During my five years of marriage pre-kids, I was a laundry goddess. I had such a precise routine down and hardly ever fell behind. I mean, c’mon, it was laundry for TWO. Throw a load in before work every morning and put away later that evening. So simple. After buying our house, we converted our third bedroom into the laundry space and moved our machines up and out of the murky
Little did I know we’d soon have three little squishy additions and laundry would become this beast of a thing, taunting me as it sat in heaping piles around the house. My amazing mom and mother-in-law worked effortlessly at helping us keep up with laundry for five. In the early days after bringing my triplet girls home from the NICU, I never did a single load — our moms did it all. Then the time came when I was forced to make my brain figure out how to take care of my house and my children.
It’s been a few months and, thankfully, I’ve fallen into a decent routine. I’ve found that there are daily habits and even some laundry room hacks that contribute to my laundry survival.
So if you feel like your routine needs a serious overhaul, take a look at this list and see if any of my habits/tricks could give it a boost.
1. Start a load every morning.
This daily habit ensures you’ll get at least one load done per day.
If you’re an early riser like me, you’ll probably appreciate hearing the swish and churn of clothes being washed in the background as you sip your coffee in your one moment of peace before the small ones wake up. I started doing this before kids and am so glad it’s stuck. It keeps you on your laundry A-game throughout the week, and then you can enjoy your weekend instead of spending it catching up.
2. Follow the one-touch rule (to the best of your ability).
Before I even go here, give yourself some grace, Mamas.
Sometimes at the end of the day my house looks like someone picked it up, shook really hard, and set it back down. We all have days where we just can’t keep it together.
But as best you can, use the one-touch rule. Don’t leave anything undone.
Example: My triplets each take five bottles a day. We use four bibs per feed (my messy girl doubles up). With three babies taking a bottle five times a day, that’s 20 bibs per day. And that’s not even counting the wipeable bibs for each solid-foods meal. As silly as it sounds, if I don’t make an effort to get them into the hamper immediately, bibs will be sprinkled around my house like confetti. Instead, all the dirty clothes, including bibs, are in the hamper ready to go for a morning load. I don’t waste my time hunting for clothes that may or may not be dirty, and I also don’t lose my mind because my house is a mess all the time.
These little things start to add up and if you deal with them as you go, there will be less of a mess at the end of the day.
3. Wash your washer.
Yep, I said it. You actually need to clean the machine that cleans your clothes. My favorite way to do this is with white vinegar and bleach. The tutorial here at One Good Thing By Jillee is my favorite (she has a link for cleaning front loaders, too).
The best part about this is your clothes come out smelling better after cleaning your washer! Mine do every time. I try to clean mine four times a year (once per season), and I add it as an event in my phone calendar so I won’t forget!
4. Utilize laundry room hacks.
Whether you have a Pinterest-perfect laundry room or just a hallway laundry closet, these items can add some pretty and practical to your space.
Apothecary Jars from Wal-Mart
A friend of mine makes her own powdered detergent and mentioned her apothecary jars. Since I use powder detergent (for cloth diapering) along with liquid, I decided to spruce up my detergent shelf. I found the jars in the home-goods section, and they were around $7 and $11. Not a high price for some pretty! I love the look it gives my space. If you use liquid detergent, you could consider using a beverage dispenser.
PRESSA Hanging Dryer from IKEA
When I was pregnant, my mom and I made a trip to Ikea to stock up on some nursery items. I grabbed a few of these hanging dryers thinking they would be good for small baby things. I have been so in love with them! Cloth diapering mamas, you need PRESSA in your life. That’s sixteen diapers hanging vertically to dry. So much space saved! I also use it for air-drying baby toys, Wubba-Nub pacis, lovey blankets, and other small items that can’t be dried. At $5 a piece, they’re worth every cent.
They aren’t just for baby bottoms! I keep a travel-pack of wipes tucked in a basket above my dryer for wiping up lint dust and keeping the control panels and tops of my machines clean. I prefer the Target Up & Up brand in the “fresh cucumber” scent. But you can use whatever you have! Wiping your machines down once a week makes a big difference.
5. Keep your laundry space clean.
Take pride in your work space, whether you have a room or a lone cabinet. Untangle your hangers (and for the love of all that’s good, use plastic ones, NOT wire). Fold clothes when they’re done drying. Wipe up lint dust. I know for me, if my laundry room is a mess and gross and unorganized, I don’t even want to go in. I feel like before I can do any laundry I will need to address the problem at hand, which will take way too much time I don’t have, which means clothes stay dirty! Keep your space clean so you can stay on top of your laundry.
Let’s be honest, ladies, doing laundry isn’t the most glamorous thing ever, but staying on top of it is one way to love and serve your family well. I hope I’ve made that a little easier for you!