By reservation only

Making reservations is something that is not uncommon.  We reserve tables at resturaunts, seats at events and on planes, time slots on the golf course, beds to sleep in at locations away from home.  I'm wondering:  what about making reservations for laundry?  You can likely fly somewhere with a last minute ticket, stay overnight at a 5-star hotel by merely checking in upon your unannounced arrival, maybe even sneak in a tee-time or sit down at a classy eating establishment without your name on a list when there are only one or two of you, but NINE?  Not likely!  I'm really beginning to think about devising some sort of reservation system for laundry in my house. 

I do not have a scheduled laundry day.  In fact, I'm not sure that there isn't a day that I don't do laundry.  Now, by my definition, "doing" laundry means putting it in the washing machine, transferring it to the dryer and then to a basket.  "Finishing" would be to actually fold and put it away where it belongs.  I hate that part!  Someone once said to me when we were getting ready to have Mathilda, "Wait until you see how much laundry four children generate!"  I really didn't think much of her comment because at that time I felt like I had a pretty good handle on it.  At that time we had a laundry shoot--a real one that actually had a door on it, so the floor of my laundry room didn't look a mess until I was actually doing laundry.  Today, this is my laundry shoot:
This is on a minimal laundry day.  This is my stairwell to the basement.  The laundry only gets removed when requested, otherwise it is primarily the laundry shoot and secondarily the access point to the basement.  At the bottom of this laundry shoot and to the left is where the laundry space is located.  There aren't too many days that it looks like an organized space, because I've found that as soon as it is, the next day is upon me and the load on the floor is the previous days attire from the nine of us.  This too is a light day:

Geesh.  Pictures seem so much bolder than just walking into it.  Yikes!  So, by the time the laundry room floor is clean, all of my baskets are occupied because remember, I don't like to fold and put away.  I'm learning to at least take the clean baskets out of the laundry room because if I don't, it is likely that they will need to be washed again because they've been dumped amidst the dirty clothes in an effort to find something to wear.  This then, is what my living room  looks like until all the baskets are emptied and clean laundry relocated to somewhere closer to where it belongs:

This image is not because I've dumped everything out so I can have one big massive pile, it is the result of someone needing to find something.  It appears that this could be a weeks worth of laundry, but in all reality, it is simply a couple of days...all washed between Tuesday pm and this morning, so mabye 36 hours?
This means that drawers still contain clothing that can be worn, but somehow everything needed is in these baskets.  You'd think I'd have learned by now to eliminate the rest of the supply!

Often, my laundry load is quadrupled.  This happens when someone cleans their room.  Fifty percent of it is actually dirty, the other 50% is still folded!!!  This brings me to my idea:  laundry reservations.  Maybe if everyone had to make a reservation to "pick up" their laundry at a certain time on a certain day each week, knowing that it won't be ready before then, and if they fail to keep their reservation, they'll have to put in for another one, they would be more willing to comply to the laundry rules already established but rarely followed.  They are simple:  Dirty clothes downstairs, clean clothes in drawers.  We've approached this chore several different ways, and have several more up our sleeves, but the next one just may be "Laundry by reservation only".  Laundry for nine certainly is a big task...good thing I've got cheap labor!