Washing clothes is a never-ending job. We don’t have many clothes in our wardrobe, and I tend to wear the same clothes each week to make it easier on myself. I really am no fashionista, although I will dress up for those special events and occasions. The kids have their favourite outfits too, so keeping on top of the laundry routine every day is so necessary for my household. Remember there’s five of us. I wash, I dry, I sort, I repeat… it’s never-ending, but I stay on top of it all for my own sanity because I love an organised home!!
A while ago I shared with you my system of how often I wash the sheets, after accidentally making you think I wash them every 3 months, eek. So I thought I’d share with you my clothes washing routine as well and hope that it will help you get a little more organised when it comes to your laundry. Yes, a rather bland topic, but many households really do struggle with just the simplest of task of getting your laundry done. Some have young children, or work full-time, have a partner that doesn’t help or even have a busy after school schedule with kid’s activities, so fitting in housework to a busy schedule can be hard. I know washing was a big struggle of mine to keep on top of until I created my routine.
READ MORE: How often should you clean your bedsheets?
READ MORE: My personal story.
1. I start in the evening
All the dirty clothes are already sorted, because I organise dirty laundry. In the old house it had its own little space (pictured below), but in our new house it is sitting in the middle of the laundry (you can see in the last picture of this post). I’m dealing with it for the moment, as I’m trying to come up with a solution, but I really love this system as it saves my sanity and keeps the laundry tidy.
2. Look at my laundry schedule
I follow my laundry schedule and see what my schedule tells me to wash the next day. It is always a full load and the schedule helps me keep on top of the kid’s school uniforms, so that they have enough clean ones for the week.These laundry schedules are available in my shop.
DOWNLOAD HERE: Laundry Schedules
3. Start load of washing
I start the load of washing and let it sit in the machine until morning. I live on the Gold Coast, QLD where it is warm and have never found the washing to be smelly the next day. By doing the washing the night before I find it saves me time the next morning.
I currently have a top loader washing machine, but it’s on its last legs so I asked the community on facebook (over 835 replies, I am yet to read through them all) recently what they think of front loader washing machines, as I am thinking of buying one just so I can put my dryer on top, as I have space next to the washing machine to place my dirty laundry sorter. Oh, and I am also too small to reach the dryer if it is hung on the wall above the washing machine. What do you think of front loaders?
4. Hang washing to dry
While I am waiting for the kids to get ready for school in the morning I hang the washing on the line.
I am currently using clothes hoists, because the people who lived in the house prior to us didn’t have a clothes line (crazy!!). I’m not one for using a clothes dryer unless it’s raining as I try to save the $$ to keep our electricity bill to a minimum. We are painting the house soon, so once I have done that and remove some plants I will be installing a nice big clothes line on the fence.
READ MORE: Energy saving tips for essential household appliances
5. Take washing off line
I take it off before I pick the kids up from school, if it looks like it may rain. But mostly I take it off the line just before I cook dinner or I delegate and get one of the kids to do it.
6. Sorting the washing
When the kids were babies: I would take the washing off the line around lunchtime, sort, fold and put away while the kids were sleeping.
When the kids just started school: Once they got a little older I would leave the folded washing for them to put away into their drawers after they got home from school.
Now they are tweens and teens: Recently I have become the queen of delegation, but it’s also teaching the kids about household responsibilities, getting them to sort the washing for me. However, I would usually ask the 3 of them to do it together, but that was a big mistake…. there was arguing, which I find very annoying to listen to. Then the dobbing followed, who did what and where and why and oh mum!!!! I’d end up with several piles of clothes for one person, my youngest would tell my son he’s not folding properly and I am clearly hearing my own tone through her (she is such a mini me). So, this was not good and I needed a new system.
DOWNLOAD HERE: Age appropriate chores for kids
My new sorting system
I purchased 4 storage containers from Kmart, I will label each of these with the kids names soon. I only got four despite it being a household of 5: one for each child and one for hubby’s and my wardrobe.
PURCHASE HERE: Kmart baskets
Now I take the washing off the line and sort the washing into the tubs
I’ve been doing it on the kitchen bench so I don’t have to bend over, or you can do it while catching up on some TV!
or delegate and get the kids to do it! Which is handy when all their undies and socks look the same.
Then I put the tubs at the bottom of the stairs, where the kids will pick up the tub take to their room and need to fold and put away before dinner. I say before dinner rather than bedtime, because I know my kids, they’ll leave it to the last minute of the evening and I will be sitting on their bed waiting to say goodnight while they are folding washing which frustrates me.
Then they place the tub back in the laundry ready for the next day. Here’s a look at our new laundry, I have carpet offcuts at the bottom of the cupboard, which I am unsure if I need to keep. The empty shelves are where I have been storing the kid’s school hats and school bags, right next to the garage door.
I really like this new system with no more arguing children. If you don’t sort your clothes daily you may need bigger tubs. I got smaller ones which work great for daily sorting.
What is washing routine? Do you have a schedule?
Please share your routine, as it may help another struggling mum create a routine for her home.