It’s been three months since my house has been overflowing with laundry. Or, I should say, three months since I started my new laundry routine that is kinda genius and really works!
These days, one basket might be visible around the house. Maybe. And usually it’s empty!
Now generally, we were good about throwing loads into the washer/dryer. But getting them folded and upstairs could take days and there might be a huge backlog of clean laundry in the meantime.
Plus, items always were dirty when I needed them cleaned! Not a workable system.
Here’s my new laundry routine (kinda genius, really works, I didn’t invent this!)
Back in April, I watched the Ultimate Homemaking Bundles bonus videos that gave me some ideas and tips for sharpening my homemaking routines. One tip stood out: Do one load of laundry from start to finish (wash, dry, fold, put away) before beginning the next load.
I thought that was pretty smart, but didn’t feel it would be enough to help me out. With cloth diaper laundry plus all our other laundry, we constantly felt swamped (and my husband was usually the one doing most of the laundry folding, because all I could manage was getting the clothes down to the basement and shove them in the washer as fast as I could before something else came up!).
A short time later, a friend of mine shared her laundry routine with me. She does just one load a day.
My jaw dropped. How was that possible? Then she told me the secret: it’s a very SPECIFIC load each day. (i.e. Monday = kids, Tuesday = towels, etc). (Psst: she also does that load start-to-finish!).
Okay now this was starting to make sense for me! I put together a schedule for our family, and told hubby he was banned from helping me with laundry AT ALL for two weeks while I tried out this new system. I had to be sure it worked for ONE person, because that’s often the case.
Now, maybe your reaction is: “Oh… but laundry EVERY day?!?!” … so hear me out.
First, it’s not EVERY day, it’s 5 days a week (I have a family of four, but my friend has a family of five and it works for her too!).
Second… one load a day is simple. Easy. Doable. Doesn’t overwhelm. You mean to tell me you PREFER the mountains of laundry and then a marathon six-to-eight loads all at once? No thank you, this one-load-a-day gig is sooooo much better!!!
Our laundry routine schedule is:
- Monday – Cloth diapers
- Tuesday – Kids
- Wednesday – Linens
- Thursday – Our laundry
- Friday – Cloth diapers (again)
Now the first week was rough, not gonna lie. Because I had a bit of catch-up to do from my old ways of letting laundry pileup! So I did two loads a day that first week, and had to really hop-to-it to get these two loads wash-dry-folded in the same day.
Week two was much more manageable. It felt strange to NOT wash a pile of laundry if it was sitting there. But I had to remind myself that it wasn’t “their day.” Also, I realized keeping laundry in the hampers was best!
So if you begin this routine, you need to give it at least three weeks. One to catch up, two to troubleshoot, and three to see it really working! And anyway, isn’t it “21 days to form a new habit” or something? So three weeks is a good amount of time to test this out (and at least laundry will be getting done! ha!).
Why does this laundry routine work?
I read somewhere that our brains only have limited capacity for decision making. So anytime you create systems that remove the need to make a decision, you’re sparing your brain cells. Less decision making = less stress. Truly, the genius of this laundry routine is assigning a day for specific loads. Because I never have to make a decision about which load takes priority – I just follow the schedule.
Also, this laundry routine highlights that we have plenty of everything. I used to wear something and want to wear it again four days later but it wasn’t clean so I’d rush a laundry load…and on with the laundry pileup. Then I did a closet clean out this past spring and actually counted how many items I owned. I have MORE than enough clothing to go a week before washing (much longer, actually!). So do hubby and the boys, and so does my linen closet (sheets, towels, kitchen towels, etc). So going one week between the specific loads is very doable.
So there you have my kinda genius new laundry routine!
Realizing that you have enough to wait a week.
Assigning a specific day for each load.
Completing a load start to finish so there aren’t loose ends or piles of work lying around.
(Pssst: I’ve done this for three months now… it really works!).
Could this laundry routine work for you?
Stay tuned because next week, I’ll talk about the tips and troubleshooting I learned from three months of doing this laundry routine so that it really works for me (and you!).