By Erica, Contributing Writer
Laundry is not always loads of fun but we sure do accumulate loads of it! A friend of mine with four boys always said, “I’m climbing laundry mountain.” Without an organized system of how to do your laundry, then you may quickly feel overloaded with the mountains of laundry that are piling up in your house.
Note from Jami: I have never given much thought to my laundry routine. I throw my clothes in and go on my way. These tips form Erica on forming a thoughtful laundry routine have really helped! This is part of becoming a better homemaker – learning from others on how to better make your home.
Each person has their quirks about laundry, their do’s and don’ts, their preferences of how to do it their way. I want to share with you my way. You’re welcome to ponder how I launder!
Is there a Biblical principle for laundry? While I Corinthians 14:40, “Let all things be done decently and in order,” pertains to the way a church should function, I believe it can easily be applied to all of life. God is an organized being keeping everything in order in His own perfect plan. So, tackling the business of laundry should be something that we can also organize as Christian women.
Tips for Tackling Laundry
1) We sort when we put our clothes in the laundry basket.
We have a divided laundry cart on wheels in my bedroom. Our oldest children have a 3-tiered laundry baskets that stack on one another. Each has a label for clothing colors. One for whites, blues/grays/greens, reds/oranges/purples, and blacks. Our towels all go into one laundry basket in one bathroom, as well as any other bulky items like sheets, rugs, and blankets.
2) Each weekday is assigned a laundry color.
We typically will do two or three loads per day.
Monday – Sheets and Towels
Tuesday – Blues Day (rhymes!)
Wednesday – Whites Day (Both have a “w” in it”)
Thursday – Reds Day (Both have an an “r” in it)
Friday – Blacks Day (Think Black Friday)
3) When I separate laundry I separate within the color.
Bathroom towels: 1 bathroom has white towels and 1 bathroom has dark towels. They get separated into different colors because I like white towels not to have dark fuzz on them.
Dress Clothes: Dress clothes are separated from casual clothes so that fuzzies cannot be made onto nice clothing, thus making your clothes last longer. My husband wears lots of dress shirts to work so it is not hard for us to make a separate load.
Blues: Denim/Jeans go in their own load. Then they are separated into dress clothes and casual clothes.
Blacks: Blacks are a category all their own because if they cause fuzzies on each other, they will be black. This eliminates multicolored threads being stuck to black fabrics.
Fuzzy Items and Sweaters: I will mix colors of fuzzy items, like fleece pajamas, socks, sweatshirts, and some sweaters into their own load. This eliminates shedding on other clothes.
4) Using your washing machine.
We have a top loading washing machine, so some of this may not apply to your type of washer. When I load the washer I put heavy items on the bottom and lighter items on the top. So, if there was a pair of jeans in the load then it would go in first. I do this so that the heavy items do not smash the smaller items. This allows smaller items to wash freely in the cycle.
My husband recently released me from folding the clothes of my boys (6 and 8 years)! I was thrilled. They now have a responsibility to fold all of their own clothes. This has helped me tremendously and is teaching them some character. Other than that, everyone pitches in. Even our younger girls (almost 2 and almost 4) can put socks away for everyone and are learning from pictures on the front of their drawers to put their own clothes away. Our almost 4 year old has the job of folding all washcloths and enjoys folding dish towels as well.
If you want your children to help you with this task effectively you will need to take the time to teach them how. It may take you several tutorial sessions and some refresher courses when they forget but it is well worth it to have the work divided among the family instead of having mountains of laundry to fold by yourself! A good mother trains her children by working beside them.
I was reading a laundry article the other day and the writer mom was saying she just lets her kids take their stacks of unfolded clothes to their drawers since they all end up in wads in their drawers anyway. I just can’t bring myself to do that… Again, this goes against the idea that God has order, so we go ahead and do just that.
I hope that as you have pondered how I launder that you have come up with some ideas to help you in your home. Please share any laundry saving ideas with us here in the comments, we’d love to read them!
*This post was originally published on February 3, 2014.*