The [Positive] Laundry Mindset
I have to say, there are many things that I enjoy about being an adult… driving a car, earning a paycheck, and drinking wine, to name a few. But one thing I really dislike about being an adult--and a parent of three, at that--is having to do laundry.
The whole process of wash-dry-fold-put away is extraordinarily boring to me, and because of this, the laundry in my home tends to pile up throughout the course of the busy work week. When it comes time to throw a few loads in over the weekend, I regularly face feelings of complete dread and overwhelm; all I can think of is how tackling five full hampers of stinky socks and wet towels is a task that I'd so not like to be accomplishing. Can you relate to this feeling?
Another mental challenge I face when it comes time to do laundry is just that: TIME. Let's do some basic math here:
When I use the "Quick Wash" setting on my machine, it takes about 35 minutes to wash a single load of laundry.
It then takes about 45 minutes to get through a full dry cycle.
I've never actually timed this, but I would say that folding one hamper-full of clothing realistically takes me about 15 minutes (sorting included).
Putting the clothes away takes about 10 minutes with having to move from one person's room to the next (each hamper collects random household members' clothes throughout the week, after all).
With this, a single round of laundry takes about 1.75 hours to complete.
Now multiply that by three loads of Saturday "catch-up" laundry...
THAT ADDS UP TO 5.5 HOURS. THAT'S A LOT, GUYS.
Part of my job as a professional home organizer and a teacher is to identify the problems my clients are experiencing, view them through a different lens, and brainstorm solutions that will either reduce or completely eliminate these issues. So when I took the time to analyze my own needs, I realized that the stress I was feeling due to laundry overwhelm was completely in my control and, in turn, able to be fixed.
Knowing this, I recently made a change in my laundry routine and I am not exaggerating when I say that it immediately decreased my anxiety and shifted my perspective on the issue of getting my family's laundry done. Here is what I found works for me, my brain, and my family's individual needs:
If you’re struggling with getting through the mountains of laundry that pile up in your home, then perhaps the new routine I'm using will work for you, too!
The Short, Sweet, and Simple Details
Each day I commit to completing one load of laundry for one of the members of my household (and yes, this means that we all need to remain cognizant of placing our own items into our own hampers). I then dry, fold, and place the clothes back into the individual's hamper and transport everything upstairs to be put away, right then and there. And guess what? I'm done for the day.
By following this new routine and adapting this new mindset, I do not feel pressured to get any more than one load of laundry completed each day. I no longer look at all of the hampers in front of me and feel like I'm drowning in a sea of 100% cotton; instead, my brain is viewing laundry as a manageable task that can be checked off of my daily to-do list.
More Laundry Strategies
If you feel the simple laundry strategy I shared in this post would work for you, then I'd encourage you to give it a try for a few days to see if your perspective changes. However, just as home organizing is never a one-size-fits-all model, neither is a good laundry routine! If the strategy I use is not one that accommodates your lifestyle, then here are a few other suggestions offered by my social media followers:
(@bringingtidyhome, @thegumptionlife, @introvertmentors, @shay_lifestylecoach)
And friends, if all else fails, here are two more amazing suggestions:
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