laundry: once a day, or once a week?

by rebecca on October 25, 2012

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How often do you do laundry? Do you like to get things done in one big chunk or are you a little bit every day sort of person?

I’ve always had a laundry day where I pair a sedentary task, like writing or paying bills with running 6 loads of laundry through the washing machine. I love the feeling of sitting on the couch in the evening while my husband rubs my back and I fold clothes. A movie plays, kids laugh or a plot thickens and a family gels.

But lately, because my days are full of fun, I’m finding my way to the couch later and later.

I arrive at the couch with barely 20 minutes before my eyelids close. I am too tired to begin a mountain of laundry, much less finish.

Margot took my Soulful Cleanse class. Some of us continue to meet monthly and she gave me a heavenly tip: a load a day means no laundry on the weekends.

It took me awhile to remember. A few loads got abandoned and needed to be rerun to eliminate the skinkage factor, but I finally found my groove.

Here’s what I like about a load a day:

  • I carry the basket of clothes to where I’m putting them away, so folding and putting away happen simultaneously.
  • A single load of folding happens inside 10 minutes.
  • That’s a phone call.
  • Before the call ends, the task is completed and I didn’t even notice.

I’m not married to the system. I’ve gone back and forth. Some days don’t work for laundry. Some days lend themselves to 50 minute interruptions and load changes work well for punctuating writing or bills.

I like the switch-hitting approach.

Why did this tiny change bring me so much joy?

Laundry was my favorite household chore for years. I adored folding diapers. Then, years later, I didn’t like laundry. That change made me think of the time my mother told me how hard it was to be the cook of our family after she’d worked all day. I felt icky as a kid. I didn’t want to make my kids feel icky.

But there’s no denying parenting and life is full of drudgery.

When Margot introduced me to her system I realized I had a choice.

Previously, the only choice I’d seen was clean clothes/dirty clothes. Now I saw that I could vary the way I got those clean clothes and…

I’m imagining all kinds of other systems.

  • My daughter and I had a big party at the laundry mat and the owner commented he’d never seen anyone have as much fun.
  • I can trade laundry with someone else.
  • I can ask my husband or my son to do my laundry, but frankly this thought terrifies me.

Simply laughing about laundry and the plethora of choices I have has taken the drudgery out of the equation. There’s no more ick, only the fresh scent of liberally applied fabric softner.

What causes you to get grouchy about drudge work? Do you prefer to stack chores on a particular day or spread them out a little at a time? Do you like to put fabric softner in the washer, the dryer, or let the outdoors infuse your clothes with good scent?

I’ve never heard of SA8 detergent, but I’m all for less is more. Enjoy.

I am taking time to tend my home. It’s part of my 4-step philosophy in Soulful Cleansing. Identify – Notice – Address – Tend.  I’d love to have you join the class.

I am participating in 31-days of Soulful Cleansing. This project is the collaborative brainchild of The Nester. Join her here and see all the other 31-day projects.

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

pamela October 25, 2012 at 11:59 pm

I am definitely a one-load a day person. I HATE clutter and it makes me crazy. I love an empty laundry room, the clothes in the washer and then into the dryer, sweeping the floor after. I am totally neurotic, but it makes me happy:)


rebecca October 26, 2012 at 12:34 pm

I celebrate your neurotic broom Pamela, which sounds like the truest sort of steady companion.

Daily rituals like these, especially the ones bringing baskets of happy, help me grow roots of groundedness.


Kristen @ Motherese October 26, 2012 at 3:11 pm

Sunday is laundry day here. It’s also hang-out-at-home, soup-making, bread-making, football-game-on-TV-in-the-background day. I kind of like the idea of a Sabbath filled with quiet, domestic things.


rebecca October 26, 2012 at 3:35 pm

Sounds very holy to me. A sacred way to bring a family together under one roof and together around one table.


dottie October 26, 2012 at 8:21 pm

I am sitting here listening to the washing machine fill once again as your post really struck home. What amazes me most about laundry is that it is only my husband and myself in the house and yet I never seem to see the bottom of the hamper even though I do laundry almost every single day. How can two people generate so much laundry? Luckily, I do not mind it, and folding laundry, as well as ironing are almost a zen activity for me. I will take laundry over cleaning the house any day of the week!


rebecca October 27, 2012 at 4:58 pm

Zen. Oh to find the places in our home that we experience this! The goal, obviously. Dottie, I have to ask, what do you iron? I love the aroma of ironing, but I don’t really do it unless I’m sewing. Come to my house and iron, please. Fill my nose!


Yvette Francino October 27, 2012 at 1:35 pm

I’m a once a week kind of person, but since it’s only me, that’s usually only a couple of loads to split for colors and whites.

But even my colored load never looks nearly as pretty as your photo!


rebecca October 27, 2012 at 4:53 pm

I have no doubt, Yvette, that you get this done on time and there is no stinkage factor in your washer!

One of my favorite things about using cloth napkins is this colorful load of laundry.


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