When I was talking with a friend recently, I discovered that one of her challenges was laundry. Strangely enough, this morning I was looking at a plan that included a load of laundry a day 5 days a week. Add a load of sheets from one bedroom a day and for most of us the laundry would be moving in the right direction.
Any plan we decide to use should be adapted to our family’s needs. Where will the individual loads of laundry live while waiting for their day? A hamper/ laundry baskets in a closet or the laundry room? How can you implement this and keep your home orderly?
Now that it is just Roy and I, I gather the laundry and sort by color. If there is enough for a load of laundry I run that load of laundry from washer to dryer to folded and put away. If there is more than one load, I keep going. If there is not enough for a load–tomorrow is another day.
I have used an Area of Focus approach for years. I focused on one area of my home a week
Week One (Days One to Seven): Living Room and Den
Week Two (Days Eight to Fourteen): Kitchen
Week Three (Days Fifteen to Twenty-One): Master Bedroom and Closet while supervising (and assisting as needed) the children in their rooms
Week Four (Days Twenty-Two to Twenty-Eight): Front Porch/Entry/ Dining Room
Week Five (Day Twenty-Nine to End of Month): Bathrooms
Miscellaneous Rooms can be assigned to weeks with available time. Office with Living Room; Back Deck on week one with front porch and entry; Laundry on the same days as the bathrooms. I have confidence in your ability to make good use of your time.
You could also use a weekly zone plan:
Tuesday Front Porch, Entry and Errands
Thursday Living Room, Dining Room, Family Room
Friday Master Bedroom and Closet
Saturday Family Projects and Fun Day
Sunday Worship, Rest, and Plan
Gently inspect one child’s room each day. Give directions and encouragement, not criticism. Weekly inspections keep full blown disaster areas from developing. Insist beds be made daily.
Give the tasks in your life a place to live in your schedule and remember that work expands to fill the amount of time allotted for it. Get your work done first and quickly and then enjoy time with family and friends.
Today is Friday, the 9th Day of January 2015 –Wrap Up Your Week Day
Clean out the bags we take with us when we leave the house—purse, totes, backpack, diaper bag, computer case.
Clean out the car
Vacuum the traffic areas in your home
The Area of Focus through next Wednesday is The Kitchen
The One Small Area yesterday and today for the major declutter is your laundry area. What do you need to do to make your laundry room less cluttered, more orderly, cleaner, and a more pleasant place to be?
The purpose of routines daily, weekly, and monthly is to make it easy to know where you are and where you are going. When we have not made a decision about how to take care of our home we drift and are easily distracted. If you plan your work and work your plan you will make progress. Get your planned activities and work done and then take time to rest and relax. Trying to relax in the middle of a war zone doesn’t work. The undone work nags and the atmosphere isn’t very pleasant. Put your home in order, declutter for 15 to 30 minutes, know what you are having for dinner, put a load in the washer and then pour a glass of water or cup of tea and sit down to read, a little computer time, or to play with your children. You can make in your home a little bit of heaven or a little bit of hell for yourself and your family. Your choice. Which will it be?
Speaking about Laundry—Let’s Talk About Laundry Strategies
Whenever there is enough laundry for a load –whites, lights, darks, towels, or sheets, I start a load. I do not do laundry on Sunday so my goal is to have all my laundry for the week done and put away by Saturday.
If laundry has been a challenge for you, much of everyone’s wardrobe and the potential contents of your linen closet are everyplace but in the places they should be stored. Gather and sort the mountain you need to face. Reserve the time, stay at home, fight distraction and work until it is done.
Start a load—what do you need most—underwear, towels, something in particular for an event? Get it going. Set a timer if you need to for the length of the load. This is your mission, don’t waver from it. Keep the laundry moving from sorted to washer to dryer to folded and put away. If you have been avoiding doing laundry the only things left in your drawers and closets are things you don’t want to wear or use. Clear out the stuff into baskets or trash bags but don’t throw them away. Set the bags or baskets to the side to go through. As you fold the laundry, sort it by person and type. Keeping like items together, put it away in the closets and drawers. People will not know where to find their clothes or towels in the beginning because they are used to finding it in laundry baskets but persevere.
