Laundry routine ideas that will help you keep up with your mountain of laundry on a daily basis.
I have a bit of a laundry problem and it’s not what you think. You see, my laundry problem is that my laundry routine is so efficient and so effective, that my family pretty much expects every article of clothing that they own to be clean and freshly-laundered. All day, every day, all the time. And that’s because they pretty much are. It’s a good problem to have. 🙂
The only snag in the system comes on those rare occasions where I decide to go a little off-routine. Sometimes I just don’t have enough dirty clothes to wash one day, or maybe we got back late one night from a soccer tournament and I (gasp) decided to wait until the next day to finish all the laundry from the trip. It’s always a little funny (and maybe a little annoying) to see the shock and indignation from one of my family members when they realize that the shirt that they just changed out of 12 hours ago isn’t already cleaned, folded, and put away.
If this sounds like a problem that you’d like your family to have as well, read on! Today I’m sharing my every day laundry routine so you too can congratulate yourself on a family that can’t believe that we live in a world where laundry could possibly build up for more than a few hours. 🙂
Start your laundry routine first thing in the a.m.
Unless there’s a tiny human fussing at me right when I wake up, starting the laundry is the very first thing I do. It’s the easiest task ever to accomplish and yet it really starts the day in a positive direction. Getting laundry out of the way ASAP means that I have one of the day’s big essential “to-do’s” already underway and it’s so simple that I can do it while still partially sleepwalking if necessary. And for those mornings when I have to tend to the kids right away, I try to start the laundry as soon as I have them settled.
Try to get it switched over before you need to leave the house
Most laundry cycles will take around an hour or even less, and I’m going to bet that if you have enough people in your house to need a laundry management strategy, you probably also need at least an hour in the morning between when you wake up and when you get out the door. If you can take thirty seconds between packing lunches and fixing hair do’s to switch over the load of laundry that you started when you woke up, then things will be all done and ready for you when you get home.
I think this is where a lot of well-intentioned laundry routines hit a snag. A lot of us will get the laundry into the machines just fine, but will pile it in a basket and just leave it for days instead of taking 10 minutes to fold it. Be aware of the fact that the laundry folding part of the routine is often a challenge for a lot of people and approach it as such. Don’t expect it to be easy to find energy and 10 minutes to free time to fold it everyday, but do it anyway. And when you actually do get that laundry folded? Pat yourself on the back! That was a challenge and you killed it!
I find it really easy to fold laundry right in the laundry room where I have a long counter just for this purpose right across from my machines. If you have the space, definitely try to set yourself up with some kind of long table or counter reserved just for this purpose. If that’s not in the cards though, a bed or a kitchen table can work just fine, as long as you finish the job and complete the routine with the next step.
Put it away
This is really the icing on the cake of your laundry routine. You have to put your laundry away to really fully experience and appreciate the benefits of a laundry routine that’s really dialled in. The good news is that if you do laundry each and every day, putting your laundry away isn’t nearly as tiresome as you’ve come to think it is when you only do laundry once a week. With only a few items to get put away for each person in your house, it really only takes a few moments. I promise!
If you find it really annoying to put clothes away, there’s a good chance that you just have too many clothes. It’s never fun to try to shove yet another shirt into an already-overfilled drawer, or to try to cram yet another dress into a closet already filled with too many hangers. If this sounds like you, then you may want to consider a big decluttering session as the first step in your journey towards laundry mastery!
Bonus Laundry Routine Tactics
I also find it really helpful to gather laundry from all over the house throughout the day, so when it comes time to start the machines in the morning, I’m not looking for laundry to fill a load, I just literally have to push the start button. Have a basket in your laundry room for corralling all the bits of laundry you find around the house throughout the day, or place a basket at the top of the stairs to bring down with you in the morning if you have a basement laundry room.
With our family of four, we do still have days where we don’t quite have a full load of laundry to start in the morning, which is fine! On those days, I either skip a day and do a little bit of a bigger load the next day, or I do the laundry anyway. Most newer machines now will have sensors that adjust the water level and the wash time depending on how big of a load of laundry you’re doing, so you don’t have to worry about wasting water or energy too much.
So that’s how I stay on top of laundry! It’s pretty simple but a lot of the best things in life are like that! 🙂
Do you have any tips for developing a great laundry routine to add to this?
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Courtenay Hartford is the author of creeklinehouse.com, a blog based on her adventures renovating a 120-year-old farmhouse in rural Ontario, Canada. On her blog, Courtenay shares interior design tips based on her own farmhouse and her work as founder and stylist of the interior photography firm Art & Spaces. She also writes about her farmhouse garden, plant-based recipes, family travel, and homekeeping best practices. Courtenay is the author of the book The Cleaning Ninja and has been featured in numerous magazines including Country Sampler Farmhouse Style, Better Homes and Gardens, Parents Magazine, Real Simple, and Our Homes.