Washing, folding and putting away our clothes is one of those chores that is easily the most dreaded of all of our duties. We all have our differences, but I can almost guarantee that Americans’ strong dislike of doing laundry is one of those topics that helps us bond.
What is it about such a necessary chore that makes us all cringe? Well for starters it is a four step process that isn’t exactly quick. You can’t just start it, work really hard and be done in a 30 minute period of time. No matter how good you are at doing laundry it still needs time to be washed and then time to be dried properly, which may require air drying for some favorite articles of clothing that you just refuse to trust the dryer with.
Then comes the mundane task of folding all your clothes and the last and most terrible, putting them all away where they belong.
I actually remember growing up and my mom handing me my clean, folded clothes and thinking, “Ugh, I’ll just put these on the dresser.”
How hard was my life that I couldn’t actually open the dresser draw and put them away? Obviously, very difficult.
But if I am being honest, I have had this same thought as an adult.
So what can we do to make this very necessary chore less difficult to complete or more likely to get done instead of procrastinating till we or our children run out of clean clothes?
Here are a few tips and tricks I have learned to taming the laundry monster.
First, get smaller laundry baskets. Seem like a weird suggestion? Well the reasoning behind it is that having a smaller basket limits the amount of laundry you do in one sitting.
Once the basket fills up you do the load and since it’s much smaller the whole process should be less overwhelming and it really helps you not procrastinate. Because who wants to sit there doing five loads of laundry?
Now yes, this may mean you do laundry more often but doing it a little here and there, I have found, makes the whole process more doable.
Second, get separate baskets for each family member. Now this has really helped me out because sorting laundry is really something I hated doing. My husband and I share a laundry basket but other than that my children all have seperate baskets. I find it makes it so much easier to know that when I grab their baskets, all their stuff will return right back to them and be easy to put directly away. It basically eliminates sorting and that really is a time saver.
Third, have some sort of laundry schedule.
Now, like we discussed earlier, having a smaller laundry basket may mean doing laundry more often but that does not apply to things like sheets and towels.
For things you need to wash regularly but don’t go in the laundry basket, pick a day you want to wash them and that way you know that Thursday, for example, is sheets day and a day to not do a load of clothes.
Also right now while my kids are still young, I tend to do their laundry once a week on a set day, since their baskets don’t get filled up that fast. One reason for that may be because I still find myself doing last minute loads of dirt-stained clothes or popsicle-stained t-shirts right away to avoid set in stains – oh the joys of motherhood!
The last thing that makes me enjoy laundry a little bit more is when it smells good. I mean who doesn’t love hot, fresh and lovely smelling laundry? One thing I tried recently was getting wool dryer balls, that help dry clothes faster, and putting a few drops of essential oils on them.
My favorite type of oil to use right now is peppermint.
Nothing is better than folding a load of laundry that smells like a peppermint stick! Also for sheets, try Lavender oil, not only will it smell amazing but may even help you get better rest.
Best thing is to always remember to do whatever works for you and your family.
No matter if you are a single, college student or a seasoned laundry veteran (like my mom) having clean clothes is a necessity so we mind as well find ways to make it fun… or at least less like a monster and more like a friend.
Ashleigh Rood is an East Coast transplant and currently a San Diego East County resident. She is a military wife, mother to three girls and founder of Rosy Sunset.