Laundry. I don’t know many people who love it. Some say, “I love doing laundry!” but then honestly admit, “but I hate folding it and putting it away”. Here’s some news. The word “laundry” describes the whole chore in its entirety. Dragging all clothes to the laundry room, separating (if you’re an over achiever), putting the clothes into the washing machine (this is the part people “love”), adding whatever potions you deem necessary to thoroughly clean the clothes, actually remembering to switch the load over to the dryer when it is done (before it smells like mildew), adding your fancy dryer balls or fabric softener sheets, CLEANING THE LINT TRAP, removing the clothes (before they’re a wrinkly nightmare), folding them (gag! gag!), and convincing the nearest innocent bystanders to carry their clothes to their room, pull open a dresser drawer and carefully place them inside—that’s laundry. Whew.
Obviously, I’m not trying to convince you that laundry can be fun or easy.
What I would like to share however is my experience and how I’ve FINALLY found a laundry routine that works for me. It’s simple really.
My secret? Treat it like the dishes. Do it everyday.
At the end of the day when our clothes are dirty, we take them off and put them in the laundry basket (this rule applies to everyone in the house). Then, when the laundry basket is full (in our case usually at the end of every day), we carry it to the laundry room and put it in the wash.
Side note: If you can make it an entire week without doing any laundry then you probably have too many clothes. Try going a bit minimalist and clean out those closets!
After getting your clothes to the laundry room (every night), here’s where you can throw in a hack or two.
Let the wash run while you’re sleeping! When you wake up it’s like magical elves poured soap and water over your soiled mess and scrubbed away all signs of dirt and stain. Then, while your coffee is brewing, thank the magical elves for their service and switch the clothes over to the dryer (don’t forget to clean the lint trap!).
Ok, you’re halfway done but you’re dreading that awful buzzer (tip: newer washers and dryers alert you that your clothes are done with a pleasant melody—somehow this helps).
Now here’s where you need to get your head in the game and get ‘er done so to speak. As soon as you can, get that load out and fold it. I use to like to reward myself with a little Netflix while I folded but that tends to drag things out. Just accept that you have an unlikable task ahead and get it over with. Keep your eye on the prize—clean underwear!
Of course you may have to break up these steps throughout the day. You might fold the laundry while dinner is in the oven after you get home from work for example. That’s ok! The idea is to remember that laundry is an ongoing to chore. It will never be “done” so suck it up and make it apart of your everyday routine.
Hack number two. If you have older children (5+) make them fold their own clothes and put them away. Don’t let them believe in the “laundry elves” who fold their clothes and gently place them in their dressers on a daily basis. Sit them down and tell them that this elf is not real. He was fun to believe in while they were little but it’s time to grow up now. Laundry is a fact of life and the sooner they face their impending doom, the better 🙂
Laundry Tips & Tricks
Now your laundry is done and your children are turning into well-rounded adults. See? It’s not so bad!
Nike slogan applies. It’s when you let laundry pile up that it becomes an overwhelming mountain of terror. I use to have a “laundry day”, but it turned out that “laundry day” was worse than a “Monday”. I just couldn’t deal.
Just in case you’re not ready to comment below and thank me for my brilliant advice, I’ll throw in a few more tips…
- Don’t use chemical-laden laundry detergents (they’re bad for you).
- If you want to be frugal use this recipe and make a ton of your own detergent.
- Fancy dryer balls and essential oils are a great alternative to fabric softener sheets.
- I use a steamer to de-wrinkle my clothes (when I don’t make it to the dryer on time) or the “steam-refresh” setting on my dryer works well too.
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