Thursday, December 10, 2015

Our Laundry System -or- How I Break All the Laundry Rules

I break all of the laundry rules that you usually hear...and we still wear clean underwear every day :)

I break all the laundry system rules - and it works!

I don't wash, dry, and put away in the same day - and it works!

I don't sort my laundry by color - and it works!

I don't have a weekly laundry day - and it works!

I tried and tried to follow the rules. I read all about how to create a workable laundry routine. I read people's explanations that finishing a load start to finish in a day was the best way. I read people's plans for doing laundry one full load per day and plans for doing all of the laundry in one day. None of it worked for me. It wasn't the way that I operate and I was feeling like I was continually failing at our family's laundry routine.

So, Cole and I sat down with what I knew about how I like to do laundry, our weekly plans and needs, and we brainstormed a plan. About 6 months in and I am still loving the plan! I do the same loads of laundry on the same days each week and throw in extra loads if I feel they are needed (for example, after a big thrifting trip I might do a load of what we bought or if we have guests I wash their bedding on the day that they leave).

Here's the method I follow in our home: 

Monday: I wash 3 loads of parent clothes - those that need hung to dry, those that can be dried in the dryer, and a load of socks/underwear. I wash the clothes and hang them to dry or dry them and then fold them and put them in a laundry basket. The laundry basket is left sitting in the laundry room overnight (full of clothes - gasp!).

Tuesday: I wash the cloth diapers - I dry the inserts and wipes and hang the diapers to dry. I put away the laundry that I folded the day before and the laundry that has been hanging to dry for 24 hours.

Wednesday: I wash kiddo clothes and sheets and I wash the kitchen towels & bibs. This currently is 2 (it will be 3 soon!) loads. I fold the laundry as it comes out of the dryer and put them in a laundry basket. I also put away the cloth diapers I washed the day before.

Thursday: I wash the cloth diapers and put away the laundry from the day before - just like on Tuesday.

Friday: I wash the master sheets and all bathroom towels. These get put back away on this day. I put away the cloth diapers I washed the day before.

Saturday: I wash the cloth diapers and put them away on Sunday morning.

Sunday: There is no laundry on Sunday outside of putting away diapers washed the day before.

As you can see, there are several things I do that do not follow the "rules" but work very well for me:

  1. I wash, dry, and fold clothes on one day and put them away the next. I finish the folding in the late afternoon when Meghan wants attention and dinner needs made. Adding putting away laundry to this time of day would make it overwhelming. Instead, I put the laundry basket in the laundry room and put it away in the morning. It works so well for me! 
  2. I wash laundry by the room that it belongs in and do not sort it. This way putting all of the laundry away is easy - the entire load gets stored in a basket overnight, carried to one room, and is easily and quickly put away. 
  3. I do a little bit of laundry every day and do not do one large laundry day. Trying to do it all in one day was just overwhelming to me. Instead, the routine of starting laundry in the morning and having the same "timing" to each day and when it's time to change load throughout the day makes remembering to switch loads and fold loads so easy!
If, in our week, I know that I will be unable to do laundry on a given day, I can easily move the few loads to another day and still generally keep on top of my laundry routine. That is so freeing to me.

Now, this system may not work for anyone else - no other system I read worked for me and I think the most important thing about a laundry system is that you designed it to work for you. What I am encouraging is not to think you have to follow all of the "rules". Think about what works for you and put together a plan that works with the way you and your day operates. This works for us - it's wonderful!! 

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