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How I fold laundry in a family of five

Updated on August 9, 2011
Our three part hamper for sorting
Our three part hamper for sorting

ThePracticalMommie wrote a terrific hub about some Handy Laundry Tips. This inspired me to share how the laundry gets done in our house. I do all of the laundry with the exception of a little bit of help from the kids and one last task for the wife. The kids' responsibility is to empty the small laundry hampers or baskets in their bedrooms into the three part hamper we have in our bedroom. The left one is for whites, the middle one for colours and the right one for darks. We sort this way since many of the darks need to be hung to dry while the colours and most of the whites can go into the dryer. Pictured here is our three part hamper. The wife's responsibility is to put away all of her clothes that I folded and have brought back to our bedroom in a basket.

My job is to empty the hampers, one at a time, into a laundry basket once one of the hampers is full. Then the basket is brought downstairs and then downstairs again (from the second level to the basement) and put into the washer. Then once done, what needs to get hung to dry gets hung in the basement while the rest goes into the dryer. Once the dryer is done the basket is then brought upstairs to what we call our family room; the place where we spend considerable time, including laundry folding. The basket out of the dryer sometimes spends a day in the basement until the next day when another load is done and then both baskets are brought upstairs. This is what you see below.

So I sit on the sofa and take the clothes, one at a time, use the flat surface of the table to fold them, and then put them on the sofa beside, behind and around me, sorted by family member, oldest to youngest from right to left (facing the sofa). Socks get thrown onto a chair that is facing me on the other side of the table (not shown in the photo). After the first basket we have what you see below.

Click thumbnail to view full-size

You will notice there is a cat in the photo. Our blue point male Siamese Leo often will sit or lie among the laundry as it is being folded. Sometimes he is in the way, other times he lines himself up perfectly, as he did this time. There is a gap in the middle because my son, the oldest, was away at camp and he had just arrived after these baskets were done, so there were hardly any clothes of his. The next group of photos show what it looks like after the second basked is folded.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Dora keeps an eye on the socks
Dora keeps an eye on the socks

While I was folding these two baskets I was also doing a third load, so then I folded the third load and then recorded the video you'll see below. Actually, before filming the video, I took all of the socks in the chair you see to the right and matched and sorted them. Fortunately, this time, all of the pairs matched up correctly.

The next step is to put both girls' clothes into one basket, bring them upstairs, and put their clothes away into their respective dressers. Usually my son's clothes take up more space, so his clothes get their own trip and that basket I leave in his room for him to put away. Finally, my wife's clothes and my clothes come upstairs, with my wife's clothes at the bottom of the basket. I put my clothes away and leave the basket for my wife to put her clothes away.

In the winter the sofa is more full as the clothes we wear are bulkier and there are usually more layers. The clothes that are hanging to dry in the basement usually join a load out of the dryer on the subsequent day to be brought upstairs for folding.

I enjoy the action of folding laundry, I find it therapeutic. What does occasionally happen, however, is that by the time I am done folding I am out of energy or willingness to continue and so the clothes stay folded and sorted on the sofa overnight to be dealt with the next day. Often we are watching a movie while I am folding the laundry and while my wife does some work to catch up on her job on her laptop. Normally this is after the kids are in bed, so it is often late at night that I am done.

This is a little bit longer of a hub than I normally write, oh well, I hope that you can see that the way I fold and sort at the same time serves a good purpose for getting the clothes more easily put away.


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    • Phil Plasma profile imageAUTHOR

      Phil Plasma 

      7 years ago from Montreal, Quebec

      We don't actually have a TV subscription with any service, so we don't have commercials. If the movie we have that we are watching is one we've seen before, I fold at a faster rate as I can listen and know what is going on in movie. If it is a movie I haven't seen before, it takes me significantly longer, but I get to enjoy the movie. Thanks for stopping by!

    • magnoliazz profile image


      7 years ago from Wisconsin

      This is a great hub, because it shows that housework need not be boring or menial. I like the way you have this task organized and tailored to the needs of your family.

      Try folding the clothes and doing other chores during the commercials on TV. You will never get tired out and you would not believe how much you can get done. Kids work well this way, it seems more like a game than a chore.

      I also like how everyone has certain chores they have to do. This is really important, because your kids are learning from you how to keep their home organized and clean. Cleaning is an important life skill to learn, and I think we should all take it much more seriously.

    • Phil Plasma profile imageAUTHOR

      Phil Plasma 

      7 years ago from Montreal, Quebec

      Do at least one load per day and that is how you can stay on top of it. Thanks for stopping by!

    • tebo profile image


      7 years ago from New Zealand

      Laundry takes up a lot of our time doesn't it. I can't imagine how people with large families ever get their laundry up to date. Enjoyed reading, thanks.

    • Phil Plasma profile imageAUTHOR

      Phil Plasma 

      7 years ago from Montreal, Quebec

      Hi Cog, eventually, yes, the kids will have to do their own laundry, of even better, the whole family's laundry and then I am off the hook, but for now it is me. Thanks for stopping by!

    • Cogerson profile image


      7 years ago from Virginia

      Very interesting family is a family of seven....and each day of the week a family member has the laundry room.....and seeing I have a 2 year old and a 5 year old.....I get to use the laundry room three times a week. Interesting hub.

    • Phil Plasma profile imageAUTHOR

      Phil Plasma 

      7 years ago from Montreal, Quebec

      Thanks, EB. I am in the unemployed group now too, since last Thursday - laid off. I'm hoping to find work again soon, but fortunately have a good severance package. Either way (employed or not) I'm the laundry doer.

    • Ebower profile image

      Erin Bower 

      7 years ago from Georgia

      I can tell you've found a system that works for ya'll. We fold our laundry on our ping pong table. I usually do all of the steps of laundry, because I am unemployed and at home most of the time. I appreciate all the original pictures and posting your own video. I voted this up and useful!


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