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Ahh, laundry…a necessary part of life, but something that can easily overwhelm me if I’m not careful. You, too? Okay, I’m glad to know we’re in this together! Today, I’m sharing four pieces of laundry advice – tips that have been the ticket to keeping this chore manageable here in our home – and I’m also going to give you a peek at my regular laundry routine: a quick step-by-step look at how I do things around here!
Now before you go thinking I have this all figured out, please understand that as I’m typing this post, there is a gigantic pile of unfolded sheets thrown over the back of my couch…there are discarded little boy pjs strewn across the kitchen floor…and I may or may not see diapers all over the place…diapers that need to be thrown away if you know what I’m sayin’…sooooooo, with that being said, know that everyone has messes and chaos – especially if you have little ones inhabiting your home, and that is perfectly normal.
You hear that? YOU.ARE.NORMAL.
Geesh…I wish someone would tell ME that everyone once in awhile. 😉
Let’s get started with some advice for how to tackle the chaos that can be our laundry:
#1 – Simplify the closet(s)! Sometimes I think one of the reasons laundry overwhelms us is because our closets get out of control! By reducing the number of clothing pieces your family owns and organizing what you decide to keep, you can cut down on some of the laundry room stress – especially when it comes to kid’s clothes!
Quick Tip: I have found that there is one simple question that has helped me simplify not only my closet – but my kids’ as well: Check it out!
2. Delegate tasks! Okay, get ready…you’re probably going to strip me of my “Wife of the Year” award, but I have to be honest with you…my hubby does his own laundry. Sure there are times when I’m able to throw in a load or two for him (and I don’t mind doing so), but for the most part, he tackles his own clothes.
Quick Tip: Not sure your hubby would be willing to do his own laundry? Ask him – not in an ugly way…but with a sincere explanation that you would really appreciate his help~ His answer might just surprise you!
Disclaimer: You may have already settled in to a nice routine that works for your family, and if so, definitely stick with that – but if this is an area where you would like to see a little more teamwork, I would encourage you to have an open and honest conversation with your man. I know there have been times when I have found myself complaining about the “laundry list” [no pun intended] of things I need to get done when if I had simply asked my hubby for help, he would have helped me!
Okay…now for Tip #3…
3. Assign baskets! In our house, each member of our family has an individual laundry basket [for dirty clothes] in their bedroom/bathroom area. These baskets are brought to the laundry room every Sunday night or Monday morning. Each member of our family also has an individual laundry basket [for clean clothes] that I keep stored in the laundry room. When it’s time to fold clothes, clean laundry goes in these baskets and is taken to each family member’s bedroom. Yes, sometimes I get behind on putting the laundry away, but when that happens, I catch up when I’m able, and yes, I use little tiny hands to help me “fold” and “put away”.
Quick Tip: Involving little hands will probably slow you down a bit…or a lot…and things may not always be done exactly as you wish…but the training process is very much worth every second.
4. Pick a laundry day and get started! Yes, as moms I know we feel like we do laundry every.single.day.of.the.week, but around here, Monday is the main laundry day! How does this work? Well, typically, we stay home on Mondays – This allows me to focus on things that need to be done around here: homeschool lessons and household chores! At the beginning of the week, we hit these things heavy so we can move in to our weekend with a little bit of a lighter load. Of course things don’t always go as planned, but having this usual routine definitely helps to keep us on track…most of the time…and keeps me from ever feeling like I have to do laundry on the weekend – which would go against everything I believe. 😉
Quick Tip: In addition to “Laundry Day”, I will sometimes do a load of towels or a load of sheets – on a different day – just to keep Mondays from being completely overwhelming.
My Step-by-Step Laundry Routine:
Step #1: Treat Stains – What is your favorite way to treat stains? Start there!
Step #2: Wash – I wash just about everything on cold/delicate. This saves on the wear and tear of my clothing while also providing savings on our electric bill! I prefer to use detergents that I feel are free of dyes and perfumes, and one of my favs is all® free clear! It is hypoallergenic and clinically proven to be gentle on sensitive skin (#1 recommended brand by dermatologists, allergists, and pediatricians), and while it is not intended to treat or prevent allergies, it removes 99% of everyday/seasonal allergies that can cause all kinds of itching and sneezing around here! Powerful, huh? That allows me to feel comfortable to let my kids be kids – I can let them run around outside and get in to all kinds of craziness because I know I can wash all that yucky pollen right out of their clothes!
Quick Tip: When it’s time to pack for a family vacation, I toss a few of the all® free clear Mighty Pacs in to a small plastic container. These are perfect to use in the condo – especially when we are traveling with our little ones in tow!
Step #3: Dry – I don’t throw everything immediately in the dryer. I flat dry or hang dry our nicer pieces and simply fluff them in the dryer after they have air dried. This definitely helps to prolong the life of our clothes.
Step #4: Fold and Put Away or Hang and Steam – As much as possible, I try to stick with easy-care items – especially in this season of life when we’re hanging at home with little ones. However, for those more high-maintenance items (including hubby’s work clothes), we use a clothing steamer, and doing so has changed our life!
Quick Tip: I like to set the all® free clear detergent up on the shelf that sits above my washer and when I press the button to dispense, the liquid flows right down in to my washer below. I have learned how to “measure” with my eye the amount needed for a load – which is important, because I definitely don’t want to use too much/waste my detergent! As for the all® free clear mighty pacs, I like to set the container on its side making it easy for me to reach up and grab one and toss it directly in to the wash! Lazy? Nah. I like to think of it as efficient!
What are your best tips for keeping your laundry routine as simple as possible? Does your hubby do his own laundry? What kind of tips do you have for tackling laundry room chaos?