There are a lot of “not-fun” things that come along with being an adult. I think we can all agree that cleaning the toilets is not fun, am I right? Putting a slipcover back on the couch? Changing the sheets on a bunk bed? Not fun, not fun. Scraping toothpaste off the bathroom counter…not fun.
Now, some adults find cooking fun. (Not me, but hey! I appreciate those who keep me fed.)
Some adults LOVE to organize. (Looking at you, Container Store shoppers!)
Now me? I find laundry fun. Or at least, relaxing. It’s a task I look forward to doing every day. I can do it while sitting, while watching Netflix, while doing nothing except thinking my own thoughts without interruption. (For some reason, my children disappear when I’m folding laundry–anyone else?) Folding laundry even allows me to dream up new blog posts like this one.
So here are a few productivity and parenting tips I’ve learned from doing laundry:
Do a little bit every day.
I know some adults prefer to use laundry hampers and save up all their dirties for one day at the end of the week. Our hamper is our open washing machine, and we run one medium-size load each day.
Get started as soon as you wake up.
One of the very first things I do each morning is start a load of laundry. All of yesterday’s dirties are waiting in the washing machine: cloth napkins, hand towels, socks, etc. It all goes one in load*.
Hang up the nice things first.
I tend to throw the day’s load into the dryer shortly after lunch time. By that time, our dirties are starting to accumulate again, and the empty washing machine is waiting. I have a “dryer helper” who can tell me if the clothes are dry or add more time, if needed. When the load is dry, I stand next to the dryer with a stack of hangers and our empty laundry basket. (One load a day = one basket) The nice clothes are hung up and put away immediately. The foldables are tossed into the basket for later.
Do it the same way every time.
Like I said earlier, I find folding laundry relaxing. I have helpers gather the laundry, move it from the washer to the dryer, check to see if it’s done, and run clean laundry upstairs. But I prefer to fold it myself–I have a system, and it works well for me. 😉
Marie Kondo, author of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, says that clothes like to be folded a certain way. At first I giggled, but now I agree with her to some degree. I fold my husband’s t-shirts a certain way, every time, and they stack up beautifully into his cabinet. (Our house has a ton of built-in cabinets, so no dressers.)
(Reminder: Rolling Prairie Readers uses affiliate links at no additional cost to you. You can see our full disclosure policy here. If you have never read Kondo’s book, you can click here.)
Match socks last.
I can’t tell you how many times I have found a wayward sock inside a t-shirt, cloth napkin, or a pair of pajama pants. Save the socks for last, and save yourself a headache later!
Over the years, doing laundry this way has helped me be more productive in other areas of my life. Whether it’s other chores or a must-do list for work, I keep these things in mind:
Block the big things out first.
When I make my daily to-do list, I write down the scheduled appointments and activities first. Then I look at my weekly list of things to do and find the items that are time-sensitive.
Group like items together.
Folding all of my husband’s t-shirts at the same time allows me to be more efficient. In the same way, batch-editing photos or creating graphics for the week all at one time can help me stay focused and get more done in a shorter period of time.
Choose one day of the week to get certain things done.
My girls would throw their bath towels and pajamas into the washing machine every day, if we didn’t have a system. *On Saturdays, we do a few extra loads–bath towels, sheets, and my husband’s dressy work clothes. My girls know to bring their sheets down to the laundry room every Saturday, and their pajamas are washed every Wednesday and Saturday morning, whether they need to be or not. 😉
To that end, there is one day of the week that I write blog posts, schedule social media, and plan lessons for my girls. I jot notes all week long, but having one specific time to sit down and work means I’m not spending hours in front of a computer when I’d rather be reading with my girls.
Do you enjoy laundry? Any productivity tips I missed?
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I love the fact that your laundry never piles up, and this concept is seems doable. Thank you for sharing!