After this laundry marathon, take time to go through the bags or baskets of the unused clothes and send to the rag bag anything not fit to wear, pass on to others the clothes that do not fit, store out of season clothes that will fit that person the next season in bins, and reserve the drawers and closet in each room for clothes currently worn. You may discover shortages and overabundances of clothes. Make a list of what needs to be provided and what you have to share. Pass the overabundance on to someone who can use it.
If you have plenty of drawer and closet space it is, of course, all right to store out of season clothes in less convenient drawer and closet space but most of us don’t have the luxury. Under bed bins are great but make sure that you containerize what you are storing or it will become dusty and dirty, and create an even bigger mess.
After your laundry marathon, have a plan for keeping up with your laundry. A while back I found a workable plan on another website:
This is a plan that includes a load of laundry a day 5 days a week. Add a load of sheets from one bedroom a day and for most of us the laundry would be moving in the right direction.
Any plan we decide to use should be adapted to our family’s needs. Where will the individual loads of laundry live while waiting for their day? A hamper/ laundry baskets in a closet or the laundry room? How can you implement this? ) keep your home orderly?
I have confidence in your ability to make good use of your time.
Saturday—work or play as a family and make it fun.
Sunday—worship as a family and then plan the next week. Remember to get dates like upcoming school activities—games, concerts—on the calendar. My grandson has an orchestra concert on the 22nd, that goes on my calendar and becomes a priority.
My priorities: God, Husband, Children/Grandchildren, and then everything else.
On Monday – Put your home back into order after the weekend, clean your toilets, check your bathrooms for any needed supplies and add them to your shopping list. The Area of Focus will continue to be your kitchen
Your One Small Area each day next week:
Wednesday—Food Storage Containers/Pots and Pans
Friday—The Black Hole under Your Kitchen Sink
Love and Hugs,
On Monday I will share an alternate Area of Focus plan.
Before you mop, remove any loose dirt (sweep) Otherwise you may just be gluing the dirt to the floor with the water. Water + Dirt = Mud (Harder to remove)
Remember this is a quick once over—not a career. Work quickly and move on.
Give special attention only to the floors in your zone—this is their once a month cleaning.
Second day in our Area of Focus—The Bedroom, En Suite Bath, and Closet
Remember the Special Mission—Take 15 minutes to try on the clothes in your Closet—It must fit, be clean, and in good repair to earn space in your closet. Clean the dirty. Repair what needs to be repaired, and limit the amount of time you have to get back into anything that does not fit. Don’t make yourself miserable passing by those clothes from a different season in your life. The clothes in your closet should fit and flatter.
Each time you go through your home you will see improvement if you maintain and keep plugging away. Yesterday I posted pictures of my underwear drawer. Today—my husband’s sock drawer.
It takes no time at all to find what I am looking for in my drawers and it is a breeze to maintain. I do not work as hard as you do.
Keep working around your room dealing with stuff as you come to it—one corner, one drawer, one shelf at a time. Do not empty the contents of your dresser and try to purge and put away in 15-30 minutes—one drawer at a time.
Focus and work quickly. You will get it done.
A few more words on your laundry:
Give up the laundry marathon. Commit to doing at least one load per day Monday through Saturday—from hamper to sorted to washer to dryer to folded and put away.
DO NOT OVERLOAD YOUR WASHER AND DRYER—clothes must be free to move in your washer and dryer to get clean, dry, and relatively wrinkle free.
Do not use fabric softener on towels and washcloths. It makes them less absorbent.
In the beginning work with your little ones to put away their laundry. Even toddlers can place clothes in the space you show them. Teach them a little at a time. Will it take more time in the beginning? Yes. Will it reap enormous rewards as they learn to work on their own? YES
Be gentle and patient.
Do not attempt to teach your husband anything. He is an adult. You may have to lead by example. Roy mows the lawn, takes care of the cars, and many other things. I put away his laundry. This is not a battlefield I choose to die on.
Just a Little Grammar—
The difference between capital and capitol (from Webster’s Dictionary)
Definition of CAPITAL
1 of a letter: of or conforming to the series A, B, C, etc. rather than a, b, c, etc.