How I regained my sanity at laundry time

Oh laundry how I hate you! Let me tell you a bit what laundry was like in my household. Six people, 7 days in the week. That’s 12 feet. Do you know what 12×7 is? Thats 84 socks. EIGHTY FOUR SOCKS!!! I used to just do laundry as I got around to it. That meant no sorting, just throw as many clothes into the washing machine as will fit, throw in the soap and let er rip. A lot of life happens between starting a load of laundry and it getting finished in the dryer. I’m not going to lie, I used to just throw it all in a laundry basket in the laundry room and it would pile up, then over… then all over the floor and I would have to dig through a HUGE pile of laundry to get to the matching sock before I would get frustrated. About two weeks later I would then  have to spend an entire day sorting and folding the laundry.

I looked all over the Internet for ways to make my laundry life easier. Homemade laundry soap. Do you know I actually spent as much on the stuff to make this as I do buying a big 188 load box of Arm & Hammer laundry soap? Then you add in the time of shredding the felz naptha or Ivory soap. No thanks, that doesn’t help me. It might you, but it’s not what I was looking for. I found a lot of neat little things to make on Pinterest for sorting and stuff, but my laundry room just isn’t big enough. I decided I needed to quit searching for things to do and find out where the problem began, and start from there.

Our biggest saving grace has also been one of the biggest pains in the house. We added a second cat. We already had Paula. Sweet, sweet fat Paula, who would only attack my legs as I walked by. She was lazy and she was perfect. Then one of my friends posted that they needed a home for their kitten. She was beautiful and already house broken. I wanted a cat who loved me and didn’t attack my feet. We now had a Susan. She was those things, but she was also a serial laundry basket urinator. I had to rewash so many clothes because she decided she liked to pee on clean clothes. So i started folding clothes as soon as they came out of the dryer… sometimes. Other times they sat in a laundry basket ON TOP of the dryer. Do you know how hard it is to get to the controls when an overflowing laundry basket is in front of them?

My husband had gotten so frustrated with this process that long ago, he started doing his own laundry. This helped a little, but not in the huge scheme of things. I realized, duh, I have four kids. Expecting them to do their own laundry isn’t asking much really. I went out and bought 4 laundry baskets. The reason this took me so long to do, is I’ve tried this before. With laundry bags. My method for this was different. I had a hook in the laundry room for each bag. As I was sorting laundry, I would sort it into the correct bag. Then divvy them up to the correct kid. The clothes stayed in the bags and got wrinkled. I can’t let my kids go to school looking like I grabbed clothes out of the bottom of a huge pile of crap. So that practice stopped and I went back to just doing it all myself.

So armed with these new laundry baskets and older and wiser kids, I put them in their rooms. Now the challenge of getting their laundry INTO the baskets. That part really hasn’t been as hard as I thought it would be. Each person is supposed to have their own day of the week to do laundry. That hasn’t happened yet. Just yesterday I had the 9 and 5 year old both doing their laundry. Unsurprisingly Dax was the most eager to learn. He may be the biggest pain in the world, but he loves to help. This is a blessing and a curse let me tell you. But after just one lesson he has it down. He has to drag the big tin container he uses to climb up to everything into the laundry room and climb up and down to get all his laundry loaded and it takes forever, but he does it himself. He’s even the one who taught Ashton how to do it on his own. I still fold the younger two’s laundry. But the other two? Thirteen and fourteen, come on, they can do it.

Do you want to know the best part. When you do laundry once a week for each kid, and each load is washed seprately, you only have to match up 14 socks. That’s a lot less than 84 and you don’t have to sit there and go, geeze, these two look a little alike… are they a pair? I had a walmart sack full of lonely socks. I got all the laundry caught up last week and threw away anything that didn’t have a pair. It was liberating. You grab two socks and fold. Heaven. I keep a laundry basket in the laundry room for towels and that’s on me, unless Dax wants to do it then more power to him!

This little change has made me not hate laundry so much. It didn’t free up a whole lot of time, but it did free up stress. The hardest part is to come though when I have to make sure that it is followed through on. They say it takes 21 days to make something a habit. So I am here to make sure that my family is in the habit of putting clothes in the laundry basket. Washing, drying and folding.

This will even work if you don’t have older kids. I wish I had shown mine how to do laundry at a younger age, but I was a single mom with just mine and my daughter’s laundry to do, no big deal. Then I got married and gained two step sons, who at the time weren’t with us full time and I didn’t think it was fair for only Anastasia to have to do it. But now that they live with us full time, all bets are off. 🙂 (Chores are next.) If you’re a bit of a control freak like me, you have to bite your tongue and just let them do it, or you’ll be doing it forever and making yourself a martyr while grumbling that no one in the house does anything to help you. Teach them to fold young if you want to, or you can have them help out by folding socks and underwear while you fold other things until their folding skills improve. But you can’t expect kids to just help you because they want to. You have to teach them.

Do you guys have any tips on how to make laundry time easier? Do you sort? I mean, laundry soap these days is designed to make sure that colors don’t run, so why bother? 🙂

 

Blessings,

Angela Courson

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Where has the time gone?

Well, it’s been three days since I started this little blog and I haven’t even had a chance to update it! Sheesh. Life has been busy and I just don’t know how to organize things. I mean, right now, it’s ten at night and I am STILL trying to calm Daxter down enough to get him to lay down. This boy has seriously been the source of all of my gray hairs.

