There are certain things in this life that are constant. The sun will always rise in the east and set in the west, you have to pay taxes, and there will always be LAUNDRY.
We all have laundry to do, and it’s never ~really~ done. This used to be something that really stressed me out. I hated that there was never an end… it just kept coming. I’d empty the hampers, and the next morning they’d be filling up again. But over the years I’ve learned to make peace with laundry. I’ve figured out laundry routines that make this task more manageable and less stressful. At this point in my life, I actually don’t even mind doing laundry that much. Crazy? Not really. Here’s how I’ve simplified my laundry routines.
1. I changed my attitude about laundry. There is no way around doing laundry, unless you can afford to have someone else do it for you (which I can’t) so at some point I figured I might as well try to look for something positive in doing laundry. It’s nice to have closets and drawers filled with fresh, clean, neatly folded and hung laundry. Doing laundry for my family means that we’ll all have those nice clean clothes when we need them, and we won’t be scrambling around the house looking for a pair of clean socks.
2. I stay on top of it. When you go days without doing laundry, you end up with giant mountains of dirty clothes, which just feels completely overwhelming, and ends up taking forever to do. I find it so much easier to do a little bit of laundry every day, rather than let it pile up. Most days, I only have two loads to do, sometimes three. I try to get the first load in first thing in the morning, so it can be going while I’m cleaning up breakfast and getting started on the day.
3. I finish, everyday. I like to finish things. It gives me a sense of accomplishment to check things off my “to do” list. With laundry, that can be tricky, but with only a couple of loads to do each day, it’s actually doable to see each day’s laundry through to completion. I make sure that every evening before I go to bed, the last load of wash for that day is finished and folded.
4. I have a plan for “extra” laundry. When it’s time to wash bedding and stuff, it can add significantly to the amount of laundry to be done. To keep it from getting overwhelming, I stagger the days I change the sheets on the beds. This only adds a load or two onto my regular wash for the day, so it’s totally manageable.
5. I made my laundry area a nicer place to be. Recently, I spruced up my laundry area, and it’s now it’s much cleaner and prettier. While I still don’t exactly love doing laundry, having a nicer space to be in while I’m washing and folding DOES make a big difference in my attitude.
This past week we had a plumbing issue, which left me unable to do laundry for several days. As I slogged my way through the backlog of dirty clothes, I was thinking about how I have come to take my laundry routines for granted. Not being able to use our washer for a few days was certainly quite inconvenient, but it could have been worse. Since my laundry was all caught up when the issue occurred, I only had to deal with laundry from the days the washer was out of commission. It would have been much worse if I already had a backlog when the things went on the fritz. In just two days, I managed to have everything caught up.
*NOTE: I realize that not everyone has a washer and dryer at home, and I’m VERY grateful that I do, as that has not always been the case. It wasn’t such a big deal when I was a single person, but there was a time when I had a 6-year-old, a five-year-old and a two-year-old, and NO washer and dryer for several months. That was a pretty miserable experience. Let me tell you, schlepping laundry for a family of five to a laundromat with three little ones twice a week is no easy feat. That experience definitely made me appreciate how easy I have it now! To those of you who are doing laundry for a family at the Laundromat, I bow to you, because that is HARD. Blessings to you!