inside: how to conquer your mountain of laundry once and for all
So how did the first week of the You Can Have a Clean House While Homeschooling challenge go for you? Are your dishes clean?
This last week we focused on cleaning the dishes after every meal. So you should be caught up on the dishes with a reasonably tidy kitchen. If not, go wash your dishes right now and then come back. I promise I’ll wait!
One Load a Day Keeps the Mountain of Laundry Away
This week we’re moving on to the second week of the You can Have a Clean House While Homeschooling challenge. And we’re focusing on laundry.
Have you noticed how quickly dirty clothing piles up? Skip laundry for a couple of days and suddenly you’ve realized Mount Everest is starting to grow in your laundry room. The sheets pile up. Kids begin to dive into the pile of dirty laundry searching for a pair of socks.
No one has clean clothes to wear.
The solution is simple though. Wash, dry, fold, and put away one load a day.
If you’re behind on the wash, plan a day just to get caught up. My favorite technique, learned from my mom, is to let the kids watch TV to their hearts’ content.
HOWEVER they have to fold and put away laundry as they watch.
Your job is to keep the wash moving.
- Start a load of wash and let it run.
- When the washing machine as run it’s course, move the wash to the dryer and start a new load.
- When the first load is dry, take it to the kids to be folded and put away.
Keep the laundry moving and the kids folding. My kids prefer to fold during the show and run clean clothing to the appropriate rooms between shows.
The system is simple. It’s easy. And it works!
Once You’ve Destroyed Mount Everest
Once you’ve destroyed Mount Everest, the goal is to keep the wash from building up again. No longer will you deal with moldy towels, children going to sports in stinky socks, or toddlers crying for their favorite shirt.
Well you may still need to deal with a toddler crying for their shirt since the favorite shirt will need to be washed. But it will only be gone for a couple hours instead of disappearing for days on end!
On my weekly cleaning checklist, which you can find at the bottom of the post, you’ll notice I broke laundry into the various tasks. There’s a check for starting laundry, moving the wash, as well as folding and putting away the laundry.
I don’t know about you, but I can always start the wash. And it will be moved to the dryer. But I always get stuck folding and putting it away.
So I added folding and putting laundry away to the checklist so we don’t forget them.
But the secret is to find the perfect time to fold and put laundry away.
Ideally you’ll fold and put away the laundry as it comes out of the dryer. Have you noticed how tasks grow larger the longer you wait to finish them? Folding and putting away laundry works that way. It seems like it takes an extra 5 minutes for every hour I procrastinate!
But usually I have teens asking me to explain how to factor equations or the short and cute squad requesting a fried egg sandwich for lunch.
Folding is quickly forgotten.
So make a back up plan. Find a good time to fold and put away laundry if you can’t get to it right away.
- During lunch and after lunch have kids run the clean clothing to the various rooms
- As a family while enjoying a television show in the evenings
- During read alouds in the afternoon
- Immediately after you pull the wash from the dryer
And remember even your little preschoolers can help run clothing and towels to the right room!
Assignment for Week 2
- Download and print the weekly checklist. I post mine next to the sink.
- Maintain your habit of cleaning the dishes after every meal and/or running the dishwasher after supper.
- Catch up on the laundry and destroy Mount Everest.
- Wash 1 load of laundry everyday. Check the steps off the weekly checklist as you complete them.
You should find, once you’ve caught up on the dishes and laundry, that it’s now easy to keep your family fed and clothed!
>>> Now go conquer your mountain of laundry!
Don’t forget to check back next week for week 3 of the You Can Have a Clean House and Homeschool Challenge!