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 Organizing your laundry: Save 2-3 hours each week!

Objectives: At the end of the session, the trainees will be able to:

  • Define the concept of refining processes.

  • Recognize areas of refinement in the laundry center.

  • Demonstrate how to create lasting change to the laundry process.

Although simple, the refinement that has saved me the most time and of which I feel that most people stumble with, is the laundry.


I eliminated the gathering and sorting processes, by having different colored baskets in which the children place the different colored clothing.

They also pre-treat any garments that need it when they put it in the basket.

At first it seems tedious to bring the clothes to the laundry each time you shower or change, instead of just merely throwing it into a hamper or basket in the room or bathroom.

But it is a small habit to change and on laundry day it pays big dividends as you simply begin to wash, instead of having to take the time to gather, sort, and pre-treat the clothes.


I eliminated the tedious process of matching socks, by simply having each family member pin the toes(if you pin any other place, the threads will come out) of their socks together with diaper pins.

Refer back to the beginning game. (This is a game I play at an actual training session). The team that had the socks that were pinned together were able to match them twice as fast as the team who received socks that were not pinned.


I have small baskets with the names of each person on them, and as I fold the clothes, the baskets are filled…


And clothes that need hanging are hung on a rod behind me. These two steps eliminate the piles of folded laundry sitting on a table, couch, or bed.

How many times have you had the laundry folded, only to have it end up on the floor or stuffed somewhere when company comes, and then have to redo it.

(I have hidden laundry, clean and dirty, many times!?! In closets, in the laundry chute, under a bed, in a cabinet...I do not even know how many times I had to rewash stuff (before I had my system) simply because it had been on a table or couch, but hadn't been put away, and then ended up on the floor or mixed in with dirty clothes or who knows!?!)

In addition, by having it in baskets, the sorting process is finished. Family members can come and get their clothes anytime and there is no need to look through piles to find something.


I also have baskets for items needing mending or bleaching. And for extra socks. These baskets are great for keeping track of what needs to be done instead of a pile somewhere, where you forget what that particular item needed.


The fact too, that I have six sons, means a lot of white socks. As the socks are occasionally left on the floor, I initialed the socks with a permanent marker, so that the guilty party is held responsible.

This teaches accountability as well as making it easier to match missing socks.


Therefore, I only wash, dry, and fold/hang the clothes. Every other step is accomplished automatically through the system.

There are many ways to do things, but through the refinement of the procedure, many advantages may be gained. The process may be shortened, made simpler, or even eliminated.

Almost every book on Home management or administration has a chapter on refining processes.

Too many times though, the philosophy of the family/parent is unclear or the style of leadership is authoritative and demanding.

A better style of Home management, is to empower the children.

This is done through the skills of listening, being explicit in showing what is expected, and insuring that the children have a stake in the development of tasks and procedures.(Rinke 30-39)

As the children are drawn into the decision-making process and help to create the changes needed, a sense of purpose is provided and the family achieves order.

Hence, whether it be in the home, school, work, or church, a good skill for any leader to have, is that of refinement.

For it is only through refinement that a "piece of coal becomes a diamond", or that an imperfect process becomes perfected.

Most people go through the steps of:






Folding or Hanging

Sorting socks and clothes

Putting away

Note how many steps are eliminated or shortened.

Also, note that other members of the family become more accountable for much of the work.

It is a very simple


that if your


is not in the

laundry room,

it is not


and if you do not get your


or your

hanging clothes-

you will not have

clean clothes

in your room.

Also, if you have a HE (High Efficiency) washing machine, by now you should have noticed that it spins the clothes at such high speeds that they are wrapped around and twisted into each other.

I take the time to shake each item before I put it into the dryer. This does take more time…BUT it saves time on the drying cycle and they dry faster when they can fluff around instead of being in a tight wad. Also they come out less wrinkled and are easier to hang up.

Homemade Laundry Detergent

July 27, 2010, in Self-Sufficiency, Skills, by Country Survival

Making your own home made laundry detergent is one way that you can save money. It is really a personal preference, and some might think it’s just really a big hassle to make it yourself. This is a laundry detergent that does not have the harsh chemicals, dies, and perfumes (like the commercial products) that is really sensitive for some people.

What you need:

1 bar of soap (Fels Naptha, Zote, Ivory)

1 box of Arm and Hammer Washing Soda (available in the laundry area)

1 box of 20 Mule Team Borax

A five gallon bucket with a lid

Three gallons of tap water

A big spoon to stir the ingredients

A measuring cup

A knife or grater

The Borax cleans, disinfects and softens the water. Arm & Hammer Washing Soda works on grease and neutralizes odors. The bar soap is a heavy duty laundry soap and stain remover.

Do not buy Arm & Hammer Baking Soda in place of Washing soda. They are two different products that are not interchangeable and results will vary if substituting one for the other. Also, grate the soap first. This is so it dissolves better in the wash. The finer it is, the quicker it dissolves. Keep in mind this is the most time consuming part of the whole thing after that it is a breeze.

Homemade detergents produce low suds; you will not see many suds in the wash. This is actually good as the new machines that are HE require a low sud detergent You only need 2 Tablespoons of laundry soap per normal load. This roughly comes out to about 1/8 cup.


1) First of all, boil 4 cups of tap water using a pan on your stove until it is almost boiling.

2) Shave the bar of soap into strips using a knife or grater and put it directly into the pan of boiling water.

3) After you have shaved or grated the whole bar of soap, you need to stir the hot water until it is dissolved and it becomes highly soapy water.

4) Then, you need to put three gallons of hot water into the 5 gallon bucket. Mix it with the hot soapy water and stir it for a little while before adding a cup of washing soda.

5) Stir it up to a minute or two, before adding a half cup of Borax. Then, stir it again for a few minutes and let the ingredients sit together overnight.

6) The next morning you will have a bucket of gelatinous slime where by using only 1/8 cup is all it takes to do a batch of laundry.

7) If you want a scent other than the soap smell, you can add an ounce of essential oils.

8) Please bear in mind that this mentioned method might not be suitable for some front loading washers, while the Super Washing Soda is also not recommended for usage on wool or silk. The cost of homemade soap is about 1/16th the cost of store bought liquid detergents. In a business setting, I cover the steps of refining processess and work on some strategic management strategies. Parents can Google these concepts and use these business tools at home as well.

A Quick Tip

Do you ever forget what you wore 2 or 3 days ago? Do you ever ask yourself or your spouse, "Did I wear this last week?"

My husband has a neat way of ensuring that he doesn't ever wear the same thing too often.

First of all he has all his dress pants in one area, all his dress shirts in another. The work clothes are in another part of the closet.

Since they are all neatly lined up, he simply pulls a matching pants and shirt that are on the right. When he put away clothes, he always puts them on the left. That way he goes through the whole row of shirts or pants before he put them on again.

I do it differently, I have all my suits in one area, then separate shirts, skirts, pants, etc. each have their area. Since I tend to dress more on emotion--what color do I feel like wearing today? I am more hit and miss.

I have thought about rotating my things, but I like have a place for each item. That way, I always know where that favorite blouse is. etc. I think at times that maybe I ought to make a list, perhaps a small dry erase board in the closet, that way I could keep exact track of what I have worn. Maybe as I get older and more forgetful, I will have to do that.

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