I hate laundry. When I first heard of a laundry schedule, I scoffed and didn't pay attention.
“As an overwhelmed mom, I can't think about laundry this much, I'll go crazy” I used to think.
When really, I NEEDED that schedule. I had no idea how much my life needed that amount of consistency.
Laundry has always been a pain in my side, something I'd put off as long as I possibly could, and then would be too overwhelmed to actually do it, so it sat in the washer, getting rewashed every day until my husband would move it before it got stinky again.
Back in our cloth diapering days, it was fine. When we did diaper laundry it always needed an extra rinse, or some variation of extra washes . . . so taking all day to do laundry wasn't a big deal. The load always got into the dryer because we always needed diapers.
Now laundry isn't as immediately important as those days, thank goodness.
So it's often forgotten until it IS that immediately important.
And the accidents. With three kids there are always accidents, and not always bathroom accidents.
Sometimes it was spilled food, or playing in the mud, or maybe just a kid who can't stand wearing those pants with that shirt and now they're both dirty right after she tries them on.
Why Do I Need a Family Laundry Schedule?
You wish you were that mom who can keep up with all the laundry, make Pinterest lunches for her kids, and actually remembers when her kid's teacher's birthday is and get her an awesome gift.
But here in reality, that's not possible.
We tried laundry baskets in everyone's room, and they were full to the top before I could get to them.
Then we tried three baskets where my children were supposed to separate their clothes into three different types. Soft clothes (like shirts or leggings), hard clothes (jeans) and towels.
This resulted in them just not putting their clothes away at all. So I would have to go through their rooms and pick up dirty clothes before laundry day.
On the plus side, there were never any overflowing baskets?
Lastly, and most effectively, we are doing a system where I wash a load in the morning and a load in the afternoon and fold throughout the evening or when I find time.
Folding one load of laundry is a thousand times easier than folding the 6 loads you let pile up in your room, on the couch, or in the laundry room. Trust me.
If this is too long and you didn't read, I get it. The folding. No one likes folding.
Grab the printable laundry lists here, so you don't have to make it all the way to the end of this post.
Who Does the Laundry?
You would think you do, always. That's how it's always been, right?
That's how it always was here too, but this changed everything. Instead of people not knowing what laundry they're supposed to do, they look at the list, and complete the day.
My husband now starts laundry if he comes home for lunch, or throws a load in the dryer when he comes home from work.
The children now make sure their clothes are in the baskets, because they know they'll miss out on getting clean clothes if they don't. Because I'm DONE going through their rooms every day.
When Do I Do The Laundry?
Here's the thing, when it's all written down, you don't have to remember to do it. It will get done.
When we were cloth diapering I wrote out the process we go through for diapers on a little piece of cardboard and taped it to the wall next to the washing machine. All of a sudden laundry could be done without me.
Now, my husband is not one who doesn't help out around the house, he does. But maybe it's just too much to figure out what needs to be done, so we just procrastinate.
It doesn't matter now. Those days are behind you.
Another thing that doesn't matter is what day things get done. I put what I like to wash on the days I like to wash them, but you are welcome to change them up.
What was important to me was getting sheets washed once a week and towels done often also.
On Monday I like to do adult bedding and whites. I pair these together because we don't own many whites. So my laundry schedule is easier for me on my busy day of the week.
I strip the bedding in the morning and dry most of the afternoon. Comforters generally take awhile to dry, so I can be out and about while they dry.
Whites are separated during the rest of the week, so I usually have a small pile to wash as well.
I like to do kid's bedding on Tuesday (not Monday) because I lovingly would not want my sheets mixed with theirs.
They always need to be washed separately, so they get a special day.
I used to wash jeans with khakis too ( I realize the err in my ways) but have since separated them, so this usually results in an extra load done this day.
All the towels. We have so many.
Take a walk around the house and grab all the dish towels, wash rags, bath mats, hand towels, decorative towels, and bath towels.
You'll probably have a large pile the first time, but after that you'll have a laundry schedule, so you won't have a collection of fifteen kitchen cloths from all the times you just grabbed a new one and didn't wash the old.
For us, this is the day my three year old goes back to school, and just in time for my sanity.
I wash all their blankets and the blankets on the couches today. By Thursday my son has usually gone through three weeks worth of blankets because he knows where we keep them now.
Kids are great.
By Friday mom sanity is essentially gone. We can't expect much from you today. Take care of yourself. Uniforms and adult clothes. Your husband might even do his uniforms instead of asking you to.
Go take a bath, or practice some self care. Those kids are monsters. Get yourself a break.
Catch up day. You'll need it. We all need it. It's okay to miss a day, or take a day off, or go shopping instead of coming home to dry clothes. I get it. This is why we have this extra day set up.
Day of rest. Finally. Whew. Your washing machine is tired too, so let's give them a break.
I think the best part of this whole process for me was cutting down the overwhelm of folding multiple loads of laundry at once. Although it does mean our drawers are usually super full.
If this is your issue too, here's a video to help you fold things so they're smaller and take up less space. Check it out:
How Do You Implement a New Laundry Routine?
Simple. I printed off these beautiful printables, and I said “we are doing this” and then it was law in my house.
Haaaa, I wish. Isn't that the dream?
Print out whatever plan you want to use (or print a blank and laminate it, and change it as you wish) and tape it to the wall closest to your washer.
Then start following it. Start today. Even if today is the day of rest. Prepare for tomorrow, or start folding clothes to make sure you're getting ahead of the game.
Were you looking for a post about how to actually do laundry? This isn't that. But I got you, here is a post from the New York Times about How to Do Laundry.
When is the Best Time to Do Laundry?
This is a silly question to me.
It's up to you. When do you like to do laundry? When has it not worked out for you?
I like mornings, when I first wake up, because then I am getting an early win on my day, and I can keep rolling that into my next win, and pretty soon I've had a successful day.
I like to stack my easy wins in the morning, such as making the bed and starting a load of laundry. Then by the end of the day I feel like I've been super productive, and that gives me the push to do things like fold that load of laundry.
A Typical Laundry Schedule
|Start a load of laundry
|Move to dryer, start second load
|Move second load to dryer, first load to be folded
|Put all clothes away, after folded
My best tips for this is to understand you'll be folding in the evening. This is essential to completing a load a day.
I often put my daughter's clothes on her bed so she can put them away, and I leave my husband's clothes on the bed for him to fold, or I fold them and let him put them away himself.
Laundry Schedule PDF
I created this beautiful collection of laundry schedules so you can create the perfect schedule for your family. Check it out below, then add your information so I can send it over.