Just last week a client asked, “How in the world do you keep up with laundry or find the motivation to do it?”
I told her how laundry is a struggle for me depending on the week, how it is NOT perfect. It’s real life!! Then I went home, took a picture of a pile of laundry I had left unfolded out of the dryer and texted it to her. She responded, “Thank you so much for sharing this!!! I’m not the only one!?”
What a reminder! We often feel alone, but we are NOT alone – even in this specific household task.
Everybody has it, everybody’s gotta do it, so let’s make it better! Over the years my goal is ALWAYS, “simplify the laundry,” probably because it’s not my favorite chore. Here’re a few habits that help me tackle the laundry weekly!
MY ROUTINE GAME-CHANGERS
I used to do huge loads of laundry, but about 7 years ago I started doing smaller loads. Suddenly I wasn’t overwhelmed by this huge, daunting task.
That carried over into the other parts of the routine. I started looking at the times that I was near the laundry, and “habit stacked.”
Think about this: throughout the day I have pillars in my schedule. For example, Jack must eat lunch! So on days that I am home with Jack eating lunch, I try and “habit stack” on top of that pillar.
One thing I am going to do (lunch) will trigger another thing that I need to do. This reminds me… “you eat lunch every day, and the days you are at home mean you check the laundry.”
I don’t have a specific laundry task that happens at that time. Some days it’s folding. Another day I may move a load into the dryer. Knowing I check the laundry at lunch a few days a week helps me stay on track without a rigid routine!
The thing that matters is that you are doing it! Wash, dry, fold, treat a stain! Even when you miss a day or a week, you can return to that time pillar, or adjust that time to what is working for you in a particular season of life.
MY SPACE + TOOLS
Next, making my space work for me helped a ton.
Our laundry room is a small closet. We stacked our washer and dryer, and added narrow shelving for laundry necessities.
BONUS: Adding shelves also created room for my vacuum to slide in!
I store my homemade powdered laundry soap (easier than you think!) and baking soda in a scoop-able jar like this one.
White vinegar (for fabric softener) goes in a glass beverage dispenser like this one.
It’s easy for me to go straight for what I need. And I just find it pretty. Plain and simple.
This laundry sorter is the best thing I have ever done for my laundry. Three compartments make it so easy to sort my clothes, my husband’s clothes, and his work uniforms. I just grab and load for my smaller little loads that make me happy!
For Jack’s room I use this hanging laundry hamper. It’s important to us that he is involved in chores, so this system is easy for him to reach and manage when it’s time to throw his laundry in.
PUTTING LAUNDRY AWAY
Why is this the hardest part?? Something about sitting alone doing a monotonous task makes me wonder about the worth of what I’m doing! For me, I have to remind myself that folding the laundry is taking care of my family. And it feels even better when you have a manageable system!!
Do you know where your clothes go? Do you have enough storage for your clothes? Hangers, drawers, etc.?
When my closet + dressers have a system and place for everything to go, there’s no guessing about how to fold and how to put things away… or if there’s even room for everything. No guessing!
(some of my favorite systems to add for clients include drawer dividers and consistent hangers)
REFINING MY PROCESS
So what does refining mean? It’s a mindset that says, “I’m not stuck. I can dream about the future. I can make changes I need to adjust something to work better for me and my family in the future.”
Right now I’m dreaming about a clothes line. Drying some things in the sun feels like home for me. I’m also thinking about adding a jug for my homemade liquid detergent for my laundry room.
What can you dream about with your current laundry process. (If you’re in our monthly newsletter community, we share reflection questions to help the UOL community refine areas of their lives, like the laundry.)
BONUS TIPS TO HELP WITH LAUNDRY!
- It helps me to listen to a book or podcast that I am totally into. It’s like tricking my executive-functionally-challenged mind that I am in fact doing something important and moving ahead instead of standing still!! Maybe you could make a playlist for laundry or save a podcast you love.
- Standing up really helps me…at the dining room table, or my hutch with a window open or at the ironing board (get that old squeaky thing out) wherever I want to be…
What inspires you? Don’t forget about the OUTSIDE! TAKE IT OUTSIDE…anything that helps you…or inspires you. Think outside of the box. It’s your laundry and your life!