homemaking hack #5: the "special" clothing basket

Today's homemaking hack is so incredibly simple you might laugh- especially because it's about laundry... again. :) I'd say the majority of my time-saving/sanity hacks are in the laundry department because it is one of my greatest weaknesses! Six people can produce an amazing amount of laundry. {and I'm sure it will be exponentially more with the new one coming in August! ;) }

The family closet I shared before has been a huge help to us- I'm all about spending less time doing laundry and more time doing fun stuff like blogging and exercising! hehehe... ;) We still love it, and it makes life so easy.

I really have no idea why it took me so long to think of this laundry hack. I didn't figure it out until last year, but it's been huge for us!

My older kids have to wear uniforms when they go to school three days a week {they homeschool two days}, and they have to wear a special chapel uniform on Wednesdays too. Every week for months, I would wash all of their school clothes and put them away in their drawers like the rest of their clothes. Then every school morning or the night before, I would have to dig through each of their dressers to find their uniforms, and something was always missing {of course!}. Because:

3 kids = 6 uniform pieces x 3 days per week = way too many special clothes to keep up with. ;)

Enter our "uniform" basket, a.k.a. this mama's sanity-saver:


For now, this plain old basket sits right on top of the dryer away from little hands, and every uniform piece we own goes straight into it from the dryer! Thanks to this "special" little basket, I spend way less time looking for uniforms, and they all stay folded and less wrinkled from not getting put away in the drawer.

I told you it wasn't fancy, but it's one of the best tricks I've figured out for us in the laundry department. :) 

If you don't have uniforms of some kind to keep up with, you could even use the same idea for Sunday church clothes or play clothes, or if you don't like storing folded clothes- you could use a section of your closet to hang up all the "special clothes" you want to keep safe {and be able to find quickly!}. 

No matter how you do it, I think it's totally worth the time it saves you in looking for specific clothing items! :D {especially if you have lots of children!}


What are your secrets for separating your "special" clothes? I'd love to hear!

Are you a "hanger" or a "folder"? 
I am neither if that's possible...hahah!! If I had to say, I would be a folder. The hang up clothes never get put away! LOL! ;)

Do you have a favorite tip for getting kids ready and out the door easily?
When mine were little, I used to dress them at night and let them sleep in their play clothes for the next day- especially if we had to be somewhere in the morning. It worked really well with soft clothes! It only ever backfired on me when they wet through them at night... oh those days.... they will be here again soon!! ;)

24 comments

JessN said...

We have lots of school uniforms in this house. I keep a pile of hangers right beside me when I fold laundry and all of the uniforms pieces get hung up.

Christy Marie said...

I'm a hanger... When "folding" laundry I put them all on hangers(shirts and pants, pj's, shorts, undies etc are actually folded) and placed in each child's "pile". When my boys(9,8,7) get home they are to take their pile and hang it on their rack( their room is odd and doesn't have a closet, so each has their own clothes rack). I do put the folded items away and also all of mine, hubby's and daughter's(she's 1). I don't mind doing the laundry, but putting it away is hard work for a family of 6! No uniforms here....

Crys said...

We have 3 in school with uniforms, 4 in the fall. Uniform clothes go on hangers, all other clothing goes into their drawers or baskets. Sunday clothes also go on hangers but are hung away from school clothes so they are not confused. Each child has their own color of hanger to make it easier to know who's is who's.

aprilpj said...

That is a GREAT idea!!! I am going to do this for the boys sports uniforms! Baseball socks, jerseys, pants, belts, etc. always seem to get lost when it is time to scadaddle out the door for practice or a game. This way they will always be in a basket, in the laundry room! Thanks!

Anonymous said...

This is totally off topic but I noticed you said the kids homeschool twice a week. How old are they? My son is 4 and I was a single mom his whole life until this past January when I married my wonderful husband so I have always had to work and have him in daycare/prek. Since we married and I got pregnant I was able to quit my low paying,hard working job. I know am subbing here and there and teaching swim lessons. My income is very low and its been a hard change for me but I know the time I get with my son now and the ability to keep a better home is priceless. Anyway, I've been on the fence about homeschooling. I feel like its what God would want me to do but I'm just not sure I can handle my extremely active son and a baby all day every day. Do you know if when he starts kindergarten, hopefully I can get him into a good Christian school, schools allow the 3 day a week? It would be so ideal for me! Sorry for the long post, just wanted some more info on your kids school situation. Thanks!

Robin said...

I do the same thing with our sports stuff. When the boys are playing, their jerseys get hung up (I don't dry them) and then all other sports clothes (pants, shorts, socks) go in a bin. On game day they are right where they are supposed to be and I don't have to search all over for the missing sock.

Tam said...

