A couple of years ago, I wrote a post about what happened when I started doing laundry every day. Unlike other things I thought were the greatest-thing-ever for awhile, and then moved on to a new greatest-thing-ever, this is one habit that I still have and I still love.
I’m not going to say that I’m always on top of the laundry, but really – this “system” has made it so that laundry is rarely a source of stress. Because my kids, and therefore their clothing, have grown, I now have to do two loads a day to stay on top of it, but with my laundry “room” being in my kitchen, it’s easy to be constantly moving loads in and out.
My kids are responsible for putting the laundry away, which is a huge help. (They think it’s the worst possible form of torture, right behind having to erase and re-write an entire word during spelling because they spelled it wrong. Heads up, kids – this is your life at the Isaac house and probably just about everywhere else.) I had to give up on things being folded perfectly or hung just-so on the hanger, but honestly, that was so worth them putting away all of their own clothing and the towels. (I still put away Jeremy’s and my laundry – no way they are stuffing my laundry in a drawer!) (I wrote a post about keeping five kids’ clothing organized last year.)
Because we are living in such a small space right now, I kind of have to do laundry every day. Seven people share one laundry basket, and there really is no where other than that basket to put laundry, so as soon as it gets full, I have to start doing it. And there’s nowhere to put clean laundry other than in the proper closet or drawer – actually, it usually goes on the kitchen table first; but then if we want to eat, it has to get put away, so it always gets puts away because the funny thing is that people like to eat around here.
I’ve noticed a few other things about doing one load a day: we don’t have to have as many articles of clothing because you pretty much get something back the day after you wore it. However, I know that our clothes wear our faster because we do wear the same things repeatedly, and that is a constant source of frustration for me. (It’s hard to know how much of the wearing-out is because the item was low-quality or because it just reached its wear limit.)
I also think that I do less stain-treating than I used to. I do spray stuff with Shout sometimes, but I can usually quickly spray it and then throw it into the washing machine, and then choose to do whatever load best goes with it before the stain even has a chance to set.
Another big reason that this started working for me in the first place is that at this point in my life, I can do five-minute tasks here and there, but I really have to work and plan to get large chunks of time to get things done. The idea of having to set aside two hours on a Saturday morning to do laundry is overwhelming to me – it’s more possible now than it was a couple of years ago, but still, if I have two hours to devote to something, laundry is not what I want to do. I’d much rather work on it in bits and pieces!
In thinking about how I can make more things a habit that seamlessly fits into my life so that I don’t have to put it on a to-do list, I realized that laundry has become one of those no-brainer things for me like brushing my teeth. I’m sure the process will change when we are done renovating our house and my laundry is in a different location and my kids start doing their own laundry, but forming the one-load-a-day habit was so helpful to me that I thought I’d bring it back up just in case it might help someone else as much as it helped me! Here’s the original post I wrote (when I didn’t have to do two loads a day to stay on top of it!).
PS – I had a low-water Maytag machine that needed a motor replacement after 1 1/2 years (and it was horrible at cleaning clothing for about six months before that, along with other “features” I hated). I got an old-fashioned, tall center agitator, water-using, no-computer, can-open-the-lid Speed Queen machine and have been super happy with it! Just thought I’d throw that in there. :)
PS 2 – Somewhat relatedly, upon a reader’s recommendation in a recent post about buying quality clothing, I just bought Cheer for dark colors and have been using that for our dark-colored clothing (except my own, because I have sensitive skin and don’t have the courage to see if it’s safe for me). I’ll have to let you know if I notice a difference!
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Welcome to Springs Bargains, a service of our real estate business, Circa Real Estate Group! I’m Carrie, and since 2008 I’ve been sharing free and discounted ways to eat, play, and enjoy life in Colorado Springs.