So it turns out that I only know how to do things that are very very simple. Okay, no, that isn't true at all. It just feels true. I can do anything if I am motivated. I just can't get boring detail tasks done unless all the obstacles to getting them done have been cleared away. Do not leave it up to me to make a lot of phone calls or send things in the mail or match socks. Socks kill me. Remember when I threw all of Luke's socks away and started over? That's kind of where I am at with kid socks right now. I just want them out of my life.
Actually anything that has two matching pieces-- two-piece pajamas sets for kids? No thank you. My kids will never ever wear those two pieces together unless it is an utter coincidence because I will never keep track of them from the dirty laundry to washing to drying to folding to putting away. One will make it through and the other one will end up under a tablecloth that doesn't get washed for three weeks or under the hamper and by the time it goes through the whole process, the other piece will be dirty again.
I actually have a word for these items: laundry debris. It isn't just the mismatched stuff, it's also the stuff people think they like but don't. The last resort t-shirts and the too-stretched-out and the stuff you think you want to wear and try on but you don't really ever want to wear and take off in desperation before you leave the house, throwing it into the dirty pile when it is actually just unloved. All of that? Laundry debris.
So I've started doing laundry with baskets, a storage tub, and two garbage bags. I put all of the top-tier stuff in baskets. This stuff is easy to identify because you wear it all the time. Then I put the underwear with the too-stretched elastic and the shirt Alice drew all over with permanent markers and the junked washed-too-many-times shrunken tops in one of the garbage bags to throw away. I use the other garbage bag for things (even nice things!) that we can no longer use and need to be donated and I put the things that have been outgrown and need to be taken out of rotation into the storage bin. Phew.
Basically, the only way I can solve the laundry problem is to actually solve the problem. I only want to be washing, drying, folding, and putting away the top tier items, the stuff we really wear all the time. Otherwise I just won't ever do it and I will have to buy my kids more new clothes just so they can go to school.
Part of my willingness to donate nice stuff comes from my luck at the Goodwill Outlet. They sell clothes for 69 cents a pound and I have purchased Matilda Jane, Tea Collection, Mini Boden, Crewcuts, Stella McCartney for babyGap, etc., stuff there in the last few months. So it doesn't phase me to put some nice stuff back into that rotation. I like to imagine somebody finding it and being very happy.
Does anyone else have this very low threshold for laundry BS? Do you have a system? I am always up for improving mine. Even doing it this way... I hate it.