Shannon is suggesting a “Greatest Hits” edition of Works For Me Wednesday. While last week’s overnight crockpot steel-cut oatmeal instructions were wildly popular, this post was a big hit in its day. It first appeared in February 2007.I’ve never liked doing the laundry–especially for six people–but what aggravated me the most were two particular steps in the process: finding a temporary location for the clean-and-folded clothes, and getting the kids to put those clean-and-folded clothes away.One day I bought something like this:Mine has a fourth drawer so that I have one for each child (clearly labeled with their names and decorated with stickers-of-choice).[UPDATED INFO: Mine are separate drawers stacked together, not a unit, so if you find the same brand (I bought Sterilite-brand drawers several years ago) you could go floor-to-ceiling with them. You could also dedicate one drawer to sock storage.]Here’s a recent picture with the names blurred out.Now when I’m doing the laundry, I pull the drawers open, staggered, so that as I fold, I can simply place each item into the appropriate drawer. When I’m done, I shut the drawers and move on.Later, when I call the kids to put their clothes away at a more convenient time, say, at bedtime, they trot down to the laundry room, pull their personalized drawers completely out of the cart and easily carry their clothes upstairs–the drawer doubles as a lightweight basket, or tote. The kids put away their clothes and carry the drawers back down, slip them back into the cart, and the cycle continues.We can fit a lot of clothes in these drawers, but if you have taller or older kids than mine, or you go through more clothes in a day, your kids will just have to empty their drawers more often.I like this system because the kids don’t have to be ready to put their clothes away at the instant I’m done with laundry. Also, I don’t have baskets–empty or full–stuck here and there in the laundry room. This stackable system looks neat and tidy whether the drawers are empty or full.And here’s an amazing bonus use:We use them for camping vacations instead of duffel bags or suitcases.We have a pop-up camper, so it’s good to go vertical with storage whenever possible, yet whatever we use has to travel somewhat compressed. The stackable unit we bought is perfect for this. We have the kids pack their clothes into the drawers (sometimes they have to use an overflow bag for some category of clothes, but for summery trips they can still fit it all in their drawers), and unstack them for transport so that they fit in the back of the van or the camper.At the campground, when the pop-up camper is cranked up and ready for us to move in, we stack the drawers on top of each other again and set them on the countertops. Everything stays much more contained and organized during the week than when we used bags.I even have one extra drawer for some of my own things.Double-duty drawers for laundry and vacation.They really work for me.Please visit Rocks in My Dryer to check out other people’s Greatest Tips.Or, before you go, take a cruise through my past WFMW tips.
[…] bought nice plastic containers to help the kids sort their toys and some plastic drawers to try this idea with my […]
This is a great idea, I wonder if they make one with six drawers? It would even fit in my laundry room.
Thanks for the tip!
Happyhousewife: your comment prompted me to add a tidbit of info–those are individual drawers stacked on top of each other. You could buy as many as you need and stack them as high as your space will allow. Your oldest/tallest child could have the top drawer.
Also, you could use one for socks.
Sarah (Genesis Moments) says
I like it – might have to make that happen!
Thanks for stopping by. On the gold thing, I found that I was too sentimental about the few real gold things I had that I couldn’t part with them – like my highschool ring or various necklaces from my mom with special pendants on them. Oh well. It is kind of like thinking you will make a fortune holding a garage sale when what you want to get rid of no one else would want either! Can’t hurt to get a quote if you have some nice pieces though. Priorities do change!
I just bought a storage unit almost just like that today! I’m actually planning on using mine for scrapbooking/craft stuff, but the laundry thing is a great idea!
This IS just an incredibly good idea!
FYI — I read your blog every day, but realize that I only comment on WFMW! Sorry! I’ll make a point to say something some other time! 🙂
I LOVE this idea! Now, to get me more motivated to do the laundry….
Frugal Homemaker Plus says
Laurel Sauls says
This is absolute genius!!! I must figure out a way to translate this for my laundry room (that is oh, so tiny)! Thanks for the fabulous idea!
jen @ irrationallove says
Just have to chime in and say how much I loved this tip. I implemented it shortly after reading it the first time around. It has transformed my laundry room and how we all feel, about laundry! I’ve also found it useful for getting ‘kid-clutter’ out of my way. With 4 little girls there seems to be a constant sprinkling of small toys and other treasures around the house. When needed, I pop said treasures into the owner’s drawer to be put away when they put their clothes away.
What a fabulous idea! I’m not sure where I can put that in my absolute miniscule laundry room/dumping ground for all kids’ shoes, backpacks, and jackets. But where Mommy has a will, there’s usually a way. Thanks!
Cool Baby Clothes says
It is a great blog.