April 13, 2022
How to Automate Your Laundry Routine
Is it possible to automate your laundry routine? I think so! Let’s see if a little automation would help you. Let me preface this by saying I am not a laundry perfectionist, I am far from it, but these “automations” have helped me immensely through the years and I know that they can help you too.
If you can say yes to two or more of the following statements, I can assure you that a little automation will be helpful in staying on top of the laundry.
- You have never reached laundry zero (nothing to wash).
- You search through the dirty clothes to find something ’not too bad’.
- You wash everyone’s clothes in the house without help.
- You search through baskets and piles for clean clothes.
- Hanging up and folding clothes takes f-o-r-e-v-e-r.
- Laundry is overwhelming and you’ll do just about anything to avoid it.
My favorite laundry tip of all time? DO A LOAD A DAY!
One load a day from start to finish is all it takes to simplify the laundry. I know that this sounds like a lot or like it’s going to be a time suck. In reality, a load or two of laundry a day takes minutes compared to how long it takes when you let it pile up and do it all at once. Doubtful? Time it the next time and see how long it takes.
HOW TO MAKE THIS WORK FOR YOU:
If you’re skeptical or not sure where to start, here are a couple ideas to make this work for your home. Just choose one thing and try it and tweak it for you.
- Collect all the laundry in the house at the end of the day or just have one hamper in the laundry room and wash what’s in that daily. With three kids we easily have a load of laundry every day, some days there are multiple loads. (This is not the method I use, I prefer the below method, but a lot of people use this method!)
- Don’t separate the kids’ clothes into whites and darks, just toss it all in on cold. I’ve never had any issues with color transfer with this method. The two big kids fold their own clothes and put them away – this is extremely helpful! Use the summer to teach your kids how to do their own laundry.
- For my husband and myself I do separate clothes (whites, darks, workout wear) and we each have our own hamper so our clothes are washed separately. We both work out quite a bit so I usually have a load of workout clothes for each of us weekly too.
- If you work outside of the home, set your washer to start an hour or so before you get up in the morning. Once you get up, toss it in the dryer and fold before leaving or when you get home.
- Don’t have enough laundry for a load a day? Try doing a load every other day or every third day.
A couple more Laundry Tips:
- Plan out your laundry – put it on a schedule and do your best to keep up with it. Just putting it on a schedule is automation! Our Laundry Schedule – followed loosely but it’s helpful, we have five in our family so everyone gets a ‘laundry day’, starting with my husband on Monday, myself on Tuesday, our oldest on Wednesday, our middle child on Thursday, our youngest child on Friday, and sheets and towels on Saturday. This gives us a framework and a goal for what to wash and when to wash it. Go here for a free Laundry Schedule printable.
- Use simple and safe laundry products – I love using laundry products that really work and simplify the laundry process. If you’re looking for an easier, better way to do laundry, you need to try my Laundry Detergent Spray. Pair it with Oxygen Whitener for the cleanest laundry ever! Go here to see all of the laundry products in the shop!
- Automate your laundry products and set up a subscription – as far as home care goes, nothing is much worse than running out of your favorite detergent when you need to do laundry. I offer subscriptions for all of the consumable goods in my shop. Subscribe and save 15% on every order AND get discounted shipping too! You can get orders monthly, every 6 weeks and quarterly.
- Hang shirts using the fold-over method – start with a stack of clean shirts and use this method. This is the only way I hang up shirts – the kids do this too, it works and it streamlines hanging up shirts.
- Grab your hangers – have them all facing the same way (it’s easier to quickly hang the clothes this way).
- Put a hanger on the first item on top of the stack.
- Fold the hanger over so it’s still on the stack but not hung up.
- Keep going until everything in the stack is on a hanger.
- Hang up the stack.
- Use 1/4 cup white vinegar in lieu of fabric softener and wool dryer balls instead of dryer sheets. This is an awesome and economical swap for safe and natural laundry. I also add a couple drops to wool dryer balls (they’ll be back next month!) to make the laundry smell delightful. Find my essential oil blends here in the shop.
- Fold your towels the same way. Choose one way to fold them and stick with it.This keeps it consistent and takes out any guesswork. Here’s my method:
- Lay flat and smooth out towel.
- Fold in thirds lengthwise.
- I fold bath towels in thirds again.
- Hand towels and wash cloths get folded in half to fit in our cupboards – you might want to fold in thirds, depending on your space.
- Stack on shelves for easy access.
Your turn – how do you automate laundry?
I scheduled my laundry a few years ago. Now if you tell me the day of the week, I can tell you what will be washed. The only thing that can be up in the air is the clothes that my husband wears to mow the yard and do yard work – that gets washed whatever day he uses it to help deal with allergens.
