Laundry Management

Food and clothing are the basic necessities of running a home. If those systems are working well, it’s okay if other things slide from time to time. Once upon a time I could do laundry once a week. Now that my family has grown to its current size, once a week just doesn’t cut it.

And my laundry system has evolved as our life and schedules have changed. For a time, twice a week worked really well. I would wash, fold and put away every Monday and Friday. And everyone was happy.

But, then I found myself always behind. I was a little resistant to change. When I found that I was up to about ten loads a week, including sheets and towels, I realized I needed to budge.

A friend directed me to FlyLady’s rule of doing a load a day. Now I do 1-3 loads a day, Monday through Friday. It’s not difficult to get a load going first thing in the morning. One of my minions is in charge of sorting dirty kid laundry every morning, folding clean towels, and delivering clean clothes and towels to their appropriate locations. This keeps things very manageable.

What’s your laundry groove? Share it in the comments section – please! This is an area of life that can always stand some improvement.

Also, here are some related links for your laundry lovin’ pleasure:

Andrea at The Flourishing Mother has a great perspective on Textile Management.

Tips and Tutorials to Do Laundry at About.com

Organized Home’s advice to Lighten the Load

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Comments

  1. I can’t stand doing laundry everyday. When I do it everyday it just seems like it is always around. There is always clothes to be folded. I know a lot of people do it that way but I just dread laundry when I have tried it that way. I do about 10 loads of laundry a week. I do it two or three days. Mondays and Thursday for clothes and towels and Wednesday for sheets. I would rather do five loads on one day and get all the folding and putting away done and not worry about it for a few days. And I like the fly lady this is just one thing I don’t do like her. But I am glad this works for you. We each have to figure out what works best. Thanks for sharing what you do for laundry.

  2. Life on 7th Avenue says:

    I do two loads/day. I start first thing in the morning. I kind of like doing laundry, so I don’t mind the every day system. One thing that really helps me stay on track is to sort laundry daily. I have two of those sorter things and I just constantly sort dirty clothes.

  3. Mary Ann says:

    When using the dryer, I like doing a load of laundry every day , if needed.

    When line drying during the summer months, I try to do all I can on one or two days a week. Since we have a “laundry snatcher” (aka dog) in the backyard, it works best to cable him only a day or two versus me having laundry out every single day.

    Like Life on 7th Avenue, I enjoy doing laundry! So I don’t mind doing it either way.:-)

  4. Nil Zed says:

    I don’t mind doing laundry either. I don’t LIKE it, but it’s not the job I hate.

    Being as I am in the UK, I must keep a watch on the weather. If the weather is going to be sunny, I put the heaviest load (towels or jeans) in the night before and set the timer on the machine so it is done by the time we have finished breakfast, so I can hang it on the line as early in the day as possible. Then I wash another two or three loads (machines are smaller here) depending on how strong the sun and wind seem to be. The goal being to get the ‘airer’ filled by about 11 a.m., on subsequent days, I try to do at least 1 load to prevent too much laundry backlog.

    I fold the clothes as they come off the line, and generally put them away while the kid is bathing, or as part of my bedtime tidy my room routine. Anything that needs ironing goes into the guest room until it is really, really needed, or outgrown. Whichever comes first.

    If a backlog has developed, and the weather has turned, then I’ll have to dry the loads as they are washed. I have this weird machine that washes and dries. Even light weight loads (baby clothes, delicates) take upwards of 3 or 4 hours from start to finish, and cost a whole lot more than in U.S. too. Plus, for some reason I can’t fold as they come out of the machine. I just dump ‘em in the basket and create ironing. I try to not use the dryer function at all!

  5. I got to your blog via the moneysavingmom blog. This topic caught my eye because I have recently changed the way I do laundry. I am married and have five small children (boy-age 7, girl twins-age 5 and boy twins-age 4). I have been in a habit of doing laundry (several loads) everyday. I, too, felt like it was the never-ending drudgery-of-my life. I decided to try to have daily chores beyond the dishwasher, kitchen,trash, tidying up (and other things that must be done constantly). Because I homeschool, I am also training my children to help. They need to learn to work and I need help! My new schedule is Mon.-meal planning, grocery list, clean out fridge and get the kitchen spotless, Tues. is bedrooms, Wed. is bathrooms, Thursday is laundry (trying to put away as much of it as possible, Friday is main level floors (sweep, mop, vacuum) and put away all the remaining laundry.(Weekends are for make-up work). This way laundry is totally done in less that two days. My husband likes it better that there are not laundry baskets everywhere, continuously. I like that I can get a break from it and even have a sabbath day(sort of). I think the key to making this work is to make sure you have enough clothing for 5-6 days per person, but not alot more or you will be overwhelmed and never able to put everything in its drawer/closet.

