2008 new year’s resolution wrap up

At the start of 2008, I made a new year’s resolution to get my laundry situation under control. Laundry always has been the one chore that I hate more than all the others, and I was determined to find a way to clear my life of laundry stress.

I did a relatively decent job staying on top of my laundry situation until our dryer died and I had to declare laundry bankruptcy in May. Since the dryer situation was fixed, I have to admit that things have gone pretty well in the laundry realm.

From time to time, laundry will get folded and live on the couch for a day before making it into the dresser. However, washed, dried, and folded laundry is leaps and bounds ahead of the huge piles that used to form in the dirty clothes hamper.

The best change I made to keep laundry under control in our home was to decrease the size of our hampers. I got rid of the large hampers and replaced them with single load size hampers. When the hampers are filled, I know I have one load of laundry to wash. Psychologically, I know I can easily take on one load and so I do it without any procrastination. Most weeks, I do a load of laundry every Monday, and two loads on Thursday (I change the sheets on the bed and wash the bath towels as an extra load on Thursday). That’s it. Laundry no longer is a major stress in my life — a wonderful improvement from this point last year.

I’ve started to think about what organizing goal I’m going to add to my 2009 new year’s resolutions. As I did last year, I’ll announce my decision in January and my plan to achieve that goal.

What organizing resolutions are you considering for 2009? How did you fare with your organizing resolutions for 2008? I’m interested in reading what goals you plan to set in the comments!

35 Comments for “2008 new year’s resolution wrap up”

  1. posted by Rachel Barton on

    AMAZING> I do at least one load EVERY Day and on Mondays, sheet changing day Three loads. (I even have the industrial size washer and dryer.) In the summer it is even worse–we have a pool. I feel I need to wash the towels after each use to avoid spread of germs (my middle son contracted impetigo one summer). Is this crazy? Or do other people with a family of five have this much laundry also?

  2. posted by Erin Doland on

    @Rachel — We’re a family of two, so we have it a little easier! 🙂

  3. posted by Another Deb on

    My main organizational plan this year is to use my ScanSnap to scan papers. The house is lined with bookshelves which are loaded with teaching materials.

    The materials I actually used for my first semester this year are all in a pile in order, waiting to be placed in sleeves with all the notes and lesson plans. I can now scan the “what if I want to use the rest someday?” materials and recycle the hard copies. This includes a dozen years of teacher journals that I could actually access online if I need to. I’ll scan the articles I truly need and just save the yearly index on hard copy.

    My paper stash also includes cookbooks and recipes. These will either go into a notebook of recipes I have made and will use, or they will be scanned, or perhaps just tossed! I am learning to make notes on recipes I use so I don’t accidentally download the same blah one from an internet site.

    We have lots of tools to copy materials. We have a VHS to CD machine, a vinyl-to-CD machine for music, my Scan Snap document scanner as well as a Canon scanner that will do my slides. This is the year I am going to use them!

  4. posted by Imrcly on

    My plan is to not have a full storage shed and a full spare bedroom, I grew up with a pack rat and have been having a hard time not following that path but it is getting easier with the more I clear out. When you have a lot of outdoor hobbies the accessories that make life easier outdoors start to stack up bicycles, camping, boating and fishing all take up their own little bit of space that adds up quickly. How do you unclutter a shed of outdoor gear. The goal is to have an actual spare bedroom and a usable shed.

  5. posted by Samantha on

    My resolution is more psychological – I resolve to stop overthinking every decision and over-analyzing every option, especially on things that aren’t that big of a deal to start with. For example, I need a new camera. With any money I receive for Christmas, I intend to find a couple in my price range, read an online review or two, buy one, and enjoy it without worrying that I made the wrong decision or there was a better option out there.

  6. posted by Jesse on

    Organizationally Challenged, that’s me…
    I’m doing several things this year to work on that, first and foremost I de-cluttered my basement living space. The next step is getting rid of my big desk and making a simple, small one to replace it. That way I won’t have the surface area to re-clutter. It only has to fit my Macbook and the study guide I’m using to get Apple Certified.

    @slowingdown (Twitter id)

  7. posted by Tracy J on

    First of all, I am jealous of your laundry situation… my family of four SHOULD do a load a day! Of course I don’t every day so it quickly turns into a daunting task.

