Simply LOVELY Laundry? Is laundry ever lovely, or simple for that matter!?!?
A few weeks ago, I spent a day cleaning, organizing and decluttering our laundry room. That was the easy part. The hard part, is actually keeping it that way, and keeping up with the never ending laundry that comes along with a growing family.
Now, I have never been a very organized mother, especially when it comes to our laundry. It seems that each time I begin to get a handle on it, another little person joins our family, and it takes me a while to adjust... That said, I am always on the lookout for ways in which to help this necessary chore run more smoothly. For me, it seems to boil down to one thing, Consistency.
I find that if I stay on top of my laundry, it becomes quite easy and manageable-- this is the only time I ever think of our laundry as being either simple or lovely! On the other hand, the more laundry I have piling up, the less I feel like doing it, and the more I dislike it.
Now, being consistent doesn't mean that you have to do laundry every day. I don't. But I do try to set laundry days that I am able to stick to. Right now, they are Monday (clothing only), Tuesday (clothing & towels), Thursday (clothing & sheets) and sometimes I will do a load or two on Saturday.
Something that has helped me more than anything is following Marcia Ramslands "Same Day" Laundry Principle that she suggests in her book Simplify Your Life. She says that "you have a successful laundry system if the clothes that go into the washing machine complete the four steps of washing, drying, folding, and being put away--in the same day!" (So often I would find that I would get through the first three steps, but for some reason rarely finished that critical last step, and before I knew it I had piles of clothing all over our home.) I have found this to be true, with the exception of my hanging clothes... I hang them inside (I use our extra shower to do this), and sometimes they do take more than a day to dry, especially in the winter. But my goal is, that everything that comes out of my dryer must be put away before bed. Do I always do this? No. But, I do find that I am much happier and less stressed about my laundry when I do.
I also want to share the list of suggestions in Simplify your Life that has really helped lighten my load, so to speak:
In addition to the above list, I have a sectioned hamper in my laundry room for the kids to sort their whites, colors and darks. It really helps to keep our laundry room so much neater and makes it easier for me to see at a glance with type of load I should do next.Ten Timesaving Laundry Tips
from Simplify Your Life
- Place a wall clock above the washer and dryer. [I use a timer]
- Be ready to move clothes to the next step after thirty minutes.
- Wash those items first that require the most sorting afterward. [I wash my "hang dry" items first, since they take extra work.]
- Minimize wrinkles by immediately folding warm clothes from the dryer. [I hate to iron, so this is high on my priority list!]
- Save time by making the bed with sheets straight from the dryer.
- Stack clean towels by bathrooms to speed up delivery.
- Leave the washer lid open as a signal to empty the dryer.
- Save steps by keeping a lint box or wastebasket nearby.
- Hang the empty laundry basket on a hook. [or better yet, get one of these, it is on my wishlist!!]
- Close the lid after your last load and congratulate yourself for finishing all your laundry for the day.
I have also trained my children to put away their own clothing. Even my 2 year old is able to help with putting away some of her own clothes, although, I do have to go into their rooms and straighten their drawers occasionally. She even loves to help by pairing the socks, which doubles as a learning activity!!
More than anything though, I think the thing that has helped most is changing my attitude about doing laundry. Although I usually have many other things I would rather be doing than laundry, it is indeed necessary, and through doing it I am taking care of my family and showing them, in one more way, that they are loved... And that is indeed lovely!!!