Day after day, I scroll through my Facebook newsfeed and see other mothers lamenting about their never-ending laundry. The laundry that has to be rewashed because it soured in the dryer, the laundry that has piled up enough that it will take an hour to fold, the ever-increasing supply of mismatched socks. . . Laundry is an unavoidable fact of life for anyone who wears clothes, and even more so for those of us who are responsible for getting all the clothes in the house clean.
Now, I have a confession. I honestly don’t mind doing laundry. I’m sure I’ll change my tune when the kids are bigger (with bigger clothes) or if we have more of them and my laundry multiplies, but for now, there’s something about getting everything nicely folded that is kind of peaceful. Since we got married 6 years ago, we’ve divided laundry and dishes according to who dislikes doing each. So, I handle the laundry, and the hubs handles the dishes. I’m not great at routinely dusting and I probably should clean my floors a little more often, but I am usually pretty on top of the laundry (barring a stomach bug or vacation). Over the last few years, I’ve found a few ways to help the process be a little more efficient. Hopefully I can share one suggestion that helps your laundry routine be a little less dreadful.
- Sort laundry as it’s dirty.
This saves SO MUCH TIME. I have a laundry sorter in our bedroom and have white clothes in one bin, dark clothes in one bin, and delicate clothes in the last bin. The kids each have a basket in their room. They wear play clothes most of the time, so all of their clothes can just go in one load on cold and be fine.
All of the dirty towels go in a basket in our bathroom or in a small basket in the laundry room. I never wash towels with anything else.
- Realize that laundry is a constant.
Constant laundry is a fact of life. Unless your family goes nude for a few days, the laundry will just keep piling up. The post title may say, “I just wanna finish my laundry,” but in reality, I know I’ll never finish the laundry and that’s okay. I throw a load in anytime a basket has enough to fill the washer. Sometimes it’s a load per day, sometimes I do two or three in a day and none for a couple days.
- Do laundry by location.
This makes putting it away a lot easier. I try to stick to this rule so that I’m not delivering folded laundry all over the house. It also helps during folding because you aren’t making a million piles with one item in each because you’ve lumped your towels, baby’s clothes, and your jeans all in one load.
-Kids laundry in one load, washed on cold
-Towels, napkins, washcloths, dust rags in one load, washed on hot, with bleach or vinegar if needed
-One load of whites (usually my husbands tees and socks because I hardly wear white)
-Dark clothes, washed on cold
-Delicates when needed (95% mine), washed on cold
-All the bedsheets, washed on hot (Okay, these get delivered to each room, but that’s not a big deal)
- Have products you can use on everything.
The kids have sensitive skin, so we use All Free & Clear and Downy Unscented. It’s easier for me to have products that are good for everyone instead of switching between detergents depending on if it’s towels, my clothes, kids’ clothes, etc.
I love Oxi-Clean stain remover spray. It takes out most stains as long as I don’t let them sit too long and I haven’t had issue with it bleaching anything.
When I want some scent, I use Downy Unstopables to freshen up the adult’s clothes or towels.
- Sort before you fold.
THIS. This has helped me immensely. No more swaying back and forth while you search for a pair of socks. No more half-folded basket of clothes because you got called away from it and got out of the groove.
-Quickly sort into little piles according to item type and owner
-You can sit and fold pile by pile (I usually do laundry after the kids go to bed, so I’m tired! This helps!)
-All your socks are already together, so there’s no searching! Just match them up!
-You can get into a little groove by folding all of the shirts at once, for example
– You can accomplish mini-goals (Undies, done! Pajamas, done!) I love this because I’m always getting called away from what I’m doing, so if I can at least fold one type of clothing before I have to get up, I feel better. Plus, if you’re really ambitious, you can put away a pile as it’s done instead of putting it back in the basket. Or, if you have to stop folding until later, you don’t have lots of unfinished business, you can put your finished piles somewhere and throw the remaining laundry in the basket for later.
-Once you finish a pile, put it in the basket and then the kids aren’t as likely to knock it over and unfold it!
-Fold your little piles according to location (All my clothes, then all my husband’s clothes. Or, I’ll do all of the kitchen linens, then all of my bathroom linens, etc.) That way, you put them into the basket room by room and it’s easier to put away.
- Put it all away immediately.
Just kidding. Let it chill in the basket. You’ve earned it. Think of it as a capsule wardrobe in a basket at the end of your bed.
Does anyone else kind of like doing the laundry? Or am I the odd one out?