How nice is it to see empty laundry baskets and have all your clothes put away?
I used to struggle with the laundry. I hated the long process from putting it in the machine, hanging it out, getting it in and putting it away, only to start all over again! I became much better at the laundry when I had Miss M, mainly because I had to! Now I rarely have baskets of laundry sitting around, or overflowing laundry hampers. Here is my current laundry routine with just one child (no doubt it will change when I have #2 in 3 months!):
1. I do one load a day (except for maybe one day a week). I dislike doing much more than that, and by doing at least one a day, it never piles up. During my 5 days of work, I actually don't usually do much washing though, unless I need to (especially in winter, as it's too cold to hang it out!)
2. We store our dirty clothes in our own individual hampers in our rooms - Brendan and I have our own baskets, and there is one in Miss M's room. I have a basket in a laundry cupboard for any towels/bibs/tea-towels etc. that I might chuck in there during the week.
3. When I clean the bathrooms each week, I also wash the towels that day. Sometimes I have two loads of towels, which I will do both in the one day, but it doesn't feel like much because towels are easy to hang out.
4. I wash Miss M's and my clothes together, which I do 2-3 times a week, depending on how many clothes we've used. Brendan washes his own clothes (yay!)
5. I hang everything out, as I love that the sun is a natural sanitiser. During a really rainy week however, I will use the dryer. I will put off doing the sheets and towels as long as I can in order to be able to hang them out, though I do love fluffy towels straight out of the dryer!
6. When I get clothes or sheets straight off the line, I don't fold anything, but come inside and put it away straight away to avoid creases. I don't iron, unless I am wearing a shirt or dress to somewhere like a wedding. My hubby didn't even know we owned an iron and an ironing board for the first 2 years of our marriage!
7. I usually fold towels straight off the line though, so I can come inside and put them away (and plus it doesn't take long!)
8. I have two sets of sheets for our bed, and during summer I change these straight away and then wash the dirty ones. I only have one pair of flannelette sheets so far though, so during winter I bring them in off the line and make the bed straight away.
9. I soak all of Miss M's soiled and food-covered clothing in a bucket in my laundry sink before it goes into the washing machine. I have been really surprised at how well the Homebrand Pre-Wash Stain remover, along with the sun, has meant I rarely have a stain on Miss M's clothing.
10. If I can't put a basket of clothing away one day, I make sure it's the first thing I do the next day. I fold all Miss M's clothing into her drawers, except dresses and jackets, and I fold a lot of my tops, and hang all my jackets and pants.
That's it! It's simple and works for us.
Here's a link to a blog post by The Organised Housewife about other laundry routines!