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Can I confess? I actually don’t mind doing laundry. I’d rather do laundry than a lot of other household chores. I like the feeling I get when the laundry is washed, dried, folded, and put away – in other words, finished.
I’d rather do laundry than scrub bathtubs or mop floors. It seems they get dirty again before they even have a chance to dry. At least with laundry (even for a brief time), you can be caught up.
It’s just laundry
It’s not a big deal for me.
How do you feel about doing laundry?
I suspect that the reason I don’t mind laundry duties is that I’ve created a system that is so automatic, I don’t really have to think about it. It’s second nature. I have my system, I stick to the system, and laundry takes place in the background, almost – it’s there, but it doesn’t have to be my main focus. I can concentrate on other activities, and still get the laundry done.
When I say done, I do mean washed, dried, folded, and put away. Because if you know me, you know I’m all about finishing a task.
I know there are a lot of people who struggle with laundry and find it to be an almost insurmountable task.
Someday I will write out the entire process of how I do laundry.
The Job Isn’t Finished Until Everything is Put Away
Right now, I am going to give you what I think is probably the key to my system. This is the one thing I do with every single load that ensures that not only do I get the laundry washed, but I also put it away.
Every load of wash I do gets put away, right away. Not the next day or next week or even an hour after it comes out of the dryer. Right away.
I’ll admit, I thought everyone did laundry the way I do. Then I found out that I don’t even do laundry like my own mother, the woman who taught me how to do it in the first place.
Here’s what I’ve discovered most people do:
When everything is dry, they remove it from the dryer, either folding it as it comes out or carrying the basket to another location and folding it there. Either way, as each item gets folded, it gets placed in the folded pile and is ready to put away.
The Problem with Finishing the Laundry
So what’s the issue?
The folded pile. One big pile with everything in it. This stuff is ready to put away. But if it’s all in one big pile, then you put it away by taking off the top item and then the next. When it’s all mixed together, you end up putting away one shirt in your son’s room, then a dress in your room, a couple of pairs of shorts in your daughter’s room, then back to your room. Talk about a headache!
Alternatively, maybe you have another step in there in which you sort the big pile into smaller piles according to where things belong. Still a lot of work.
How to Finish the Laundry: The Simple Solution
The simple solution: As you fold each load of laundry, you create piles. Plural. Like goes with like. For instance:
- Husband’s t-shirts – first pile
- Your t-shirts – second pile
- His jeans – third pile
- Your jeans – fourth pile
You will end up with a number of different piles. I mostly fold clothes on my bed for just this reason. There’s plenty of room to spread out.
But here’s the beauty of the multiple pile system: You can now pick up the contents of an entire and put it away in one step. When everything is grouped with like items, putting away laundry only takes a few seconds. Put away all of your tshirts in one move. Put away all of your shorts in one move. And so on.
Here’s a quick visual, using towels instead of clothing:
I fold the beach towels and place them together. The bath towels go together, as do the dishtowels, and dishcloths.
Once folded, stack on stack, and carry to each location and put everything away. That load is finished. The next load’s barely started in the dryer, so go take care of something else (or sit down and put your feet up – I won’t tell!)
Fold laundry into like piles. It’s the fastest way to finish the laundry. Try it and let me know what you think!
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