My Laundry Metamorphosis

My Laundry Metamorphosis title at ASlobComesClean

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

How I finally got laundry under control after years of trying every laundry system known to womankind! And this system has been working for more than FIVE years!!



  1. 1

    Too bad that dishes can’t be left for a week for a Kitchen Day. 😉

  2. 4

    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. 5

    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.

    • 6

      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. 7

    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. 8

    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. 9

    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. 11

    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. 12

    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. 13

    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. 14

    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. 15
    Karen L says:

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

  12. 17

    when I got married me and my husband moved into a small apartment with less than half the closet space I was use to and a little over half what my husband was use to and we had to share it thankfully we opted to get the bed with drawers underneath because we didn’t have room in our tiny bedroom for a dresser so I downsized and downsized and downsized our wardrobes. it seemed like every time I went to put clothes away I pulled something else out of my over stuffed drawers and closet. kind of like your container principle I had 40 white hangers and 40 hangers was really all you could fit in the closet and still be able to move things around without a crow bar. slowly I was able to weed through the clothes putting all my absolute favorites on white hangers and everything else on a random colored hanger if it sat and sat and I keep passing it up to where I would have to toss it and if I wore it that week when I put it away I would put it away on a white hanger until I we had where the white ones it took me about three months. we don’t have a full weeks worth of all our clothes I have 4 or 5 days warm weather and 4 or 5 days cool weather really twice a week works best for me. we had to move in with family at a certain point and are space is equally small but we don’t have 24/7 accesses to the washer dryer so I have to pick two days a week that are somewhat spaced no matter how many socks and underwear hubby has one week after laundry day and he is out. doing multiple loads in one day and designing the day to be a stay at home or mostly stay at home day is nicer than everyday I have a baby on the way and I am going to do cloth so its going to be more like every other day in a few months but by then we will be in our own appartment

  13. 18

    My house has 2 clothes horses in it, and neither one is me. Both my husband and daughter have 3x more clothes then I do. So I have not found the perfect laundry routine, but I have found ways to reduce my work load. On Sunday, I make sure my daughter has 1 clean school uniform for Monday morning. Then I wash & dry her clothes and leave her to put them away. Soon she will be tall enough do was and dry as well. Can’t wait for that day! I do the same for my husband.
    As for the rest, about 2 loads every couple of days is good. That gives me time to wash, dry, fold, and put away.

  14. 19

    I spent a lot of time with my grandparents when I was little and they had 8 children at home including me. Also no running water, a ringer washing machine in the dug out basement and no dryer. She would get up every Monday morning heat the water she got from the hand pump well, always washed the same way, starting with the whites in the hottest water and working through to the darks. Letting the clothes agitate while she lugged the load that was done around the house (a one room school house converted into a house) and hung them on the clothes line. Go back to the basement and start over again. I always feel guilty that my clothes are never done once a week when I remember watching her.

  15. 21

    Your comment about folding straight from the dryer reminded me of my Grandmother. Now she is NOT a slob (slob is all me) but I remember being a kid at her home, the washer and dryer were in the “guest” bathroom, and my aunt said something about how Grandma must have a “magic dryer” because all the clothes were clean, dry, and folded! From that moment on I had the urge to look in her dryer every time I was at her house to see if it was true. You see Grandma’s bedroom (where the clothes go) was upstairs, but the dryer was downstairs. So when she heard that buzzer, she’d stop what she was doing, fold the clothes, and put the neatly folded stacks back in the dryer – so as not to “clutter up” the guest bath. –See I told you she is NOT a slob! 🙂 Me, however, I love you blog/books, because I learn so much! 🙂

  16. 22

    We are a family of two adults. I do two loads of laundry, 2-3 times a week. The days in between the dishwasher is run in the early AM. Two loads at a time is all I can effectively get through the machines, get hung up/folded and put away per session.

  17. 23

    I live alone (with a bunch of pets) and in my case morning laundry is the best.

    Not EVERY morning of course 😉

    For almost 2 years I didn’t have a washer. It was a hard time though I like washing by hand (I really do!). Just before Christmas I got a new beautiful Samsung washing machine 🙂 🙂 🙂
    So I came back to my routine. Before going to bed I sort clothes and put them into the washer. I start the load first thing in the morning (OK, ONE of first things). I’m half-asleep but the day has started. I love it 🙂

  18. 24

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for this post. I used to operate with a laundry day…somewhere got off track…have been struggling with “a load every day” method for a LONG time. Did a laundry day today inspired by this post, and it is all washed, dried, folded and put away…yay!!!

  19. 26
    Stephanie m says:

    Dearest Nony…
    I have established a laundry day!!!!! Well I have to break it into two days but it can’t believe how much of a difference it has made and its only been a week!!!! All week long we had plenty of clean clothes to choose from and I still washed clothes on my laundry day and it took have the time!!! Thanks for your help and advice. We are just starting our family with a 2 yr old and one on the way and now they won’t know a home without routines.

  20. 27
    Suzanne Seward says:

    Hi Dana;
    I have enjoyed following you this past year. My daughter, I found out, has followed you for a number of years now. I have ordered your book and am waiting with anticipation for it to arrive. The last few days you have talked about laundry, or maybe I have been reading about it through your web site. 🙂 Anyway, last week I decided to go back to the Monday Wash Day, and do it all in one day. I am 74, soon 75, my husband is 80, so we don’t have the big loads of wash as in years past. But being raised during the 40’s and 50’s, women always did their laundry on Mondays. Tuesday’s were for ironing! When we were first married 52 years ago I always did the laundry on Mondays, as my mother did and her mother before her. I even ironed on Tuesdays, but with permanent press and knits that no longer is needed. In recent years I have gotten away from a regular wash day, especially when my husband retired 14 years ago and our first grandchild was born. But with your book coming and all your postings on Facebook and Pod casts, you have lite a desire in me to get back to what I used to do. For that I thank you. Dealing with a husbands retirement is a whole nether change of life to adjust to and so I decided to “retire” too even though I had the blessing of being a stay at home mom. I fall somewhere between a Slob and Organized person, not being quite either but enough of each to totally enjoy your story. There is so much I can relate to and even laugh at. I see me in both. For the last year and a half I have dealt with illness and poor health and am now beginning to feel good again and have a desire to get back at my “housework”! 🙂 I actually thought I was ‘done’ with it all, but I see now that I am not. As a believer in Christ, my work is really never done and we keep working to the end. I will admit that I do have a cleaning crew come about every 6 weeks to do the heavy work, but I do need a plan to maintain it in between times. Thank you for following the path the Lord has laid before you, as you do encourage and motivate many including me. 🙂

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