I made a rather outlandish claim in my last post, didn't I? There I was all "I've been caught up on laundry for three weeks and aren't I fabulous?" Well, you know what? I AM fabulous because even though we've had some busy times over here at Casa de Burps and Farts, I'm still caught up. OH YES I AM. So take a seat and I'll spin you a little tale on the glories of the Three Basket System.
Now. Let's all acknowledge right off the bat that no system, regardless of how many brightly hued baskets from Target are included, will work unless you MAKE it work. It's not like you can just go out and buy the baskets and the laundry will do itself. But let me say this - someone asked me recently, "why can't you just use one basket? Who really needs THREE laundry baskets?" Clearly this person does not understand the Great Laundry Conundrum of how laundry can be cleaned, folded and then just take up residence in the laundry basket until every last item has been worn. And how, also, because that one single basket is occupied, no other laundry will get done. Thus? Three baskets:
Basket Number One ~ This is your Dirty Clothes Basket, intended to transport the dirties from your bedroom floor your well used clothes hamper to your washing machine. If you are like me, when you get to your laundry room, arms overloaded with clothes you face two immediate problems: where to put the dirties while you empty the wet clothes from the washer into the dryer (which I realize is quite obvious - you put them on the floor...Basket Number One means that you only have to pick clothes up off of the floor one time. Genius!) and where to put the clean clothes from the dryer so that you can make room for the aforementioned wet clothes. Thus? Basket Number Two!
Basket Number Two ~ Your Empty Basket that kinda just chills in the laundry room until the dryer is ready to be emptied. Basket Two is really the "extra" basket in this entire system and, I suppose that it's the one you can live without. But I cannot. Use it to carry your clean clothes to wherever in the house you fold (I use my dining room table). Once you've removed it from the laundry room, Basket One shifts into its place and becomes your new Empty Basket.
Basket Three is the Folded and Ready For Drawers Basket, used for transporting clothes from your folding place back to their respective homes. Once you have folded all of the clothes from Basket Two and placed them in Basket Three, then Basket Two is now vacant and ready to become your new Basket One. Follow? (No? I'm confused too, I'll admit.)
Now that we have addressed the constant rotation of baskets, it's down to the rules.
1.) Barring any weird schedules or special needs, I only do laundry Monday through Friday. ONLY. As a matter of fact, this is how I try to do all of my chores. I figure that my household chores are my "job" and, just as Tim goes to work during the week and has the weekends free, I should be able to keep to the same schedule. Let me simply say that I LOVE THIS schedule. I love it mostly because every Friday afternoon I line up all three baskets, sort what remains of the folded laundry into them by location to be delivered (Annie & Tim, Boys, Towels) and put everything away. Then I take those lovely baskets, nestle them into each other, set them in the laundry room floor, close the door and I'M DONE. Call me crazy, but I cannot tell you how freeing it feels to close that door on this chore every Friday afternoon.
2.) Some weeks I have a load going on every one of those days. Sometimes more than one. Sometimes none. It just depends on what's going on in the rest of our lives.
3.) Socks. I hate folding socks. HATE HATE HATE. Thus? I keep a little basket (blast. I suppose this is basket #4. Which would make this a FOUR basket system. Now that does sound a little excessive.) that just holds socks. I call it the Sock Box. This box serves two purposes. It is used, primarily, to catch all of the socks that I cast aside while I'm in the laundry folding groove. Fold fold fold toss. Fold toss. Fold fold toss toss. Trust me. This saves A LOT of time. With every load of clean clothes I just toss toss toss those little sockies into the basket and don't give them another thought until Friday. Then, on that very last day, when everything is just about finished and I'm almost ready to deliver the lasted folded shirt, I pull out the Sock Box, sort by family member, fold, toss into their respective basket and I'm done. Trust me. One should only have to deal with socks once a week. The other purpose of the sock box, of course, is that it holds all of the strays, so either you have the matches or you don't but one way or another you know where they are. (I even go so far as to organizing the strays by family member and laying them in the bottom of the basket. Then I cover them with a little piece of fabric so that I'm not re-sorting mismatched socks every week. When I come across new strays each week then all I have to do is lift that little piece of fabric and I can instantly see whether or not there is a buddy waiting.) I know. It's a sickness.
I'll admit that we've had some weeks here and there that the baskets have not made it all the way back to the laundry room on Friday afternoons. We've even had weeks where they've all just hung out in the dining room straight until Monday morning, but this system has enabled me to at least be on top of it enough that falling behind means just that - I'm just a little behind. Prior to this, "Falling Behind" meant someone better run out to Target to buy some new underwear for everyone because God only knows when the laundry will get done again.
The green basket on the left has since been replaced due to the fact that it did not match the others that it had a big crack that kept pinching my fingers.
In totally unrelated news, I made these for dinner tonight and they were FABULOUS. Really. Make them. You won't be disappointed.