March 1, 2015
Laundry Day vs. Laundry Every Day – Two Methods that Really Work
Laundry is always a hot topic – either you think you have the perfect method or you are desperately looking for a better or more efficient way to tackle the mountains of clothes that need to be washed, folded, and put away. I am always looking for the simplest and most efficient ways to tackle homekeeping and while I have a great method for doing laundry in our home, I thought I’d break down two methods that really work. Try one or try them both – the goal is to get away from baskets of laundry in-process.
First things first….
- Love your laundry care items. If you are unhappy with the performance of your detergent, softener, and/or stain remover, find something that you love and enjoy using.
- Tidy up your laundry room/area. Eliminate anything that you don’t need, doesn’t work, etc. and clean this hard-working space.
- Have enough, but not too many laundry baskets. My recommendation is one per person, one for cleaning rags, one for bath towels. The more baskets you have, the more unfolded laundry you’ll accumulate.
- Figuring out ways to make laundry simpler is key – what will make the laundry process a little easier in your home? A couple things I do to make things easier? White towels throughout the house. They’re easier to launder – I wash them on hot and with chlorine-free bleach or oxygenated bleach and NO fabric softener. Purchase the same type and color of kids’ socks and put them in a basket in a dresser drawer, un-matched and un-folded.
- Involve the family! Even little ones can help with laundry. Teach your kids how to fold and put away their clothes and with consistency and practice, they’ll learn how to manage their laundry on their own. It’s a win-win!
Method #1 | Laundry Day
If you’d rather have all your laundry done and every laundry basket emptied out on the same day, this is the method for you. If you get home from work at 6pm and don’t want to do anything house-related, you are probably better off doing laundry on your day off or on the weekends. If we’ve had a particularly crazy week or if we’ve been out of town, sick, or just haven’t gotten to the laundry in a couple days, this is how I quickly work through the baskets. Here’s the most efficient way to tackle LAUNDRY DAY:
- Gather all the laundry in the house and put the baskets or hampers within reach of the laundry room. Line them up in order of what’s going in the washing machine first to last. My recommendation is to start with adult clothes – do one load of whites and one load of darks per adult. You could also combine these clothes into two loads instead of 4. Next in line is the kids’ laundry (one basket per child – no sorting, all of it goes in the same load on COLD). After all the clothing has been washed, it’s time for sheets, towels, and finally cleaning rags.
- While each loading is washing and drying, fold, hang, and put away each and every load as soon as it comes out of the dryer. Depending on wash and drying time, this will most likely go on all day long, but it just takes minutes to fold and put away the clothing in between each load.
- Once the laundry is done, run a cleaning cycle on the washing machine and leave the door open and walk away from the laundry room until next week.
Method #2 | Laundry Every Day
My preferred method is a do a load or two of laundry every single day. If you are easily overwhelmed by laundry (like me!) embracing a load of laundry every day is really the way to go. I would rather spend 10 minutes or so folding and putting away a single load every day vs. trying to do the laundry all on one day. Again, this is my preference and here’s the most efficient way to tackle laundry EVERY DAY:
- The key to making this process really work is to take one load of laundry from dirty to folded and put away every day. You might think that you’re too busy to try this method but I think this method could surprise you. Am I saying that this is the only way to do laundry? No, but if you struggle with finding time to do all the laundry and can’t seem to get the laundry from the dryer to put away, you might want surprisingly easy way to simplify the task.
- Start by figuring out a simple laundry schedule of what gets washed on each day of the week. I have a flexible laundry schedule because I know that the minute I try to make something permanent it’ll get changed. Here’s my flexible laundry schedule: M-W (kids’ clothes – each child on a day or if there’s smaller loads, I throw it all together and turn it into one load.) Thursday-Friday I wash adult clothing – separated by whites and colors. Saturday is sheets and towels day and I usually will launder cleaning rags at the end of laundry on Saturday and then run the washing machine’s cleaning cycle.
- Short on time? Put a load of clothes in at night and set your machine (if you have the option) to run at 4 or 5 am. Put those clothes in the dryer right away when you get up and fold before you leave in the morning or in the evening before bed.
Looking for more laundry and cleaning routine posts? I have some great posts in the archives, here are a few you might enjoy…
6 Things I Do Every Day to Keep the House Clean
All about the Clean Mama Cleaning Routine
How to naturally clean your washing machine
My recipe for Homemade Laundry Detergent
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Sara Ashmore Says
I also do method #2 to tackle my laundry. But I I have my laundry separated into: darks, lights, colors (like reds/yellows) and jeans. Do you wash your jeans with your darks? I am always worried the jean fabric will wear out my other fabrics if they are washed together. But if I could combine loads to save time that would be awesome. Thanks!
