Are you sick and tired of doing laundry every single day?
Last year I was completely overwhelmed by life, work, homeschool, housework and the laundry monster!
I was trying so hard to find a balance, and I just couldn’t. If I spent a day focusing on my children and working hard on school or attending any outside activities, I would forget to do laundry and it would be a huge piled up mess! I just couldn’t win!
So I tried a new system to make sure I was consistent with doing laundry every day:
When I would wake up in the morning, I would pop a load in, then after breakfast it would go in the dryer and come back out again around lunch where I would fold it and have the kids put it away. I thought this was a fabulous system – for about a week! There would be days where I would get busy with work, or helping a struggling reader, or spending time with the toddler playing and I would forget about the laundry. We don’t have a laundry room, our laundry is out in the garage. Here in Florida, with the heat and humidity you CAN NOT let laundry sit for more than an hour or it will begin to sour and stink. There were so many days where I was rewashing the same load because I kept forgetting about it and setting a timer was just one more thing to do. When I finally did get the laundry done other things would come up again and now the clean laundry was piling up everywhere just waiting to get put away.
SOMETHING HAD TO CHANGE!
I was so sick of doing laundry. It really would never end. Carrie and I joked about how babies eventually get potty trained and out of diapers, that the little ones will finally one day sleep through the night and all these milestones that will change and improve, but not laundry. The laundry will never stop or go away like diapers, we would be doing laundry every day for the rest of our lives, until we die! It was quite depressing. I didn’t want to do laundry every day!
Being the rebel that I am, I decided to do something different. For an entire week I stopped doing the laundry!
I really had no idea what I was doing, but I was on a mission to change. I went to Target and got the biggest laundry hampers I could find that would fit nicely in each bedroom, then we just let those baskets fill right up to the top! When they got full they went out into the garage, where they would get dumped into This Awesome System! This sturdy hamper can hold a lot of laundry!
I have heard of people that do once a day laundry and they start on Monday. I’m sorry, but laundry is not my idea of a good start to a Monday morning! The weekends seemed nicer to me. I waited until Saturday morning. We got up and I started a load of laundry, we ate breakfast and the first load went into the dryer, then the second load started. I told the kids that today would be family laundry day! We turned on loud worship music and we stayed in our pajamas. I let the little ones play with their toys but every time a new load of laundry was pulled out of the dryer we would immediately stop what we were doing, we would fold and put it right away. We all loved how efficient this worked. We had a lazy day of playing and relaxing at home, but every hour or so we would stop and do laundry. When we were all working together it didn’t take long at all in between loads.
This little rebellion of mine turned into a plan that our whole family loves! Do you know how nice it was when Monday came around and I didn’t have to do any laundry? My husband was thrilled with how less stressed I was, and he also loved that he didn’t have to come home to a pile of laundry on our bed at the end of the night!
Here is a quick run down of our Once a Weekend Laundry Plan:
1. Let the laundry pile up
That’s right, just let it pile up all week long. When you are ready to begin have the kids tote all the dirty laundry out to laundry room and they can help you sort and then start washing. Don’t get overwhelmed. It can be a giant mess of piles and piles of dirty laundry all over the floor, but by the end of the day the piles will slowly disappear!
2. Laundry in laundry out
After you wash a load, throw it into the dryer and start another load. When one load is dry immediately take the laundry out and take it to a designated folding station, then put the wet clothes into the dryer and start another wash.
3. Turn on music or a fun family movie while you fold
Turn on your favorite music and start folding. You can also turn on a movie, though I have found that sometimes the kids get distracted and the folding gets sloppy and very slow! Sometimes I turn on worship music, other times I let the kids choose fun music that they want to listen to.
4. Create a folding station
We fold our laundry in the living room on our large coffee table and create piles of clean clothes on the couches. When the piles start to build up we stop what we are doing and everyone puts their laundry away. This is great life skills in action, even the toddler can help put her clothes away and fold washcloths.
5. Play and relax in between loads or tackle other projects
I like to let my girls make a huge mess and pull out their favorite toys. The mess is contained to one spot in the living room and they play until I ask them to stop to do the laundry. Then they get to go back to playing. My husband and son usually tackle a project outside or in the garage or around the house. I use the downtime to meal plan, make lists for the week, do a quick clean up or work on craft projects. I really enjoy staying home on a day when I don’t have to work or homeschool, it’s a nice break.
6. The sock basket
When we are doing laundry all day, it is so much easier and less messy to throw the socks into one empty basket. We dump the laundry out to start folding and someone starts to just toss any socks into the basket. Here is the basket half empty. Usually sometime by the end of the weekend I will assign someone to sort the socks, or we may watch a movie together and do it. Sometimes the basket just sits like that all week and we pick out of it when we need socks. That’s fine with me! I would rather have one basket than the laundry monster to deal with!
7. When you can’t get to the laundry all in one day designate an area to store the clean laundry.
Sometimes we have plans on the weekend, so the laundry gets started on a Friday night, and done in small spurts throughout the weekend. When this happens we will just do a few loads when we can, and fold it all into neat piles to put away later. When we are able to start the laundry system again the next day, we put the clean laundry away and start again. I have an old church pew that is perfect for this. Here are a couple of loads piled up. I also lay any dresses or dress shirts over the side of the bench. These are items that will need to get hung up later.
This system has been a great success for us!
We are a family of 6, and my husband runs a lawn and construction business. We have lots of dirty laundry! Some times I may have to wash a load of his clothes during the week, but that’s no big deal! If I still had a baby in cloth diapers there would be extra loads there too. You can modify this to work best for you. Maybe you have a larger family, or you have a septic system that can’t handle all that washing in one day, if that’s the case maybe you can split it up to do it twice a week. For me, anything is better than having to do laundry every day. It has been such a blessing to have one less thing to deal with during the week!
Let me know if you have any questions, or if you would like to share what works best for your family in the comments below!
Sarah is a wife, daughter of the King and Mama to 4 children (one who is a homeschool graduate!) She is a an eclectic,Charlotte Mason style homeschooler and has been homeschooling for over 16 years now. She is still trying to find the balance between work and keeping a home and says she can only do it by the Grace of God, and Coffee!