Well say it ain’t so, but I think I might’ve stumbled onto a system, and in the area of laundry, no less! (Just when you thought it couldn’t be done . . .)
Following on the heals of my painful epiphany that I cannot in fact “eat the elephant” in one bite, I took a step aside from intense winnowing of stuff to make sure I’m meeting basic needs, adding that back to the process. Anonymous asked yesterday if this meant winnowing was going by the wayside. Definitely not.
Actually, I think this is the most efficient way to winnow. One of our definitions for “winnowing” was “to separate grain from its husks (chaff) by tossing it in the air or blowing air through it”. Everything in my house does not need to be gotten rid of, but there are stuffs and broken systems that need to have new life breathed into them, “blowing air through it”. I can’t see what is chaff or grain in either our stuff or our systems if there isn’t some modicum of steady gathering and sorting and inspection. And cleaning consistently (not constantly, but consistently) is a great way, probably the best way, to winnow and maintain peace within our Fab Five and Quaint Cottage. So . . .
I’ve been working on the laundry, getting it caught up in order to KEEP IT caught up. Between last night and this morning I seemed to have stumbled upon a few little tricks that are making the process so much easier, more enjoyable, more logical, and potentially formulary in creating a good, sustainable system.
**I should take this moment to clarify that I make no declaration of being original or revolutionary in my processes or projects. I know that bits and pieces of other people’s good ideas roll around in my head, mixing with my own creativity. This blog is just the chronicle of me twisting and contorting what will work in my own life. So if you see me try something someone else has already thought of, blogged about, marketed, failed at, or trademarked, it is not intentional plagiarism (a little bootleg, maybe). Chalk it up to a little no-idea-seems-a-good-idea-until-it’s-your-idea thinking.**
Here’s the laundry-cleaning structure so far:
-I put a load of laundry in the washing machine before bed. This morning I threw in the detergent and started the load washing.
-Because of being so backed up with the laundry, I did not do a pain staking sort of the laundry before gathering the load. I just grabbed a load, washed it on warm wash/cold rinse, and moved it to the dryer.
-A dry load was put in a basket, a wet load was transferred to the dryer, a dirty load was started in the wash, and then the dry load in the basket was folded/hung BEFORE EVER LEAVING THE LAUNDRY ROOM.
-I repeated the process.
NOT leaving the laundry room was the key to the success, absolutely. Here’s what I did to extend my work area (signage should read “Dwight’s Workspace”):
-I cleaned the tops of the dryer and washer with all-purpose cleaner and cloth
-I remembered I had some random shelves from a broken bookshelf I purchased at The Forbidden Place a thousand years ago. I positioned one above the washer to hold the basket containing the detergent and fabric softener sheets and the trash can for dryer lint. The other two I put on top of the dryer which extended the usable surface area. I used this area on top of the dryer for Ma Luffin’ Mayun’s clothes and mine.
-I put the lids on the recycle bins, which provided perfect spots for me to stack the kids folded laundry – Brilliant Beauty’s and Pretty Girl’s on one bin, Little Big Man’s on the other. And since it’s down at their level they can come to the laundry room, grab their stacks, and put it away in their rooms.
So I’m pretty pleased. Of course, to keep the progress going I’ll have to stick to it everyday. I do think I will give myself a cut off time each day. I’ll wash my last load for the day no later than about 5:30 so I’m not folding during time the Fab Five could be spending together. We’ll see.
Another part of the process of organization
The makeshift shelf above the washer
The bookshelves used to extend the workspace on top of the dryer . . . please excuse the skivvies!
The kids' stacks to take to their rooms