Laundry and I are not on the best of terms.
I feel that he/she/it is is needy, high-maintenance, never satisfied, ungrateful, and constantly undermining any efforts I make.
I’ve tried. Really I have.
I added it to my list of daily non-negotiable tasks a very long time ago. I even gave it several weeks of focus, trying to come up with a way to make things work.
But still, I find myself searching for a “standardized dress approved” shirt for my son to wear to school. The laundry piles don’t look any more tamed than they did before.
Basically, it didn’t work because I haven’t been consistent.
In this “coming clean” process, I have attempted to develop new habits. I’m working to change my thinking. I don’t want to be satisfied with the excuse of “that’s just the way I am.”
But there are times when I need to accept “how I am” and find a way that works for me.
Flylady recommends doing a load of laundry a day. She’s the expert, not me, so I gave it a shot.
But here’s the problem. Doing one load a day requires this thing called “remembering.” Turns out, I’m not so good at that. I remember to check the bathrooms for clutter when I sit down to type up my daily checklist. I can get up, go do it, and be done with that task for the day. But laundry requires lots of “remembering.” First, you have to remember to put the laundry into the washer. Then you have to remember to take it out and put it in the dryer. After that, you have to remember to take it out of the dryer. Then you have to fold it and put it away. And if you are going to do this EVERY SINGLE DAY, you have to remember all of this in the midst of everything else you have going on.
So, as I’ve been working on coming up with weekly tasks, I have decided to try laundry as a weekly task rather than a daily task.
Mondays are my new laundry day.
I’ve mentioned before that for one year of my life, I had laundry under control. When the boys were little bitty, no one was in school, and we were ALWAYS home on Thursdays, I did all of our laundry on Thursdays. Then, the next year when our schedule changed, I never found a new day and ended up giving up.
I’ve had some great excuses for not trying this again. With kids in school, you’re never “always home” on specific days. Days are also much shorter. When the kids were little bitty, I could keep working ALL day, but now the break when I go pick up the boys and go into homework/supper prep time totally throws me off.
But I’m going to give this a try. Since the load-a-day attempt completely failed, I have to try something.
For today it’s working pretty well. I started the morning by stripping sheets and making piles of all the loads that need to be done. It helps me to have every single item of dirty laundry out in front of me at once. When I’m just doing one load, I ALWAYS end up missing a few items that should have gone with that load, and then it might be a week before I get around to doing that load (of whites, darks, whatever) again.
I also remember a great feeling of accomplishment when I used to do this. Knowing that every single item of clothing in the entire house was clean for one brief moment in time was extremely gratifying. And lifting the constant burden of feeling like I should be doing laundry was nice too.
We’ll see how it goes.
*FYI, Laundry Day probably won’t work for you if you’re on a septic system, as it may overload your system. Sorry!
I found your blog through Menu Plan Monday and when I saw this post, I had to comment! I have a gaggle of kiddos too and it seems that laundry is the hardest to keep up with and it's because of what you wrote; "remembering" to do it. It seems that when I finally start to see a change in our laundry room, I'll forget to put a load in the dryer for a day (sometimes two if something is going on…oops) and that just totally sets me back.
Anyway, good luck!!!
I do laundry on weekends when I'm home from work and it's much, much easier that way. It's done and I don't accidentally forget something. I can't wait for spring because that's when I can start using the clotheslines again. Since I work outside the home during the week, I need the weekend drying time and thus pretty much fell into the habit of doing the clothes on Saturday and/or Sunday (depending on what's going on that weekend). Good luck!
Ha! I just wrote about laundry on my blog too!
Eos Mom says
It's hard when you're not home all day! I should've done at least one load yesterday, but I was in and out and I don't like to leave an appliance running while I'm gone–so I never started, now I have 3 loads I want to do today–ugh!
Anyway, my "system" is to try to do one load a day, then I can miss a day and not get too far behind (this week being a bad example, haha).
I think a lot of us "forget" laundry in the washer… or dryer… or clean basket. I know I do it fairly regularly. I hate laundry more than any other chore.
One thing that has helped me: when I am relatively caught up, I give myself permission to run one cold load of whatever odds and ends didn't make it to their normally sorted loads. (Not including underwear… ick. It needs hot water!) I have always sorted everything, but before we were married, my husband sorted nothing– it all went into one cold load. I still NEED to sort it, and think clothes hold up better… but if one load of mixed cold clothes helps me stay caught up, then I'm willing to do it once in a while!
