It’s no secret that I’m a Lazy Housekeeper. However, I’m trying some new simple systems at home. I can get things done without wasting brain power or using up my time for writing, reading, and playing with the kids. I will never like to clean, but I can be responsible by caring a little more. Anyway, today I’m sharing my laundry system. This is not glamorous, and it doesn’t involve color-coding or using a cute chart or even chalkboard paint. But, this simple laundry system gets the clothes cleaned and put away.
Step 1: Clothes belong in a drawer or a basket.
That’s my new house rule. Clean ones? Drawer. Dirty ones? Basket. This rule eliminates my original laundry step of “gathering all the clothes into one huge pile in the hall and ponder the likelihood of my impending death by suffocation if the pile ever topples.”
Step 2: Each family member gets a basket.
Towels get thrown in as needed or their own load, depending on the messiness of the past few days. I wash clothes by the basket (or person), not by color or fabric type. I wash everything on warm, and it all gets clean. This step removes sorting, both before and after washing and drying, which is like two whole steps! Steps removed so far? 3
Step 3: Wash your own clothes.
I give my husband a pass because he’s gone most of the day, and I help out my three-year-old. My boys (7 and 6) are pretty much on their own, and they like it (What six-year-old doesn’t like control? Answer: No six-year-old.) The boys gather their baskets. Add the soap. Hit the buttons. Move wet clothes to the dryer. Empty the dryer and put away. I’m losing track of the steps I’m eliminating just by getting the boys to do all of this themselves.
Step 4: Once the clothes are dry, you put them away.
This “life-changing” rule is for me. Before this system, I would let clothes just live in baskets until I finally got annoyed enough to put them away. Somehow, looking at two baskets of clothes to fold seems less daunting (see step 3). Plus, I’ve eliminated all of those other steps, so I can celebrate my efficiency!
Step 5: Folding is optional.
List of things I no longer fold (it’s grown over the years): underwear, kids’ clothes, cleaning rags, kitchen towels, most pajamas, athletic shorts. So, if you’re keeping up, I match socks, fold shirts and pants, and bathroom towels. If you’ve wanted a way out of folding everything, consider this permission. Live life on the edge! Stop folding things! (If the idea of unfolded clothing bothers you, I’m betting you don’t need much advice in the cleaning or laundry department.)
What about fabric dies bleeding or whites getting dingy?
What can I say? Sometimes, you gotta roll the dice. Honestly, I haven’t had any issues with this. If your whites are getting dingy, take a special day to group them all together for a bleach fest once in a while. To me, having socks stay together is more important than the occasional dingy white or rogue red shirt bleeder.
Aren’t you wasting water and energy running the washer with smaller loads?
Maybe. But this saves my own personal energy as well as my time and sanity. Also, we are not a “wear it once, then wash it” sort of family. So, that should balance out some of the energy-saving issues.
How often do you do laundry?
The kids and I need to wash clothes once a week. My husband needs laundry done twice a week, and I usually do an extra load of towels during the week, too.
Do you have a laundry system? Or, better yet, do you have a simple cleaning/organizing solution?
I like to save as much time as possible cleaning because then I can justify reading on the couch. Have a great weekend everyone!