I know that all of you have been waiting on pins and needles for the secret I have been keeping on how to have an empty laundry basket a huge majority of the time!
So I won’t make you wait any longer. But first let me tell you what WASN’T working for me.
“Laundry Day” in our house used to be on Monday. It was the day that worked best for my work schedule when I was still working outside the house and it allowed us to start out the week with clean laundry. I would do 5, 6, or 7 loads that day for a family of 2. 4 loads of clothes – 2 dark loads, 1 light colored load, 1 load of whites, a load of towels, and a load of sheets or rugs. I didn’t mind WASHING the laundry at all or even transferring it from the washer to the dryer. But that is where my enjoyment stopped and the disaster started. I despised the FOLDING part of “doing laundry” especially when I had a laundry basket (or TWO) of clothes to fold.
All those clean clothes got tossed load after load into the laundry basket (a few got hung to dry.) I always intended to FOLD and PUT AWAY the laundry that day too. But it just never happened. Laundry would be done later in the day and I would be downstairs by that time for the evening busy working or spending time with my husband and I would just forget about it. Sometimes the laundry even made it from the basket to the bed. And when we finally headed to bed this is what would happen.
Ok, actually the pile was so big, it just got pushed into the floor. And for the next several days, we got dressed out of the pile on the floor. Until I got tired of that or needed to vacuum and it got tossed BACK into the laundry basket(s). Please tell me I am not the only one that has done this??
Then it was laundry day again and yet another 5-6 loads got added to the pile on the floor overflowing laundry baskets. By this point, we had no clean socks or underwear left in the drawers and we were digging every day to find sock matches or clothes to wear.
Finally I would get fed up, dump all the clothes on the bed (ok, usually it was TOO MUCH to fit on the bed at one time) and fold and put it all away. 2-3 weeks worth of laundry and it would take me over an hour to fold, hang, and put it all away. And. I. hated. it. (Sorry, no pictures of this… way to embarrassing to share.)
I hated the mess, hated living out of piles and laundry basket, hated that I seriously thought about buying my husband enough pairs of sock to last for 3 weeks so I didn’t have to feel guilty for him searching for socks in the pile every morning, and in general I hated laundry!
Until 2013 started. I was more determined than ever to work on being a better housekeeper, to keeping our home neater, to keeping our bedroom neater.
I don’t know how I came to this revelation, but one week in early January I got all the laundry folded and put away. And the next day when we had enough clothes to make a load, I went ahead and did that load, FOLDED it, and PUT AWAY that one load. I guess I had heard people talk about doing laundry every day but didn’t think for our family of 2 or our lifestyle that it was something we should do. But after only spending about 5 minutes total folding and putting away that ONE load of laundry and having every piece of clothing (except what we were wearing) clean, and put away – I felt relieved and excited! This could work!
So there’s my secret… I do ONE load of laundry every day. From start to finish – washed, dried, folded/hung, and put away.
happens 90% of EVERY DAY in our home!
Here’s some more tips:
- Our family consists of my husband and I. But we have some extra people staying with us right now. When our household is back to just the two of us, I may not need to do a load every day. I may only need to do a load every other day. (We only wear one pair of clothes each day normally.) I would say for a family of 5 or less, one load a day should work (teenagers=larger clothes or multiple outfit changes may change that). If you have 6 or more in your family, you may have to do 2 loads of laundry a day.
- The load I am washing/putting away sometimes is 2 different loads. Since all the dirty clothes happen at night when clothes are taken off and pj’s put on, I will usually start a load right then and add any kitchen towels, washcloths, etc. from the day too. Then the next day, in the morning, I will dry and put away that load and then wash another load that evening. Make sense? Other days, I may wash, dry, and fold the SAME load in one day. Just depends on when I have a full load and what else is going on that day.
- I still have so called “laundry day” on Monday (or another day that works for me) as I usually do 2-3 loads that day. 1 load of clothes, 1 full load of towels/rugs, and 1 set of sheets/blankets from 1 bed. Still not bad as towels and sheets were never a chore for me to put away. Again depending on your family size/amount of clothes you may be able to throw towels and sheets in with your regular laundry and not have extra loads.
- Doing laundry every day will allow you to have and need LESS clothes. You don’t need 15 pair or socks or 10 pairs of underclothes. Because only 1-2 pairs will be “in process” of being washed/dried/folded/put away at a time.
- If you have older children, you can assign them to help in this process. They deposit their dirty clothes in the laundry room every day and pick up their pile of clean, folded clothes in the laundry room and put them away themselves.
- If you work outside of the home – wash the load in the morning, and fold that ONE load in the evening.
So I went from having MOUNTAINS, yes mountains of laundry to fold…. to having ONE load to fold each day.. It takes me all of 5 minutes of my time to gather/wash/dry it (since the machines do all the rest of the work) and 5 minutes to fold and put it away.
And you know what . . . I don’t hate laundry anymore! We don’t live out of piles of clean clothes on the floor, I don’t feel guilty that my husband is digging for clean socks, and our room is MUCH cleaner!
This may or may not work for your family, may or may not work for YOU. But I challenge you to just give it a try. Get caught up on laundry this weekend – yes, conquer those piles and get them washed, dried, and PUT AWAY. Then start out on Sunday or Monday by just doing the dirty clothes from that day from start to finish! I try to go by this rule: I don’t put another load of clothes into the dryer until the load in the dryer is FOLDED and PUT AWAY. Don’t put those clean clothes into a laundry basket and walk away!! That is how the mountain begins! I have gotten behind 2 times since I started and had 2-3 loads to fold and I am sure you will too. Just start again – get it all folded and put away and begin again the next day doing ONE load.
Want to read some more about this method?
- Leah at Embracing Grace posted about how to move mountains of laundry using this method.
- Clean Mama posted about the How and Why of doing laundry every day.
And I love using my homemade laundry detergent each day! It smells so good and is super cheap!
And if you want a peek into where I do all this laundry, check out my laundry room house tour post and see all the plans I have for making it a room I love and that functions for our family.
I love this vinyl saying! May have to order it and add to my laundry room re-do!
So who thinks I am a total slob for living out piles of clothes on the floor? (Don’t tell me! …unless you do the same! :)
Who does the “one load of laundry every day method” and LOVES it? (and why did no one tell me about this method before?)
Anyone up for trying the “one load of day method”? Would love to hear about it and if it changes your life like it has mine.