2 Tramps says
I always have done the laundry on Mondays. But recently I decided that was really dragging me down and making Mondays depressing. So I started to just do a load every day or so. But like you said, there were days that I forgot to do the laundry. And now I am way behind… And it is Tuesday… Guess I will have to go back to the Monday thing…
I'm sharing my laundry schedule with anyone who wants it. I don't have a problem with laundry. I feel that if I've done my chore for that day and crossed it off my list, I'm good!
Friday: gather all clothes laundry plus kitchen towels, bath and hand towels. Replace towels with clean ones for the next week. Separate colors and keep the washer going all day. (Usually 6 loads for my family.)
Saturday-every other Saturday wash all bedding.
Sunday evening-fold all laundry from Friday while watching TV.
Tuesday-wash and fold only kid's clothes. (Usually 2 loads.) Once I've done what is on the list,I feel I've finished for the day, and I don't feel guilty for having unfolded laundry sitting around because I have a set time to fold it and put it away. Hope this helps a little! Proud of you hardworking homemakers!
I struggle with consistency on certain tasks too. I'm currently working on the laundry thing. My idea is to do all the laundry toward the end of the week, but I haven't got an exact routine down yet because some weeks we have more laundry than others. And sometimes I find myself busy with other things.
Thanks for linking up for Friday Favorites. Hope to see you again this week!
I've been doing laundry this way since school started in August and it works for me. Every morning, I throw in a load before I take the kids to school. Usually when I back, it's ready for the drier. That way, I'm not spending all day "waiting" for it. In the kids' bathroom tub, I have 4 baskets, labeled with Towels, Darks, Whites, and School uniforms. If someone needs the tub, it takes all of 10 seconds to lift the baskets out. My kids sort their clothes as they take them off.
Saturday: Sheets/Beds (2 kids one week; 1 kid and mine next)
Sunday: School Uniforms
Monday is my grocery day and mop/vacuum day, so no laundry. Friday is supposed to be fun, so nothing on that day either. My inner dork is showing! And I found your blog 3 days ago, and I've read from the beginning and am already here in Feb… just a few more months to catch up! 🙂
The thing that helps me the most is sorting the dirty laundry as I take it off. I have six laundry bags in frames – warm dark, warm light, whites, linens (towels and sheets), cold dark and cold light. Hubby is mostly trained, though I do occasionally move something to the cold bags. My daughter just puts hers in one basket. So I just sort hers and then fill the load out with grownup stuff. It's easy to see what's got enough to do a load. And I know if the whites get to a certain level then hubby's out of socks and underwear.
Try carrying a timer that you set to go off when it's time to rotate the load to the dryer. Get a kitchen timer that you can clip to your clothes. Let the timer remember for you. Even if you forget to set it, at some point you'll think, why am I wearing this timer? For me, it's when I go to the bathroom and the timer hits the floor with a clunk. =-P
like kelly, above, i have a sorting system. my laundry room wall is outfitted with built in shelves/bins. i use the 6 bins across the bottom to sort my dirty clothes. when they get to a certain depth in the bin, i know that there is enough for a full load. that way i can, at a glance, see what needs to be done first. as far as washing it, i TRY to remember to do a load a day, as needed. but then some days, i get on a roll and wash two or three loads in a day. i also like kelly’s timer idea. my new washer and dryer both have alarms that let you know when they’re done…..provided you’re close enough to hear. 🙂 but the sorting thing is crucial for me….i’m a very visual person, so when i see the level in the bin i know ….it’s time to do some laundry! good luck!
Amy G. says
In Louisiana, Monday was traditionally laundry day, and it also became red beans and rice day because it’s a dish that is easy to cook but takes forever…so it’s easy to just check on it and stir it every once in a while. A lot of restaurants still serve red beans as their Monday special (and my college cafeteria too!)
Hello. 🙂 I’ve been reading your blog backwards, and skipping around some too. I just wanted to tell you that this is the most genuinely helpful blog I read. I love it. Since reading here, I’ve been doing better noticing things and just taking care of them right away. I made a chart for daily tasks today, and have done most already. This is much better than the one day at a time planning of my normal to-do-list. Thanks!
Thank you! And it sounds like you’re doing great!!
The biggest AHA moment for me when it came to the laundry was realizing that I didn’t have to fold the entire load before I put it away. Five things folded? Put them away! This works great when you are trying to multitask.
I am catching up on your journey from the beginning and I have to say that I recognize myself.
Amy M says
Ive been reading from the beginning up to here and Ive been waiting for the day you found your laundry answer. Its like reading a novel and it feels like Im rooting for you to win on every page. Im a big fan of yours and I have read both your books and I am up to podcast #64! You have changed my home for the better and my life is better too.
Thank you, from the bottom of my heart!