This post is sponsored by Tide. All opinions are my own.
You’ve just spent an hour sorting and folding the massive mound of laundry you’ve been dreading. The clothes are neatly stacked and just waiting for your kids to carry them upstairs and put them away in their drawers. It sounds easy enough, just carry the stack, open the drawer, and place those neatly folded tops and bottoms where they belong.
Unfortunately, that never turns out like you expect. The whining ensues about how hard it is to carry the pile. When you finally get them to act, they drop half the pile on the way up the stairs (even though you told them to take just a small handful if they needed to). Then they throw the pile on the top of the dresser, or maybe even on the floor.
Their job is done, or so they think.
Even if you get all the clothes properly put away, somehow when laundry day rolls around those clean clothes (sometimes even still folded!) end up right back in the dirty clothes hamper. You’re appalled! You just spent hours doing laundry!
I have a busy household with four boys ages 3-11. I finally had it. I was ready to quit laundry altogether. I decided it was time to change sometime, and it needed to be something drastic, to end the struggle of laundry all over my house.
Cutting Corners on Laundry Duty
They make laundry time so fast because you literally just grab 1-3 PODs (depending on your load size) and toss them right into the washing machine before you add your clothing or linens. Each of the PODs include washing detergent, stain remover, and color protector all pre-measured without the mess or heavy jugs to haul.
But what I really needed now was something that easy for handling the laundry piles, too. A mom can dream, right?
I had been brainstorming solutions and trying to figure out something – anything – to tackle all the laundry problems.
I drew plans to build a laundry basket holding and folding station so I could have 4 laundry baskets hanging out in the laundry room with a specific place to be. It sounded like a good plan. I’m so very glad I didn’t end up going that route. I fully intended to build it, I even bought the lumber, but when I got home I realized all the cuts were completely off with sometimes a whole inch difference in depth from one side of the board to the other. I was in way over my head, there wasn’t any easy way for me to cut plywood by myself.
Then, instead of all the hassle and the work, I realized I already had something that would work just perfectly for the space. I measured and triple checked… yes!
It was time to move a dresser into my laundry room! It sounded borderline crazy. I wasn’t positive if it would work out in the long run.
Setting up The Family Dresser
That’s when I recruited my husband to help me pull our double wide dresser that was in my older two boys’ shared bedroom. With eight drawers it was just enough for each of the kids to have two drawers. It would be tight, but it would work.
I pulled all their clothes from all over the house into the laundry room and set up the dresser. We moved sweaters and jackets to the hall closet. The drawers started out a little overstuffed, but we’ve since slimmed down on their clothes, donating some of the older tattered clothes or tops they never wear to keep their one drawer for all their tops and bottoms maintainable. The smaller top drawer houses all their socks, underwear, pajamas, swimsuits, and any accessories.
Once we had a routine established and the boys remembered which drawers were theirs, the change went incredibly well for our family.
See My Story & The Reveal
This quick 4-minute video will give you a tour of how I’m using my laundry room and our family dresser as a perfect laundry solution!
An Important Note Laundry Room Safety
With your family spending a lot of time in and near the laundry room (especially if you follow my hack!), it’s more important than ever to be sure you have safety measures in place. Be sure your laundry detergent is closed after each use and in their original packaging.
The original packaging is designed to be as safe as possible and works much better than an old storage container or cute glass jar that can make it so easy for kids to access the washing agents. Tide recently announced the introduction of Child-Guard™ lids for Tide PODs containers, which makes it difficult for little hands to open the packaging. The Child-Guard feature has been protecting the zipper packs for a while.
Always make sure your laundry detergent is stored up high, out of reach, and out of sight. Use a storage cabinet with a closed door if possible or stash your products in a bin to keep them hidden to provide extra safety.
It’s such a simple step to keep the products up high out of reach, but it’s something we sometimes overlook for convenience (or let’s be real… laziness) of leaving the detergent right on top of the dryer. Your laundry room will look better, you can rest assured your laundry room is safer, and your curious kids will find something else to get into… like the pantry!
5 Favorite Things the Family Dresser Changed
1. No More Hauling Laundry – The laundry no longer needs to get hauled from the laundry room up to the bedrooms and back again each time I complete a load. My old routine also included me hauling out the clothes from the laundry room into a big massive pile on the couch so I could sort and fold. The family dresser eliminates the need to haul the laundry out of the laundry room at all.
2. A Sorting Station – The top of the dresser provides a generous folding station with lots of room to sort and stack. Most of the time, I will quickly sort through the clothes by size/child and then fold and put the clothes right into their drawers. I can keep that child’s drawer open while I fold so they go right into the dresser and any missorted clothes start to form a stack right on the dresser top.
3. Skipping the Laundry Baskets – I don’t need to question if the clothes around their bedroom floor are clean or dirty. When they change their clothes, they immediately toss their dirty duds right into the washing machine. When the washing machine is full, or close to full, I’ll scrounge around to see if there are any random clothing items around the main floor and toss them in before starting the load.
4. Fewer Laundry Loads – Because I’m not rewashing clothes they never wore (for the most part) I save a lot of time and extra loads each week. I usually start the wash about every 3 days and will wash their load and then toss in a second load with adult laundry or linens or whatever else may need to be washed. The back-to-back loads a couple of times a week makes it not feel like laundry has completely overtaken my life!
5. Less Laundry Around the House – With there being a clearly defined and easy-to-access place for them to put away their clothes and toss their dirty laundry on the main floor, I’ve found there is a lot less random clothing spewed across our main living areas. There’s also hardly any laundry in their bedrooms. Maybe an outfit or two a week that they bring down. Previously, the kids would haul massive armfuls of laundry whenever I told them it was time to clean their room. This past weekend, the “armful” was a small bundle, not even half a laundry basket full, after a few weeks.
*Bonus Favorite: The Boys Are More Frequently Dressed – Despite how much laundry I go through each week, my boys used to strip down as often as they could get away with it to just underwear. It drove this mama batty! They still do this, for sure, but it’s a super easy fix with no-battle involved as their clothes are just a few steps away from our main living area. There are no excuses that work and I’ve literally seen much less skin around my home.
FAQ’s about Using a Family Dresser
1. How do all their clothes fit in just one dresser?
By pairing back on their amount of clothes. I stashed away out of season clothing, donated clothes they never wore or that were not in great condition from lots of wear. Since I wash their clothes at least twice a week, they really only need about one weeks’ worth of clothing which easily fits in a single drawer. They still have more than that, currently, because they just own more clothes than that, but I will be buying less clothing as they size up to be more aligned with their actual needs.
2. Where do they change?
I have all boys, and they have very little sense of modesty or decency. They most often change right in the laundry room as it’s the easiest, least effort option. We do have a bathroom right next to our laundry room, so occasionally they’ll move to the bathroom to change if company is over and they’re feeling the need to be more appropriate.
3. Is it still working?
Yes! We’ve had the family dresser set up for almost 2 months now and I absolutely love it! I won’t be changing back to a traditional clothing setup for any of my boys until they specifically ask for it. I’m expecting that will probably be around when my oldest two are 14 and 12. My oldest could care less about what he wears, and I don’t see that changing until he’s trying to impress a girl. My 2nd cares about what he wears, but I still don’t think he’s in any hurry to start taking responsibility of his laundry.
Do you think a family dresser would work for your crew?