Becky SaysPost author
I wash jeans with darks and haven’t experienced any issues 🙂
Sara, I do keep my jeans separate. I have a couple pair that despite being close to a year old, still bleed quite a bit…haven’t figured out why. While the denim fabric doesn’t cause a problem when washed with others like I used to, I did noticed problems with small holes in items that weren’t quite at sturdy. I think that even though I was zipping up and securing metal closures, they were still getting snagged. So for me, I’ll keep them separate (it solved the problem). I do have enough jeans and denim items though to do 2 maybe 3 loads on their own, but everything else gets combined whenever I can.
If you wash your new jeans with some vinegar. It will set the color and they will no longer bleed
We have one Laundry day also because California is on its third year of no significant rain. You’re doing a big load versus several little loads. And we’re adults we’re pretty clean.
I do a combination of both methods. My husband does his own laundry all in one day. Some clothes are dried in the dryer and others are hung. When hanging space is available I do my laundry. All my clothes are hung to dry. Sheets and towels are done the next day. Folding and putting clothes away is done for once everything dries. It is just the of us and we have enough clothes to do laundry every other week. It works for us.
Joanna Devoy Says
I wash daily, all our clothes go into our laundry basket in our bathroom, they all go in on a 60 degree wash, then out on the line to dry or on airers in the bathroom (warmest room in the house)… Then folded and popped into the drawers that evening or the following day… When it all starts again – don’t get me started on ironing though! 🙁
Kim Faltys Says
I’m looking for a good laundry stain remover that works on most stains and can use on colored clothing.
Becky SaysPost author
Grease spots I use chalk (white) to absorb the grease, I spot-treat with liquid detergent, and if something is set-in I use oxi-clean. 🙂
I second the use of oxiclean! I use it or all of my dirty kids laundry. But I also used it last week to get red PERMANENT marker out of my brand new couches. It was a life saver.
heather how did you apply on the couch? was it powder or gel/spray?
I have a laundry day (Sunday!) because my schedule is too varied on the weekdays otherwise. It’s definitely not too hectic, unless I sleep in too much! But this does have some really good tips.
Jennifer Farnham Says
i am doing laundry everyday but there’s no real method to it…when you do kids laundry are you throwing all laundry together … No separating … I usually separate but do everything on cold . Interested in hearing
I love love love the color in this laundry room! Does anyine know the source?
I do whites everyday- we have three small kids. I wash and hand dry my husbands work clothes once a week and then iron those. The rest of the clothes I put in daily . I tried to load the washing machine at night and delay the start so I can throw it in the dryer in the morning. That is a huge help.
What brand/model of washing machine and dryer do you use? pros/cons?
Becky SaysPost author
I have a Whirlpool Duet washer + dryer and I love them!
Anyone have a recipe for a natural Fabreze type of product – a fabric freshener?
sarah o Says
with community laundry… laundry day is the only way for me. otherwise i’ll forget loads in there overnight & such. and although I’m usually hogging one of each machine all day Saturday, I think that’s less annoying for the neighbors than leaving my stuff in there unattended all the dang time!
I wash all clothes in cold water in my house so that we don’t have to worry about separate loads. Towels and sheets get hot water and high heat in the dryer. It makes washing clothes so much easier when you don’t have to worry about sorting. We have one hamper for clothes and another one for towels (It’s just me and my husband).
I have 3 baskets : lights colors, dark colors, towels/rags and things like that. When the basket is full, I put it in the machine, than hang to dry (we use the drying machine only for towels/rags/sheets in winter) overnight and fold the next night, when we do the next laundry.
We usually have 2 loads of dark, 1 small of light, 1 of towels and we change sheets every second week. Is not every day, it’s only when it’s a full load.
Tracy Yarbrough Says
question: those of you that say you gather everything in the morning & wash together, does that include underwear? Do you wash underwear on cold also?
I do a combination of the two. I do laundry M-F daily as needed. I don’t like doing large loads and I have an HE washer, so I don’t have to worry about wasting water on smaller loads, so I generally wash a load once my basket gets about half full (which equals to a 75% load).
Then I have three laundry days.
