In the quest to get routine home management tasks organized, it can be quite tempting to try to adhere to a system or routine that seems to work well for someone else. However, you must take care to intentionally select a path that is right for you in the season of life you are currently in. Additionally, be willing to try a new path of maintaining order if you sense your family lifestyle is shifting or possibly taking on a brand new shape.
There are often MANY options that will lead you to a desired result.
Consider the common household chore of Laundry. It's important to remember that this task is never truly 'done', but choosing one of many possible routines will give you peace of mind that the laundry monster is at least under control. There are several possible variations of each, but these suggestions will get you started:
1. Assign a 'Laundry Day':
Focus on the laundry task only once a week on a regular recurring day.
Complete all washing needs (sorting/washing/folding/putting away from start to finish).
- Use a timer to help stay on task.
- Assign a central area for folding like a bed or table.
- You might feel overwhelmed by the thought of doing doing laundry ALL day.
- You'll have the freedom to completely ignore the laundry the rest of the week with the peace and assurance you have a plan in place to keep it under control.
- You might feel trapped by the thought of spending the whole day at the house surrounded by laundry.
- Maybe you can plan to do laundry on a day when you'd rather be home anyway (perhaps on a Monday after a long/busy weekend?) OR, maybe you're an introvert who doesn't mind having long stretches of time at home. You can indulge in DVR recordings, podcasts, audio books, or catch up on phone calls while you fold.
2. Assign a 'Type' of Laundry to individual days of the week:
- Bed Linens and towels on one day.
- Light colors and delicate items on one day, dark colors and denim on another.
- All adult clothes on one day, all kids clothes on another.
- Split laundry days per room assignments (girls who share a room on one day, boys who share a room on another, master clothing on another).
- For large families, assign a 'laundry day' to each family member.
Time spent sorting/folding/ prepping for transfer to dedicated location will be lessened overall.
3. Strive to be a 'Daily Do-er' of Laundry related tasks:
(Do something with your laundry every day)
- Wash/Dry/Fold/Put away ONE (or more, if needed) load a day.
- Wash/Dry one load every other day (put away on the odd days).
- Have a general 'awareness' of the state of the laundry situation each and every day and just do at least one 'next step' per day. (this is my current method in our current season of life).
4. Delegate the Laundry Task:
- Negotiate with another family member to take it off your plate (maybe a sports savvy family member that would love an excuse to kick back in front of the big game with less guilt? wink, wink!)
- Hire out laundry service.
Decide where and how many receiving baskets you need/want depending on your family size and routine of choice. For example, with the 'Laundry Day' option, you may favor one central laundry station where colors / types of laundry are sorted throughout the week to streamline your various wash cycles, etc. With the 'Type of Laundry' per assigned day(s) through the week, one basket per room may suffice.
Getting bogged down by sorting colors? Look for color fast detergents to enable you to do mixed loads.
Always losing little tiny socks? Try washing all of them in a mesh lingerie bag!
Tired of matching oodles of family socks? Get one style and stick with it - makes matching easy just eye balling for possible variations of size.
Time Saving tip: Try sorting/folding clothes right out of the dryer and into individual baskets for each family member. That way, you will not needlessly handle clothing multiple times. You can simply haul baskets to each room and let the family members take it from there!
Having one of these plans in place will result in less stress. When you start to see laundry piling up, you can relax in the knowledge you've got a system in place to keep on top of it.
Which routine seems best for YOU in your current season of life?
Any other tips/tricks to share?
Please add your thoughts in the comments.