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Laundry—there are very few words that make me cringe more than the thought of laundry. Visions of mountains of clothing that need to be washed, dried, folded and put away flood into my mind. As a new mom, laundry has been one of those tasks that I had never gained control of---that is, until this past month.
We officially reached our laundry breaking point. I won’t tell you just how many loads of laundry we had to put away to catch up (quite frankly, I’m not sure I can even count that high), but I will fill you in on the changes and routines we have finally implemented to take control of our laundry situation.
Tackle all laundry in three days
There seem to be two mindsets in terms of laundry: do a load daily or do it all at once. Do I really want to be completing a task every single day that doesn’t bring me joy? No. With our schedule changing from day-to-day during the week, accomplishing a load of laundry every day is tough for us. Because of this, we’ve transitioned into a 3-day plan.
Day 1: Prep
With a little one, it is no secret that both Brody and I are frequently covered in stains. Whether its dirt stained knees or peanut butter covered shirts, a big chunk of our laundry pile needs a little extra attention. I dedicate day #1 to the TLC this pile needs. I usually gather the stained items up and soak them in a stain remover overnight. I’ll also hand wash any items that need to be hand washed---when will I learn to stop buying wash by hand only items?!
Day 2: Wash
Starting when we wake up, we throw load after load of laundry into the washer and dryer throughout the day. Since we are usually in and out of the house on Saturdays, we’ll toss a load in run a few errands, throw another load in etc. It typically takes 4-6 loads to finish washing. When the loads are done, we pile them up and forget about them until the next morning.
Day 3: Put Away
The final step of the process is folding and putting away. My husband and I dump all of the clean clothes on our bed, put on our favorite Pandora radio station and get to folding, hanging and putting clothes away. To involve Brody in the process, I set the bin of clean clothes on the floor in his room as I fold and put them away. He loves to take each piece out one-by-by and then put them back into the basket. By Sunday evening, we are washed and ready for the week ahead.
Use separate hampers for lights, darks, and reds
Separate your laundry piles as you place your clothes in the hamper each night. We keep three hampers in our bedroom, each labeled with whites, darks, and reds. This eliminates the sorting step for us on Saturday mornings and we can start washing as soon as we wake up.
Use one-multi use detergent for everything
Rather than having separate bottles of detergent for baby clothes, our clothes, and towels, we stick to one detergent that does well for all of us. Our go-to is Member's Mark® Ultimate Clean Laundry Detergent from Sam’s Club. Along with diaper wipes, frozen fruit, and contact solution—their detergent is always on our Sam’s Club shopping list. It smells fresh, but not overpowering and truly gets the stains out of Brody’s clothes (plus the price is great!). By using the same detergent for all of our loads of laundry, we usually conserve at least one full load that we would have previously separated out to wash with a different detergent.
Schedule Phone Reminders to wash the miscellaneous items
Now that we have finally gained control of our laundry, one of the trickiest tasks has been keeping track of when to wash those items that we don’t necessarily wash weekly. Like Brody’s car seat, the baby carrier we use, or how about the mattress cover? I always find myself trying to remember the last time I washed these items, so I finally made a little printable laundry list to keep in our laundry room. Then I set a phone reminder on laundry day when an item on this list is up for a washing. To help make your life a little simpler, you can download and print this free checklist to hang in your laundry room as well. Cheers to taking back control of the laundry room!
How do you keep on top of your laundry? Do you prefer doing a load a day or tackling the laundry once a week? Have you tried the Member's Mark® Ultimate Clean Laundry Detergent?