, it feels impossible to get caught up.

I wanted my kids to be in charge of their own laundry. But they are still a little too young to actually put in a load (Holden isn't, but I guarantee he would forget and then have no clean clothes ever). I wanted something intuitive that would make being in charge of their own clothes natural and easy for my kids. A total no-brainer system that would put the responsibility for the whereabouts of their clothing in their own hands.

My solution?

The Horizon Round Crunch Can by Umbra
. I bought one in each color, designating a color for each kid (Ruby threw a fit so we made sure she got pink). Now, when I take clothes out of the dryer, I sort them into the cans, and then the kids are in charge of putting their clothes away. Obviously, I still put the baby's clothes away, but my 3 year old has no major trouble sorting her clothes and putting them where they are supposed to go. She does this with the help of her older sister, but the point is, I am not doing it for her.

Now, if you care about folding, then this won't work for you. My kids don't fold. We are working on it, but honestly, this is a small price to pay for me if they can be in charge of their own clothes. Folding will come later. Or never. I honestly don't care.

The reason why I bought these (which were a bit pricey for 4 at $20 apiece) and not something cheaper or different was because I wanted it to be simple to recognize whose clothes went where. A crafty person might be able to paint a name on a plain canvas bag or something, but I didn't want to have to do that. I just wanted it to be plain and easy. These are easier for kids to carry, too. And it's also nice that they collapse. An unexpected bonus is that when these are empty, the kids like to hide in them and make me guess who is in which color. Hours of fun! Laundry put away! Kids in charge of their own things! This system has been working for over a month now. I can't even believe it's real! It's basically utopia over here.

If there were a similar system for putting kids in charge of their own meals, I would totally do it.

And just so you know, The Container Store is not paying me for this. I just love this system so much that I wanted to share. Life may have meaning and hope once again.

Car Car out.


  1. the mother-in-lawMarch 14, 2012 at 2:02 PM

    Clever you!! Much better then the colored plastic little baskets. I think you should do a custumer comment on the Container Web Site.
    I can hardly wait to see that cubby, simley boy (the others too).

  2. Ok, Ok, why do I always see the mispelled word after it's printed!

  3. I wish the Container Store were paying you for this. I might buy them too.

  4. I saw Robyn's post about this, and thought I would investigate...I am excited to try it! My big complaint is that I will spent 30 min to an hour folding then when I ask the kids to put away the folded clothes they get mashed up on their way upstairs...I love the idea of skipping the folding step! You are brilliant! (What is that say about the definition of "insane" doing things over and over and expecting a different outcome...I am excited to not feel insane! Thanks!