Out of all the chores that I have to do or have ever had to do, laundry is my LEAST FAVORITE!!! (and this includes castrating my baby pigs when I was a child!)
I always seem to find a way to modify things to make them more enjoyable…just wait until I share how I get ready every morning.
Over the past 17 years of my marriage, my laundry habits have continued to change. As an OCD newlywed, I sorted my laundry into 7 different categories which included…
Bright whites – double detergent and a tiny bit of bleach
Dingy whites – double detergent and a lot of bleach
Towels – detergent, vinegar, and fabric softener
Dark colors – detergent and fabric softener
Light Colors – detergent and fabric softener
Jeans – just detergent, do not dry
Extra dirty cloths – double detergent, vinegar, and fabric softener
After separating, I would wash, dry, hang some to dry, iron, and fold (straight out of the dryer). If I did not fold them right away, I would have a small panic attack!
Seriously!!! I think I was half insane!
Then, after having kids and chillaxing a bit, I would wash them, dry them and throw them on the bed. By the end of the day, I had an entire HUGE pile to fold and iron.
Eventually… I gave up on ironing…all you really have to do is throw it back in the dryer with a couple of ice cubes!
I have tried doing a load every day. This was a no go for me considering some days I would get home from work and have to go somewhere immediately. I don’t know how many loads have gotten left in the washer and had to be rewashed, sometimes twice!
I tried having my kids do it…This was the worst idea of all! Not only was everything put up in the wrong place, sometimes it was left on the floor.
So then I went back to piling it all on my bed and my husband would help me fold it. This was ok, except I don’t think he knew the difference between wadding and folding!
I have gradually developed some habits that have made laundry tolerable.
1.Let go of any and all OCD
It does not have to be folded straight out of the dryer! I promise! It does not make that much difference where you fold it. Trust me, I have been from the far end of the OCD spectrum to being completely carefree and honestly my cloths have not change (except in size).
2.Organize your laundry and folding space first thing
I gather all the laundry from every room and sort it into 4 categories, darks, lights, jeans and white, instead of the irrational 7 loads. If there are a lot of darks I will separate the towels. This laundry cart makes it super easy to gather the clothes from all over the house and sort at the same time. If the kids are home, I make them gather and sort their own clothes. Since I fold on my couch, I gather up all the hangers (all white hangers make a huge difference FYI) and pile them neatly standing up on the floor between the coffee table and couch. This makes it nice and easy to reach down and grab one without having to play a barrel of monkeys! I also gather all my baskets (see below) and set them on the floor in front of the couch. Having everything there and accessible makes for a much easier folding experience.
3.Fold sitting down
This is the best thing ever. I do laundry on the weekends while I am cleaning the house. Getting to take a break from cleaning and sitting down is somewhat of a treat.
4.Turn on your favorite TV Show or a movie while you are folding
This was the best thing that I have ever done. I get my laundry out of the dryer and sit on the couch. I turn on a movie and watch it when I am folding. When I am done folding, I pause it and I don’t get to start again until the next load is done. Sometimes I let a few loads pile up before I sit down to watch! If you continue to watch whatever you are watching, then you are not going to want to fold the next load!
5.Don’t fold socks
Don’t flip out. It is perfectly fine to leave the socks unfolded! Folding them honestly stretches them out, which is not the reason that I don’t fold socks. It is just a bonus. My family has a majority of black socks but they are 50 shades of black due to fading! They are also all different sizes. My son’s socks have to be the exact shade and length. Folding them became a nightmare and I would go into my son’s room and half of them would be unfolded because they didn’t “match”. I have a large basket on top of my dryer, like this one, where I put all of the socks (I actually got this idea from a friend). It is wide and shallow so that it is easy to dig in. When they need socks they know where to get them, and they can pick them out their selves! Every so often, if I am really enjoying the movie I am watching while folding, I will fold the socks, but the majority of the time I don’t!
6.Get everyone their own basket
I don’t know about you, but I love baskets! I have these but I really want these cuter ones. My kids each have there own basket. As I fold, I place the clothes in the individual baskets and when the baskets are full I make my kids put them away. If they are not home I just sit the basket full of folded clothes in there room and they know when they see it, the clothes need to be put away immediately and their basket returned to the laundry room. I have a shelf where they all go. I just use one basket for my hubs and I since I am the one who put them away anyway.
7. Save the easiest load to fold for last
I always save my towels and my throw blankets for last because they are easy to fold and they for sure won’t get left in the dryer because come 9:00, we got to snuggle under a blanket on the couch! An empty dryer makes for a much easier week!!! Let me just give you a scenario of clothes being left in the dryer…My daughter has softball games 3 nights this week. The uniform is clean for the Monday nights game, but come Tuesday night, she is going to want a clean uniform regardless of whether it got dirty on Monday or not. So I run home from work on Tuesday night, throw the uniform in the washer, then throw it in the dryer. Depending on who puts the uniform in the dryer, if there were already clothes in the dryer they would get thrown on my bed if it was me, in the floor if it was my daughter and on the top of the dryer if it was my husband. All of these are bad news! By the time we get home from the ball game, I am tired and I for sure don’t want to fold the clothes that I put on my bed, therefore they get moved to the dresser or the floor if my husband gets there first. If they were thrown in the floor, by my daughter, they are likely to stay there a couple of days in which I feel like they need to be washed again and if they get thrown on top of the dryer, some of the clean clothes end up falling behind the dryer never to be seen again! Worst case scenario is if you come home on your lunch break feeling extra festive and toss a mid-week load into wash, then get home from work and realize that there are clothes in the dryer so you think “I’ll fold those later” then you never do and the ones in the washer get that HORRIBLE mildew smell!!! Get my point on why you should NEVER leave clothes in the dryer!
So there you have it, my habits for making laundry tolerable…just try it…I promise you will love it!!!
This post contains affiliated links, please see my disclosures here.