Spring is in the air and many people start thinking about spring cleaning….tackling big projects, organizing closets, purging the things we don’t use anymore….However, spring or not, there is one household chore that is hard to ignore…laundry. Whether we like it or not, the laundry has to get done. Recently on my blog’s facebook page, I asked which household chore was your least favorite…Laundry overwhelming won out as the chore we most dread. I wanted to share a few tips with you today to help make laundry a quicker, more efficient,and more “enjoyable” task.
Here is how I handle the laundry at my house. We are a family of 5 with 2 adults and 3 kids (5, 3, and 5 months.)
First, I like to do everything I can to REDUCE the amount of laundry I have each week.
1. Re-use your towels. Each of use our towels for AT LEAST 3 showers/baths. I hang the towels up on hooks in the master/kid bathrooms and simply wash them after several uses. If I used a clean towel every time one of us took a bath or a shower, I’d be washing over 20 towels every week! Yikes!
2. If it didn’t get dirty, hang it back up! For the kids, if they managed to go through the day without spilling their lunch or getting a grass stain, I will hang their clothes back up. (This doesn’t happen often, but I take advantage when it does!) My husband and I however, (unless the baby has blessed us with his spit-up) can typically manage to wear shirts several times before needing to wash them. (My husband’s shirts do get washed when they get “stinky.”)
3. Wear your pj’s more than once. My kids change their jammies every night. However, my husband and I wear ours twice before throwing them in the hamper. Doing this saves me from washing 6 extra sets of pj’s each week!
My laundry Schedule
One of the things I get asked about the most is my cleaning schedule. It used to hang on the side of my fridge, and everyone who came over would ask about it. I’ve given it out to a bunch of friends, and they all love it. I’ll be posting that in a few days for all of you! However, I handle the way I do laundry in a certain way, and since doing it this way, laundry has become a painless chore! I can honestly say I don’t really mind doing the laundry.
1. Wash and dry ALL of your laundry in one day. We have 4 hampers in our house, and I do laundry on one day until EVERY single thing that is dirty in the house is washed and dried.
2. The day after you wash all of your laundry, fold ALL of it, and put it ALL away.
I found that by trying to do everything in one day, (all of the washing, plus all of the folding, plus all of the hanging up) was just TOO much! It became overwhelming, and that is when the laundry starts to pile up and begins to seem insurmountable. Now, I just have everything washed up and ready to go, and will fold it and put it away the next day.
Here are a few things I do while I do the washing/drying day that help make the folding/putting away day go MUCH faster!
As my clean clothes come out of the dryer, I begin to make a few piles. As SOON as I pull an item out of the dryer, I put it in the appropriate pile. Doing this saves me a TON of time, and makes the next day’s job so much easier! Here are my piles:
1. As soon as an item of clothing that gets hung up comes out of the dryer, I put it in the right pile. I have a pile for each of my kids, and one for my husband and I. (basically a pile for each closet.) Sorting the clothes that will need to be hung up will have them ready (and way less wrinkly) for you the next day when you’re ready to put them away! Just grab a stack and head to the right closet. It really goes so much faster, and you’re not hunting through a giant pile of laundry for clean clothes.
I also IMMEDIATELY fold all towels and any sheets that may be in the laundry. Folding the big things right away makes your pile of laundry to fold SO much smaller! Just get them folded as soon as you take them out of the dryer.
2. I have two laundry baskets sitting on the floor of my laundry room.The first basket is where I throw all underwear (life is TOO SHORT to fold underwear ladies..don’t do it!), washcloths, and socks. I ball my socks as they come out of the dryer. As I am sorting my things into piles, I will just lay the socks on the dryer door, and wait for the mate to come out. I ball them instantly and throw them in the basket.
My five year old daughter is responsible for folding and putting away all items in this basket. Don’t be afraid to give your children some responsibility! Her laundry duties have gotten increasingly bigger as time has passed, and eventually she will take over much of the laundry.
I also wanted to show you my sock basket. Each time I empty the dryer, and still have un-mated socks waiting on the dryer lid, I throw them in my sock basket, where they wait for their mate. Every few weeks, I go through it and match the socks up. I found the little basket at the Dollar Tree.
My second basket is where I throw everything else! This is where the things that need to be folded go. Since I’ve already removed the clothes, socks and undies, and towels, this basket is VERY manageable! It has things like jammies, boxers, kitchen towels…really not too much! The things I actually need to fold for 5 people always fit in the one basket. The way I handle the laundry allows for this to happen.
The next day, after I’ve made my piles of things to hang up, and have my two separate baskets of laundry, I am ready to fold and put away! My daughter and I have made a game of doing our baskets. We race. As she puts her things away, I work to fold my basket, and put it away as well. Yesterday we both had our baskets folded and put away in a matter of 10 minutes! No big deal!!!
I have found that by just taking a few minutes to just focus on nothing but folding the laundry really speeds it up! I fold on my bed, where I have a big area to separate everything into piles as I fold. One pile for Henry’s jammies, one for Hannah’s, one for David’s boxers, one for his t-shirts, etc. Then when everything is folded, I stack up all the piles that go to Henry’s room, and rush to put them away. I grab up all the piles that go to the baby’s room, and get that done in one trip. Resist the urge to watch tv as you fold…just focus and get it done in an organized way. If you follow this plan, you can have everything folded and put away in 10 minutes. Then, head to the laundry room and pick up a pile of things to hang up. Just suck it up and do it..It’s my least favorite part, so I just try to get it over with. I grab Henry’s stack and go hang everything up. Then I do Hannah’s, then Harry’s, then ours…boom, boom, boom, done. I can do everything on the second day in under half an hour.
The first day’s work REALLY cuts down the folding/putting away time which is what everyone hates, and what I heard the most complaints about from my readers. I hope my method may work for some of you! It really has changed my attitude about laundry, and saves me SO MUCH TIME! Washing and drying the laundry is not a big deal…so if you can do just a few things differently as your items come out of the dryer, and then be able to fold/put away all of your laundry in under half an hour, why not give it a shot! Happy (yes I said happy!) laundry everyone!