Want to know a fun trick about staying on top of laundry (assuming you’re in charge of the majority of it…)?
Do one person’s stuff each day!
Yep, mind blowing, right?
My friend Kam spoke these words of wisdom into my life a month or so ago. I laughed maniacally.
“But Kam, how am I supposed to make sure James has enough pjs when I just did Joseph and Saida’s laundry? He’s always missing PJs!”
“but Jacob wears enough clothes to dress our entire family (work clothes, work out clothes, relax/lounge at home clothes, yard work clothes…….. men).”
No, she says. No. Just one person per day.
You may have to play “oops no clothes” like I did (slash – my kids did have to suck it up for a night or two… random t-shirts and boxer shorts for the win) but she said whatever you do: “Do NOT do more than one person per day. It will seem like you aren’t doing enough. But you are. And after a month or so, you’ll wonder how you had so much laundry to begin with.”
Again, I laughed in her face. My family knows how to live out of clean and dirty laundry baskets like champs. There was no way it would be easier or make sense. That’s nonsense!
Alas, it sounded too good to be true, but I was willing to give it a shot. At the end of April, I started with a semi-reasonable one-person-per-day schedule (starting with the most pressing people, honestly, no other real reasoning behind it). Now, I am ON. A. ROLL.
Here’s what my laundry schedule looks like:
(yes, I had it written down at first. I have memorized it since!)
Friday: ETC* (sheets or towels or a random dirty comforter…)
Saturday: OFF – yep, it’s like I’m missing a limb or something.
I do fall behind. It’s true. But then I do one person I skipped + the actual person I should have done, and I’m caught up.
It’s a life-saver, y’all. And imagine – if you don’t have THREE kids like me, you can build in another etc day, or more rest days, or just work out clothes… or whatever! If you have more than three kids, then you would have to do a touch more each day, but the routine is what made it so simple.
Marriage bonus: My husband knows that I will not do his laundry except on Sunday (or Monday, if I fell behind), so he doesn’t ask “have you done… or washed that item…” no. Question/comment/argument avoided. He knows it’ll get done, on his specified day!
And I feel “accomplished” when one kid’s clothes are washed, dried, folded/hung, put away. It almost never happens from start to finish, so it’s like a big gold star for me. (Even if the other peoples’ clothes are everywhere – one person is the big winner each day, HA!)
Try it out. Don’t do a whole bunch at the front end in order to “Start” a new routine, just say ok today George has like no clean clothes, so it’s his day and go from there. You may have to pull out some old clothes to get you/someone through, but you’ll survive the first week or two of this new method, and then, like me, you’ll wonder why it never seemed to get done.
*Jacob/etc. does require (as I mentioned above) more than one load – just because it’s one person doesn’t mean it isn’t one load. It is for myself and my kids, but for him I do one load of delicate/perm press work clothes and one normal cold wash of everything else (or sheets vs dirty dog towels). Still don’t mind because he’s set for the WEEK.
Now, try it out and let me know what you think!
Chop chop. 🙂