    As for what i want to resolve this year…. streamline my stuff!
    My accumulation of treasures used to be terrible, but I am much much better since stiffening my resolve by reading encouraging blogs like this one. There are a few trouble spots I still need to tackle.
    The laundryroom is a dreadful drop zone (hence my trepidation about laundry time)and 50% of the stuff jammed in there doesn’t have a “home”. There is my first clue that it is clutter!
    The other trouble spot is my office. I get it all photo-worthy, then it reverts to chaos in only a couple days.

  8. posted by Bet on

    I solved the laundry problem for our family of 7 by having a weekly laundry schedule. I did two or three loads on Mon-Thurs and if I had to “catch up” I finished on Friday. This kept things from getting too burdensome. As my kids each go off to high school, they learn to do their own laundry- but I’ve stuck to my schedule for myself and my husband and it makes things so much easier.

    This year I need to organize our basement. There are a lot things down there that I can get rid of: kids’ toys, books, clothes, etc. We need to clear a big space around our furnace so we can have it serviced!

  9. posted by coco on

    we are a family of 4 and i do a lot of laundry. i have a thing about towels and we use one per person per shower or bath. that makes for a lot of towels, especially since my husband often takes 2 per day. i just came up with a pretty good system that has been working so far. i have a small round basket indoors. ALL the dirty clothes and towels get thrown into that. then once or twice a day i take it to the outdoor laundry room and seperate it into 3 hampers that are labeled “lights”, “darks” and “towels”. i usually do 1-2 loads per day. my problem is putting the clean ones away, but that’s another story.

    to help keep things organized we only have about 7 outfits each max. my husbands work clothes ALL go to the cleaners, so i don’t have to worry about those.

  10. posted by Jon Mattison on

    On the surface the 1-load capacity hamper sounds great, but the question that comes to my mind is do you not separate your laundry into whites, brights and darks? Perhaps you meant to say that you have a 1-load capacity hamper for each of these types of loads?


  11. posted by Jennifer on

    My goal for 2009 is to stick to my set routines and not let useless distractions get in the way of them. I have very good morning and evening routines that help me to stay organized and in control of my home and myself (putting things away, setting out next day’s outfit, preparing next day’s lunch, etc.). When I stick to those routines, my day is generally stress-free and fabulous! But more often than not, I ignore them or I get sidetracked with e-mails, a TV show, or a good book. When that happens, I find myself stressed out and scrambling in the evening to get everything done–things that would have already been done had I just stuck to my routine.

  12. posted by Annette on

    One thing I read about laundry is to switch to a two color system; lights and darks. When the light bin is full (one load worth) do it. When the dark bin is full (one load worth) do it.

  13. posted by Breakfast for Dinner on

    Congrats on tackling your laundry demons! I, very oddly, have enough clothes to not do laundry for at least 1 month. So every month or so, I end up with a full load of whites, darks, and colors. This leads me into my New Year’s Resolution: pare down my already organized closet so my favorite clothes can breathe.

    Also, as I continue to take on more hobbies and the supplies they require, I will make my craft closet even more organized and make sure that I’m actually using the supplies I’m storing. Scrapbooking party, here I come!

  14. posted by Michele on

    Making the laundry room a fun place to be helps a lot. We replaced our kitchen DVD/TV combo, and my husband plans to hang the old one on the wall over the dryer so I can pop in a movie while I fold clothes.

  15. posted by timgray on

    My wife and I solved the laundry issue. We got rid of 1/2 of all our clothes. If you will not have any pants next week, you HAVE TO do laundry.

    This way we do laundry 2 times a week, my daughter does her own and if we skip laundry, we cant go outside.

    Plus we now actually have room in our closets, dont have a ton of things we never wear, and have a lot less clutter.

  16. posted by Kate on

    I didn’t set goals for 2008, but am definitely setting goals for 2009. First, clean up our guest room/office … so silly to be paying for a second bedroom (we rent) that we can’t use since it’s become so cluttered. Second, consistently file/shred mail that comes in (at least 2x week) so that it doesn’t pile up… I’m sure I’ll think of more, too!

