Unless you are raising celebrities that wear underwear once and make money from selling them to the highest bidder and unless you have a maid that allows your kids to put their clothes in the laundry basket and find it all ironed in the closet, you are a normal parent who must do the dirty job of washing the laundry. Luckily for us, we do not have to do it by hand and we have washers, dryers and chemicals that make life easier, although I may not appreciate the luxury of it because I hate washing or, I should say, I hate the thought of washing.
I do not know why, but for years, I hated doing the laundry. When Eden was born, I was amazed how many clothes a tiny baby could change. When the kids started going to school, with the need to have their uniform clean for school, I hated it even more. I think I always had this feeling that I was constantly washing clothes. No, I did not have to do it by hand or spin the washing machine by hand, but it sure felt like it. If you hate laundry too, this tip is for you.
It all started one day when we lived in Sunnyvale, California. We wanted Eden to go to a good school with the children of many of our friends, so we moved to an apartment complex that was not as good as the one we lived in. It was farther away from Gal’s work, our unit was smaller in size, it had an old-style kitchen, our apartments was on the second floor, it had only one covered parking space and it did not have room for or permission to install a washer and a dryer. We had to go to a communal laundry room that was about 20 meters from our house. I could manage with lots of the disadvantages (there were advantages too), but not with the need to collect the laundry and walk with big baskets to the communal room (like you would do in a caravan park). I was pregnant and it sucked. Then, I had a tiny baby and it sucked even more.
Well, after complaining about it a lot (and telling myself “Stop complaining, you knew it was going to be like this and you’ve still chosen to move”), I figured I needed to make it work. Soon after we moved, Tsoof was born, I had piles of baby clothes and my parents came to visit for a month, so I had their clothes to wash too. To make it bearable, I picked a day of the week that was usually empty in the communal laundry room and I used all washers and dryers in the room at once. Soon enough, I realized how great that was, because it took me 5 minutes to put the clothes into 4-6 washers at once, 5 minutes to move them to the dryers and 15 minutes to put them back in the baskets (mostly folded). It was much better than doing it bit by bit every day.
The next place we lived in was a huge house in Bangkok, Thailand. I had all the time in the world. Tsoof was 5 months old and I could do the laundry whenever I wanted, but I missed the communal laundry room in Sunnyvale. When I thought about it, I realized that what upset me was thinking about laundry. Thinking about it every day took more energy than actually doing it and this was when the “one laundry day a week” came to life.
We have a big basket of laundry that we wash on Saturday morning, one load after another. Some people might say it sounds even worse for them to do the laundry for a whole day, but I find it has many advantages:
- There are enough clothes to divide them by color and do full loads of washing.
- Every family member knows that if they need something, they need to make sure it is in the laundry basket on time, instead of asking, “Mom, are you going to do the washing today?” and be frustrated they do not have the shirt they need for their practice/performance/date.
- You have everything (especially school uniforms) ready for Monday morning.
- You take 4-6 loads of washing off the clothesline at the same time (saves time).
- You only fold clothes and put them away once a week. We have turned this bit into one of our family quality times. We horse around, throw socks at one another and sing while we fold.
- If you use a dryer, your clothes can dry while you are washing the next load.
- The washing is done on the weekend when everyone is home, so everyone can help (even my 10-year-old can divide the clothes, scoop the powder and push the buttons) and it is not a parents’ job in the kid’s eyes.
- The children get an increased sense of independence and learn a life skill.
Whichever way you do it, your work is very similar, but in the one-day washing approach, you think about it a lot less. So take a load off and do your laundry once a week.
This post is part of the series Handy Family Tips:
- Handy Family Tips: Dishwasher
- Handy Family Tips: Pre-Marinating
- Handy Family Tips: Kitchen Scissors
- Handy Family Tips: First use date
- Handy Family Tips: Kids’ Artwork
- Handy Family Tips: Keys
- Handy Family Tips: Smelly bins
- Handy Family Tips: Treasure box
- Handy Family Tips: Glass jars
- Handy Family Tips: On time is late
- Handy Family Tip: Early is on time
- Handy Family Tips: Electric toothbrush
- Handy Family Tips: Make a Note
- Handy Family Tips: Laundry day
- Handy Family Tips: How to Peel Avocado
- Handy Family Tips: Bathroom Art
- Handy Family Tips: Easy Healthy Spread
- Handy Family Tips: Wake Up With a Smile
- Handy Family Tips: Color Coded Keys
- Handy Family Tips: Road Trip Games
- Handy Family Tips: How to Get Kids to Eat Vegetables
- Handy Family Tips: What to Do When There is No Shaving Cream?
- How to Control Your Kids’ Mobile Phone Use at Night