This month marks nine years that I’ve been married. It’s kinda crazy to see how much life has changed since we got married when I was 22, fresh out of college and still finding out where my career would take me. If I had known I would be a stay at home mom, I might have put a little more effort into honing my homemaking skills back when I had the luxury of time.
Back then, my husband and I shared the household duties. I did most of the cooking (I use that term loosely as I usually made Tuna Helper or heated up Stauffer’s lasagna), Brian handled the laundry and we cleaned the house together on the weekends. Life sailed along smoothly until four years ago when Gabriella was born and I decided to work part-time to spend more time with her. Staying home meant that I took over all of the household chores like dishes, cleaning toilets, cooking, and doing laundry.
The one chore I cannot learn to love is laundry. We just don’t mesh. It’s not like cleaning the toilet where I can put my mind to it and get it done. No, I have to wait for the washer, wait for the dryer, and then try to fold clothes while simultaneously trying to divert four grubby little hands from throwing washcloths around like confetti. I can think of about 400 other things I’d rather do in my day, but when you’re a stay at home mom, laundry comes with the territory.
Laundry comes up every once in a while in my mommy conversations and I’m often shocked at how much effort some people put into laundry. I’ve shared my dirty little secret with several friends and though they are somewhat shocked at the concept, I’ve had many report back that my method works like a charm.
So what’s the secret to making laundry a tolerable task? No sorting.
I know, I know. Your mom taught you to sort laundry into whites, lights, darks and towels. Mine did too. But trust me, life will go on without sorting and your clothes won’t know the difference. I have one basket in the laundry room and when it is full, I put it in the washer. This means I don’t have lots of dirty laundry hanging around waiting for a full load and I don’t have to waste water and time on several small loads.
I recently got rid of my front load washer and got a Samsung top loader instead and I am loving it. Besides actually getting my clothes clean and not having to worry about funk collecting in the gasket, the top loader fits so many clothes! The huge wash tub is even more reason to skip sorting laundry and wash everything together.
I do have a few exceptions to the rule. Most of my husband’s work clothes go to the dry cleaners because I am waaaaaay too lazy to iron. In fact, I have never actually ironed a piece of clothing in my life. After 31 years, I wouldn’t want to break the trend so we use Clothesline Cleaners, a local eco-friendly dry cleaner to keep his clothes looking great.
Also, I always wash cloth diapers separately. Because ewww…that would just be gross if i didn’t. And I sometimes wash new clothes separately if they’re red or super dark. But mostly I just throw everything in at once. In four years of doing this method, we’ve had two incidents of clothes bleeding, but they were so minor I can barely recall what the issue was.
My least favorite part of my least favorite chore is the folding. Ugh. I know KonMari wants me to enjoy folding and spend time appreciating my things, but I just can’t. I want to get it done as fast as possible and having one big load of laundry to fold each night is easier for me to tackle than letting loads and loads pile up and stare at me all day.
*Disclaimer: Try this method at your own risk! The no-sort method of doing laundry works great for me, but as a busy mom with two kids who wears workout clothes on a daily basis, our risk is pretty small. I might put more effort into my laundry if I was wearing nicer clothes. :)