Thursday, March 05, 2009

This Post is Hot!

Caution: This post is very sexy.
(But rated PG)

I have many ask me, "How do you do it? How do you manage laundry for a household of 8?"
So I'm ready. I'm inviting you into my laundry room. Here it is - totally exposed:
My laundry room is located upstairs. I like it that way because all the bedrooms are up there. The door next to the laundry room is what used to be the Master Bedroom. The kids own that room now. I've made a note for when I build my dreamhome to not locate the laundry room next to my bedroom. Our sancturary seems to always accumulate mountains of dirty and clean wash loads. It can also be kind of noisy at night, especially when the dryer buzzer goes off when you are half asleep at 1:00 AM. It's kind of cool though when the washer goes on spin cycle because it vibrates the floor and makes the bed shake. I imagine it's how infants feel when they sit in their vibrating bouncy seats.

The sign says, "Wash Day" because everyday is wash day. Right? Well, not really. I don't do laundry on Sunday because it's the Sabbath, unless it's puke. Actually I do the bulk of my laundry on Thursday. Why? I don't know. I think once upon a time that was the day I ran out of underwear and since I only have 7 pairs of good underwear, it's kind of stuck to that day. So moving on...

Ta-da! You open the door and realize that it's not really a laundry room. It's actually a closet that can snuggly fit one or two people. The real looking door is very misleading, but whatever, I'm cool with that. I'm glad to not have to go to a laundromat. I have a handy stool in there for my helpers and there is always some stray toy on the floor. Today it was a red Mega Block (and there is a yellow Belle Barbie shoe in front of the door if you look very closely.)

I installed a brushed nickel, Target clearanced, towel ring a couple of years ago next to the washer. It's handy for when your hands get wet fighting stains. I painted the walls a beautiful shade of lavender shortly after we moved in. They used to be a depressing off white, so I selected this color to make laundry time a happy time. I feel laundry rooms often don't get the attention they deserve. I painted it when I was 5 months pregnant with Wendy while David took the kids to see the Heffalump movie. I was home alone and I was standing on the washer, stepping over to the dryer when I forgot that I separated them and my foot slipped and I crashed splat on my back and got paint all over my shirt. No injuries to mother or baby. But thinking back, I probably shouldn't have been inhaling paint fumes in a small room all day. Wendy turned out fine.

I'm actually quite impressed the builder installed nice cupboards in the laundry room. They are the nicest cupboards in the house because my kitchen and bathroom ones are all banged up. Here is what is supposed to be a year supply of detergent. I like having a lot of detergent in supply. I feel comforted knowing that if my city gets hit by a missile or natural disaster strikes, I can still do laundry.

"Why powdered Tide?" you might ask. I like the contrast of the orange against the lavender. I like the symmetery of rectangular boxes that fit nicely on top of the cupboards. I like Tide because when I did my 10th grade science fair project, Tide was the deteregent that scored the highest for getting clothes clean (or at least getting a swatch of stained white fabric agitated in a jar with a marble clean.)

Every pretty laundry room needs a nice paint-splattered ladder.

This is the cupboard above the dryer. This is my most underutilized cupboard in the house. I just seem to forget about it since it's so tucked away. Anyway, I've got light bulbs if you need them and lots of Scotch carpet protector that I never used on our new family room carpet that we got two years ago.

This is a typical example of what my dryer usually looks like. It's a collection of items that I find in the laundry. This week's sampling includes a green Build-a-Bear bow, two Mega Blocks, one pair of boys underwear that needs to be spot bleached, an empty, plastic, heart water paint party favor container, a pink bow sticker, last week's shopping list, and of course 2 bottles of stain fighter. Unfortunately, I didn't find any money.

This is what's next to the dryer - my lint wastebasket, 3 spare air filters (for the AC), and a stained 3T pink Gymboree shirt that I was unsuccessful at removing Sarah's bile from when she got car sick on the way home from vacation in August. If anyone knows how to remove stomach acid from clothing, please let me know. I'm know it's a lost cause, but it's difficult for me to throw away Gymboree.

This is my washer. He is from Sears and he turned 7 years old in September.

This is his fraternal twin. Notice her simplicty and the lack of ability to turn off the buzzer.

This is my detergent bucket. It was the inspiration for the color of the walls. I impulsively bought it at Target, when we had money, because I loved it so much. It's also a reason I use powdered detergent. I don't think liquid would do so well in an open bucket environment. It's the perfect shade of purple. I hope when I die and live in heaven for eternity, I can look at this color.

