So I start this post with a disclaimer
**I HAVE 4 DAUGHTERS…..AND DAUGHTERS CHANGE OUTFITS LIKE THE WIND BLOWS……FAST & FLUSTERED! NO JUDGEMENT PLEASE!
(This line of laundry bags took us about 2 weeks to accumulate with very minimal clothes washing happening during those 2 weeks)
Now this may or may not seem like much to you, but this photo is failing to show another load in my dryer…. just sitting and another load at least scattered throughout my homes main floor hidden under furniture, behind toys or just plainly laying in the middle of my living room floor. HA! NOW THAT’S A LOT OF DIRTY LAUNDRY MY FRIENDS!
Ok so I confess, laundry is not the chore I love the most if you couldn’t tell. It really isn’t the chore I hate the most either, that would be dishes, but I digress…
Nonetheless, laundry is a chore that when ignored, multiplies like rabbits (interestingly enough my husband & I have been teased about the same thing)! Now I would love to tell you that this wasn’t always my pattern. That before I had 4 daughters I was always right on top of laundry, promptly washing & drying it, neatly folding, ironing or hanging it and making sure it got returned to the right closet, shelf or drawer……I would like to say that, but it would be a lie.
I have never been especially prompt in attending to my laundry. Call it 1st world problems, but an overabundance of clothing options readily available most of my life and my inability to let go of cute clothes has given me a selection that rivals a department store. Now don’t get me wrong, I appreciate my blessings, I nearly never resell and we do purge an unbelievable amount that we take to a variety of donation centers every season, or pass on directly to families we know that could use them once we are through with them.
We have not only purchased new and been gifted to build our closets [or as I should say, build our family closet, but that’s for another post]. We have been given many garbage bags full of gently used clothing and most of my girls’ favorite pieces have come from those bags through the years.
Needless to say, I and my girls have plenty of choices thus stretching our demand for clothing out. When clothing demand is low it allows a certain level of procrastination on my behalf but it also leaves some room for life to take 1st priority…..
Early on as a mom, wife and homemaker I learned to leave the laundry in the dryer sometimes too long instead of folding and to let the dirty stuff pile up every now & then to make time for memories …
I may have some bad habits in the clothing & dirty laundry department of my homemaking but I can promise you my children are not short on memories. The playing, creating, sharing, learning, dreaming and celebrating that goes on in our home and in our family is priceless and abundant.
God has blessed my family with an abundance of clothing as well and we will pass it forward (*when it survives us intact*) but while it is in our home it will sometimes get dirty, filthy really at times because life is happening in our home. It will sometimes come clean and look new and fancy, but more often than not it will carry with it a stain or blemish, but those stains are traces of the memories we were too busy creating for me to properly & promptly tend to it.
The paint or glue or marker from our endless crafting set in deep to the fabric before it hits the wash. The grass or mud stains oftentimes accompanied by a small tear or hole from their outdoor adventures & physical play. Then not to be forgotten, the never-ending food stains from our trail & error in the kitchen and our sometimes too sloppy enjoyment of our culinary labors!
All in all, I say the memories we make & enjoyment we have making them far outweigh the annoyance & stress that I create for myself in my laundry procrastination. I don’t really consider it miserable anymore to do a laundry marathon. I have figured out my best & most efficient method to attacking a laundry marathon and I am proud to say I have it down to a science, for me at least, so the stress isn’t bad, it is not intimidating but rather, almost like a mini-escape….
Not that a laundry marathon is ever my plan, because I do very much appreciate the sight of a neat laundry room with minimal (or zero) laundry waiting to cycle. In the event though that I do find myself in this situation due to memory making, sickness, sadness, meetings, appointments, traveling or even grieving a loss among dozens of other reasons we may fall behind on laundry, I just reach a point where I just know I can’t ignore anymore. I look at my calendar and find the next solid chunk of hours and attack it then, like that day or the next, NO MORE PROCRASTINATING!
Here are my steps:
STEP ONE: I pull up a Netflix series that I am currently binging or have hopes of binging….. or most popularly for me, I turn on Bravo or recorded repeats that I have on my dvr of just about ANY season of the Real Housewives of_______.