  17. posted by Maria Stahl on

    My organization goal for 2008 – which I met! – was to organize our finances. I used Quickbooks and set it up as if we are a business, so we could see where all our money was, where it was going, what we were spending on various things, and to trend things. This was the year we HAD to do this because we will be filling out the FAFSA for the first time next month and I wanted to be ready. As it turns out, it was a huge help because my husband is getting laid off early in the new year and will be going back to school himself, and we’ll be filling out the FAFSA twice – plus we were able to see exactly what steps we needed to take to survive financially until he is retrained and working in a new career.

    It’s such a good feeling.

  18. posted by cherylkay on

    I am going to get a shelving unit and organize my craft supplies in 2009. Now everything is spread out accross 6 tables and a ledge in the family room.

  19. posted by Analisa Roche on

    @Rachel – family of six here, have to do one or two loads a day to stay caught up, not counting sheets and towels. 🙂

  20. posted by Laura on

    I am going to buy a huge three ring binder and make a Family Workbook. If something doesn’t fit in there, such as huge manuals, I will slide in a piece of paper that tells where to find said manual.

    My goal is to have a one-stop place for important information.

    One thing we did this year, we consolidated all of our very important papers and documents into a bright orange folder, made copies of everything inside, and we keep the folder in the laundry room. We live very close to the California wildfires and have been evacuated a couple of times. This way one of us will grab the folder.

    Re: laundry. We are a family of 5, and I do at least five loads a week: sheets; handwash light; handwash dark; towels; jeans & hot-water darks; underwear, socks and hot-water whites; and cold-water lights. The worst part is putting the clothes away.

    This laundry is just for three of us -my husband, ten-year-old and myself- the 17 and 19 year old have to do their own laundry. They do it about once very two months.

  21. posted by Rachel on

    I would love to be in your situation. I have to load up my car and drive 35 mins to the closest laundromat.

  22. posted by Lisa on

    My goal for 2009 is to declutter paper – the “I might need it some day” stack of magazines and articles.

    As for laundry… I wouldn’t think you’d need to wash your towels every time you use them – they are just toweling water off of a clean person. I wash mine once every week and half or two weeks.

  23. posted by Annie on

    I tackled the laundry demon by doing it only once per week. Otherwise I felt trapped in an endless cycle of washing, drying, folding, putting away, repeat, over and over and over again. Instead on Wednesday morning I empty the hampers, strip the beds, grab the towels, napkins, throw rugs, coats, etc. and it all goes into the laundry room. We have a front loader and usally 6 large loads of laundry. I may toss a load or two in Tuesday night if there is a lot to get done. Wednesday evening I have t.v. time and fold eveything in an hour or two. Beds are made up (we have two sets of sheets for all beds) earlier in the day. Everything else is folded and put away by the next morning.

    We recently moved and carefully set up the laundry room with cabinets and countertops, hanging racks attached to the wall, and shelves – so that everything has a place and the laundry system works for us.

  24. posted by Pat on

    We wash almost everyday, due to the fact we have a tiny washing machine and no place to store dirty clothes! Family of 3. Mostly we wash in cold and are pretty lax about separating.

    I was very impressed with my niece’s set up – she has a baby, a toddler and twin 3rd graders. Lots of laundry! Big washer & dryer, and above them two labeled baskets for each family member. Socks & underwear go into a small basket – clothes into another. She doesn’t fold anything or pair socks. The twins and hubby are responsible for getting their own clothes from the laundry room to their own rooms.

    My goal for 2009 – is to have a goal!

  25. posted by gypsy packer on

    This year, I want to get all old scans into a set of Access databases. Easier said than done, since most are old and not scanned through ABBYY.

    Second project is to convert all of those old phono records and tapes into WMA files and back them up, then get rid of the clutter.

    Wash has long been on the one basket per person=1 load per person system.

  26. posted by Beverly D on

    What do you guys do, wear your clothes out in the wash? I raised a family of three girls and did the laundry once a week. Period. If you think you will need to wear an item on Thursday, don’t wear it on Monday and get it dirty. Everyone had 10 days worth of underwear so if something happened to the schedule there were spares. I wash towels once a week, everyone has their own and no one needs a clean towel every bath unless something unusual happened. Sheets get washed and put back on the beds every 2 weeks. As they got old enough they helped, and when they left the nest they knew how to do the whole routine.

