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Laundry in a Minute
May 3, 2008 10:32 pm | by

I deal with a mind boggling amount of laundry each week. Having nine people in the house will do that to a family, especially when those nine people include a spitty baby, a daddy who gets really dirty in his work, a three year old who loves to play in the sand, and a little princess who loves to wear multiple outfits each day. Adding in the multiple washes suggested for cloth diapers can make me feel like I am getting backed up even further. Here are some ways that I stay on top of things, maybe they can help you too.

1. Sort clothes. I have two hampers (light and dark) in the laundry room and the kids can sort their clothes as they bring them downstairs, and so can I. Grabbing a load of laundry to throw in is easier that way. All family clothes and towels except my husband’s work clothes go in here. No special baby laundry, it all goes in the same place.

2. Throw sheets directly in the washer. They don’t get sorted. Sheets always seem to back up my system more than anything, so I don’t strip any beds unless the washer is already empty.

3. Start wash as soon as I am done with my morning shower. That way I feel like I am getting something done even if the rest of my day is unproductive.

4. Don’t start any (normal laundry) loads after 3pm. This gives me time to make sure everything gets dry and gives me a fighting chance at getting to fold it. I usually fold a couple loads at a time while either indulging in a little television or a book on CD.

5. Now we get to how the cloth diaper washes fit in. The CottonBabies recommendation for washing cloth diapers is to do a cold wash, a hot wash, and then a second rinse. I like to start the diapers about dinnertime in the cold wash, start the hot wash before I go to bed. Then when I get up I do that final rinse when I would normally start laundry.

So maybe that has made things seem a little complicated. Let me break it down for you. Pick a time when you are not doing laundry and, well, do laundry – the diapers. It will take you less than five minutes to get them started, and less than two minutes to start them again. Starting that last rinse is just a couple minutes too. Time yourself sometime and see how long it actually takes you, you will be surprised!

And after drying I no longer fold my diapers. I toss the covers in a drawer, stuff the pocket diapers and all the rest of them go in a big hamper.

Your washing machine is like your willing servant. You only have to take a moment to give it some instructions (load it) and send it to work (start it) and then you get to go do something else. That is multi-tasking at its finest!

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  • Loni said...
    November 19, 2011 at 11:14 am

    I have a similar routine… My problem is getting the clothes “folded” and put away. My arch nemesis are the kids’ socks! I have learned to have the kids put their socks in a mesh bag hooked to their laundry hamper when they undress. Then I wash the socks, bag and all, in with the clothes. That way I don’t have to sort through a few different loads of laundry to find sock buddies.

  • The Queen Mum said...
    May 15, 2008 at 11:58 am

    We do a similar thing. Though, since we only have 3 including the one in diapers, we aren’t as organized about diapers. We start them on a soak with cold. When the stuff in the dryer is done, its ‘pre-wash’ and then a regular wash on hot. Its as effective as the icky wet pail, and I don’t have to deal with it. And we never fold; we have a special red soft hamper for diapers. The closest we get to folding is with packing the diaper bag and thats mostly because we are looking for equal numbers of wipes.

  • Underside said...
    May 14, 2008 at 2:27 pm

    You’re really supposed to run diapers through the wash twice? How did I miss this information?

  • Reese.Mom07 said...
    May 6, 2008 at 12:32 am

    I thought I was doing good and before I know it, I have 1 diaper left (I did not buy enough) and my hubby (also w/ a dirty job) had 2 socks – not a pair.

    I was having so much fun going for walks, to Baby playgroup and scrapbooking her 3 -4 month of life.

    Ugh, I better go switch over the loads.