My Simple and Effective Laundry Routine
Believe it or not, but laundry is the one chore that I really LOVE doing.
It used to different.
I used to hate doing laundry but I have since changed up my routine with a new simple and effective laundry routine that not only helps me to stay on top of the laundry but it also saves me time too!
By only doing one load a day, from start to finish and by not separating the clothing.
My grandmother would probably cringe by that last statement, and even my former self would once turn up my nose to that fact but it has simplified my entire laundry routine which in return simplifies my day.
Before I use to separate the whites, linens, everyday clothing, and delicates into separate loads.
Not anymore, unless it is something super delicate or likely to bleed (like new denim or deep reds). Although to be honest even though I make myself dress every day, I’m not really wearing super nice clothing and my husband takes his suits to the dry cleaners, so we really don’t have anything delicate that requires a special load.
I also used to set aside one or two days a week to try and do all the laundry. That used to work when it was just my husband and I, but with three little kids (some of which are still in the potty training phase) the amount of dirty clothing we accumulate is ridiculous.
If I were to wait for an established laundry day, I would be met with a mountain of clothing in the laundry room and empty closets in the bedroom!
Plus who wants to spend an entire day doing laundry?!?!?
How do I stay on top of the dirty clothes with my simple and effective laundry routine?
1. Gather the Dirty Clothing in the Morning
Part of my morning routine is making the beds and tidying up the bedrooms which also means gathering up all the dirty clothing and taking them to the laundry room.
My kids (who are 6, 5, and 2.5) help with this.
This just fits naturally into my day as I’m cleaning the kitchen and picking up the bedrooms after we get dressed.
Teaching my kids to place their dirty laundry in the hamper also helps to keep their rooms clean since they aren’t just throwing the clothing on the floor.
I also gather the bath towels, hand towels, burp clothes and kitchen rags from the day before.
2. Start a Load ASAP
Once I have gathered all the laundry I start a load. I don’t sort, I just throw everything into the washing machine.
I don’t sort, I just throw everything into the washing machine.
Contrary to popular belief, it is possible to wash clothing of different colors together.
Unless it is the cloth diapers or some delicates that require extra attention (as mentioned above), then it all goes into the same load.
On the few occasions where I know something delicate is in the load, I will set it aside. And my kids and husband are really good about not keeping objects in their pockets.
If an item of clothing needs to be stain treated, I immediately treat it and leave it on the washing machine.
The way my brain works these days, if I waited until the morning I would forget to treat the stain and there is nothing worse than to pull out a shirt out of the dryer to see a set in stain!
We’ve all been there so that’s why I try really hard to treat a stain as soon as it happens.
You might be wondering how I am able to wash ALL the clothing in the same load?
3. I Wash in Cold Water AND Use a Heavy Duty Detergent
Washing in cold water not only saves energy but it also more gentle on clothing than washing in warm or hot water. However not all laundry detergents work in cold water which is why I use and love Seventh Generation’s Free & Clear detergent, stain remover, and fabric softener.
I love using a free & clear formula for many reasons but mainly because it works!
Not only do they work but it is a naturally derived cleaning power that is tough on dirt and stains which means it keeps colors bright and whites white!
Which is great if you have little ones (as I do) who tend to get just about everything on their clothing! Plus it works great in cold water which helps me to mix the clothing so I only have to do one load a day.
I also love that the Seventh Generation line is scent free, good for the planet and has a hypoallergenic formula, which is great for my children’s sensitive skin.
And it’s a really effective pre-treat for stains.
4. Switch Clothing to the Dryer While I Make Lunch
This is one chore that my kids LOVE doing for some strange reason. They love taking the clothes out of the washer and placing them into the dryer, which is super helpful to me! I get them busy on this task while I work on making lunch.
They love taking the clothes out of the washer and placing them into the dryer, which is super helpful to me! I get them busy on this task while I work on making lunch.
I get them busy on this task while I work on making lunch.
This is a great introductory chore to teach little ones, especially if you have front loading machines because they can do it without much assistance from me.
I have even taught my older two what buttons to push and what setting the washer and dryer needs to be on! I’m not going to lie, it’s great having kids who are old enough to help with the chores, my ROI is well worth it! 🙂
5. Fold and Put Away the Clothing in the Afternoon
Afternoons are a bit more laid back in our home. After the kids wake up from their nap, I fix a light snack (lately they have been loving cheese and apple slices) and I let them watch a TV show.
This is also the perfect time for me to fold the load of laundry and put it away, my favorite time of day! 😉
Since I’m only folding one load, it usually goes pretty quickly.
I hate seeing piles of folded laundry around the house so I am intentional about putting everything away then too. This usually takes less than 10 minutes and since my kids are occupied with a snack and a favorite show, it goes rather quickly.
That’s my super simple and effective laundry routine that allows me to stay on top of the laundry in a manageable way.
Gone are the days of marathon laundry days that would take up the entire day. Instead, my simple laundry routine, using effective and heavy duty detergent, requires only a few minutes of hands-on time each day.
Do you struggle to keep on top of the laundry or do you have your own simple laundry routine?
I have very sensitive skin so I wonder if I could use this. Hmm, I bet it does smell good. I’ve got to run to target tomorrow so I think I’ll grab a bottle.
I have done this for a few years and we hardly ever get behind on laundry. We do wash towels and sheets separately inhotbwater and all the white wash cloths we use to clean separately in hot and bleach. Even with cloth diapering soon to be 2 kiddos I don’t do more than 2-3 loads a day and that’s if we have to wash diapers and another load. I also use shout color catchers, even if I don’t think something will bleed they still catch some color.
I’ve used the Shout color catcher before and they work great if there is something in the load that I think will bleed through like dark denim or a new brightly colored shirt. I’m done cloth diapering now but just like you, when we were washing diapers it hardly ever added to the amount of loads I did each day.
I love, love, love hearing that I don’t have to separate the whites from colors. I’m going to try that immediately. I, too, am not wearing anything fancy and I’ve always hated that rule. Sorting doesn’t sound like much, but when you add to it all the other little tasks it really adds up!
Love this! When I’m on top of it, I try and do the same thing. I throw the laundry in as soon as I wake up, and then try to finish that load by the end of the day. SO much better than having a whole “laundry day”. (Although, I have to admit, I’m not always on top of it, and I ended up requiring a laundry day yesterday.) Great post! I’ll certainly try and be more consistent with my morning laundry.
Love this! I’m a huge fan of routines, because once you get in the habit, it feels like things were done as if by magic! But really, you just got in the groove and stayed there. I intentionally made a routine around making the bed, but I haven’t ventured into making routines on a larger scale. I certainly want to now! Thank you for the suggestion, and the Refresh Your Routines e-Kit. Looking forward to trying it out!
(P.S. I’ve really been enjoying this blog, so I nominated it for the Blogger Recognition Award. ? Sometimes it feels good to get a shout-out, so I wanted to make sure you knew! http://wildflowersandprogress.com/feature/blogger-recognition-award/)