Laundry is one of my least favourite chores, so the last thing I want to do is drag it out all week long. I plan to stick to the all-in-one day method when we have children, if at all possible.
With just my husband and I for now, I’m not a laundry expert. Not yet.
But my mom? She is. She raised six kids and became (among other things) the Master of the Once-a-Week Laundry Method. So this post is her wisdom, not mine.
Here’s how to get all of your laundry done in one day:
1. First thing after breakfast on Monday morning, gather all the dirty laundry and bring it to the laundry room. Growing up, my parents had a hamper in their room, and the kids shared a hamper in the hall closet.
Note: If there are a lot of people in your family, don’t bother with sorting, line drying, or folding socks and underwear. Give each child a large mesh garment bag to collect their dirty socks and underwear in throughout the week. Tie a different-colored shoelace to the zipper of each bag for easy identification. On wash day, zip the bags and toss them in the washer. Dry in the dryer and then distribute to each owner to be put away.
Another note: To cut down on the amount of laundry, we didn’t wash sheets and towels every week.
2. Check pockets and turn clothes inside-out (to preserve the colours and protect the fabric).
3. Quickly sort everything into three piles: Whites, Colors, and Darks. Put the first load in and set a timer that you’ll hear (or you can take with you).
4. The key is to keep things moving, so as soon as you hear that timer go off, go switch out the loads, set the timer again, and hang clean clothes on the line (if it’s a nice day!)
5. Dump clean, dry clothes on the master bed or guest bed. Lay out any clothes that need to be kept wrinkle-free, like dress shirts.
6. After all the laundry is done, fold all the clothes in one fell swoop.
7. Pile clean, folded clothes into laundry baskets (linen closet items in one, kids’ clothes in another, etc.) and ferry them around the house until everything is put away.
Children can help at every stage of the process! Younger kids can learn how to measure out detergent, clean the lint screen, and deliver clean laundry around the house. Older kids can hang clothes on the line and fold clean laundry.
That’s the gist of Mom’s once-a-week method. I love it because it seems simpler to me. You may have to do an emergency load later in the week, but usually, you’re done. You’ve got clean clothes to wear all week, and you avoid the looming threat of a pileup if you miss a day. Laundry day becomes part of the family routine, and everyone knows what to expect and how to help.
If laundry is your nemesis, you might be interested in getting more help in the eBook Taming the Laundry Monster by Angi Schneider. This nifty book helps you plan and implement a laundry system that works for your family’s needs.
If you’d like to give the one load per day method a try, check out these posts from blogs I love:
And here’s a classic from Passionate Homemaking on the once-per-week method: