Create your perfect laundry schedule with this step by step easy to follow guide. Make your laundry routine work with your specific home / life and family in mind and never run out of clean clothes again!
It’s one of those household chores that’s a HUGE part of day to day life.
Along with food and paperwork, clothes are the other category of our ‘stuff’ that keeps moving through our home, they are not an item that you place one time and can then forget about.
As such, it’s VITAL to create routines that really work for each of these, and today’s job is looking at clothes – specifically laundry.
You need to create a schedule that works specifically for you and your needs – so that you stay on top of your clothes, and laundry never has a chance to pile up…
Ready to get started?
STEP #1 – HOW MUCH DO YOU WASH EACH WEEK?
Knowing roughly how many washes you need to do a week to keep on top of things is the crucial first step to creating your laundry schedule.
After all – washing is the place where scheduling is the most crucial – due to having to be in when the machine is on, and wanting to be in when it’s finished so you can dry the clothes without them getting musty waiting for any length of time in the machine…
If you haven’t got any idea, then track what you wash for a couple of weeks to get an average. You can simply put a piece of paper above the washing machine and record the date of each wash and what was washed in it.
You’re likely to have loads of the following categories – but make your own if necessary: –
- Gym clothes
TIP – You may not split clothes up as much as this – as now you can wash on cooler temperatures and so you can mix washing a little more. Basically, do what’s right for you.
For example – my washing week consists of 1 load of towels, 2 loads of bedding, 2 loads of coloured clothes, 1 load of whites, and 1 load of gym clothes. Overall this is 7 loads a week.
Once you know this, you can start to work out how to schedule things so that they work for you…
STEP #2 – WHAT PARTS OF THE LAUNDRY CYCLE DO YOU DO – FOR WHAT LOADS?
The entire laundry cycle consists of the following tasks: –
- Put Away
But every family has their own idea of what is necessary within that cycle for each specific type of laundry.
For instance – I iron pretty much everything (except underwear, towels and gym clothes). I have friends who iron nothing. We don’t need to sort the bedding because it’s taken off the beds on the day it’s washed. Everything else is done for each category of washing.
Just decide what your laundry cycle will consist of at this stage – as each load you do will go through each of these stages.
STEP #3 – WHO WILL DO THE LAUNDRY?
This sounds obvious, because if you’re reading this then chances are it will be 100% you.
But – if you have a family, a partner etc… – then why not get them involved as well?
Obviously it depends on everyones schedule, age etc.. – but most people in the family can help with at least one part of the laundry cycle.
Some ideas would be as follows: –
- Each person is responsible for a specific part of the laundry cycle
- Each person is responsible for their own laundry from start to finish
- Each person has a task each day to keep things moving through the laundry cycle (someone always puts a wash on each morning, someone else takes it out etc…)
- Each person does whatever is needed on a specific day of the week
Whatever works best for your family – think about delegating some of the work, because then the laundry schedule will be easier to define.
For example – in my home my husband does whatever we have to do at the weekend, and I do it during the week. We don’t allocate specific jobs to each of us, because we work better on splitting it by day of the week instead and just picking up where the other left off. My daughter helps whichever of us is doing the laundry by sorting the clothes and bringing them down to wash (sometimes she will set the machine as well). We all put away our own clothes when they are ready.
STEP #4 – WHAT ARE YOUR WEEKLY SCHEDULES?
If you haven’t written your average weekly schedule out somewhere. DO IT NOW! And do a separate one for anyone who is going to be involved in the laundry.
You need to know what time is available before you can work out a laundry schedule that has any chance of sticking and working well.
TIP – Having weekly schedules written down is a total game changer because you can see where you are overbooked, where you may have more time free etc… – and you start to be able to be in control of your life rather than your life controlling you
TIP – Make sure that your schedule only has what YOU do on it. You are working out your own time here, so don’t add in the rest of the family’s stuff in yours…
STEP #5 – WHERE ARE THE OBVIOUS PLACES FOR LAUNDRY TO FIT? (THAT WORK BEST FOR YOU)
Although laundry is a time consuming job for the clothes themselves, it doesn’t have to be time consuming for you!
