How to Laundry

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How to LaundryLaundry…love or loathe, it has to be done!

An unofficial poll shows that it’s mostly moms (whether working full-time or part-time or mom-in-charge-at-home) doing the laundry. I’ve been through many cycles (pun intended; there are more) of laundry. Washing ALL the laundry one day a week. Washing all that we wore the day before in a quick wash in the morning. Being OCD about it and never sleeping with anything in the hamper. If there’s been a method, I’ve tried it!

Here’s what I know: either YOU control the laundry or the laundry controls YOU — it’s your choice! Until you win the lottery or quit feeding your kids, you won’t be able to afford a maid to do the six-part series of laundry.

So here are some ways to make it easy:

1. Have your kids help! My six-year-old collects laundry from three laundry hampers most every day. What started out as her dumping them semi-close to the laundry room (closet, it’s a closet) has turned into opening the bi-fold doors, turning all clothes right side out and sorting into one of three hampers! I’M SO PROUD! It takes her 10 minutes. If you’re a parent that doesn’t make your child do a chore a day…this tip might not work for you.

2. One Mom said her kids wash their own clothes once they reach a certain age, around 13! I can’t even imagine things actually getting washed, but I guess it would take running out of underwear one or six times before they do it on their own.

3. Keep your laundry room clutter free. I’m not saying rush to Pinterest and do a full-on shiplap, barn door remodel of your “sanctuary” laundry room. No, just get rid of the trash. Decrease the 100 extra pairs of coat hangers. Wipe down your washer (see me cleaning out he washing machine FILTER! Did you know you had one??). Empty out your laundry detergent and sprays before buying new.

4. Decide what NEEDS to be more functional for you to function in the laundry room. For my bi-fold door closet, I had to get those dang doors repaired. I groaned inwardly every time I had to open them. Has your shelf fallen? Is there too much stuff in there that doesn’t belong? No containers to store extras?

METHODS:

Pick a number, any number! Figure out what works for you in the season you’re in with the amount of help you have. STICK WITH IT!

1. Wash one load every day version A: collect and sort clothes daily by color, darks and denim, whites, towels, delicates. Pick one category a day and wash, fold, put it up before you go to bed.

2. Wash one load every day version B: this one takes some working up to do, but I can say in the summer when the kids wear two-three outfits a day (WHYYY???), I almost have to wash everything they wore the day before in one load. Collect ALL laundry and wash it on a quick wash in the morning. All colors. Wash on cold. I make my own laundry detergent, and colors don’t run together with it or fade. If you only keep one towel per family member hanging up to use for the week, wash all towels one day separately.

3. Wash everything in one day: this is where I am now and I love it! Takes staying home to work one day a week, which is helpful all around. Quick wash separately colors, whites, darks/denim, etc. Fold as it comes out. Keep on the bed, then put up! Usually the kids put up their own clothes, because stairs.

4. Never wash and fold everything method: never have pants to wear. Sniffing things from the dirty hamper to see if they’re passable for a Target trip. Have piles of clothes on the dining room table and couch for days without folding.

5. Grandma method: no kids in the house to wash clothes for. Husband wears same clothes every day. You remember the days when you had laundry to do and are crazy for missing that time! Tell young daughter, “You’re going to miss turning all those socks right side out one day.”

You know, it’s cool if you’re #4 and fine with it. Your house, your rules, your life! But…is it working for you? Could a wee bit of dedication in one area — laundry — free up some stress from household stuff, lending more freedom to life stuff? Folding while sipping a beverage of choice and binging Netflix is like a mini vacation and I do it once a week for 45 minutes! #worthit

I’m a big proponent of men doing laundry too! How does laundry WORK at your house? What is NOT working? Is any of this helpful?

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“Chattanooga is something you can have any way you want it…” I am so blessed to share this city with my husband and three children: Dallas (9), Lillie-Mae (4), and Mindy (3). We enjoy the mountains and the valleys that make up the geography of our city as well as the metaphor they stand for in our lives. Always an adventure in parenting, homeschooling, and loving on others, we look forward to each new day that we are given. Follow along with the antics of the #guesstribe on Instagram @ellieguess and here as we share our city/country love with you.