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You would think that two grown, adult-type human beings with a pretty good grasp on basic hygiene wouldn't have any trouble with the whole laundry situation.
Yeah, laundry is probably my most oft-complained about household task. Most likely because it is never.ever.finished. Ever.
Let me just say this.
I'm just so very glad that I married a maintenance guy instead of a suit-wearing button-up fella. Because ironing? Never. It would never happen.
I spent the first two years (okay, okay, almost three), completely buried in piles of laundry. Clean laundry, dirty laundry, laundry with unidentifiable maintenance-man stains (is it grease? tar? poop?!?!)-- just completely buried.
And I complaaaaaained.
And then I started this FlyLady thing.
She encourages the routine of doing one load of laundry a day- from washing to folding to putting away.
It was a big change from my usual routine of "Avoid the Laundry Guiltily until Husband Mentions He Has No Socks, and then Do Laundry until Fingers Bleed. And Whine About It."
Now, honestly, I'm still working on it. I realized after a couple of weeks that we don't actually need to do laundry every day... so I skip a day on Wednesdays, usually. Unless, of course, I've skipped Monday and Tuesday as well.
Working on it.
What I have found is that keeping a basic routine in place of doing laundry all the way through almost every day prevents many "no clean underwear" predicaments. Even if I miss a day in there, or even two, chances are that we're still stocked in socks.
Here are some tricks to this new routine that have helped me out...
1. Start a load in the morning
Really self-explanatory. My laundry "room" (closet?) is in my main bathroom. When I get up, I use the bathroom, wash my face, and then start the laundry.
The biggest hindrance to starting a load of laundry right away is running around the house gathering everything up... so I do that the night before. If I'm doing a load of towels the next morning, I just run through the house and collect towels and rags from every room right before bed. That way, I can start right away in the morning.
2. Switch to the dryer at lunch time, or right after work
I'm really bad at forgetting about the laundry... so I make it a point to include this step in my afternoon routine- to the point of writing it down in the binder. And it prevents rewashing when everything somehow smells mildewy after sitting wet for a day (or... you know, three).
3. Have only two laundry baskets
You heard me.
Here's the idea. If you only have two laundry baskets, you can't do... say, seven loads of laundry without putting any of it away. Not that I've done that. (Yes, I have.) That load waiting in the dryer and holding up the whole production is great motivation to empty that basket with all the folded clothes.
Now, on days when I do sheets (once a week... if I'm on track), I actually do two loads of laundry, so I do need those two baskets.
And laundry baskets are good for lots of other things, like as a substitute for a crib when your baby nephew spends the night. Or to gather up Christmas presents before you get them in the car.
But seriously, do yourself a favor... get rid of the laundry basket with the broken handle that always seems to pinch you, or the one that you have to hold just so to keep the socks from spilling out through that giant hole.
Get two nice laundry baskets. Personally, I really like these laundry baskets- they're not bad to carry up the stairs, and the handles don't pop off. And sturdy enough for Trevor's work pants. So there's that.
It'll make laundry much more enjoyable. Trust me, it's the little things.
4. Set a Timer
I know, I know. It's part of the FlyLady thing- using timers. But honestly, the time it takes to put away a load of laundry in my house? Seriously like a minute and a half. The amount of time I spend pouting about it and avoiding it? At least five minutes. Dumb.
5. Give Yourself Grace
Here's the kicker.
As much as I try to get laundry done daily and put it away and stay on track of my household tasks, life happens. Things get busy, I end up working late or going to Menards with my hubby (all.the.time.) and the schedule suffers. The laundry suffers. Or, I just get worn out and need a night to sit and watch mindless TV for a couple hours in the evening (Andy Griffith is on Netflix- score).
It happens. I get behind. I'm far far from perfect.
So if you realize that you don't have a single clean matching pair of socks, remember that grace thing. It's okay. You've just gotta get back into the swing of things again- it's not the end of the world. In fact, it's not even the downfall of your week. Don't beat yourself up over it.
Just go start the washer.
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