No school uniforms here, we home school. The uniform is sweat pants or jammies. ha I would say I'm a hanger for things that MUST be hanged and I definitely fold my laundry and hubby's. I have 4 kids so I have a ton of laundry,too. When my kids started getting big enough to put their own clothes away, I started using baskets in the laundry room with their name on them. I just sort the clothes out of the dryer and into each person's basket. Depending on how much time/energy I have I might actually FOLD them. When the basket gets fullish I call the children and have them take their clothes upstairs and put them away and bring me back the basket. All my kids are now old enough to do their own so no hauling baskets of heavy laundry up my basement stairs for me! I fold hubby's clothes right out of the dryer and bring them up as I do them so he gets them back ASAP. I set up a rack in the laundry room and I keep all of my own clothes down there. That makes it easy to pull them out of the dryer and put them away right there. It also relieves the stress of sharing a closet with Mr. Neatnick, who prefers that I do not infringe on his perfect closet system. :-) A lot of people with big kids make them help with the actual washing of the laundry. That is one thing my kids do not do. After about the tenth time of them ruining their clothes (or mine) I quit having them do it. They just can't be bothered to read labels and sort properly, it's not that they don't know how. I've made sure that they do know how to do it for when they have to do it themselves and they can do an odd load if they have to have something, but mostly I find it MUCH easier and less complicated to just wash it all myself. I make them do the dishes! I do about 3-4 loads of laundry a day, every day. There are not enough hours in any one day to have a "wash day".

Karen Johnson said...

I tried out the "family closet" after your post on it....amazing!!! It works so well...I tell everyone about it. I had to do a half fold/half hang method(because my laundry is tiny). My "special baskets" are for sock pairs and underwear. My kids could never find socks until I did this - now they only have to decide whose socks are whose. ;)

sophie (from France) said...

No school uniforms in France, and homeschooling is not common. We have laundry baskets in each rooms, I do the laundry "one day per one child (6 children= 6 days!!)and Saturday is for my clothes. My kids prepare their clothes each evening for the next day.

Brandy said...

I keep a basket on the dryer for all the kids' socks. It annoyed me to no end when it was time to go and no one had socks on. We'd have to send them back upstairs, which always made someone cry or get sidetracked by the Legos, etc. Now, when it's time to leave we pass through the laundry room on our way to the garage, so the kids grab a pair to put on in the garage where all our shoes are kept. It has saved our sanity.

Mandy said...

oh that's so cool!! I'm so glad it works for your family! We had a sock basket for the longest time too! I love it!! :D

Mandy said...

I know what you mean about the legos! hahah! Smart mama- I love the sock basket!! :D

Mandy said...

oh, I like your method!! :D very cool! and how good of your kiddos to be able to do that! great job mama! :D

Mandy said...

I love your basket idea!! How do you store them? do you have a rack in the laundry room or a shelf? I know- a wash day would be very hard here too- it takes a few days to get it caught up! :D

Mandy said...

Oh- baseball clothes/socks were always the hardest to find- go figure, right? they're huge but so easy to lose! great minds think alike!! hehee! Love it!

Mandy said...

they are 9,7,5, and 3- very few allow the part time school, but it is becoming more common- you might call around to your local schools and see if they offer any sort of co-op. I know a few schools in our area do it. I hope you have good luck! and congrats on your new baby!! :DD how exciting!

Mandy said...

yay! let me know how it works for you! :D

Mandy said...

Oh that's a great idea- I love the colored hangers!! how smart!!

Mandy said...

that's awesome! so you're more a hanger than a folder you'd say? :) {I'm a piler, hahaha!}

Mandy said...

oh I love that your boys put away their clothes! that's awesome! I think putting away is 1/2 the battle!! :) great job mama!! :D

Bethany said...

My daughter is potty training and after about two months of having her dig through her drawer and mess up folded clothes every time she had an accident (or me having to go get them) I finally made a change. Now we have the "panty bucket" which goes on a low shelf in her room. All her panties go in there and she can get them herself!

Lil Tam said...

We have a 4 day rotating chore schedule so the child on laundry duty helps fold and sort then puts all the kitchen and bathroom laudry away. Each kid claims their own socks from the sock bucket along with that, they each have their own small basket of their own clothes to put away as well. In our family of 6 we do a load a day to keep up.

Theresa said...

I have almost two year old twin boys. We don't have "special" clothes yet, but I have a laundry time saving tip:
I put their clothes away in 'outfits'. A top and bottom are stored in the drawer together. Their drawers are separated by seasons, cold, not so cold, warm, hot, and pajamas. This trick only works because we have been blessed with so many hand-me-downs. (If you are limited on bottoms, it may not work as well). Storing clothes like this saves so much time getting dressed, and it prevents the boys from being mis-matched if dad or older siblings help get them dressed in the morning. :)

Rebekah @ Living && Learning said...

We don't do school uniforms but this would have been so very handy when I was in high school! We were supposed to wear certain shirts for various activities on particular days - I guess a "uniform" of sorts. Each week it was a nightmare hunting down all the shirts we needed for my brothers and I. They of course hadn't been seen since we wore them the previous week. Such a great idea!!