  6. First, yay for FlyLady! I just love her!

    Also, call me a dork, but the way I get through laundry is (you can laugh, I’ll understand, I do too) I imagine having sports announcers commentating on my performance. For example, “Oh, now here our competitor is facing a difficult challenge: the Onesie Fold. Dave, how do you think she’ll handle this one?” “Well Fred, the Onesie Fold is a tough one, but she has proven to be a worthy competitor today- let’s just take a look.” “A flip, a fold-over, a smooth, and- that’s amazing! She nailed it! Fantastic, Dave, I didn’t think she had it in her, but wow, what a performance here today!”

    Yes, it’s sad. No, I’m not crazy. I just need the encouragement. :-)

  7. FishMama says:

    Lynn, I can hear it in your voice. ;) Glad to hear you found what works for you! Yeah!

    Nil Zed, WOW! I need to be quiet if I am ever tempted to complain. I remember those machines from when I lived in France. Laundry in Europe does have its distinct challenges.

    Honey, I’m amazed. Two sets of twins? By all means – all those kids need to be folding laundry. Sounds like they’re good ages to be doing so, too.

    KaseyQ, love it! Thanks for sharing a laugh.

  8. Eco scrapper says:

    http://ecoscrappermom.blogspot.com/

    I was inspired by your blog entry and blogged about my own laundry strategy!

  9. FishMama says:

    Ecoscrapper, thanks for sharing your post. I appreciated the thought-provoking comment about washing in cold water. Anybody else doing that?

  10. I found you through moneysavingmom too. I have two children dd 4 yrs and ds 7yrs old. I do all clothes laundry once a week (day depends on the weather in the summer since I line dry everything) all towels and sheets on another day and dh’s work clothes on another day (I cannot wash his work clothes with ours since they are filthy, he is a commercial roofer and they get really filthy!) I have enough towels so I can do them every two weeks if necessary!
    I also wash everything but whites on cold and have never had a problem with stains or anything (I also can only use Tide due to allergies in me and my dd)
    You have to do what works best for your family, not every system works for everyone or for anyone forever!

  11. HeatherHH says:

    Came to your blog from Biblical Womanhood.

    I have 4 children, from almost 7 down to 1, and #5 is due in January.

    The first thing I do with laundry management is minimize how much I wash. I would find laundry much more overwhelming if I were doing as many loads as many families our size (often almost double). I only wash 5 loads of laundry a week, plus 1 load of diapers.
    Sheets are done every other week and towels once a week (with 3 towels between the 6 of us, since we all shower 2-3x/wk). Pants and skirts are usually worn at least 3 days, and tops and dresses at least 2 (except for my dh’s work shirts which are only worn 1). Jammies and nightgowns are worn 3 nights or more. And those under the age of two, of course, often only wear an outfit one day!

    Then, I try to wash a load of laundry whenever I have one, so that’s one load most days. My almost-3-year-old empties the dryer (loves it!), and my older two fold and put away most of the laundry, except for sheets, bath towels, and grown-up stuff that has to hang. This makes laundry so much easier. I’d suggest considering enlisting children more if this is a dreaded chore.

  12. M. Stevenson says:

    Hi,

    I just came across your website through Crystals’ links. I just posted about my recent laundry changes yesterday on my blog. I have reached the same place as you in terms of increased volume requiring more than one day a week.

    One tip I have found helpful is to wash loads based on individuals, rather than sorting everything together. This saves from having 6 separate piles of folded clothes to deal with when you’re done. Each family member has a basket with their name written on it (except for Mom and Dad–we share). I’ll wash a week’s worth of dirty clothes for one kid, and when I fold it, it all goes in the same basket, which he can then put away himself. Then his basket is where he puts his dirty clothes.

    Sometimes I pull out all the whites and wash them separately with bleach when needed. But sometimes they just get washed with everything else.

    I’ve found it makes sorting dirty laundry almost unnecessary, and it’s easier to keep track of whose clothes belong to whom. Ever since doing this, I haven’t gone back to the old way.

    Happy homemaking!
    Merrilee

  13. thehorizontalyoyo says:

    I found this post through another post of yours -

    It took awhile for me to devise a laundry schedule, but I found one that works for me – and better yet – the kiddos and the Man Beast have it memorized!

    Monday – sheets and towels
    Tuesday – Mom and Dad's clothes
    Wednesday – Kiddos clothes
    Thursday – NO LAUNDRY!
    Friday – NO LAUNDRY!
    Saturday – everyone's clothes
    Sunday – NO LAUNDRY!

  14. Laundry Manager Job Description says:

    The post is very good and informative. There are many interesting news in it.

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