When polled, 98 out of 100 people said that laundry is ruining their lives.
Ok, not really.
But we can imagine that, if questioned, most people would say that laundry isn’t on their Top Ten List of Favorite Things To Do. And we feel that.
Do you currently have a mountain of dirty laundry calling your name? Are you feeling stressed because your kid’s soccer uniform needs to cleaned before this weekend’s game? Is your partner lovingly inquiring about where his clean undershirts are…and you literally have no idea? (Or you know, but they’re dirty and you just don’t want to tell him?).
If so, we can help you get your laundry under control with the following simple tips!
Do A Ruthless Edit
One of the easiest ways to minimize your laundry is to cut down on the amount of items you own. How often have you had to wash clothes, not because they’re dirty, but because they’ve been sitting on your floor/chair/treadmill all week? We’re not advocating for a capsule wardrobe if you don’t want one. We’re suggesting that the excess clothing you and your family own are making laundry harder than it has to be. The less you own, the less you’ll have to clean…it’s the new math.
Evaluate How Often You Need To Wash Certain Items
All clothes are not created equally, and some items don’t require excessive cleaning. Jeans, for example, don’t need to be washed after every wear. You can read what the denim experts have to say in this article from Marie Claire, but to sum it up, less is more when it comes to your favorite pair of vintage Levis.
Pro Tip: Certain items such as towels and workout clothes can be, shall we say, malodorous. Use a small amount of Head & Shoulders in the wash cycle to get them smelling fresh again.
Start With A Clean Slate
If your laundry is completely out of control, you may need to set aside an entire day to rectify the situation. It sounds horrible, we know, but in the long run it’ll be worth it. Plan on staying in your home all day, or if a whole day is unfeasible, consider a week of evenings dedicated solely to laundry. Unfortunately, ignoring the situation won’t make it go away, so some sacrifice is going to be necessary.
Gather up all the dirty clothes from every last corner of your house. Bring everything to one place, preferably close to the washer and dryer, and sort it all. Don’t sort as you go, because you’ll inevitably end up with one white t-shirt at the bottom of the pile that didn’t make it into the light load.
Wash, dry, fold and put away each load as soon as it’s done. The task will be much more manageable if you stay on top of it from start to finish.
Create A System
Once you’ve bitten the bullet and have your laundry under control, it’s time to create a system that works for you.
Carefully evaluate your schedule to determine your best options. Be realistic. Do you need to do a load every day? Or one load in the morning and one in the evening? Or do you prefer to commit an entire day to getting everything done at once? If this is your option, make sure you have a back-up plan if your scheduled day gets away from you.
Once you have a plan, work out the details. For example, if you’re going to do a load each day, will you put your clothes in the washer before work? Or perhaps it will be more efficient for you to do it as soon as you walk in the door. Make sure you allow time for drying, folding and putting away each load. Every home is different and one system isn’t necessarily better than another. The important thing, once you’ve decided on your plan, is to make it part of your routine. (If you need help establishing an efficient routine, you can read this post to get on track.)
Truth be told, even with a perfect system, laundry will never be fun. It’s one of life’s necessary evils and it can’t be avoided. But with a paired down wardrobe and some intentional habits, it can be bearable!