Let’s Talk Laundry: Part 2

You might remember that we were hit by Hurricane Irene recently. We got through the hurricane and 5 days without power/running water without any damage to the house.  (Yes, this is a laundry post. Hang on.)

About a week after that, Tropical Storm Katia came to visit. We weren’t really worried about her. It was mainly just a bunch of rain.

So the morning after the storm I went down to the basement to get something out of the dryer, and when I stepped off the last step, my foot slipped and I slid down to my back in about 2 inches of water that was covering our basement floor. It turns out that our sump pump failed in the middle of the night. So everything that was sitting on the floor of the basement was wet.

Including Mt. Laundry (I took this picture the day before the hurricane):

It’s funny what can motivate me to catch up on laundry. The thought of  a really big pile of dirty, musty, mildewy clothes was all the motivation I needed this time.

So I just cranked through it all.

I even collected all the laundry from all over the house.

From the stairs…

From the kitchen floor sweep pile…

And now we have a cleaned-up laundry area! Those white doors have not been closed in a very long time!


  • If I am able to maintain a mountain of laundry in the basement and still have clothes for everyone to wear, it probably  means we have too many clothes.
  • I need to keep up with my 1-laundry-load-a-day idea better. I said a long time ago that I was going to revise my weekly cleaning schedule. I need to actually do it and use it.

I’m linking up with OrgJunkie’s 52 Weeks of Organizing.


14 Comments on “Let’s Talk Laundry: Part 2”

  1. WilliamB says:

    I’m feeling radical today, so this is my suggestion re take-away #1: get rid of at least HALF your washable clothes.

    I’m also feeling hopeful – I firmly believe you can keep up, now that you’ve been motivated to catch up. It’s the broken window theory, baby! (I found this to be true with the spot from which I recently removed a clutter magnet. Now I can tolerate clutter for about a day there.)

  2. Back when I cleaned out my closet, I think I did get rid of about half. But there are four other people in this family! I agree. I actually know that i can get rid of even more myself. I’m sure I actually wear less than half of what I have now.

    I like the hopeful thoughts! I’m hopeful, too!

    • WilliamB says:

      “Your clothes” meant you and the four others. I can’t speak for your husband but I haven’t met a kid yet who doesn’t prefer to wear just his favorites.

  3. Monika says:

    I’ve been doing something for the past couple of years that works really well for me. I have a separate hamper for all my various loads of laundry (darks, whites, gentle cycle, kids’ clothes, towels/sheets, and rags/rugs). At the end of the day, I just throw the dirty laundry into the correct hamper. I love it so much because I don’t have to sort piles of dirty laundry anymore. And it has helped me SO MUCH to keep up with my 1-2 loads of laundry a day, because all I have to do is look around and see which hamper is the fullest…and there’s my load of laundry…throw it in the washer…done, easy (well, except for the folding and putting away part…I’m not always so great at that either.) 🙂

    • Thanks, Monika! I love that idea!!

    • WilliamB says:

      Works for me, too: white bin for warm water, dark bin for cold water. It does require the open space in the closet to keep it, and so is an encouragement for tidy closet floor. I like the open rectangular baskets because they’re so easy to toss the dirty clothes into, and hold the clean clothes evenly.

      Open baskets are also good for kids – it worked a treat for my niblings. They had trouble with drawstring bags, even if the string wasn’t drawn the bags slumped on the ground. The baskets made it easy for them to keep laundry tidy.

  4. Oh! Your laundry area looks fabulous, and I’m so proud of you for being able to close your doors. 🙂

  5. Shelley says:

    Part of this may be cleaning out just one drawer for each person in your family. Take out one pile of clothing from the drawer, flip it over (so the bottom is now on the top) and purge. The stuff on the bottom is usually too small, not comfortable to wear, no longer in style, etc. (it’s the stuff you wear when there’s nothing else). This does make laundry easier in the long run because you now have lots of room to put away the clothing that is newly washed, dried and folded.

    Your laundry area looks great (and congratulations on being able to close the doors)!

  6. Abigail says:

    You have the best before and after photos! I will now go put away the clothes that have been sitting in the dryer all day.

  7. Chelsey says:

    I’m glad that you are all safe and sound… What a shame about your basement flooding…

    I saw a sign on etsy that said “Laundry today or naked tomorrow”. It got me thinking about just how much clothes we have (because in our family we wouldn’t be naked for quite a while lol…). With so much clothing the urgency to do laundry isn’t really there, right?

  8. Messy Wife says:

    Once again, you are inspiring! I am constantly amazed by how much you could achieve.

    Just want to share one thing I changed recently that has helped with my struggle with laundry: use smaller laundry baskets:

    I switched to using dollar store laundry baskets that hold just enough clothes for one load. I have 2 right now and one for whites and one for dark colors. When one is filled, it’s time to do a load. I used to have a bigger, prettier one with a lid. It kept the dirty clothes out of sight but it always ended up with overwhelming amount of laundry when it finally got my attention!

  9. What no years-ago-outgrown-clothes in that pile? You’re too neat! lol….. Too many clothes ARE a burden–really. I know–learned that lesson. Great post!

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