    I’m working on organizing my genealogy records this year, getting everything properly scanned and in order. I have Family Tree Maker with all the hard data entered but the paper never got organized since I moved 2 years ago.

  27. posted by Monianne on

    Ifinally got my paper, magazines, and books under control late this year. Reading sites like this has helped me change my packrat ways! My next challenge is to develop a laundry and recycling system. My 11 year old son and I live in a small student apartment. We have to drive to the community laundry and the recycling center. Far too often, clothes and recyclables pile up until I find time in my grad student schedule to handle them. The funny thing is, once I get to the center, things go smoothly and quickly! It’s like working out – getting started is the hardest part!

  28. posted by Amy in Ann Arbor on

    My biggest accomplishment of 2008 was the uncluttering of much of the house where we have lived for 20 years. I plan to finish it, down to the basement, garage attic and shed.

    For 2009 I have a fairly massive photo project in mind. My father, who died last year, was the repository for the old, sepia photos of different branches of his family, along with similar collections from my mother’s family. I would love to scan all of these, and distribute the resulting .jpg files to other members of the two families. Then I would like to get together with my cousins from one side, aunts from the other, and divide up the photos themselves. That way, my kids won’t face an even bigger burden of old photos someday.

    These older, hand-developed photos will not feed in the sheet-fed scanners that photo digitizing services use. And, unfortunately, the ScanSnap is optimized for text and wouldn’t do a very good job. So, I think I’m stuck with using a slow, flat bed scanner. I would be delighted if someone came up with a better idea!


  29. posted by Gay on

    I have a stack of magazines with recipes in them that I am going to try “someday”. My goal is to go through the magazines, scan the recipes I think I may want to try, and give the actual magazine to a co-worker. (We share magazines.)

  30. posted by tay on

    I’m glad I’m not the only one with the laundry problem! lol. My only real issue though is folding and putting away! I don’t really have a good organization of the closet and drawers so I end up putting it off and rifling through baskets for my outfits! I hate it! I think I too need to come up with a no folding organization system…Maybe that’s my goal for 09′ that and getting rid of all of the paper! I’m drowning.

  31. posted by Janine Adams on

    My 2008 goal was to clear my desk every day at the end of the work day (I work from home). With the help of http://www.dontbreakthechain.com I succeeded! It’s now a habit.

    Looking at 2009, I’m going to apply the same technique to the top of my bureau. It’s waist high and always piled with semi-clean clothes and jewelry. I hope to wake up to a clean bureau top every morning!

  32. posted by Juliana on

    My goal is to organize the bedroom closets (hopefully an Elfa system!) so that I actually *want* to do laundry and keep things neat. I hate the closets in the master bedroom right now because they have extremely unattractive and impractically placed built-in shelves and oddly placed hanging bars. I dislike them so much that my clothes just end up staying in the laundry baskets instead of getting put away, and eventually I can’t tell the clean from the dirty because I’m always pulling things out of various baskets!

  33. posted by Nancy on

    The best space saver I have found is collapsible mesh laundry hampers. When not in use they take up almost no room. Since having back and knee injuries walking up and down stairs is a chore and my laundry room is in the basement. I can toss a full basket of laundry down the stairs and that saves me carrying a heavy load. Lugging the clothes upstairs is another story. You can find these mesh hampers in Amazon, online, or at ACE Hardware. I’ve also bought a few at CVS Pharmacy. I love them!

  34. posted by lilliweiszsolutions on

    I DESPISE doing hand washing. Therefore I ended wearing dirty bras or clean sports bras (those just go in the normal wash) and then end up having to buy new ones more often than I should, because I don’t good care of the ones I have.

    Any words of wisdom on hand washing?

  35. posted by briezee on

    @lilliweiszsolutions: I wash everything on the delicate cycle in cold water (unless I’m washing animal pee out of something) – (something is broken in my washer and hot water takes 20 minutes to fill the machine) in my machine – including bras and wool socks. Then everything goes in the dryer on delicate cycle. If I’m on top of things, I’ll pull the bras and wool socks out and lay them to dry on top of the dryer, otherwise, they go through the cycle. My bras don’t last as long as they might otherwise (I replace them every couple years), but at least they are clean. I refuse to do hand washing. I don’t use bleach, so I think that helps things last longer.

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