Are you overwhelmed by piles of dirty laundry? Does it seem like there is never time to do it all? Do you only do laundry when the piles are overflowing or you need a piece of clothing fast? If you’re ready to break this cycle, here are some tips to find the right laundry system for you.
The first step is finding a laundry system that works for you. Here are some scheduling ideas:
• Laundry Category Days - Assign days for several types of laundry. For example, Monday is darks, Wednesday is colors, Friday is whites, etc. Possibly include a Woolite or Dryel day, if you have a lot of delicates and hand washables. If you share a washer/dryer with other tenants or roommates, choose “off-days” to avoid weekends.
• Laundry Day - Do all of your laundry in one day. Again, avoid weekends if you share a washer/dryer. If you have a large family and one of you is a stay-at-home parent, I recommend choosing a weekday when some or all children are at school. Notify your family that there is one laundry day, and ask them to bring their dirty clothes to the laundry room the night before. This will take will power on two fronts: sticking with that day no matter how much you don’t want to do laundry, and being strict with your family about helping you out. Be ready for the “emergency” I-need-this-shirt-for-practice-tomorrow laundry loads, though.
• Everyday Laundry - Do a load every day at a certain time, like the morning, right when you come home from work, or after dinner. This may seem like torture, but it really keeps you caught up on laundry. Even if you have to miss a day because you have to stay late at work, you get sick, or your child gets sick, the piles still won’t get out of control. Plus, the worst thing that happens is that you go to do laundry one day, and there isn’t any to do. When was the last time that happened?!
Here are some other tips:
• Have a weekly dry cleaning schedule. For example, drop off the dry cleaning on Tuesday mornings, and pick them up on Thursdays after work.
• Don’t have too many bottles or boxes of detergent around. Read the bottle to see how many loads it will do, and calculate how long this will last with your laundry schedule. It’s often easier to buy one bottle each month than to find room to store five bottles.
• Try to get your family more involved in laundry, especially the kids. Tweens can do those “emergency” loads of their uniforms needed for the next day, and you can remind teens that they’ll soon need to do their own laundry when they’re in college or sharing an apartment with roommates. And these roommates won’t be as forgiving about their piles of smelly clothes as their parents are!