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When it comes to simplifying, one of the things I’ve struggled with the most is laundry. Thankfully my husband handles his own laundry, but that still leaves me with the never-ending laundry needs of myself and my two girls.
My old laundry routine used to look like this:
- Throw in a load of laundry whenever I notice the hampers getting really full, or we’re out of clean socks.
- Forget about the laundry until the next morning when one of the kids complains of having no socks.
- Put the day-old wet laundry into the dryer, telling myself it doesn’t smell that mildewy. Tell the girls to borrow my socks. Wait, I don’t have any clean ones either? Send them to school without socks.
- Forget that the laundry is in the dryer until the next morning when the kids ask about the socks again.
- Attempt to fish out two matching pairs of socks from the dryer for the girls to wear to school, hoping they won’t notice that they’re still a tiny bit damp.
As you might guess, this was not exactly working out well for me. Not only did it result in a lot of last-minute scrambling, but it wasted my time because I’d inevitably need to re-wash clothing if it had been in the washing machine too long, or I’d need to put clothing back in the dryer (or…gasp…iron it!) because it would be super wrinkled from sitting in the dryer.
I decided I needed an actual laundry routine that would allow me to do several loads throughout the week, and have time to actually wash, dry, fold, and put away each load in the same day, start to finish.
Here’s my new, simpler laundry routine:
- Throw in a load of laundry each weekday morning after the kids leave for school.
- Put the laundry into the dryer when the kids get home from school.
- Fold laundry when it’s done drying (which is usually when the kids are doing their homework).
- Have the kids put their own laundry away when they’re done with homework.
This exact routine won’t work for everyone’s schedule or lifestyle, but the basic principle of it can be applied to any situation. The key is to have “laundry triggers,” which are specific times throughout the day when you’re reminded to put the laundry in, dry it, and take it out. Your daily triggers could be after breakfast/lunch/dinner, before work/after work/after dinner, or after school/after practice/watching TV. The key is to choose 3 set points each day when you wash, dry, and fold/put away the clothing. After a week or so, it will become a natural part of your daily routine and you won’t even have to think about it.
When I was throwing laundry in at various times on various days, it was so easy to forget about it when I got busy with other things. Now that I have a routine in place, it’s a lot easier to remember. Some people like to designate one “laundry day” each week, and do five or six loads at a time, but I prefer to do it on an almost-daily basis so that it never has a chance to pile up (meaning we’re never short on socks or other essentials).
My laundry situation has also been simplified by using all® free clear detergent. My oldest daughter has had extremely sensitive skin since birth. At first, I attributed the various spots, hives and rashes that would crop up on her skin to her food allergies, but even after we removed the allergic foods from her diet, she still got skin reactions from clothing, bedding, towels, and other items that touched her skin.
When I use all® free clear detergent to wash our laundry, my daughter’s skin is free of irritations. All® free clear detergent is hypoallergenic and clinically proven to be gentle on skin, and it’s the #1 recommended brand by dermatologists, allergists, and pediatricians. I love that it’s gentle enough for her, but still delivers a clean that’s powerful enough to handle all of the marker spots, food spills, and other stains that are inevitable when kids are being kids. I like being able to let my girls play freely without worrying about ruining their clothes.
I buy my all® free clear detergent at Sam’s Club because I can get it for a great price, and because we get to eat churros when we’re done shopping. Seriously — those churros are the BEST bribery tool ever when you’re trying to get a lot of shopping done with kids.
I also love the large dispenser-style packaging of the all® free clear at Sam’s Club because it’s easy to measure the exact amount I need for the size of the load I’m washing. (You should refer to the directions on the package exactly to make sure you’re not over-using the product by putting too much in one load.)
Do you have a laundry routine in place? Do you prefer to do a lot of loads at once or space it out throughout the week? Let me know in the comments or join in the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #allfreeclear. You can also visit the all® free clear detergent hub to learn how others tackle their laundry issues.