I finally found a laundry routine that works!
Believe it or not, laundry is my favorite chore.
But it can also make or break my day.
If I am on top of the laundry pile, I feel like my whole day goes better.
If I’m behind, it’s hard for me to concentrate on anything else. It’s almost as if Mount Laundry is calling to me from its hiding place in my bedroom closet.
Thankfully, even when I do get behind now (which usually happens after a family vacation or when, ahem, while I’m working on a big project), I know how to catch up and stay caught up.
Figuring out how to take the overwhelm out of my laundry routine has been a huge game changer. It started when my mentor, Holly, convinced me of the benefits of doing just one load of laundry per day.
After implementing Holly’s tip of completing just one load of laundry per day, from start to finish, I was able to begin tweaking it to meet my family’s routine and needs.
I can’t wait to share with you my 4-step laundry routine because it really works!
1. Throw a load in at night–when the kids are getting ready for bed.
At 2, 4, and 6, my girls are independent enough now to put on their own pajamas. While they are doing this, I toss a load of dirty clothes into the washer. Because I’m piggybacking laundry with an activity we do every day, it makes it easy to remember.
Throwing in one load of laundry takes me less than five minutes!
2. Toss the clothes in the dryer after the kids are in bed.
After we put the girls to bed, my husband and I usually do a little work on our computers or sometimes watch a TV show. I listen for the washer to finish, and I quickly toss the clothes in the dryer after the wash is done.
As a bonus, using the washer and dryer at night costs less money than it does to use these appliances during the daytime hours!
3. Fold the clothes the next morning.
Most of our clothes do not wrinkle very badly, and if they do need a fluff, I might turn on the dryer for just a few minutes to de-wrinkle them.
An old trick my grandmother once taught me was to toss a wet washcloth in with the wrinkled clothing. Something about the wetness with the heat makes the wrinkles fall out!
It takes me no more than 10 minutes to fold one load of laundry. I do this mid-morning, and I place all of the clothes into the individual containers assigned to each child (and my husband and I share a basket).
The containers sit neatly on a shelf, so it’s not like a bunch of laundry is all over the place (like it used to be!).
Note: I use these color-coded laundry baskets for each child!
4. Put the clothes away (at bedtime).
While the girls are still getting ready for bed (it takes them longer to get ready than it takes me to accomplish step #1!), I quickly put away their clothes.
Since I only do one load of laundry per day, it takes me about five minutes to put it all away.
Yes, it takes me an entire day to do one load of laundry, but because I divide the task into four 5-10 minutes tasks, it’s easy to complete each step from start to finish–without it taking up close to an hour at one time!
I am a busy work-at-home mom who doesn’t have an entire hour to spare, but, this way, I can complete one full load of laundry per day, which helps me to stay on top of it (for the most part!)!
Trimming down our wardrobes has also helped tremendously in preventing our laundry from getting too out of hand. Before, we could go weeks without washing clothes (I know–it’s embarrassing!) because we had way too many!
Now, our smaller wardrobes force me to keep on top of things.
I rarely face the laundry blues now, and laundry is back to being my favorite chore!
Need more laundry help?
Check out Taming the Laundry Monster by Angi Schneider. In Angi’s own words:
“If you are regularly overwhelmed and frustrated with laundry, there’s hope. This book will help you think through your schedule and systems and develop a plan that is unique for your unique family.”