The struggle to stay on top of the laundry is a common challenge for homemakers. It is a never-ending cycle of dirty clothes, finding the time and motivation to do laundry, sorting clothes, and the constant need to fold and put away clean laundry. Staying on top of the laundry requires consistent effort and organization to prevent it from becoming an overwhelming and time-consuming chore.
Laundry used to stress me out, but then I started a laundry routine. Now it rarely gets out of hand, and even when it does, it is so rare that it doesn’t seem stressful. My brain knows that it’s not the norm now so it’s okay.
There is no right or wrong laundry routine. Some people like to do all of it in one day, but this is the method that helps me flourish and stay on top of the laundry.
Here are the 4 parts that make up my laundry routine…
Having a day where laundry is the theme or business of the day is a big help. This doesn’t mean that this is all you do that day or that this is the only day that you do laundry on. Having a laundry themed day means choosing one day in the week to get ahead on the laundry.
I typically do a load of laundry, almost every day, except on Sundays. This is when I get our clothes washed, but on the themed day, I wash extra things like sheets and dress clothes. Having a day set aside to get ahead on laundry has been so helpful.
One Load Every Day
Along with having a laundry themed day, doing a load every day helps me conquer this chore.
I like to start a load as part of my morning routine before the children get up. This helps me get a head start and gets the load in the dryer and dried around lunchtime.
I’m working to develop the habit of folding the laundry on the same day during my daily tidy routine. If I don’t fold it the same day, the clothes tend to sit until it builds up and it becomes overwhelming.
Tackling one load a day all the way keeps it from building up. It is much more manageable to do one load from start to finish, from the hamper all the way back to our dressers and closets, then to leave a load to be folded at some other time. The more I put off folding laundry, the higher the pile seems to grow until it becomes so big that I have to block off a large amount time just to get the laundry folded.
It typically takes me about 15 to 20 minutes to fold a large load of laundry so it’s no wonder that when three or four loads pile up it takes me about an hour to get it all done.
It is mostly psychological, but I am more motivated to do 15 minutes periodically of folding laundry, then to have to sit down and to do a whole hour or more.
One Laundry Basket
Another important part of my laundry routine is only having one laundry basket. About a year ago, I decluttered all the extra laundry baskets that we had and took it down to just one.
Part of the reason for doing this is because I have toddlers and a pile of anything just laying around begs them to scatter it all over the house. I keep our one laundry basket in our room where they can’t get to it and any time I am changing them or I find dirty clothes I take them either to the laundry basket or straight to the washing machine.
I only have one laundry basket, but I do use my washing machine as a laundry basket, too. This system works itself out nicely because the clothes have to go in there anyways so I might as well store them in there while they’re waiting to be washed.
The other thing that’s nice about it is that I don’t have to go all over the house looking for random dirty garments before I do laundry. This conquers so much chaos!
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Laundry Folding Habit
Since I get to fold laundry for the rest of my life, I decided I might as well do it in a way that I don’t have to think about it as much. I created a system to fold laundry so that becomes routine. Here is how I do it.
- Fold in the same place – Sometimes this changes with the seasons of life, but I try to find the best place to fold laundry where I will have plenty space and where the children can see me since they like to know that I am near. Previously this was the couch, but now find that dining room table works well. Since this is where I have been folding laundry when it comes time to fold laundry, I don’t have to figure out where I want to do it. I already know to take the laundry basket straight to the table.
- Sort before folding – I’m still not sure why, but sorting clothes into piles before folding them instead of folding them as I pull them out of the basket is less stressful. It took one large task and broke it down into smaller ones and my brain loves it!
- Have the piles in the same place every time – After dumping the laundry out (since I only have laundry basket), I place towels in the basket , my son’s clothes in a pile on the left farther from me, my daughter’s in a pile on the left closer to me, my husband’s on the right in a pile farther from me, and my clothes in a pile closer to me. I have already chosen where I want the piles to go and I always sort them this way so that my brain doesn’t have to think about where I want someone’s pile to go every time I do laundry.
- Fold piles in the same order – There are five piles that I sort laundry into and I have found that I like to fold them in a certain order every time. It did take a little training to establish this habit, but its routine now. I don’t have to think about.
- Place piles in the basket according to the layout of our rooms – It’s less taxing when putting away clothes to follow the layout of our house. I happen to live in a house that has all the rooms lined up along one side of the hallway with our bedroom at the end. It’s nice and easy when I am done folding to place things in the basket in the same order so that I can go from one room to the next without thinking where I need to go next or having to back track because laundry piles were placed in the basket in a different order. Occasionally I do flip the order just to keep things interesting and also to see if I am still doing what fits best for the season I am in.
This probably sound super tedious, but doing laundry is a big task! If you break it down and organize your method of sorting and folding laundry, it’s less stressful. You don’t have to think about what needs to be done next because you already have a plan in place so that everything makes sense and flows together.
Laundry used to be stressful and really hard for me to stay on top of. These 4 ideas of having a theme have transformed this stressful chore into a manageable habit. It’s routine now and I don’t have to think about all the different little steps because I have already predetermined how I am going to do it.
Also, doing it all in one day never worked well for me because it never could get all the way done in one day, but that may work for you. It was too stressful for me, but now I hardly think about the laundry, this laundry routine broke things down and simplified my homemaking. It has made me a better homemaker!
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