Even if I don’t count the cloth diapers, I feel like our laundry has doubled since my daughter was born. Adding just that one little six-pounder in December has made laundry border on unmanageable. It may have something to do with her excessive spit-up problem during the first six months, or maybe that girl clothes are so darn cute that I don’t mind changing her outfit for a little drool.
Either way, I often feel like I can’t keep up with it. Diapers usually jump to the front of the line because they are a necessity. And the kids’ clothes are pretty easy to do. So what does that mean? The adult laundry is the last priority. It’s only when my husband innocently asks if he has any clean undershirts hiding anywhere that I put a rush on our clothes. Needless to say, I wear too many clothes that are “clean-ish” and dig way to the back of my closet to find something to wear (that fits too).
So when we walked in a couple days ago after a two-week vacation, our suitcases loaded with dirty clothes, a panicky feeling overcame me and I decided something had to change. Summer’s ending, preschool is starting and I even saw some leaves changing today. Now is a great time to turn over a new leaf. That leaf is my new laundry schedule.
I decided that I needed to have a plan instead of just throwing in loads here and there. And this is what I came up with:
Monday: Diapers + daughter
Tuesday: Kitchen towels, washcloths, bibs + son
Wednesday: Parent darks
Friday: Parents whites + a kid’s load of whatever needs it
Saturday: catch-up + anything that comes up (a three-year-old not making it to the potty, perhaps)
Sunday: Sheets + towels
My goal is to make each day manageable. Instead of doing twelve loads on a given day, I am going to try to do a little each day. And by keeping it consistent, I’m hoping we won’t run out of clean clothes as often. But I am open to changing it as I figure out what works for us and what doesn’t.
I’m also setting a couple of new rules for myself:
- Drying and folding go together…always. When they come out of the dryer, they get folded and put away. This is going to be a hard one for me, but I’m going to give it a go.
- Don’t put the kids laundry together. Unless it’s a really small load, sorting after it’s clean will take up extra time.
- Invest in a couple of new laundry baskets. Then at least if the clean diapers don’t get stuffed right away, there is another one available for holding dirties or taking clean clothes to the appropriate room.
- Start the designated laundry for the day before I go downstairs. Our upstairs laundry room is great, but when I go downstairs to start the day, I often forget about the laundry. So by getting it started first thing in the morning, I think I can stay on top of it.
What are your tips for keeping laundry from taking over your life? How do cloth diapers fit into the mix?
Sarah is a mom of two and blogs about her adventures in motherhood, cloth diapering and everything in between. Catch her “Cloth Diapering Unwrapped” series on the FuzziBunz blog every Tuesday.