If we had a laundry room as beautiful as the photos in this post I know I wouldn't have laundry piling up, because I'd want to be in here all the time folding the clothes. I really don't mind doing laundry, vacuuming I don't like, but folding clean clothes is relaxing. It's a simple pleasure, having everything washed, folded, and put away. But when does that ever happen in real life?
Since Ester was born (almost a year and a half ago) I have found a way to manage our laundry that's reasonably effective. Sam's sister has five children under the age of nine, and I'm not sure that this would be a solution for her, but maybe it would work?
1. PICK A LAUNDRY DAY
Choose a laundry day (or two if you have a large family). This prepares your mind to accept that it's a priority to get the laundry complete on this given day. I typically wash on Saturdays, but that's because we don't run errands on the weekends much, and we're home.
2. START EARLY
As soon as you wake up throw in the first load. It's motivating to hear the productiveness happening. It may even inspire you to clean the kitchen or wash the windows.
3. LOVE YOUR DETERGENT
You have to love your detergent. For now we use Meyer's, and we love the smell, and trust that it's not nearly as chemical-laced as the common household brands. In an ideal world we'd make our own detergent, but we don't have the time in this season of life.
4. STAY ON PACE
Set a timer on your phone, and stay on place. Move the clothes to the dryer as soon as they're ready, hang the pieces to dry that can't go in the dryer. Once the load is finished drying, dump it on your bed immediately (or else everything will wrinkle).
This is where the magic happens. I learned quickly that Ester loves to pull apart a freshly folded and perfectly stacked pile of laundry. All of that hard work for NOTHING! Instead of folding randomly, I always sort first: dad's pile, mom's pile, kitchen towel pile, bathroom towel pile, and Ester pile. Once the piles are created she can play with the piles and I can gather one of the piles and fold the clothes up on a high surface.
6. DON'T FOLD EVERYTHING
Yes, stop folding everything. I don't fold Ester's clothes. She has a sock and bloomer drawer, a shirt drawer, and a pants drawer. Dresses hang in her closet. Once I sort the laundry piles I take her clothes and further sort them and place the clothes in her drawers. When she's older she can fold her clothes if she'd like to, and I will teach her how. I also don't fold kitchen towels. They get piled in a drawer.
7. PUT THE PILES AWAY
Older children, by the age of three or four, should be able to put away their own clothes, and dad's can put their clothes away too. Or put it all away yourself. There is no reason to go through all the work of washing/dry/fold and not put away the piles.
- Choose a basket size for each person that can be stored in the bedrooms
- If you're disciplined, store all the dirty clothes in the laundry room (but it is hard to keep laundry from piling up elsewhere - bathroom floor, bedroom floor)
- Wash the bedding after all of the clothes are washed (it goes quicker)
- Take time every few months to organize your closet and drawers, it makes putting the laundry away a quicker process.
- Get the family involved on laundry day, make it fun, make it a tradition
- Beautify your laundry room/space (if you have the budget and the time)