A Lighter Load (of Laundry)

I’m always trying to make the mundane chores of life a little lighter. I revel in coming up with ways to streamline basic household systems. Here’s what I’ve come up with for laundry.


Laundry. If you wear clothes, it has to be done. It’s not fun. It’s not creative. You can’t really spice it up or do it in a way that makes people sit up and pay attention.

So, I found two things that keep my laundry light.

First, I do one load of laundry a day.

I know that some people just wait and wait and then have a crazy all-I’m-going-to-do-today-is-50-loads-of-laundry day. If that works for you, awesome. But I would explode if I did that.

Instead, first thing in the morning, after I’ve put myself together, I grab the laundry basket of the day and haul it downstairs. I put it in the washer before I even grab my breakfast. And then 30+ minutes later, while I’m doing chores and the twins are playing (hopefully happily), I throw the laundry in the dryer. Sometime after that, when it’s all dry and clean, I’ll pull it out, fold it up, and put it away. Done.

It never feels too heavy, because it’s just one load a day. Only a few minutes to transfer, fold, and stash.

And, to further automate this lovely process, I have a specific load of laundry I do each day. Here’s my line-up:

Monday: Kids’ clothes

Tuesday: Towels

Wednesday: Whites

Thursday: Kids’ clothes

Friday: Colors

Saturday: Sheets

Sunday: None! (I give myself a break!)

This line-up works for the amount of laundry that my family generates. I have to do the boys’ laundry twice in a week because they only have so many clothes. (C’mon, I have to buy 2 of everything!) And I do my husband’s and my clothes in two loads–whites and colors. Although, occasionally I’ll have to do two loads of colors on a given Friday, depending on how messy our week was. (Camping trip?)

I also dedicate Saturday to pulling all the sheets off the beds and throwing them in the wash. And Tuesday to pulling all of the towels off the racks and switching out for the other set.

And that’s it! A total no-brainer. I just grab whatever basket is meant to be washed each morning and it gets done. No piles of dirty laundry. No piles of clean, unfolded laundry. No stress at all over laundry. (Who wants to stress over laundry?)

Second, I keep our laundry light, by buying fewer things to wash.

While I’m still working on the whole capsule wardrobe thing, I do keep our clothes, sheets, and towels to a minimum.

For example, the boys have 4 shirts and 4 pants to get them through from one wash to the next. Yes, there are more pairs of underwear. I have boys.

Oh, and I don’t buy anything that needs to be ironed. Or dry cleaned. Or that can’t come out of the wash, have a good shake, and be worn. I could live in cotton knit. (Oh wait. I do.)

I also have two sets of towels. One that hangs up for the week and gets used. And one that’s in the linen closet waiting its turn. On wash day (Tuesday) they swap.

I have one set of bed sheets. They get pulled off and washed Saturday morning and put back on the beds sometime before we flop into them Saturday night.

That’s what works for me, in any case. That’s how I keep the inglorious task of laundry a light load.

What do you do to keep your loads of laundry light?


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