Simplifying Laundry

DSC_8390colorLaundry.

It’s practically a swear word for most mothers.  I never felt that way until I had my last baby.  Since then, I just couldn’t keep up with it.  There was always a big pile of dirty laundry on the laundry room floor or a big pile of clean laundry on the couch needing to be folded.  I felt like laundry was my life, all I ever did or felt like I should be doing.

I used to do laundry the way I thought it was “supposed” to be done, by dumping all the laundry in a big pile, sorting it by color and then washing, drying, folding until it’s all done.  Except that it was NEVER done.  Then several months ago I came across two different posts about laundry.  The first was this one on Instagram:

Captureand the second is here.

Exciting right?

Okay, not really but it got me thinking about how I do my own laundry and I decided to try something different.  I don’t actually do what they do in either of those posts but they helped me to see that I can do things differently.  Now when I do laundry I take the laundry basket from one bedroom and bring it into the laundry room.  Only one at a time.  I start the washer and put almost all of the clothes in that basket into the washer.  Reds, khakis, and dark jeans, it doesn’t matter, they all go in together.  I do sort out the whites, towels and underwear because I like to use bleach on those so I wash them separately.  (I have two empty laundry baskets in the laundry room that I put whites and undies/towels into as I’m adding the rest of the stuff to the washer.)   It usually only takes one load for the kids clothes and sometimes, like today, I could fit both of the little kids clothes into one load.   Once the laundry basket I’m working from is empty, I put it back where it goes and move on to the next room.

One of the things about my old system that drove me crazy is that there was always dirty laundry on the laundry room floor.  This mostly solves that problem.  My kids still throw dirty laundry in on the floor sometimes but a shirt and some socks here and there isn’t nearly as annoying to have on the floor as all of the clothes we own.

Probably the biggest problem from my old system was folding.  Ugh!  It was the worst.  There could be anything in that basket of clothes, my shirt, some kids shorts, my husbands uniform, etc.  So not only did you need a lot of room to sort and fold everything, once you were done there were 5 different rooms that you had to go in to put it all away.  And for that reason, I always put off folding the laundry.

DSC_8334color

Now, when I get clothes out of the dryer THEY ALL GO IN THE SAME ROOM!  It’s kind of amazing how big of a difference that makes to me.  I usually fold the clothes as I take them out of the dryer because it’s only one persons clothes and there is room on top of the washer and dryer for all of the different piles I need.  Then when they’re folded it’s one trip into one room to put them all away.  Sometimes I will even take the clean, unfolded laundry into the room where it goes and fold it and put it away all at the same time.  Either way it’s so much faster and easier to maintain than my old way.

And I don’t hate laundry anymore!

This is a perfect example to me about what I was trying to say in my post on simplifying.  I still have the exact same amount of laundry to do and the same amount of time to do it but by finding a different way to do it I get a much better result.  The benefits of this go beyond getting the laundry done.  I no longer feel like laundry is my life and I should always be doing it.  It has taken away some of the “I’m always behind in life and can’t ever catch up.” feelings that I have struggled with.  And that feels so good that now I’m wondering what process to change up next.

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