Before I launch into today’s post, I have a little soapbox topic to cover.
According to the google dictionary, a life hack is “a strategy or technique adopted in order to manage one’s time and daily activities in a more efficient way.” I’m all for that! I am, however, opposed to the connotation that often comes with a life hack. Because you see, adult life involves quite a bit of work. Someone who is looking for “hacks” that will help them avoid work and responsibility will spend their life in a state of disorganization and chaos.
In our culture we need a little less “hacking” and a lot more discipline. I have personally experienced the frustration and chaos that comes from a lack of discipline in my own life – it’s a struggle we all face. If you’re looking for a magic formula that will help your life become orderly and not quite so frustrating, try a few good habits instead of genius hacks.
Now to the subject at hand – the two habits that have made a huge difference in my laundry room!
Laundry is never ending, isn’t it? There’s always laundry that needs to be washed, folded or put away. My biggest challenge with laundry is making sure my husband always has clean uniforms for work and sports. He can easily go through a whole load of clothes in one day, so it piles up quickly. We typically use about the same amount of sheets and towels every week. I found that creating systems for that predictable laundry helped me to in turn get a handle on the mounds of uniforms and sweaty referee clothes! Here are the two habits that were laundry game-changers for me:
#1 Designate a linen laundry day
This is the first thing I do on Saturday morning, immediately after getting out of bed and brushing my teeth. I gather all the towels, washcloths and rags from both bathrooms and the kitchen. Every other week I also strip the sheets from our bed. These go directly into the washing machine. I leave the light on in the laundry room, reminding me to switch the linens from the washer to the dryer.
In less than two hours, I have a load of clean linens that require no time at all to fold and put away. It’s so nice to always have plenty of fresh towels and to always know exactly how long a towel has been in use! This is especially helpful for me – since I can’t smell, I don’t know when the towels become sour!
#2 Do one load of clothes each morning
This is definitely not ground-breaking, but doing one load of clothes every day makes such a difference! This is helpful no matter how many loads you actually need to do each day (unless you only do a load or two each week). I start a load before I make coffee in the morning, switch it to the dryer when I come back in the kitchen for breakfast and then fold it before supper. Gone are the days of staying up late waiting for the washing machine to finish the spin cycle so I can put tomorrow’s outfit in the dryer! Ha! I know you’ve done it too!
It took me around a year to make these two exercises part of my routine. Habits don’t happen overnight, but they are the one thing you need to be organized (read more about that in this excellent post from Emily!).
If you’re struggling under never-ending loads of laundry, try to pinpoint your biggest challenge and then implement habits that will make your life less frustrating. Shoot for the good feeling!