Wed: sheets, microfiber towels and kitchen sponges, and one load of bath/hand/face towels
Fri: baby clothes (I only have one, so it’s never a huge load anyway, but includes her bibs and whatnot. Her bedding gets washed on Weds with our bedding)
Sat: other load of bath/hand/face towels and any uniform (Navy) items from the week that aren’t washed from a daily load.
I sort very little and loads are easy. Baby has her own basket, nothing is sorted after it’s been handwashed once to check for bleeding. Then we have a basket for microfiber towels and sponges that lives in the laundry room. Upstairs we have a four bag sorter for darks, whites (socks and my husband’s workout shirts. That’s it. It’s the smallest load ever), terrycloth towels, and then jeans/uniforms. I will wash jeans or uniforms with the darks if I don’t have enough for a load, but I like to do the on their own. I find that the stupid Heatsense thing on my dryer works better when I do so, and our shirts seem to last longer. Even washed on cold, they often end up with fading or worn fabric no matter what type of load I wash them on.
The only clothes I ever wash on their own are my bras. I wash those on their own in laundry bags on the delicate cycle and then hang them to dry. I don’t buy many delicate clothing items, or fancy underthings or items that have special washing instructions and ironing rules. We keep our clothes very easy. We also wear pretty much all black. It was a preference we each had and it’s just taken over our wardrobe. Makes laundry super easy though.
we have had two branf new w/d units in the past two years (moved from an apt with a new one to a new house) and i keep winding up getting grease spots on my clothes that didnt have them before i put them in the wash. Like i put in clothes with no spots on thrm that are just dirty from wear and tear and tgey come out with grease stains. nothing left in pockets. have tried a few different detergents, extra rinses, often aaddoxiclean ti my loads. what am i doing wrong? help! im ruining lots of our clothes 🙁
Becky SaysPost author
I would contact your manufacturer and see what they say – I would try changing detergent brands too.
When I go to bed at night all my laundry is done. I hate seeing laundry pile up and it makes my life easier.. My kids always say we only need one outfit because its back to them within a couple hours. Easier to put one out fit away then a bunch.. We don’t have any white clothes so everything goes in together and we reuse towels and I do towels twice a week. Easy enough.
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sheldon wilkie Says
I notice you don’t seem to do any ironing.When I wash and dry my shirts or jeans I would normally iron them.Whats your opinion Becky.
b r SaysPost author
If I get the clothes out of the dryer quickly I don’t have to iron 🙂
Laurie S Says
I’m new to this blog – found it through the Friday Favorites linkup. I’m going to glean every bit of cleaning help I can get! I prescribe to the 1 load of laundry every day (or almost every day). I have 2 laundry baskets – dirty and clean. I don’t want to mix my clean clothes in a basket where stinky, dirty clothes have been. And every so often I wipe out the baskets w/ a disinfecting spray/wipe.
b r SaysPost author
Great tip – welcome!
New to your site~ Love it! Thank you! Why do you use the cold temp? I don’t sort colors and I use the warm setting. Hot setting for towels/linens. The glitch in my flow is the dryer takes FOREVER! It’s been checked 2x, cleaned out all lint/vent areas, apparently we have a “long vent connection” from the dryer to the outside. My dryer runs hot. My dryer’s “quick dry” feature hasn’t worked in 7 years. The quick wash one rocks!
b r SaysPost author
Hi Katie! Thank you for your kind words – welcome! I just use the cold for the kids clothes so the whites stay bright and don’t have any color transfer 🙂
We are family of 5. I am a stay at home mom. I started the one load a day. No more, no less. So if anyone wants something specific washed, it needs to make it into the load I’m washing for the day. I wash almost everything together on warm/cold cycle. Towels go on hot. But that’s not all. I used to struggle keeping my house tidy all the time. I wanted my my home to be “company ready” at all times. And I wanted my husband to come home to a clean house everyday. Laundry used to discourage me. Just looking at it all, I didn’t know where to start. After starting the method, I couldn’t believe how accomplished I felt by actually doing something in the house from start to finish. I used to “do everything” yet I would get NOTHING done. My feeling of accomplished had me wanting more of it. Now, I have a cleaning schedule for all of my cleaning. My toddlers are on a nap and sleep schedule, and my house has stayed clean daily for almost 2 months. It may not seem like a big deal, but for me it feels awesome. 🙂
b r SaysPost author
That is SUCH a big deal! Thank you for sharing your success! Happy homekeeping 🙂
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