By this, I mean that a cycle of laundry may take a day – but you aren’t working on that laundry for the entire day – you are just moving the laundry from one stage to another, and then getting on with others things.
As such, you only actually need to find small pockets of time in your schedule to get your laundry schedule set up.
Some ideas for these pockets of time would be: –
- As soon as you wake up
- Coffee break
- When you come home from school / work
- Around dinner time
- After the kids have gone to bed
- Before you go to bed
For each of these times you could choose to do one load a day throughout the day, or do 2 or 3 parts of the cycle for different loads on one day (i.e. when you wake on a Tuesday you could put a load of washing in, put away a load, and put another load out to dry that have been washing overnight).
You may also prefer NOT to do little and often – or your schedule may not allow this (if you are out all day you can’t do this as easily). If this is the case you may want to look at doing it all on one day, or over the weekend.
Pick times that work best for you (and anyone else helping with the laundry).
For example – Ideally I like to put washing on first thing in the morning, put to dry when it finishes (mid morning), fold around dinner time and either put into ironing or put away in the evening. This is why I only schedule washes for me on days I know I am at home to do this. If for any reason something isn’t dry by the evening, then it stays on the dryer until the next day and joins the cycle again there. Nothing stays for too long in any one place because my aim is to keep it moving!
STEP #6 – DO THE RIGHT SORT OF LAUNDRY ON THE RIGHT DAY
Along with having time to do laundry, you need to know when you need to have done specific laundry by, because this will help put your schedule together without having to guess at what may work.
For example: –
- I always wash bedding on a Tuesday and towels on a Wednesday because these are the days that I am at home the most, and I can move everything through the laundry cycle as soon as the last stage has finished. They are bulky items, so I want to have them done and out of the way as quickly as possible.
- Clothes (colours and whites) are usually done near the end of the week/weekend so that we can start the following week with all our clothes ready to go.
- Gym clothes are always done at the weekend because we visit the gym most days, and have roughly a weeks worth of kit – so a load will have built up by then (and we will start the week afresh with clean clothes). This is also not ironed so it moves through the cycle nice and quickly!
- The main part of the ironing is done on a Wednesday, so all washing should be up to date by then (hence why I do bedding on a Tuesday because this needs ironing, but towels on a Wednesday because they don’t). We also do a few bits of ironing at the weekend if needed (such as school uniform).
Giving this a bit of thought is the make or break part of your schedule. If you get the days right you will always ensure you aren’t caught out.
STEP #7 – PUT YOUR PERFECT LAUNDRY SCHEDULE TOGETHER…
You now have all the information you need to sit and put your schedule together – so that it will work for you and your lifestyle.
I always use the Laundry schedule in the Chores Planner section of my Home File – but you can create your own of course – and keep it as simple as you can (I usually just add in the days that specific washes are done, and when the ironing is done – the rest are the smaller jobs that fit around it naturally).
- Add in the days/parts of the laundry cycle that HAVE to be stuck to
- Add in everything else around that, based on the times that you have available and how you like to do things
- Make sure you have scheduled each part of the laundry cycle that’s required(i.e. sort, wash, dry, fold, iron, put away) for each type of laundry (bedding, towels, whites, colours etc…).
- Tell everyone involved what they are expected to do, and when
It really is that simple!
You can then use the schedule you’ve put together for a few weeks, and tweak if necessary.
Hopefully you’ll see that laundry can be an easy part of your chores, especially if things are never allowed to build up in any one part of the cycle – and things will go smoothly.
If you’ve created your laundry schedule but are still struggling to fit everything in, or feel like you’ve got too much to do, then why not get some tips for how to simplify your Laundry Routine even further? – CLICK HERE to read that next…