In general, I’m not a schedule-oriented person. I don’t particularly like having too much rigidity, but I also don’t like too much chaos. So where’s the happy medium? For me, I have developed schedules and structure for some of my more un-fun tasks while allowing for more spontaneity in the fun parts. One of these un-fun routines is the laundry schedule.
It’s not like I’m taking my laundry out to wash by hand in a river, so why is it so hard a task? For me I had a huge problem with letting it build up and get to a point of taking me all day to finish. It would cause stress about not having anything to wear because parts of an outfit were dirty. And this might have even lead me to buy more clothes than I really needed. Um, yikes. Especially with the extra mess that comes with spit-up having, messy eating children. Oh yeah and cloth diapering.
So one day I decided to re-think the way I did laundry. This system might not be for everyone but it’s totally changed the way I manage laundry. Here’s how I do it: I wash one load per day and put away one load per day. If I stick to my schedule, it’s so quick and easy I can do it with only a slight intrusion on my day. My kids are at an age where they like to help, so it actually makes things kind of fun when we all do it together.
Each person or category has a day. This makes it faster to gather and put away. It also helps make sure nothing slips through the cracks. I am not huge on separating lights and darks since I wash most everything on cold. Each person has their own laundry bag where dirty clothes wait for their day. (Bags are more space-effective than baskets!) I used to keep my kids’ clothes separate for each one, but now that the whole family shares a closet, it doesn’t really make much sense to have a bag for each of them. I just do both together now– especially since their clothes are so little.
I also have this neat function on my washing machine that allows me to delay the start of the wash. If I know I’m going to be busy the next day, I might put a load in the night before and it will be ready to be hung up/put in the dryer in time for me to be up the next morning. Modern science is amazing!
One thing I am picky about is putting stuff in the dryer. I hang dry many of my clothes. While this takes a bit of extra time, it is made up for the next day when I can stick it in the closet instead of having to fold and put it away. I also think it’s worth it to hang dry clothes because it keeps them looking nicer longer and prevents shrinking. I hang dry clothes in the kids’ bathroom. Nobody takes a shower in there so it’s convenient.
So here’s an example of my laundry schedule:
- Sunday– Wash & Put away Sheets/towels
- Monday– My clothes
- Tuesday– Diapers, Put away my clothes
- Wednesday– Hubby’s clothes, Put away Diapers
- Thursday– Wash Kids’ clothes, Put away Hubby’s clothes
- Friday– Wash Diapers, Put away
- Saturday– Free day (or make up if something is missed), Put away diapers
Everyone’s schedule would look different depending on the number of people in your household and how you wash. You could make one day for darks and one for whites if you can’t live without separating them. Whatever works! I chose the separation by person because it makes things SO much faster to put away. Back when I had only one kid and had more space and time on my hands, I used to hang up clothes into what we were wearing for the week as I put them away. That was great, but I don’t think I could manage it at this time. Maybe in the future!
I made a little printable for myself and thought I’d share with you. It’s just a basic chart for you to keep track of what your daily laundry needs. So print it out, fill it up and brighten your laundry space up a bit. Just click on the link below to get your PDF. (And as always, I appreciate a share, pin or tweet if you enjoy it!)
So, any questions? How do you manage laundry?