Any parent can tell you, whether they work full time or are a stay-at-home parent, laundry is never ending. As a working Mommy, I tend to have very little time to do much about the mounds that accumulate at an alarming rate during the week. Yes, I may throw a load in here and there, but that still doesn’t get folded or put away until the weekend when I do the bulk of it. I have a few things that I do to eliminate extra work for myself. I like to look into the world of others to see how they do things, so here’s a look into mine.
The first thing that I keep in mind at all times is not to waste trips up and down the stairs. I make sure that if I have a free hand (or maybe even two) I am taking dirty laundry down the stairs with me so they will make it into the laundry room. I try to keep things separated into color categories by putting all of the lights in one basket and all of the darks in another. I wash all of my clothing in cold water so the temperature doesn’t add additional load separations. I keep stain treatments upstairs and down so that I can treat something on the spot. In the laundry room there is a shelf with detergent (hypoallergenic and fragrance and dye free), stain treatments, a bucket for soaking, baking soda, dye catcher sheets and hangers. I also have two separate baskets in the laundry room so that whatever I have brought downstairs (or stripped off children in the kitchen after a pasta dinner) are always separated and in reach in case I have a few minutes to throw a load in. If you like scented laundry and/or fabric softener, there are brands that have the bars of softener that you can attach to the inside of the dryer so you don’t have to worry about that every time you do the wash. Another option is to keep a few of those socks you can’t match up on top of the dryer and add a few drops of your favorite essential oil. Pop them into the dryer with your wet clothing and you’ve got some beautifully smelling laundry!
I try hard to keep up on getting things switched from washer to dryer and so on so that the washer is empty for the next time I have a minute. The hangers are there so that anything that cannot be put in the dryer is hung up immediately. I know that some people consider dry cleaning a time saver, but it’s not for me. I don’t consider having to make at least one extra stop each week a saver of time or money. I have to dress appropriately for an office setting during the week, and I do have a few things that need dry cleaning, but they are few and far between. I like to have everything “in house.”
When it comes to folding and putting everything away-I’m lazy. No way around that. If something is inside out when it goes into the wash, that’s probably how it’s getting put away. My husband and kids dig through the drawers and wrinkle everything anyway, why am I going to waste time making sure the stuff is perfect going into the drawer? I know this makes some of you cringe. I have seen the look on faces of people I have told about this, but it works for me. It conserves time and energy and I know I am not the only one low on those things. Who knows? Maybe someone out there needs a nudge to let things be a little less perfect and my “conservationism” (or laziness…) has shown them that it is ok.
*This post originally appeared on Chester County Moms Blog.