Laundry can feel like one of the home management tasks that never ends. As soon as you finish a load, another one seems to grow on its own. This simple laundry routine will help you keep up with the laundry in your home without feeling like it is taking over your life.
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Home management are the tasks that we do around our home that keep things running smoothly. This includes cleaning, decluttering and organizing, paying bills, buying groceries, and the laundry.
I don’t know about you, but laundry for me is one of those tasks that can become quickly overwhelming if I let it go for too long. Not only does the job seem more daunting the more laundry piles up, but you start running out of the clothes you need and various items that your kids need for their activities. It is no fun to pack up to go to the pool to find out there are no clean beach towels.
If this sounds familiar, you need to set up a simple laundry routine. This will help you make sure that have everything you need when you need it, at the same time without feeling like laundry takes all day every day.
What is a Simple Laundry Routine?
A simple laundry routine is where you create a system for when and what you will take care of your household laundry. “When” and “what” are two important keywords here. The “when” and “what” of a simple laundry routine are both two different pieces of the system that we will talk about here.
Depending on your home and work situation, the specific routine that you create will vary. Someone who is a full-time SAHM is probably going to have a different laundry routine than someone who works full-time 5 days a week outside the home. Even if these two people with different home rhythms do the same types of laundry on the same days, it is still likely that they do their laundry at different times.
Important Parts of a Simple Laundry Routine
If you have ever forgotten laundry in your washing machine for 2 days and had to re-run the cycle all over again, you have lived an example of missing an important part of the laundry process.
When you are trying to determine when the best time to do you laundry is, you need to remember that there are actually 6 steps in the process of completing laundry from start to finish. Many of these steps also have to happen at different times, which is where remembering to do all of them can be tricky. The 6 steps of completing laundry are:
- Step 1: Load washing machine
- Step 2: Run wash cycle
- Step 3: Move laundry from washer to dryer
- Step 4: Run dry cycle
- Step 5: Fold laundry
- Step 6: Put laundry away
At any point between the 6 steps, breakdown can occur. You can probably figure out pretty easily where your pain points are.
Determine Where Your Laundry System Breakdown Occurs
Maybe steps 2 to 3 are hard for you. You can remember to put the laundry in the washing machine, but you forget that you did it. Then you find wet clothes the next day hanging out that now need to be washed all over again.
Or maybe your problem is between steps 4 and 5. This was my biggest struggle point when I worked full-time outside the home. I am an early riser, so I would often start the washer early in the morning and was able to move laundry to the dryer before I left for work. The problem was when I got home from work. I would completely forget that I had laundry waiting for me in the dryer. About 9 PM before I went to bed, I would remember the towels were still in the dryer. At that point, I was too tired to care so I would tell myself I would fold them tomorrow. You know where this is going. The next morning I would put clothes in the washing machine. Then when I needed to move them to the dryer before I left for work, guess what I found in there? Yesterday’s towels.
Now as someone who stays at home but still works part-time outside the home, my challenge can be between steps 5 and 6, folding laundry and putting it away. Since I am home in the afternoons now, I will typically fold the day’s laundry while listening to a podcast once I have put my son down for a nap and my daughter is in her room having quiet time. If I am folding my own clothes or towels, the system works flawlessly, as I am fold laundry on our bed in the master bedroom.
The issue is on the days that I am doing the kid’s clothes. Since I am folding the clothes while they are napping and doing quiet time, I do not want to go in their rooms with the laundry once I am done to put them away. So now I have to remember to complete the final step after they get up from their nap and quiet time. Usually I am pretty good about doing this later, but I have definitely had days after I have already put the kids down for the night when I walk back to my bedroom and realize their clothes are still laying there.
If you can figure out where you get stopped in the 6 steps, this will help you determine when is the best time for your simple laundry routine.
Decide The “When” For Your Simple Laundry Routine
Before you get into figuring what laundry you want to do one which days, the first thing you have to do determine for a successful laundry routine is when you are going to do the 6 steps. Remember that you do not have to complete all 6 steps back to back in order for this to work.
This part is where you are going to see differences in people based on their work and home obligations. If you are a SAHM and your next door neighbor is a night-shift nurse at the hospital, you both may do towels on Tuesdays, but your “when” is likely not the same.
