It is no secret in my house that I love figuring out the most effective and productive way to get things done. I am always trying to determine the path of least resistance that will get me the most bang for my buck.
Time is money after all!
As a stay-at-home-mom, one of my weekly tasks is laundry. Everyone has their preferred laundry routine, and if you have one that works for you, that is great.
I would venture to guess that most laundry routines, especially those of people who work out of the home, involve doing laundry over multiple days of the week or just doing it all on the weekend.
I tried both of these methods when I was and was not working and they just did not work for me. I hate doing a big chore on the weekend unless it is a special circumstance, and doing laundry almost every day made me feel like it was never ending.
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Once I got serious about setting up a cleaning schedule for myself, I decided to go ahead and do ALL of our “clothes” laundry once a week.
Towels, sheets, and other miscellaneous items might get done on the same day if time allows, but I have a second day built in for that if needed. Folding all the little socks and small pieces of clothing is the worst part of the whole ordeal anyway, right?
Setting Up a Once a Week Laundry Routine
There are a few things you need to do before getting started with a once a week laundry routine.
First, pick a day of the week where you know you will have a good chunk of time to devote to being home to monitor the laundry.
Remember, doing laundry does not actually require a great amount of active time. You can accomplish so many other things in your house while still getting all your laundry done.
If you work long hours out of the house, you might have to pick a weekend day.
But think carefully about this! If you are a night owl, you might be able to complete this task while vegging out on your couch after work one night. It is all about getting creative.
Second, make sure you organize your dirty laundry.
All I mean by this is go ahead and invest in a simple laundry sorter. One with wheels is great if your laundry is on the same floor as your bedrooms – roll it right into the laundry room!
The three baskets work well for us to pre-separate our clothes into underwear and socks, delicates, and all other clothes.
I am not a huge proponent of separating lights and darks after the first few washes of a new article of clothing, but you might have a different way of sorting.
Whatever works for you! Get something to sort your dirty laundry and train everyone in your family to sort their clothes INTO the baskets.
We have two kids so they have a two-bag sorter in their room. Their clothes still get washed separately since one is an infant.
Besides that, all of their clothes get washed in one load without separating because almost all of them are made of cotton.
The Reality of Laundry Day
Alright, you have picked a day and organized your dirty clothes and now that day is here! Don’t panic, you can do it! I have a couple tips for success.
- If you are fortunate enough to have an ENTIRE day to do laundry, as soon as you get out of bed, grab your first load of laundry from your already-sorted piles and throw it in the washing machine immediately. You are already set up for success! I find that when I do this, the laundry somehow magically gets done faster and I am more motivated to keep up with it.
- Over time, figure out the best order to do the different loads of laundry. The bane of my laundry existence is hanging up those clothes that can’t go in the dryer. I learned that if I put a load of delicates in first thing, I have more energy in the morning to hang them up and more motivation to get them out of the washer since I still have all my other clothes to wash!
- If circumstances allow, fold each load of laundry and put it away as soon as you remove it from the dryer. This took me a long time to actually start doing consistently, but it really does make a huge difference in feeling accomplished. Treat it like a mini-break from whatever else you were doing and turn on your favorite music, listen to a podcast, watch your kids play, or catch up on a TV show! Plus, even if something comes up and you aren’t able to get to folding the last load or two of laundry, at least you know that all the clothes before that are put away.
- Finally, if you know ahead of time that your laundry routine is going to be interrupted by other (hopefully more exciting) plans, just move it to a different day that week. Planning ahead is key!
You might not actually finish all your laundry every week in one day, especially in the beginning, but don’t let that weigh you down.
Finish it as soon as you have time again and it will still make your laundry chore feel like it did not take up the whole week.
I find that most times this only happens when I “forget” that it is laundry day and I don’t start first thing in the morning or I leave the house and forget I was doing laundry when I return home.
Most weeks I can get it all done, folded and put away, and I feel like a ROCK STAR!
Plus, I feel pretty amazing the rest of the week as I walk by the empty washing machine.
How Laundry Can Affect the Rest of Your Life
You might be thinking, okay, this is great and all, but what does a laundry routine have to do with helping me with my financial goals or living more frugally?
I truly and honestly believe that being organized and planning ahead will set you up for success in all areas of your life!
The less time you spend working on a mundane, but necessary task, the more time you have to focus on your goals and increase your success in whatever it is you are trying to accomplish at your current stage of life – financial or otherwise.
This is just one small area where you can improve your productivity and train yourself to pick up good habits that will eventually carry over to other parts of your life – money, health, relationships, etc.
Another side benefit is training your family to have these same habits.
Maybe they are not actually doing the laundry, but I love being able to remind my husband that if he wanted his favorite work shirt washed, it should have been in the dirty laundry on laundry day and not sitting in his unopened suitcase.
You better believe his suitcase gets emptied faster now so that he does not have to do his laundry himself!
If you find yourself waking up after hitting snooze 5 times, running out the door to work 9-5, scrambling to find something for dinner when you get home, and desperately trying to have a social life or spend time with your family after work or on the weekends, all while juggling the mundane tasks of being an adult like bills and chores, then you need to try SOMETHING new.
Maybe it won’t be fixing your laundry routine, but meal planning or setting up a morning routine. Whatever it is, make it a priority to improve your life with one new habit at a time.
Does your laundry routine work for you?
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