Laundry is an interesting beast. Most people hate doing it. But EVERYONE needs it to get done. We are constantly wearing clothes, getting them dirty (hopefully showering) then putting on more clean clothes. There isn’t really anyway around this cycle. Laundry follows us around for our whole lives.
As babies and young children, we’re lucky. We create A LOT of dirty laundry but it gets done for us. As we get older, we are (hopefully) taught how and expected to do our own laundry. Think about it, the world would be a scary place if everyone stopped doing their laundry.
I feel like part of my “job” as a homemaker is to streamline my tasks. If one of my responsibilities around the house can be made more efficient, this is good for my whole family. The less time I spend doing these things, the more time I have to do other things (either for my family or for MYSELF). This has been on my mind for a while and I think I have finally cracked the laundry code. Hang on, gotta go put a load of laundry in while I’m thinking about it.
The Ultimate Laundry Strategy
I have found that doing one load of laundry every day helps make it not so challenging. Start to finish. Everyday. It is so much quicker and way more efficient than waiting till the weekend (or till your out of clean clothes) to wash, dry, and fold ALL of the laundry. I have made it part of my early morning routine to put a load of laundry in the washer. I always check to see the estimated time is on my washer then tell Siri to set a timer. Then by midmorning it’s time to switch it. Again, I check the estimated time and set a timer. By my toddlers nap around noon, it’s hot and ready to fold. Before I go to bed, I make sure the dirty laundry I want to wash the next day is sorted and ready to go.
If mornings are a busy time for you or if you aren’t very productive in the morning, this strategy can be implemented at any time of the day. For example, you could start a load of laundry in the afternoon before picking up your kids from school, switch it after they get settled in at home, then fold it while they do homework or after dinner.
I’ve simplified this into a few guidelines to follow. They are GUIDELINES though, so they still have some flexibility. The biggest factor in a successful laundry routine is consistency. And no, consistently waiting till you have that mountain of dirty laundry doesn’t count 😉
Here’s the strategy!
Laundry Strategy Guidelines
Do a load of laundry, start to finish, every day.
I use the term day loosely here. Maybe putting a load of wash in before you go to bed, switching it first thing in the morning, then folding after breakfast is best for you. Or maybe you don’t have a ton of laundry and don’t need to wash so often. If theses the case, you could do this routine every other day or every third day. Just make sure you stay consistent.
Set a timer and switch the load as soon as it’s done
This isn’t completely necessary. Usually I’m doing laundry while I’m also working on other cleaning projects or while I’m cooking. So that reminder that I am multitasking helps me stay efficient.
Always fold/hang it hot
Folding is probably the most time consuming part of this whole deal. If the kids aren’t around and I have a good show on, I enjoy it thoroughly. But if the kids are in the room and I can’t watch said show, or worse, I’m watching one of their movies for the 10,000th time, it’s a hard task to get through. Folding it warm brings a spark to it that makes it a little more enjoyable. I like to challenge myself to get the whole basket folded before it cools down.
Always put it away immediately
This is another step I STRUGGLE WITH. I could get a whole clean mountain folded but by the time I get to the end, the last thing I want to do is run around the house putting it all away. But getting lazy makes it worse. If I don’t do it right away, I usually end up trying to place it all in the basket so I can go to bed or protect it from the kids.
Get the kids (or your husband) involved
I didn’t mention this above, but if getting your husband and kids involved is what it takes to get this done, DO IT. My husband does not assist at laundry at all, but that’s how we both preter it. As my boys get bigger and more capable, I have them help more. My preschooler loves to scoop the soap and my toddler likes putting the dryer sheets in the dryer.
Don’t Fall Behind
Falling behind on any of these steps can be detrimental. It can send you right back to either staring at a mountain of dirty laundry that needed to be washed or a mountain of clean laundry that needed to be folded. I’m speaking from experience here. There has been a couple times since I’ve started this routine that something happens and I don’t finish my load for the day or I don’t even get it started. When I fall behind even for one day, it’s difficult to pick it back up again the next day.
Make It A Habit Now
I’m a big believer in habits. The longer I’m consistent with my laundry routine, the easier and more enjoyable it is. Figure out which points in your day are easiest to start, switch, fold, and put away load of laundry and be consistent!
What is your biggest challenge when it comes to laundry? Do you think this strategy will help?