My super heroes to the rescue. Hip hip hooray! Meet Shout. He fights the average stain. Meet Shout Advanced. He fights hard and set in stains. Meet Spray 'N Wash. He fights the average stains. I got him on a Buy One Get One Free sale (his 3 brothers are on the shelf above), Meet Target brand bleach. He gets my whites super white (usually.) Meet his son, Clorox Bleach pen (a MUST have.) Meet Oxi Clean. He can come in handy when all else fails, but I think I actually bought him because some obnoxious burly guy on TV told me I should buy it. Meet Dawn. She helps me fight the grease spots (cooking oil kind of grease.) Last but not least, meet Borax. He hangs out in the back. I think I bought him because Martha Stewart told me she thinks it's a good thing or something. Anyway, he's kind of vintage looking and it looks cool in the cupboard.

I do laundry on Thursdays. The only exception I make is for a towel that smells like rotten milk to the point where it makes me gag; a baby blowout; peed on sheets; and, of course, puke. Here is the menu of laundry loads:

1-2 loads of boys clothes
1-2 loads of girls clothes
1-2 loads of towels
1 load of whites
1 load of husband's clothes (darks)
1 load of my clothes (lights)
1 load of forgottens and second round of stain fighting

I spend 1- 1.5 hours in the late afternoon folding and putting away while listening to ABBA. I only iron if the item is going to be worn to church or an interview. I don't own an ironing board because my kids broke it a couple of years ago playing store. I iron on a towel on my floor.

Ok, so there you have it. My laundry. I told you this post was sexy.


  1. Holy crap lady! that's insane and very organized. I do laundry on Tuesdays, it used to be Thursdays, but I didn't get my netflix 'Alias' in the mail in time for folding one week, so it all got changed and screwed up! I'm impressed that you iron. I ironed Winni's dress for her pictures and just about bought myself something as a reward! Walter is the ironer in the house, and he only irons his own clothes. I'm more of a dryer/ironer, if I get to it in time. I do all of our laundry together. 2 loads of towels, 1 whites, 1 colored and 2 dark loads. I thought my laundry sucked! How often do you change bed sheets??

  2. Let me clarify, I don't iron every week. ONLY if something needs it like the hem of a dress or a sleeve of a boy's church shirt. I try to take the clothes out when they are hot and hang them right away. You're lucky that Walter irons. David doesn't have a clue how to iron. So he says. Seriously, the man can program complicated software, but can't iron a wrinkle. He has difficulty in the physical world.

    I will unshamefully admit that I wash the sheets once a month. I wash them on the 1st of every month unless it's Sunday. Then I usually wash them on Saturday the 30th or 31st. I hate making beds because I usually don't remember to put the sheets back on until about midnight and then David and I grumpily make the bed. I do wash the kid's sheets if they pee though. (Usually) I have been know to forget and they have had to sleep on towel one more night. I only have one set of sheets for their bed and my bed.

    I'm not really that organized. I just started folding and putting away clothes in the afternoon which helps a lot. I used to fold at night and I couldn't put them away because I didn't want to wake the kids up, and then the clean clothes sat in the baskets for a few days or the whole week.

  3. Wow, that really is the perfect shade of purple.

  4. if my laundry room was a pretty shade of purple, i just might like doing laundry. i loved this post! you make even mundane chores interesting.

  5. Umm, I think the vomit is a lost cause. You can try soaking it in cold water and vinegar (or lemon juice) and see if the acidity will help, but if you have dried it once you should just toss it. Or applique a flower or something on top to cover the vomit stain.

    I am also a regular powder tide fan. It works great and that's enough for me. We only keep one spare box though, it takes us a LONG time to use a box since I am stingy with my soap use.

  6. Thanks Becca! I think the shirt is a goner. No applique could cover the enormous stain. And I did not know you could be stingy with detergent. I might have to try that!

  7. Yep, for cloth diapers (after a prewash) and the rest of the laundry regular I use the 'small' load worth (I don't know the exact amount but I also have a smaller scoop that was the standard scoop in the box before the scoop got bigger.) If things are really nasty I add borax or oxyclean. But I have never needed more than half the recommended amount to get things clean, even with poopy.

    Oh, and even though I don't know you IRL, I would be glad to make something. It almost makes it more fun.

  8. I never have been a stain remover girl. Most of my clothes cost $2.00 or less at Target on the clearance rack. I love the SEXY laundry room. This is Beth. My commenting has not been working under my profile.