Thursday, May 22, 2014

This is How We Do It: Laundry!

So the other day I explained how we do kid's clothes at the Howard House, now it's time to talk about another fun topic - LAUNDRY!!!

In the past, when we had too many clothes, too many towels, too many sheets......too many every-things, I was bogged down by laundry. It was my nemesis. Always sitting there in piles, piles to be washed, piles to be dried, piles to be folded, piles to be hung up, piles to be put away, piles to be ironed!!!! It was overwhelming and I was always behind. Always.
So one of the first areas I noticed a DRASTIC difference in when we started minimizing our possessions was laundry. Oh happy day! My loads were smaller, the hamper wasn't filling up as quickly, and laundry wasn't a DAILY chore anymore. Now that was something I could get on board with.
Once I figured on average how many clothes we needed as a family, knowing how frequently to do laundry was the next step. Since the kids had around 4-5 days worth of play clothes, on an average week I realized I would only need to do laundry 2-3 times a week. So I cut back to 3 days a week, with a hot and cold load each day. This was a welcomed change, however, my loads were really small and sometimes I was looking for laundry to wash. I took a leap and tried 2 loads 2 times a week.....voila!! The perfect arrangement! Not only were my loads the right size, but clothes got rotated better, so the same favorite outfit wasn't being washed over and over again.
Then all I needed to decide was which days I needed to do wash on. I decided on Mondays and Thursdays. Monday was a necessary day, because I don't enjoy doing household chores on the weekend or on the Lord's day and with all the fun we have together during family time, come Mondays, we NEEDED clean and fresh clothes, towels and sheets. It's great to start the week off with a fresh wardrobe and home! Thursday was a natural second day as it was at the midpoint from Monday, but also allowed me to have items clean going into the weekend while not being another huge task I needed to do on Fridays, the day we clean the house (but that's a different post!).
I've had this laundry schedule of two laundry days with two loads each day for over 3 years now, and it has yet to fail me. There are the exceptions, like when we have sickness in our home, are preparing for a trip, or have something special planned on a laundry day. On these occasions, I move the laundry day forward or back depending on the week, but still mostly no change is noticeable in the load size. Every 2 weeks I also have a load of sheets to wash, so on that day I do three loads.
(I will add here that we are a cloth diapering family, which means once a week I also have a load of diapers to run. Again, this usually falls on Monday or Thursdays and gets added on with no real change in schedule. Most people wont have to deal with this extra load, but I'm trying to keep it real here! ;))
This new way of doing laundry has been so freeing and made laundry day a fun event at our home now. Before laundry was always hanging over my head, was always in the back of my mind, but now, I only have to think about laundry twice a week and then it is over and done. With the 3 kiddos' help, we can get two loads sorted, washed, dried, folded, and put away in under 2 hours and are only touching the laundry itself for 15 minutes or less of that 2 hour chunk(man I'm so thankful for machines!!). We either enjoy a read aloud book while the kiddos sort and fold/roll their own items and put them away OR if we have gotten all our other work done, we will enjoy a quick cartoon while we are folding our items and then race at the commercial breaks to have everything put away neatly before the show returns!! Having helpers makes the work fun and quick!
Tips for getting laundry completed quickly:
  • Reduce overall amounts of clothes you own!
  • Pick a few days a week for laundry and then forget about it!
  • Train your children early to be responsible for their own items!
  • Don't let the sun go down on incomplete laundry!
*If you are super, super busy start loads the night before, go to bed with one load drying and one load washing, fold first load while second is drying and be done with it!
What are you favorite laundry hacks?

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