I started a habit and it changed my life. I started doing one load of laundry a day.
In the past, I couldn’t stand laundry and the thought of doing/thinking about laundry daily, it just sounded so unappealing. So I waited.
I waited until the bins were overflowing. Until Joey was out of undies. I waited until the stuffed laundry baskets were screaming of my failure. And then I’d wash it all. Five loads or more in a day. Which would go okay, until I burnt out folding only half of the clean clothes and completely neglected the putting away part. Well, I’m sure you know how the story goes. The unfolded, clean clothes piled up on the floor and in our hampers. Making it impossible to get dressed smoothly every morning. Even worse, our dirty clothes crowded the floor. Then one day I’d break down and spend an hour folding clothes and even longer putting them away just to feel the dirty clothes creeping out of the basket again. I never had relief. I could not for the life of me see how this was going to get better.
At some point we all have to face the music. Take the big girl panties off the floor and put them on, ya know? Laundry will be there for life. And now I have two little ones who needed to be dressed also. So I dug in to make it better. And now I don’t even think about it! It just happens seamlessly. And I’ve created a tad bit of competition in my life – never going to bed with clean or dirty clothes anywhere on the floor. Magical really.
First, I got rid of our clothes. I’ve always been intrigued by capsule wardrobes and it was time to take back space in our tiny closet for me, my husband and my kids. I purged and purged and purged. My main goal was that we had enough space for every single article of clothing to fit easily in our dressers and closets while making the drawers and doors easy to close. I was sick of shoving t shirts and tank tops into the dressers.
Then I made sure to have a hamper each for delicates, Joey and I’s clothes and the kid’s clothes. That way the sorting happened as we undressed and not as I started a load. But here’s the key. I bought an extra basket from the thrift store. A bulky, plastic one with handles that is easy to take up and down our stairs. And this is what changed the game.
Every night as Joey puts our kids in their jammies and plays games and reads books and brushes teeth, I collect clothes. I go to our hampers and grab the kids clothes and our clothes and I carry them to our laundry room and toss them in the washer. I set the “delay end” button for 5 or 6 in the morning and press start. The process takes less than 10 minutes, all of the dirty clothes are picked up for the night and the washing cycle begins in the morning as I’m still nestled in bed.
The next morning I switch the wash to the dryer or hang it out to dry. This step takes anywhere from 3-15 minutes depending on the load. And by 7:30 am I have dry clothes ready to be folded.
I fold laundry at a different time every day depending on our schedule. But I make sure it’s folded and then carry it upstairs to be put away. Folding takes me anywhere from 5-20 minutes and putting it away is always under 10.
By this point in my day I have an empty laundry basket that is ready and waiting to be filled up and carried down to the laundry room to restart the process.
Tally it up and it’s 55 minutes (or less!) of my day broken up into small manageable bits.
As I’ve grown to love this system I’ve taken it a step further and have designated days for loads:
Monday – regular clothes
Tuesday – towels
Wednesday – delicates
Thursday – regular clothes
Friday – sheets
Saturday – whatever is needed if needed
My favorite laundry supplies:
Joey and I’s main hamper
Hamper for delicates
Hamper for collecting and carrying
Our favorite Thieves Laundry Soap