Photo by Meena Kadri
I promise I tried to think of a clever title for this post. But how unique can one get when it comes to laundry?
As families grow, so do laundry piles. There's no getting around it - this task has to be done. I'm certainly no "laundry expert" (do you think such a title exists?!) But after experimenting with different strategies over the years, laundry is now one of my preferred household chores.
Here's what works for me:
1. Limit the amount of laundry that needs to be done.
I read somewhere that a good laundry goal is one load per family member per week. In our household of five, we don't even need to do that much. I typically wash, dry, and fold four loads of laundry each week. Often this goes down to three loads in Summer when fewer layers are required.
So, do our kiddos run around 24/7 in their birthday suits? Not exactly. But, they don't wear pajamas. After evening bath time, we dress our children in whatever shirts they'll wear the next day and some comfortable pants. This cuts down on laundry as well as dressing time in the mornings.
We also reuse towels multiple times between washes. In our family, we get through about five towels a week. We hang them over the shower rod to dry and use next time (until they fail the smell test!).
Photo by D. Sharon Pruitt
2. Have a specific time of day for each step in the laundry process.
I put laundry in the washing machine early in the morning, and move it to the dryer before lunch. I fold during the kids' afternoon play time, and put clothes away during their bath time.
Now that I have a planned time for each step in the process, laundry flows fairly effortlessly in our home. It has helped to eliminate laundry sitting in the basket for days on end. And of course I'm looking forward to the time when my kiddos will take over this chore entirely (blissful thought!).
3. Get creative.
Think outside the box when it comes to laundry. You can also brainstorm a unique solution to this organizational dilemma. My friend Robyn, amazing mother of nine, recently created a "dressing area" in her laundry room where she keeps her children's clothing. Having everyone in the family head to one common area for clothes seriously simplifies the laundry process!
Now I'd love to hear from you - please share your ideas for managing this common chore.
How do you tackle laundry in your home?