Your tip “do one load per day” literally changed my life. I was swamped with laundry, doing it faithfully twice per week (Weds and Sundays) for two busy kids, my husband and me. Was not working. Too much laundry. I would feel frustrated and overloaded with the chore.
Thanks to you, I now do whites OR darks, one load per day. The key part for me of your tip was to do the laundry from start to finish – ie, put it all away once folded or ready for hanging. You have truly truly helped with a huge task that I dreaded.
Love your blog, love the printouts. I have an enviably clean home and do not feel bogged down. Thanks a million!!
Clean Mama SaysPost author
Aw, love this, thanks so much Marlot! Happy laundering!
Gayle Minkus Says
I set up my schedule to allow some forgiveness. First load of the day is always a perm press cycle (white, color, dark, or jeans), and a second or even third load of anything that can sit in the washer for a bit so I can take care of it at a better time that day (kitchen or bath towels, sheets, pajamas, undies white or undies dark, cleaning rags, etc.) I’m careful to watch for the perm press cycle to end to avoid excess wrinkling, but the next load is always one I can tackle later in the day when time allows. (The perm press tumble to release any wrinkles while I start the next load, then they are hung to dry.) Whichever basket looks like a load gets done, so laundry gets done daily on a most needed basis. Laundry fits seamlessly into the Clean Mama system. Thank you soooo much!
Jeanne Luddeni Says
I wash everyday and I’m one person. I have tons of hobbies and everything gets messy. I never separate my clothes and nothing happens thank goodness. I’m decluttering like mad this year of 2022 and miss a thing. I’m loving it. Thank you for nudging me.
It has taken me years to finally have a laundry system that works for us and the one thing I did with the most impact was to declutter our wardrobes. We had far more clothing then anyone needs and it always ended up with either an entire weekend washing or digging through baskets of clean laundry to get dressed.
Ever since downsizing our wardrobes life is simple. I have 4 small laundry hampers. One for towels or sheets, one for our 2 youngest children, and one for our older daughter. The laundry load done each time is whichever basket that is full. There are some days I don’t do a load because there isn’t a basket full enough. When I do it gets washed as I get up,flipped to the dryer before leaving for work, and put away when I get home.
This has been life-changing!!!
My laundry schedule will depend on what is getting washed. All of my work shirts which make up the majority of my clothing during the week will go into the machine on a cold wash, delicate cycle. These are then hung up in the shower to finish drying due to being of synthetic material and I am in a tiny one-bedroom apartment.
All of my socks, undies, work trousers/pants, and non-delicates just go into my washer/dryer for an anti-allergy wash and dry with extra sun drying. These allow me to do an overnight cycle (it runs for a bit over 5 hours) or a during the day cycle on the weekend, and things can go into the basket or are put straight away when they come out.
When it comes to linens, I only have one sheet for my bed in total! So when I first wake, I’ll strip the bed and my pillowcases and put them in the machine for an anti-allergy wash and dry cycle. While that is happening, I tackle rotating the mattress and vacuuming what needs doing. When the cycle finishes, I tackle putting the fitted sheet back on the bed along with the pillowcases. If my blanket needs washing, it goes into the machine at this time, otherwise, I just remake the bed and it’s all done. While only having one set of bedding was a choice due to storage, I have found it simplifies the process because everything started definitely needs to be finished if I want somewhere to sleep at the end of the day. It’s been a great routine for me.
I have had specific days assigned to specific people for years so I can vouch for this method! I cycle through the family members then the linens, etc. One bonus of doing new load every day that you didn’t mention is that if you have something that needs washing before its “day” you will usually have a load you can throw it into. If my son gets spaghetti on a white shirt on “Towels Day” then I throw the shirt in with towels. And like you, I’ve never once had a problem with colors and whites together.
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I automated our laundry several years ago. I bought two hanging sorter carts and we sort our laundry as we remove our clothes for the day. Mondays are sheets and towels, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursdays are whites, lights and darks. Fridays are items like the couch and ottoman covers or rugs and bathmats, and Saturday and Sundays are my husband’s work clothes and then cleaning rags. My laundry room is no longer a wreck and we always have clean clothes. Doing a load from start to finish is life changing!! Bonus…I never iron anymore ????
I’m a empty nester and although my girls did their own laundry and my husband did his own when the kids were growing up, I’m always learning new things, the vinegar is an AWESOME idea. The top of my washer is stained blue from the dripping of the fabric softener. Thank you for your wonderful website.
Clean Mama SaysPost author
Washing a load a day works for me. I usually set it the night before and program to finish before waking up. This has been very helpful for me.