My Laundry Metamorphosis

I know that there are always people reading backward here, and I love that.  I especially love getting comments on old posts.

But sometimes I feel a little guilty when someone comments on an old laundry post.

Out of everything I’ve conquered and analyzed and failed at (only to re-analyze and re-conquer) . . . laundry has been the biggest trial-and-error journey of them all. 

So . . . I thought I’d put the journey all together in one post.

I feel like I now have laundry under control.  I’m scared to say it.  To jinx it.

But for the most part, my current system consistently keeps us in in clean undies and doesn’t create a Clean Laundry Mountain on the love seat.

I wrote about my contentious relationship with laundry when this blog was only a few months old in Me Vs. Laundry.

In the beginning, when I was working primarily on establishing daily habits, I tried the much-advised One Full Load a Day Method.  I made it part of my Daily Checklist.

But . . . I learned that my daily checklist needs to be something that I can do in one session.  One single session.

And a load of laundry is not something that can be checked off once.  There’s the sorting, and then the washing, and then the waiting.

And that’s all before you get to the drying and folding and putting away.

It’s the waiting that got me.  Way too many times I checked laundry off my daily checklist by re-washing the load from the day before.

Because I’d never remembered to put it in the dryer.

I added checking the dryer to my evening routine.  Except that my evening routine is more than a little hit or miss.

I tried doing the one-load-a-day first thing in the morning, leaving it to be changed over the next morning.  But that meant ALL our clothes were ALWAYS wrinkled so I felt rather failure-ish.  And in warm weather, 24 hours in the washing machine meant a rather funky smell.

So that method didn’t work.  So I re-re-worked my laundry routine . . . again . . . and tried a new method. 

I went back to having a Laundry Day.  One year (pre-blog), I had laundry under control because I did a Laundry Day.  I didn’t think I could do this because I could no longer guarantee an entire day at home like I could when the kids were babies. But I decided to give it a shot.

And it worked/works!

I do ALL of our laundry on Mondays.

This works ever-so-much better for me.

It’s my focus for an entire day.  All day long, I stop whatever else I’m doing every time the dryer’s buzzer sounds and I change over the laundry.

Just like I do better with a daily checklist that can be checked off ALL IN ONE FOCUSED TIME PERIOD, I do better focusing for one day on the laundry.

And there’s an end.  Since I do ALL of our laundry in one day, it’s no longer a task that never feels finished.  It does get finished.  And stays finished until the next Monday.

I can’t even express how happy this makes me.  In a strange way, it actually makes me LIKE Laundry Day. 

And even when I can’t get it done on Monday, it’s still one big task to complete.  I’m finished when I finish last week’s dirty laundry.  This week’s newly dirtied undies are part of next week’s Laundry Day so I can still see an end to this once-impossible task.

Having a Laundry Day has taught me a lot about how many clothes we actually need and about which clothes we like the most.  It’s been teaching me since week one. 

Here’s my Laundry Day in all of its glory, as it’s been going for more than 2 1/2 years.

Here’s how I adjust it for the Mondays when I’m out of the house all day.

For two years, I had laundry under control.  Like, we had clean clothes when we needed them and I truly developed a realistic understanding of how many clothes our family of five actually needs.  But . . . I still stank (stunk?) at the whole folding-and-putting-away thing.

I tried several different methods that all failed.

But now (deep breath and crossed fingers as I hope not to jinx it), I have that under control too.

I learned accepted that I have to fold clothes straight out of the dryer.  Like, immediately.  And then put them away.  I resisted this for so long, but this final step has truly rocked my world. 

 

Other laundry/clothing posts:

Attacking Clothing Clutter

Teaching Kids to do Laundry

One Week’s Worth of Clothing: My Drastic Clothing Experiment

Comments

  1. Too bad that dishes can’t be left for a week for a Kitchen Day. ;)

  2. You sum it all up so nicely, Nony! I could have written your post. My history/experience is very similar. And I’ve come to the same conclusion. Monday is Laundry Day. I have not yet accepted that last step, but I think I’m beginning to see the light. Thanks!

  3. Nony, Do you still have just 8 outfits per person? I wish I knew how many clothes my family really *needs* so I could feel free to throw the rest away. (Especially hubby– has more clothes than the kids and me combined!) I have full drawers and closets, piles in laundry baskets and on my folding table and yet all the bedroom floor is still constantly covered in clothes.

    • We don’t have much more than that. I’m not a stickler for numbers, but we have SO MANY LESS than we used to and most of that is due to the experiment I did and how that changed our thinking, and also having laundry under control so we SEE how many clothes we actually wear in a week.

  4. Laundry….ugh. The folding/putting away was always my problem, and still working on that. I have been working on changing our wardrobes to the Project333 method. Even though I am still working on that as well, it has cut down on the amount of clothing I have overall for everyone and we all seem to be dressing better.

  5. Why is it that last step is almost painful to finish? It’s just putting it away. It doesn’t hurt. But yet it doesn’t happen. I type this as my daughter’s puppy has climbed on top of Mt. Laundry (it’s clean and on the loveseat).

  6. and this is the one thing I differ with you on. As a WOTHM I have to do laundry every day. Laundry has been my project since July. My laundry post is my most popular post.

  7. Laundry. Ugh. I am scared of a laundry day, in part because I think (know) I can’t get everything currently dirty, clean in 1 day.

    I do have a question though. What do you do with items that get spots on them…sauce, bodily fluids, blood, juice, etc. Do you treat them immediatly? Wait until laundry day to face them? Other.

  8. I’ve learned that I shouldn’t do laundry at night if at all possible. I am not an evening person so by the time it’s time to pull that load out of the dryer, I’m tired and don’t want to put it away. I’ll usually carefully lay the potentially wrinkly items over the top of the basket of clean clothes, but then I don’t put any of it away for a few days, which bugs me. I have to do laundry in the daytime to do the complete process.

  9. OMG! You know what line from this post got me? “when the dryer buzzer goes off” . I always forget the laundry in the dryer and honestly had completely forgotten that dryers had buzzers. I quit using the dryer buzzer when my oldest kid was a baby, and have since forgotten it existed. Slapping self on forehead…

  10. I’m glad to see that you’ve gotten your laundry under control. I’m still trying to play catch up on the old blogs when I have time, so I’m glad you linked to this so I can see there’s hope. I love the idea of a laundry day.

    My kids are old enough that it’s hard for me to go through and get rid of their clothes. In fact, my daughter owns enough to stock a small resale shop. My son has more than three boys need. So laundry is a major issue in my house…but I’m increasing the nagging…hmm…encouraging…to get them to get rid of things with rips and set in stains. I don’t care if it has Tigger on it. If it’s stained or torn, it needs to go.

    Maybe someday they’ll get the mess down to ten days worth of clothes, and then laundry day will seem like a breeze. Well…at least it won’t seem like punishment. :)

  11. Karen L says:

    If only I didn’t also have “Slob Hearing” which tries to tune out the sound of the dryer buzzer. ;)

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