Monday, January 11, 2010

How to Conquer the Laundry Monster

I can remember Lee asking me way too many times, "Do I have any clean underwear/socks/shirts?" To that he would usually get one of three responses: 1) "No," 2) "Yes, but they are still in the washer," or 3) "Yes, but they've been in the dryer for a couple of days so they are probably a little wrinkled." It was frustrating, but mostly it was embarrassing. Finally, I came up with a system that has [for the most part] made keeping up with the laundry way more manageable.

The first thing to do is assess how many loads of laundry you usually do a week. In my house it is usually around 6 loads. Once you figure that out, you can decide how often you want to do laundry. For some it may be a load (or two) each day (or weekday), for others it may be a couple (or a few) loads every other day (or twice a week), and for others it may be all of it one day a week. It could vary at times depending on how your life goes, but the key is having a general idea of when you are going to do your laundry.

I generally try to do one load a day because I find that it is much more manageable. I can put it in first thing in the morning and switch it to the dryer when I know I can pull it out as soon as it is done (which saves me a lot of ironing). I get it put away and it makes me feel like I have accomplished something. If you are going to do this method, I highly recommend having a general idea of which type of load you are going to do each day.

I break it down like this:
Mondays - casual darks
Tuesdays - towels, hand towels, washclothes, and kitchen towels
Wednesdays - master bedroom sheets (white) and other whites
Thursdays - Luke's sheets and any casual darks that need to be done
Fridays - nice clothes, Lee's khakis, Lee's dress shirts (two separate loads) - IRONING DAY
Saturdays - catch-up
Sundays - catch-up

The great thing about this method is that if I miss a load, I can do two the next day.

Whatever method you choose, the key is to be organized about it. Knowing what days you are going to do it, and what loads you are going to do, will keep the guess work out of the process. It will save you time and frustration.

Biggest Tip: Don't put things in the dryer until you are prepared to fold them and put them away an hour later (especially if they are things that could require more ironing).

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