Do you love or loath laundry? I don’t mind it but I know for so many people Laundry is not about love, at all! That’s why I work with my clients to create a laundry schedule, including what I to keep on top of weekly laundry tasks.
In creating a laundry schedule I ask a few questions to help determine what the best household action plan for doing laundry…here are some questions you can use to create your own laundry schedule.
- How many household members? How many loads of laundry per person per week do you generate?
- How many “able bodied” people do you have do delegate laundry to? Kids age 10+ should start learning to help with laundry, including having a laundry basket in their room, helping to bring laundry to the washer/dryer, helping to sort, fold and put laundry away.
- Do you have a cleaning person that helps with laundry? If so, what day do they come and what laundry tasks do they do or could you delegate to them (sheets and towels or more)?
- Do you and your kids do sports activities or work that generates extra dirty (stinky:() laundry? If so, how soon after these activities do you need to wash things (to re-use or prevent smells)?
- Do you take a lot of things to the dry cleaner? If so, do you have a pick up drop off service or is this something your drycleaner offers?
- Do you have a lot of ironing, do you like to iron?
With all this info in your back pocket, calculate how many loads need to be done per week and who will do them. Then, take a look at your weekly schedule and assign laundry tasks by the date to yourself or other household help (kids, spouse, cleaning helpers etc).
I change and wash whites, or linens (towels, sheets and the oddball other white items) on Wednesdays and thus the term Wednesday Whitewash! Maybe doing a couple loads mid weeks and more on the weekends makes sense to you and with your schedule or maybe your weekends are busy with family activities and your better off tackling one load per evening through the week.
Keep Laundry Contained
In my observation, many people do not have laundry baskets, have them where they need them (in the bedroom, bathroom or closet) or seem to use them at all! I find laundry in piles on the floor, draped over furniture, hanging form hooks, light fixtures and everywhere else you can imagine. If you don’t know what’s clean and what’s dirty, you will constantly be re-washing items or at least giving your nose a workout with the sniff test. Keep dirty laundry contained in a basket or bag and use this to take laundry to your laundry area and then sort (or buy bins with sorting compartments if you have room). There are tons of great laundry basket options, like these available…so measure your space and determine what/how many you need and invest!
When you buy new clothes, think about their laundry requirements.
Sort laundry by color and by weight. I don’t like to wash my husbands heavy duty work pants with my delicate tops or undergarments (which should be in a bag). Sort weekly loads by dark/light/white and weight. This helps keep clothes looking newer longer.
Do you love linen but hate ironing? Maybe these things should be kept for less frequent use or sent to the dry cleaner?
Keep it Green Clean
Do you dislike using dry cleaners because of the chemicals? If so, look for a green cleaner in your area. While we are talking about green options, look for cleaning products that are phosphate free and use minimal scents and chemicals (though there seem to be more an more products on the market to mask odor-that doesn’t mean it’s really clean!). This might seem obvious but wash things only when needed. If you’ve only worn something for a couple hours, didn’t sweat or spill on it, then wear it again before laundering. This is not only going to save you time, it will keep your clothes looking new longer and will save resources (water power etc).
Consider hanging delicate, knits and lightweight items to dry (like the French do!). I use a collapsible laundry rack to dry about 1/3 to 1/2 of every laundry load, it takes a bit more time to dry but it keeps my clothes fro wearing out as quickly and saves energy. When it comes to stains, do pre-treat as soon as possible and if your really stain prone, check out these stain specific products (not all stains are alike!) by Carbona.
Any way you schedule it, whether you love or loath laundry, having this household task in perpetual motion will keep you from melting or collapsing under this task mountain!