I love to sit on my bed, fold clothes, and watch a TV show. It’s a treat for me, which is kind of sad I guess. But I don’t care! I embrace my lot in life. Having warm clean clothes AND cable AND Tivo is really wonderful. That’s the spirit!
Catch the spirit!
So, there are 4 secrets to getting your laundry done. I’m going to tell you what they are and I’m not going to charge you for it, but you do have to click through. Because that’s how we roll here at Babble.com, ya’ll.
1. The first secret is not going to make you very happy, but it is true. The first secret of getting your laundry done is that you just have to do it all the time, every day, probably. Once you accept this, you’ll be happier. Once you accept that laundry must be done all the time over and over you’ll realize that you’re not doing anything wrong. It’s not a punishment. The laundry is not there to spite you. It’s the by-product of a happy, active, dirty, body odorish, life.
Some people do all their laundry once a week. It takes all day. Try it. If it works for you, keep it up. I find it a little overwhelming to do it all at once. So I run a load or two through every day. Every day. I’ve got 4 kids including a teenager who runs track and a beaver pond in my back yard … this is the beginning of a story problem that ends with me doing a load of laundry every day. Friend, you also have to put it away. Take a minute to process that.
2. All right. We’ve come to the next secret and here it is: You probably should have fewer clothes. Scratch that. You can have as may clothes as your closet, full to bursting, can hold. YOUR KIDS should have fewer clothes. My kids all have their own rooms with closets and plenty of storage. However, I can’t imagine dealing with any more than about one and a half weeks worth of clothing. That means after a week, things start to get low and I have to do laundry. I can’t go a month without doing laundry. That would be too daunting. 2 weeks is the absolute longest we could go. It’s so much easier for kids to put away their own clothes if they have fewer. Remember that when you’re at the Gap Kids and everything is 20% off. Remember that.
3. The next secret is one I learned from Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project. I met her at ALT Summit where she encouraged us to indulge in smells we love. I’m frugal and there are times when I absolutely have to buy the cheap detergent. I also make it. But I am in love with the smell of Tide and Bounce. Gretchin made me realize that it’s not such a crazy item to splurge on. If you hate laundry, try Gain. Try Cheer. Try the Downy crystals (I got some for my birthday from my wise friend who knows I have a penchant for good laundry smells.) It makes your whole house smell good. See if it helps.
4. And finally, you must teach your children to do laundry. Don’t get ahead of yourself. Little kids aren’t much help. Not to be rude, but they aren’t. But a washer isn’t that complicated. Kids who can read and can reach the washer controls can probably learn to do laundry. Make it their chore during the summer so they learn how to do it when there’s no pressure to have clean clothes ready in the morning. They can be totally in charge of their own clothes. Bear in mind, they won’t do it how you want them to do it. It will be messier than you want — messy, but passable. You can’t be a perfectionist AND get help with the laundry. Currently one of my kids’ jobs is to put away their laundry after I wash and fold it. They do other chores like dishes and lawns because, as you know, I don’t mind laundry. But if you hate it and you have a competent 8-year-old, delegate. It’s not mean to make them do it.
Good luck getting your laundry done. Any other laundry tips you’d like to add to the hive mind? Our hive mind needs laundry tips.