No Laundry Day
I used to do laundry once a week. (Like before we had kids.) And then it was twice a week. And then every other day. Finally I gave up on Laundry Day. Every Day Is Laundry Day in this house. But you know what? If you do a couple loads each day, you can keep on top of it and then it doesn't get overwhelming.
Ok, to be perfectly honest, I am good at getting the laundry washed, dried and brought upstairs. What I am NOT good at is getting it put away. I used to assign a laundry basket to each family member and would put each person's clean clothing into their basket. And then the baskets would sit on my bedroom floor. For days. I'd never get around to putting away the laundry. Which is part of the reason for the family closet. Now that all the kid clothing is in the same room, I can just shelve it and be done. No stepping over baskets, no nagging kids to put away laundry. So far, so good. (But this is only Day 4 of the Family Closet.)
We sort the clothing by color when it goes into the hamper. It takes approximately 3 seconds to sort clothing as you are throwing it into the hamper and takes approximately forever for ME to sort it otherwise.
I read about this years ago in a parenting magazine and it has been a fantastic help over the years. We use permanent marker to mark each child's clothing to identify which child it belongs to. My oldest gets one dot, my second oldest gets two dots, and so on. It's genius because as you hand clothing down you just need to add another dot to the clothing tag (or collar or waistband). As soon as a new item of clothing comes into our house, it is the responsibility of the owner (assuming he/she is old enough) to dot his/her clothing and then when the laundry is clean I just have to look at the collar or waistband to know where to shelve the item. This may not be necessary for some families but because four of my children are so close in age, many times their clothing is very similar in size and sometimes I have two kids wearing the same size at the same time. With a glance I can easily tell which items belong to which kid and can shelve them accordingly.
I have written about Sock-Locks before but I really need to write again about how much of a time-saver they are. Each person in our family has been assigned a specific colored Sock-Lock. When you take off dirty socks, just thread the socks through the teeth, put them in the hamper and then wash and dry as you would anything else. Then when you are sorting through clean laundry, just toss each person's socks into his/her bin and you save hours by not having to match socks together. Does each person in my house use Sock-Locks every time? No. But if most of the people use them most of the time, then the system works well enough for my liking.
If you have any laundry tips please leave them in the Comments. I'm always looking for ways to streamline my household!