That’s right. My daughter’s swimming lesson helped me create a laundry routine. And to be honest, I never really had a habit of doing washing every day or with any regularity, let alone on a particular day of the week.
I should also start this off by saying that I love doing the washing.
I know, I know. Call me a freak, but it’s my favourite household chore. And I love it because it’s almost as simple as set-and-forget. I put everything in the washing machine, turn it on and do something else for about an hour. When the washing machine is finished, it beeps, and I spend about 10 minutes hanging it up to dry. What is not to love about something that is so hands-off?
My laundry routine started with towels
Like I said before, I never had a laundry routine. But swimming lessons helped me realise that I needed one and that the solution was simple. So here is what used to happen after swimming lessons:
- Unpack the nappy bag which also doubled as the swimming bag.
- Hang up the towels and bathers to dry. I’d either hang them outside on the line, on the clothes horse under the pergola or the clothes horse inside. I prefer not to have them inside because I could never squeeze enough water out with my hands and the excess water would inevitably drip onto the floor.
- Then when they would dry I’d put them in their respective wash baskets
- Wait until the basket was full before I did any washing.
I don’t know what it was that made me think to change what I was doing. Perhaps I realised that I never knew how long we had been using our bath towels. Perhaps it was still baby-brain.
But then I had an idea. You could even call it an epiphany.
Why not wash the wet bathers and towels from swimming straight away?
So that’ what I started to do. Round up all of the towels, tea towels and bathmats either before or after swimming. And wash them all together as soon as we got home from swimming lessons.
This worked particularly well on days that my husband took my daughter to swimming lessons. I’d have everything in the washing machine ready when they came home. All my husband needed to do was put the wet bathers and towels in and close the lid. An hour or so later, it was time to hang it up.
I knew when the towels in the house needed to be washed and replaced.
I knew that the bathers and towels would clean, dry and ready for swimming lessons next week.
And I knew it was something that I could stick to.
Washing the bedding
When I was a kid, my mum had loosely set days for chores and other tasks needed to run the household. When I moved into a house with my husband, I took some of these habits and made them work for me. I was working full time before I had my daughter so all of the household cleaning was done on the weekend. But I could never remember the last time I changed the sheets.
So I started doing that with some regularity too.
The rest of the washing
And the rest of the washing gets done when the basket is full. The baskets I use are roughly a full load and it seems like a waste to wash anything less than a full load.
My husband has enough work shirts for six days of work, so even if I wash the clothes on Sunday night, he will still have a clean, dry shirt for work.
I tend not to buy clothing that needs special care like dry cleaning or hand washing. So it makes it much easier to just throw everything into the machine together. It also helped me cut my laundry costs by more than half.
What my laundry routine looks like now
Bedding on alternating Wednesdays. One week will be the master bedroom sheets, donna cover and pillowcases, the following week it is the same from my daughter’s bedroom.
Towels on Friday. This includes towels, bath mats, tea towels, bathers and pillowcases from the master bedroom.
Clothes on the weekend and sometimes another load during the week.
The wintertime can really stuff things up for me though. I need roughly 48 hours between each load for the previous one to dry on the clothes horse.
So now I have a laundry routine when it comes to washing all of the towels and bedding in the house. And I can’t believe how easy it has been for me to stick to.