Today has been an upside-down kind of day. I got very little sleep last night and therefore took a fat nap as soon as the kids were dropped off at school, leaving me with having accomplished very little by 1 pm!
The one thing that I did get done was today's laundry and that feels awesome! The only reason this task did not get buried at the bottom of the pile (pun intended) was thanks to my newly established routine. I get asked all the time how often one should do laundry. The answer is entirely individual, but for our family, it works best to do some laundry every day. Yes, I did say every day. As in all the days of the week :)
At our house, we hang most of our clothes to dry, rather than tumble-dry them, so space and timing are two huge factors. We only have so much hanging space in our laundry room for drying, and I do not want to have clothes everywhere, all the time. As a result, this is the routine I have come up with that works for us:
OUR LAUNDRY ROUTINE
First of all, all the laundry gets brought straight to the laundry room every day. We do not have hampers in our rooms or bathrooms. We also have an Elfa drawer system in our laundry room so the clothes get sorted immediately. I grew up with my mom sorting laundry into quite a few different loads, and I have continued this for us as well, and it is a huge time saver! We do whites, pastels, reds/pinks, jeans/medium-dark, dark and rags/towels.
Secondly, I always put a load in the machine in the evening and put it on delay wash. If your washer has the delay function and you are not using it, you should!!! This allows me to be done with one of my daily loads as soon as I get up in the morning. I set the load to turn on at about 4:30 am, as that is late enough for it not to sit there wet in the washer for a long time, while still early enough to not wake anyone up when it starts.
KNOCK IT OUT FIRST THING
Then, as soon as I get up, I process the load (put all the clothes in the dryer for a few minutes, then hang the hang-dry clothes, then continue drying the rest). I also turn on my second load of the day to run while I things ready in the morning. By the time I head out the door with the kids for school drop off, I have processed the second load.
DON'T LET IT PILE UP
Lastly, I usually also put on a load of either towels, sheets or rags that I will pop into the dryer when I get back home. If I am headed straight out for work, then I put the last load on delay to be done just before I get home. Again, to avoid wet laundry sitting in my washer all day!
FOLD AND PUT AWAY
With doing our laundry more frequently, we have smaller loads. Not only does this allow me to utilize my quick function on my washer, but it also makes for a lot fewer clothes to fold and put away! Most people dread the task of folding a mountain of clean clothes, but when the mountain only includes a handful of items for each person it is quick and rather painless to get it done and put away.
Though our laundry routine might seem a bit involved and particular, it works for us and it frees up my day to do other things. By getting laundry more or less done by the time I head out the door in the morning, I feel like I have accomplished a huge to-do and it is a boost to get other things checked off my list as well!
I highly recommend taking some time to set up a laundry routine for your family, if for nothing else but to make this, often-dreaded task, less of a chore.