I'm convinced our laundry hampers have magical powers.
Multiplying powers. Vanishing powers. And powers that allow moms to feel overwhelmed that the job is never completed!
Several years ago, a friend of mine texted me, wanting to get our kids together to play.
I only had one child at the time, she had 3, and I replied, "I'm up to my eyeballs in laundry. Maybe another day."
And then she said something that completely baffled me.
She replied back with, "I do laundry everyday, so it doesn't ever get that bad."
Every day? That sounded terrible.
As a working wife, no kids, I had ONE day for laundry. I just knocked it out, load after load.
It was folded and put away before bedtime. Granted, my loads consisted of "whites" "darks" and "towels" or "sheets" (depending on the week) at that point in my life.
My laundry routine continued into life with one child.
One day a week...laundry done! No need to think about it till next week.
(I guess I should mention that I was cloth diapering our son at the time...so I actually did laundry more frequently...but it was just diapers).
Then child #2 arrived, and I felt laundry day starting to become quite stressful.
Not only were we adding an extra load into the mix, but with 2 kids, I stopped hearing the washer when it stopped.
I didn't switch over to the dryer as quickly as I once did.
The loads were piling up.
I wasn't getting them folded and put away before bedtime, and often at 10pm when we wanted to crawl into bed for the night, our sheets were in a ball on our bed...next to the darks.
And then those wise words of my friend entered my mind..."I do laundry everyday."
Oh the wisdom of a mother of 3. They see things that mothers of 1 (and even 2) don't see.
I jumped from 2-4 kiddos, so, I guess I can't claim getting that wisdom!
Enter the "Everyday Laundry Routine."
(I promise this isn't as terrible as it sounds)
STEP #1 - LOAD THE WASHING MACHINE THE NIGHT BEFORE ***this step is CRITICAL***
I have no magical outline for what clothes get washed on what day...It's purely based on who has the highest demand for clean clothes (or whose hamper is spilling over onto the floor).
Are the babies almost out of PJ's? Do the big boys need underwear? Does my husband need clean pants? Are we out of towels?
Every weekday night (I don't do laundry on the weekends), I load the washing machine, measure the detergent, and close the lid.
In the morning, before the coffee hits my lips, I hit the start button, and before the kiddos are done with breakfast, I'm usually switching over the first load into the dryer.
Depending on my day, I may throw in a second load, (or a third if i'm feeling ambitious).
However, I have a rule...
STEP #2 - NEVER START A LOAD OF LAUNDRY AFTER LUNCH
I typically do 1-2 loads of laundry a day.
By starting my loads in the morning, I am ensured that everything will be dried by lunchtime.
If I'm home all morning, I can work laundry into my routine. (it helps that my washing machine sounds like an airplane taking off as it spins...giving me a heads up it's almost done...and a dryer that has a buzzer that'll make you jump...even when you're expecting it any minute now)
If I let it go past lunch time, I am MUCH MORE LIKELY TO FORGET about loads of clothes in the washing machine or dryer as the day goes on and mountains of OTHER THINGS are piling up around the house.
If I know that laundry ONLY happens in the morning, I am much more likely to get it all done!
***Any morning that I am away from the house...I don't even start a load. It'll just add stress to my afternoon and lead into dinnertime with laundry piles that will more than likely NOT get folded OR put away.
STEP #3 - FOLD AND PUT AWAY...RIGHT AWAY
Honestly, I despise putting clothes away. I don't know why.
I don't mind sitting down to fold the clothes (sometimes I even turn on a show for myself, gasp!), but when it comes to putting them away, I want to think of every excuse in the book not to do it.
BUT, I promise it is SO worth it come bedtime!
There is nothing more annoying (well, there's lots of annoying things in my day, but go with me here...) than walking into your room at the end of the night, thoughts of sweet dreams filling your mind, only to walk into piles of clothes hindering you from crawling into that comfy bed and passing out.
If you're my husband, you just put the clothes away and go to bed.
If you are me, you put them on the dresser, because, well, you just can't do ONE.MORE.THING!
This step alleviates the dreaded mound of clothes that gets pushed aside and greets you in the morning.
I'd rather be greeted with coffee and quiet...not the overflow of chores I didn't get to from the day before.
AND THAT'S IT!!
The next day, I just do the same thing over again, and it is so much more manageable!
***SECRET TIP : Any kitchen/cleaning rags just get thrown into the washing machine and added to whatever load is getting washed that day***
AN EXAMPLE OF MY LAUNDRY ROUTINE
DAY 1 : BIG BOYS CLOTHES / BABIES CLOTHES (2-3 LOADS)
DAY 2 : MOM/DADS CLOTHES (2 LOADS)
DAY 3 : TOWELS/SHEETS ***rotating each week*** (1-2 LOADS)
DAY 4 : LEFTOVERS (IF ANY)
I will say that I am a stay at home mom, and we homeschool 3x a week, which limits our activities outside the home greatly. I would understand how this system may not work for you if you are on the go most of your day, but I hope it works for those of you with littles like me, who are home bound most of the week.
Welcome to Dwelling Well Mom! I'm so glad you are here! I'm Christi, wife, mom of boys, Christ follower, picture taker, DIYer, chocolate eater, and coffee drinker. Born and raised a Florida girl, now braving the mountains of Boone, NC, I'm on a journey to find peace in the midst of my mundane. Join me!