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Doing laundry. Not everybody’s favorite household chore. But it’s most of the time a necessary evil, especially with a big family. So we want to make it as pleasant and not in the least, as quickly as possible. Let’s bring in the laundry schedule.
First of all, I want to make clear, I do everybody’s laundry in our household. I know there are families where the kids do their own laundry, sometimes from a very young age. And I applaud that, kids need to learn basic skills like that before they leave the house and go live on their own, whether it be college or running their own household.
We have taught our kids how to put on a load of laundry and fold clothes. However, for our family and household, I find it more economical to do bigger loads of laundry and have everybody’s clothes together in the washing machine, instead of each of us doing their own smaller loads and possibly fight for the washing machine to be available.
Throughout the years, I tried different approaches to tackle doing the laundry. I have done laundry every day, by washing at least a load each day. And that was a good tactic, especially when the kids were younger and more clothes got dirty by playing outside and spilling their food and lemonade.
But now we have teens, I resorted to doing our laundry once a week. Everybody in our family knows I wash, dry, and iron & fold at the weekend. I already start on Friday evening.
8 Practical Steps to Save Time on Your Laundry Schedule
Of course, every mom has her own laundry routine. I want to share with you my laundry schedule and how I organize doing my laundry in the hope I can help you ease this chore a little bit and save time too.
Step 1: Laundry baskets
Upstairs on the landing at our house, we have 3 laundry baskets with a lid, for darks, colors, and whites. The kids sort their dirty clothes in the different baskets after getting ready for bed. We have bigger hampers in the bathrooms for towels and washcloths and some dirty clothes as well.
This works perfectly because the kids already sort their laundry by color in the different baskets. Everyone is also responsible to empty their own pockets. We agreed that this needs to be visible somehow to me that that is done. So we close the button and zipper on the garment as a way to show that nothing is in their pockets anymore and I can safely throw their jeans and hoodies in the washing machine. Of course, once in a while, I do a double-check, to make sure there is nothing left behind.
Step 2: Pick a laundry day
I only do laundry on one day of the week. Saturday is laundry day at our house. Everybody knows that and if you need something to be clean for the following week (like the kids need their gym clothes for example), they better have it in the hamper by Friday night.
I don’t do extra smaller loads during the week. Saturday works best for us at the moment, but sometimes I have so much that it flows over to Sunday. I hate doing laundry every day of the week because I feel like I’m never finished and I’m always behind.
Step 3: Sorting your laundry
On Friday evening, I take the 3 laundry baskets from our landing and the bigger hampers from the bathrooms to the laundry room and sort out the different piles.
I take out sportswear, delicates, and jeans. Also towels and washcloths are its own pile. This way I can have these piles washed on their suitable program and temperature. When I end up with smaller piles I see what I can put together after all and choose the washing program for the most delicate clothes.
To give them a chance to go through their rooms again and add some left behind socks or t-shirts to the laundry piles, I give my kids a last reminder that tomorrow is laundry day. There is always someone that has something that needs to be washed.
Step 4: Start early
If you want to do all of your washing, drying, and ironing & folding on one day, you better start early. That’s why I already start on Friday evening with the sorting to have everything ready for laundry day.
These days, we have a washing machine with a timer, so I can set up the first load to be ready when I wake up on Saturday morning. It’s a matter of loading the washing machine on Friday evening and setting the timer. This makes all the difference, so it was a requirement when we bought a new washing machine a while back.
When you’re not that lucky with a timer on your washing machine, you can always set your alarm and wake up a bit earlier to press start on your washing machine first thing in the morning. Have the load in the machine already ready to go.
Step 5: Drying your laundry
If it’s possible and you have space and time, you can dry your laundry outside. It saves energy and is better for your wallet too. However, I dry most of our clothes in the dryer. In the Norwegian climate, we don’t have much time to put everything outside. Besides, I want to be ready with our laundry in one day.
Our dryer and washing machine can operate simultaneously. If you don’t have a dryer or your appliances can’t run at the same time, you can always dry on a drying rack in a warm and ventilated room. Also, not every piece can go into the dryer. Those garments I dry on a drying rack in our laundry room.
Whenever a load is ready, I take it out of the dryer, fold it a bit already so I have the least amount of creases, which saves me time with the ironing.
Step 6: Folding and ironing
I have chosen a day to do the laundry where I can handle the dry clothes right away. I rather fold and maybe iron each load straight from the dryer and spread it out during the day, than to have to fold and iron (even more because of creases) in one long session.
That’s why I put my iron board in my workroom on Saturday when I don’t need the room for my work. I use the 2 tables I have there to collect all folded and ironed clothes.
And because I don’t need the room otherwise, I can just leave everything until the next load is ready to be folded and ironed.
Step 7: Sorting clean clothes
When you have the space like I do you can sort the clean, ironed, and folded clothes right away. Make piles for each family member with pants, shirts and sweaters, and underwear. It makes it easier when putting away your clean clothes.
Step 8: Putting the clean clothes away
When everything is ready and I have the different piles with clean clothes for every family member, I take it upstairs to their bedrooms right away. I just put it on their beds for themselves to put it in their closets.
A few extra tips to save even more time
- Always have a waste bin in the laundry room for the lint from the dryer and the used dryer sheets. Keeps you from ending up with a messy laundry room or having to walk to the kitchen every time.
- Kinda fold your clothes a little when they come out of the dryer. You need less time and effort to iron afterward.
- Wash your socks in a mesh bag to avoid missing socks and mismatched pairs. Hang this mesh bag in your laundry baskets for dirty clothes already.
- To avoid missing or mismatched socks, you can always buy the same design of socks. In the winter the higher kind and in the summer the ankle socks.
- To cut down on drying time, let your clothes go for an extra spin in the washing machine. I do it all the time and my washing machine and dryer are in sync! This keeps the process going all day long.
- Washing on a lower temperature saves you time and energy. And except when your clothes are really dirty, you don’t always need the warmer temps.
- Have a little box or bowl in your laundry room where you can put in those rare items that are left in the pockets.
- And when you are wondering what all those washing labels mean, you can check the ultra guide to care labels from the Extra Mile
This is my laundry schedule and how I organize doing my laundry with these 8 steps in mind. I feel finished for the week and there are clean clothes in everybody’s closet come Monday.
Hi, I’m your time managing and organizing best friend. I am a mom of 3 teenagers and married to my best friend.
I love to show you as a working mom myself, how to juggle your time using routines & schedules and give you time managing tips.