It seems like every few weeks we have a discussion on Facebook about laundry, and how much we dislike it. Although most people don’t actually dislike laundry, they dislike something about cleaning clothes, either folding, putting away, etc.
I hear from so many women that they love to wash and dry, but not to fold. Or they love to fold, but they hate to put away. Or maybe they hate to sort socks, no matter what, there is usually some part of doing the laundry they don’t like.
Here are a seven simple ways to get your laundry under control this summer.
Accept that there will always be dirty clothes and give up on an empty hamper.
I think one of the reasons we dislike doing the laundry is that it is a never ending process. How many times have we seen the bottom of the hamper? I haven’t seen it very often and I’m sure I’m not alone. Laundry is frustrating because no matter how hard we work to finish it, there will always be another pair of dirty underwear flung into the hamper. (Actually, you’re lucky if it lands in the hamper)
Stop trying to achieve a empty basket and be happy with maintaining a certain level of clean laundry. If we view laundry as something we maintain rather than complete, we’re halfway to victory.
Create a laundry schedule that works for you.
I could tell you that I do one load a day and two on Saturdays and that is the best way to stay on top of your laundry, but I have nine people in my family. You might only need to wash three loads of laundry per week. Or, you might like clean towels every day so you need to wash two loads a day instead of one. For me, doing a load a day helps me feel like I’m staying on top of things, but I have other friends who love having a laundry day. Figure out the best laundry schedule for you and your family and go with it.
Get caught up.
If you’ve been in laundry denial for the past several days, months, years, etc, you might need a catch-up day before you start your new routine. You can’t really start a daily laundry schedule if you have ten loads of dirty laundry piled up. Not only should you get caught up on the laundry, consider cleaning out the laundry room. We’ve never really had a great laundry room. It’s either been very small or in a high traffic area to it becomes the dumping point for all things including laundry. But, even in our small spaces, a neat, well organized laundry space will make getting the job done a little easier.
Stop folding clothes.
If you hate folding clothes (and many people do) stop doing it, not everything has to be folded. For many years my boys had a bin for their socks and underwear and a bin for their shorts. Shirts were hung in the closet. It kept folding to an absolute minimum. Not only did I spend less time folding, even as toddlers they could throw the clean clothes into the bins. Using bins meant I didn’t need to put away the clean laundry, it was so easy a two year old could do it.
Make it fun.
The part of laundry that takes the most amount of time is folding. Make that time fun by turning on a favorite TV show or listening to music, you could even call a friend or video chat when folding the clothes. Occupy your mind with something other than folding clothes while you are doing and the time will go much faster. Before you know it the show will be over and the clothes will be folded and ready to be put away.
Get the kids involved.
Toddlers can collect the dirty clothes, sort by color, and even put some items away. As kids get older they can start doing their own laundry or even the laundry for their siblings. In my house the chore progression looks like this: collecting, sorting, putting away, washing and drying. Folding a load or two of laundry takes less than five minutes in my house because everyone helps get it done.
Finish the job.
While there will always be dirty laundry, you can finish the job of washing, drying, folding and putting away each load. Many people I know get stuck at the folding or putting away stage. I’ve been to many homes where stacks of folded laundry sit waiting on the couch or table to be put away, and they’ve been there for a day or two or three. Just do it! There are lots of things in life that we have to do even if we don’t like them. This is one of them.
If you don’t stay on top of Mt. Laundry, it will swallow you every time.
What is your biggest laundry challenge?
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