This week at work has been interesting also. I got to work Thursday to find out that the new person they hired was hired for my job and I would be training them. Ok, that’s great, so…what’s my job then? Apparently my new position is really an offshoot of my old position but due to the increased sales I would be solely in charge of Quality Control because I have such a “good eye for flaws” (Is this a compliment or telling me I’m too judgmental?) Either way, I don’t mind, I don’t have to answer phones or talk to anyone really, I can put on my headphones and sand and clean little plastic pieces. But the thing that bothered me was that NO ONE TOLD ME! But I guess that’s what happens when you work in an office full of men. Amiright? They don’t gossip and cause problems though, so I guess being surprised occasionally by a random change in job is a good trade off.

I had big plans on being crafty this week. I got nothing done really. I did do some graphic designing on an app I have for some projects I want to put in my Etsy store. When I get one. I haven’t fully set it up because I need to see how these things print off and how in the world to do the digital download thing on there. When I figure it out, I’ll try to help ya’ll out. (get used to the ya’ll’s, I’m from Oklahoma. At least I don’t say “pertnear” like my husband.) Until then, I feel like a fish out of water. No one has even seen this blog yet, which doesn’t surprise me, it hasn’t exactly been interesting and I haven’t promoted it. But i WILL DO SOMETHING!

Tomorrow is Sunday, I think I’ll make a sign for my new “office” it’s a room with 4 cinder block walls that need painted. It feels more like a prison cell, but I can fix things up I’m sure. 🙂 See, positivity already. I basically only do crafts that cost me almost nothing to make because I’m broke. Unless you are a millionaire, having four kids, you will always be broke. The sign will be made out of left over flooring planks from when we redid our living room. I wouldn’t let the husband throw them away because I knew I could make something out of them!

So join me back here tomorrow, or Monday, who knows right now!

Blessings,

Angela

Life Begins at 4

Let me explain to you what this blog is to me. I work full time as well as being a full time mom. You can’t be a part time parent. The kids call you from school because they forgot their backpack for the 5th time this year (too bad, you can just carry things home in a plastic sack because I’m DONE with that), they need a permission slip signed that they forgot about until the MINUTE it is due to be turned in. They need you to bring their soccer bag because they had too much to carry to school this morning (this one I understand. Why do our soccer players not have a place in the locker room??!). My point is, even when you are at work you’re either fielding phone calls from your kids at one point or another, or worrying about them occasionally. (I like to have my free thinking time that doesn’t involve them, but they weasel their way in)

I have four kids. Two that I have personally birthed and two that are my step sons. They are

14 Anastasia – Birthed

13 Quentin – Step Son

Ashton – Step Son

Daxter –  Birthed

Then there’s me (age not important) and Husband. We both work full time. We both go into work at 7. Well, I used to. I had a hard time with Anastasia not getting up and going because she would be awake then fall back asleep after I left. I switched to where I go into work at 7:30 and just take a thirty minute lunch. Husband takes Ashton to my father-in-law on his way to work and he gets him to school. I take Daxter to my sister’s house since she takes half her kids to the same school. (I feel the need to clear up that in this town of a whole whopping 5000 people we have three elementary schools. Pre-k – 1st, 2nd & 3rd, and 4th & 5th. A middle school and a high school.) We are only four blocks from the middle school so Quentin walks. We’re only a block from the high school so Anastaisa has to walk too, unless she’s being lazy then she gets a ride from my brother who is a teacher at the high school and lives three doors down.

I work at a place that makes plastic interior airplane parts. A far cry from my last job as an office manager in a doctors office. Sadly that position was eliminated and I had to take what I could in a small town. Don’t get me wrong, the job is 99% stress free but it’s just a change from what I’m used to.

Then comes 4. This is the time I get home. This is when my day REALLY begins. Let’s take today for example. I forgot to set meat out for supper so I had planned my world famous Tuna Helper. When I picked Daxter up from my sister’s the first thing he asked was “what’s for supper?” I told him and in true form for the last month or so. “I DON’T WANT SUPPER!!” This has caused more arguments between us then necessary. It’s not that he doesn’t want supper, it’s that he doesn’t want what I’m making for some arbitrary reason. Today was because he wanted chips. I told him chips wasn’t supper. Then to my amusement/horror he used my own argument against me. “Supper isn’t what you eat, it’s the time of day you eat it.” But before I could start supper,  I had to tackle this.

20170321_162157.jpgI had all the dishes done before supper last night… then fell asleep early. Oops. And you know everyone in the family was rushing to help me out. So I got the dishes done and supper made. Then what? Nothing. I did absolutely nothing. That’s the reason for me starting this blog. To motivate me and help out other parents out there that work full time and have to be a full time parent too (I’m not leaving you dads out!)

I will be focusing on meals to feed my picky family (which reminds me I need to move some meat out of my freezer), ways to organize the house and my life, and use this as a way to force me to work on crafts because they are my escape, but I just don’t have the motivation. YOU are going to help motivate me. THANK YOU!!!! 

So with all that being said, I hope you take the time to follow along with me and join me on this journey to make the most out of my life starting at 4!

Much Love,

Angela