Wednesday, July 26, 2017

The Laundry Line Series || Part 3

Third Myth. I have to do laundry every day so that it won't take over. If I don't do laundry every day, it will get completely out of hand. Doing it every day is the only way to stay sane.

I hear this over and over again, and every time I just want to shout NOT TRUE! I feel so strongly about this. Doing laundry everyday is the biggest waste of time. This is reason enough not to do it every day. Do you really want to be thinking about laundry every day of the week? As I’ve mentioned before, I love doing laundry. But there are other things I love too. And I don’t love laundry enough to do it everyday if I have an option for something else. 

Now, you might say, "You don't understand my situation! I have to do it every day so it doesn't take over!" Well, let me tell you-if I could successfully do laundry for a family of twelve, only two days a week, then YOU CAN TOO. My mother is a big fan of minimalism, and our family has fewer clothes than any other family I know. So if we can make it with only doing laundry twice a week, then anybody can. My strong preference (and what I fully plan to do in my own home someday) is laundry once a week, but for a few various reasons my family really prefers to have the laundry done twice a week, so I did it that way for them, to make the whole system work the best for everyone. 

The mothers I know who are the most overwhelmed with their laundry situations are the ones who think they can't let any dirty clothes setting in the hamper. Light bulb moment: that is what the hamper is for---dirty clothes to be out of sight, out of mind! Obviously there are exceptions; I'm not advocating sticking your child's diaper blowout outfit in the hamper and letting it sit there for a week, nor am I suggesting doing the same thing with soiled sheets/etc. But, as a rule, that hamper is there to keep your life organized and your dirty clothes in one place until it is time to wash them. So use it for that!

Speaking of hampers. I am a huge fan. Have them. Either in the bathrooms, or the bedrooms, or sometimes both, depending on the amount of people in your household and where it is most necessary to have a place for the dirty clothes. You will drive yourself crazy if you have piles of dirty clothes setting around all over the place. Organize your mess. There always will be mess/dirty things of some type. The key is to keep that mess organized and as out of sight as possible.

Our current laundry days are Monday + Friday. This works for us. Find what works for you. But I would highly highly HIGHLY suggest sticking to one or two at most, days per week for your laundry. You'll be amazed at the time that is open and available for other things. 

If for no other reason, it will save you money + energy with your water + detergent consumption! If you do laundry every day, there is no way you are having enough dirty things to have a full load for the various loads. (darks, lights, whites, etc) The only way you could possibly have one full load of whites every day is if you had like twenty people in your family and they all wore white tee's the same day. That scenario is highly unusual and unlikely. So if you are doing laundry every day, this means you are either
A) throwing all your colors together for full loads (bad idea-you'll ruin your clothes!) 
B) having teeny tiny loads and wasting lots of water/detergent (specifically if you have a front loader)
C) doing it every day because you think it will take over otherwise

None of those are good ideas/reasons. I want to give you a brand-new idea today---what about trying the "once a week" or even twice a week, method? And have a laundry day, or days. Whether it is one, or two, or even more. Have it on the schedule that those are your laundry days. 

Someone asked in last weeks' post about how I managed to switch loads and keep on schedule, back when I was still in school. I would take breaks to switch the laundry but would not fold the laundry at that time. Instead I would pile it in baskets or somewhere until the afternoon when I could fold it all at once. Later on, after I was out of school and we had the new laundry room, I still used this idea often---piling all the clean laundry on the counter in our laundry room, and waiting until most of it was done to fold it all. If there were items (like button shirts or dresses) that would wrinkle easily, I would quickly hang those up to avoid wrinkles. But most everything else was fine piled and waiting for me to fold later.

Last thought. The only reason this once a week deal might not work for you is if you are either highly distracted + don't keep loads going, one after another, OR if you have twenty people in your family. Given that most of us don't have families of that size, the first reason is probably the only valid one. Enter the world of timers on washers, phones, and watches! Never has it been easier (technically) to keep ourselves on track. My tip is to start your first load the night before, and then keep it moving from waking time (around 5-7am) until evening. It should easily be possible to get it all done in that time if you stay focused and on track.
When you realize how much this will free up the other days in your week, you will be happy to sacrifice a little flexibility for ONE day a week to be your laundry day, and have the extra freedom from it the other six days!

Missed the other posts in this series? Click the links below!

"This home has endless love, laughter, + laundry."

Happy scheduling of your laundry days!


  1. Every morning we usually gather our clothes together and sort them into the appropriate baskets in the laundry room. Then either my mom or I will wash the full loads and leave the rest until the next day, or till we have enough to fill a load.

  2. I'm a mom of 5 children too young to be of significant help with laundry. We don't wear many whites, so I don't normally sort our laundry. Every evening after the children go to bed I throw all the laundry in the washer. Before I go to bed I switch it to the dryer, in the morning I fold, sort, and put away, it takes me about 15 minutes a day tops and is easy to keep up. Sometimes I have an extra load or two and will wash during the day, but most days one load works. Before I married I did laundry for our family of 15 and we had to fill our washer by hand with buckets and hung the laundry much work that with only 7 people and a dryer it feels easy. I do love doing laundry though!

  3. thanks for this laundry line series ... so fun, so practical! please continue it! =) question, do you make your own laundry detergent?

    - Amy in NY.

  4. Yes to this !!! The more days I do a load here and there I end up forgetting about it... On my laundry days (twice a week) I am focused on it and don't forget that I threw a load in... Wonderful advise! Now to go switch another load as it is Friday... :)

  5. You mentioned your mom is a minimalist and your family doesn't have a ton of clothes. Can you discuss how to minimize clothing? We have a lot of clothes!!! Which means a lot of laundry! Would love to hear your tips on reducing amount of clothing.

  6. Hi Chels!
    Loving this series!{#lovelaundry} I am wondering-how do you do laundry only two days a week and also have hardly any clothes? We don't have very many clothes either and currently gather laundry 3 days a week(Mon,wed,Fri) and if we happen to skip on of those three days due to being gone or something..someone is sure to be missing some peice of clothing=) On the "off days" we do towels or sheets as needed. Just wondering if you have any thoughts on "Having to wash clothes or won't have anything to wear" problem? Btw there's 13 of us in our family=) Kids aging from 22-2=) Also we do live on a farm! I would absolutely love to go down to just two days of gathering laundry, if there was some possible way with out buying more clothes! Also what do you do with stinky rags? This is canning/freezing season galore-resulting in Lotsa extra rags! Which would become unpleasant if sat around for more then a day or two...

    1. Great questions-I love those! Come back next week and I'll give a few ideas! =)


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