< I LOVE these ladies! Love to love some, love to dislike others, love to people watch like a fly on their very expensive door frames, and most of all, I Love to be motivated by them…..also a topic for another post> Once I have my viewing choice made I queue up the first episode and PAUSE IT! This step is crucial or I will never begin the laundry. I am queuing up my entertainment for the monotonous task of hanging & folding but I MUST pause it or there won’t be anything clean to fold…
STEP TWO: I begin to sort the clothes, preparing them by load type & color using many of my favorite laundry assistants that I have acquired from Thirty-One as pictured, containing my laundry in the pictures above…
…OK so here is where I tell you that I am an Independent Consultant for Thirty-One! I love it and I use it everywhere in my home. ***I WILL NOT USE THIS BLOG TO SHAMELESSLY PUSH THIRTY-ONE DOWN YOUR THROATS*** I will, however, share pictures that will feature the products regularly because I do love them, my girls love them, even my husband loves the ones that don’t have ridiculously loud patterns, and therefore we use them every day in every part of our life……..including but not limited to LAUNDRY. Also, I will use this page to share some product ideas & promotions from time to time.
STEP THREE: I start my first load even before I complete the sorting. The 1st full size load sorted goes straight in the washer so the cycles can begin. Once that is started you finish sorting.
By the time I finish sorting & pre-treating the clothes the first load into the washer is almost done allowing the second load in sooner. Now, this may seem like common sense but for MANY YEARS I would sort everything before I started any loads and all that did was delay the beginning of the actual washing. Once I realized that it gave me a more fluid process with more overlapping in tasks and less waiting on the washer or dryer I realized there would be less getting sidetracked too.
STEP FOUR: I gather all of my empty hangers and check the drawer & shelf space quickly in our family closet to be sure it is ready to receive clean cloths in bulk .
This step should be pretty swift because if you have a ton of clothing missing from these spaces because they are worn & dirty then there should be mostly vacant space where they are to be returned. It’s always wise to gather all the empty hangers before you need to start filling them. By this time you should be ready for the first washer/dryer swap.
STEP FIVE: I complete the first washer/dryer swap. Making sure to check any pre-treated clothing to see if they need treated again and also taking care to pull out anything that must hang to dry. Once the washer is empty start the next load.
Ok so this step will be relatively quick and other than starting the dryer I am done. There will be a small gap between this step & the next but it will likely be my last non-multi-tasking moment until my marathon ends. [At this gap in tasks I recommend you take a pit stop in the kitchen to get a beverage & a snack or lunch/dinner prepared quickly and take it back to where you queued up your show(s). You want to be sure you fuel up because from here on out it becomes a typically well-timed & well-oiled machine.] I give myself this lunch break while I wait for the dryer to finish and when that happens I must be disciplined to PAUSE IT AGAIN.
STEP SIX: (this step repeats until my marathon is complete) I Promptly empty the dryer and put contents of washer in basically completing step five again & then I bring the basket of dry clothing in by my television where I unpause and fold, hang & binge watch my Housewives until step 5 & 6 are ready to be repeated again and my laundry is nearly gone or gone.
I do like to use the commercial breaks, or in the case of Netflix, the next episode countdown as the places that I discipline myself to pause again to put the clothing away once hung or folded. Being in front of the TV in my basement living room has great proximity to the laundry & is also home to a large black leather sectional perfect for folding & sorting clean clothes on.
Repeat STEPS FIVE & SIX UNTIL YOUR LAUNDRY IS complete!
I hope you can use some of these tips or methods to help you dig out of the laundry mountain the next time you let your laundry pile up while you allow life to take priority & memories be made! This product below is my favorite GO TO laundry tool!
Also if you are curious you are welcome to check out Thirty-One ‘s new Spring/Summer catalog here on my website www.mythirtyone.com/81194/ to see what products we have this season to help you give your laundry routine a face-lift! My favorite helper is the Large Utility Tote! (Pictured above) Each family member has one of their own, specifically for their laundry needs. If you want recommendations on other products or solutions just ask in the comments!