This is Part Two of my “simple changes” series. Last week I wrote about how I started exercising in the morning. Shortly after putting that in place I read a blog post on andreadekker.com which triggered the idea of getting a load of laundry in the washing machine at night, but waiting until the morning to actually start it. I never thought of this before! It’s a very small detail, but I realized as soon as I read her post that it could be the perfect laundry solution for me.
I have tried so many different laundry routines over the years. When I first got married, I was working full time so I did all (two or three loads) of our laundry at once in the laundry room of our apartments on Saturdays. Later, after moving into a house and starting our family, I set up Monday as “Laundry Day.” With each child the laundry grew, but I was still able to get it mostly done in that one day.
For some reason after moving into the house that we live in now, “Monday Laundry Day” completely fell apart. I’m not sure if it’s because I lost my laundry room (it wasn’t perfect because we had to walk through it to go out our back door, but at least it was a room rather than a closet like I have now) or, if it’s just because my kids were growing and we were generating more clothes that needed to be washed. I really don’t know. But ever since we have lived here I have been completely unsuccessful at completing the laundry all in one day.
So, after accepting the fact that I needed to change the system, I started doing a load every day. It was very similar to what I’m doing now, except that I was gathering the laundry and loading the washer in the morning. It worked OK, but the problem was, that unless I woke up earlier, I could not start until after everyone had left the house. This made it pretty late in the morning when the laundry was ready to be put away, and often at that point I had already moved onto other things, which led to me waiting until later to put it away. And, once it gets put off for a little while, it is amazing how easy it is to put it off even more! 🙂
After that I decided that I would do it in the early afternoon/evening. The idea was that I would fold it while watching the news with my husband. I really thought this would be great, but it wasn’t. I was good about getting it into the washer, but pulling it out was just too difficult with everything else going on at that time of day.
My new plan combines the best of both of these ideas. I can gather it and load it anytime in the evening that seems right; then I can start the washer as soon as I wake up rather than waiting until everyone leaves. This means my laundry is ready to put away an entire hour earlier making it possible to get it done before I have to start doing too many other things.
The best part is that it’s a forgiving system. Laundry is like the dishes in that I can only procrastinate so long before it becomes a crisis. So, even if I get behind (due to being super-busy, or super-tired, or just plain rebellious), I will spend the time necessary to catch up. But the advantage of having a working system is that by pushing it to the ends of the day I free my precious day-time hours up for other things that I need/want to do.
Here is how my morning looks currently with my 2 “simple changes” that I’ve made so far. Of course, it’s not perfect every day, but this is the general idea:
- Wake up
- Push “start” on washing machine
- Wake up kids, fix breakfast, pack lunches, family prayer, etc.
- Say goodbye to my family
- Change laundry from washer to dryer
- Eat a light snack (not too much since I’m exercising)
- Shower/get dressed
- Eat breakfast (occasionally I’ll eat before showering instead of after)
- Fold and put away laundry
- Now I’m ready for the day!
What is your preferred system for doing the laundry?