Keep in mind too that every step does not have to be completed even on the same day. Are you an early morning riser like me who can start the laundry early? Then you can start step 1 the night before. I load the washing machine with my laundry the night before. So first thing in the morning when I wake up, all I have to do is press the start button. This may sound too simple, but it can honestly make the difference between getting laundry done or not in this house.
Maybe you are a night person and you prefer to start laundry in the afternoons. Then you fold it in the evenings while watching Netflix once the kids are in bed. There is no right answer for when, only the right time that works for you.
Some newer washers have delay start features that may be helpful for you. You could put your laundry in the night before and have it set to start before you wake up. You could also have it run while you are at work and be ready for when you come home.
Decide The “What” For Your Simple Laundry Routine
If you are an organizing and home systems fanatic like me, this is the part you get excited about. You see all the social media posts and pins that tell you what laundry to do what days. There are even planners on the market that already have filled in the weekly spread what laundry to do what days. These are all great, but just remember that if you have not first figured out when you are going to do the 6 steps, even the perfect laundry schedule will fail.
Separate Laundry into Categories
Once you have figured out when you are going to complete the 6 steps of your simple laundry routine, you can decide which days make the most sense to actually do your laundry. First, you will need separate your dirty laundry into categories. This will determine how many loads you need to do per week.
For me, I broke the laundry down into the following categories:
- My clothes
- My husband’s clothes
- Kid’s clothes
- Bath mats
Once you know all the different things that will need to be washed, determine how often they need to be done. For example, we have so many towels that I end up needing to do two loads a week. The bath mats, on the other hand, only need to be washed every other week.
My husband prefers to do his own clothes, so I take that category out of the planning equation. Mine and the kid’s clothes are washed once a week. The towels are done twice a week. Sheets, blankets, and bath mats are cleaned every other week, so I set them up on a rotation.
Determine Your Laundry Goals
My goal in this stage of life is to not have laundry to do on the weekends. I prefer to do laundry Monday through Friday and get it all done before the weekend.
When I was working full-time outside the home, it was the opposite. I did most of the laundry over the weekends, running 2 or 3 loads a day.
Do you prefer to do less laundry each day and spread it out? Or do you want to only spend a couple days a week doing laundry and run multiple loads? No plan is necessarily wrong, you just need to decide what works best for you. You need to go back to the “when” and think through whether you can complete the 6 steps with your plan.
My Simple Laundry Routine
Currently in this stage of life, this is my preferred simple laundry routine:
- Mondays – Towels
- Tuesdays – Kid’s clothes
- Wednesdays – My clothes
- Thursdays – Blankets or bath mats (alternate each week)
- Fridays – Sheets (every other week) and towels
You are welcome to set up your laundry routine like mine, if it will work for you. Just remember this is not a perfect system for everyone. It is what works for me at this time with my work and home routines.
In case you are wondering, I do not separate my clothes or the kid’s clothes into multiple loads. I know some people swear by separating into darks and lights, but I have never done it. Anytime we have new clothes, I throw one of these Shout Color Catcher Sheets in with the load. I personally have never had color bleeding, even a brand new red shirt in with white clothes.
Now you have your plan in place for when you will complete the 6 steps of a simple laundry routine and separated your laundry into days.
Products I Use for a Simple Laundry Routine
- Washer – Samsung Smart Top Load Washer with Super Speed Wash
- Dryer – Samsung 7.4 cu. ft. Smart Electric Dryer with Steam Sanitize
- Laundry detergent – Tide Pods Free and Gentle
- Dye-trapping sheets – Shout Color Catcher Sheets
- Laundry bag for delicates
- Dryer balls
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Use the simple laundry routine you created for a while to see how it works. If you find some areas that need to be changed, you absolutely can switch it up. The point is to be intentional about your plan so that you do not end up with piles of laundry everywhere.
Remember that changes in your family will likely require changes in your laundry routine. If your work schedule changes or you add a new baby, you will probably need to make adjustments, and that’s ok.
With this simple laundry routine, you can go back to enjoying your days and not stressing about this home management task!
Comment below to let me know if this simple laundry routine works for you!