Monday, November 09, 2009

Keeping up with my most-hated chore, the laundry

Yes, it's true. I really hate doing the laundry. I think it's because it's never DONE! And I like things DONE and ticked off the list.

I actually have a friend who told me once that she finds doing laundry therapeutic. I can't fathom this at all but maybe you also love doing the laundry and can relate.

Before the babies arrived I did 2 - 3 loads once a week, usually on a Friday, depending on whether it was hot or cold around these parts. In winter the laundry seems to pile up quicker because we're wearing thicker clothes and layers, lots of layers :)

Of course, now that the babies are here, we have to do 3 - 4 loads of baby laundry every week, in addition to our 2 - 3 loads. They also spit on me all the time despite using burp cloths so that's increased our laundry too!

Fun times!

So here's what I now do:


  1. I have two big laundry baskets in my laundry, a tiny room just off my kitchen. One is for colours and one for whites. One of these baskets equals a full load in the machine so when the basket is full, I do a load, no matter what day of the week it is :)
  2. We have a laundry basket in our bedroom which I empty every 1 - 2 days.
  3. When I empty the bedroom laundry basket, I separate into the colours and whites piles there and then.
  4. I keep stain remover, washing powder and fabric softener, right where I use it - next to the washing machine - so that it's not a big schlep actually doing the laundry.
  5. Most times, I get the machine ready before the time by filling the washing powder and fabric softener drawers, and setting the dial ready to start. We also have a leaking tap and I hate wasting water so I put a bucket underneath the leak.
Actual doing
  1. When one of those baskets is full, all I have to do is toss the laundry into the machine and turn on the tap.
  2. If I'm feeling extra clever, I load the machine in the evenings and leave a note for Dion to turn on the machine in the mornings when he wakes.
  1. If the weather's good, which it is 90% of the time in Johannesburg, I like to hang the laundry outside to dry because the air does the job quicker and it saves me money by not having to use the tumble dryer.
  2. I hang shirts and tops straight onto hangers and hang the hangers on the washing line. It's quicker than using clothes pegs and easier to bring in quickly if rain threatens as it does during summer time afternoons.


  1. I think if there's anything worse than doing laundry in the machine, it must be the ironing. I absolutely can't stand it. I've been known to wear every single thing in my wardrobe rather than get out the iron and iron something.
  2. We have a cleaning lady, Precious, who cleans the house and does our ironing once a week. Heaven! I would do without eating out but I will not do without Precious :)

The babies have a nanny to look after them and part of her responsibilities is to do their laundry while they nap. Aren't I clever? :)

Do you love or hate doing the laundry?

If you're one of those people who love doing the laundry, please share your tips with the rest of us :)

P.S. This is in response to Michelle from British Columbia who wanted to know how to keep the laundry monster at bay :)

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se7en said...

Hay you!!! We do quite a bit more laundry than you do!!! Hmmm quite a bit!!! I don't mind it at all, it is very satisfying to get everything washed and folded and packed up neatly before everyone refills the washer at the end of the day. I also preprepare the washer with soap - when it's full it gets turned on.

I do NOT iron, even though my mother-in-law gave me an iron as an engagement present to iron her son's shirts. I have made sure we have always lived within 200 yards of a laundry for his shirts - I just can't stand ironing - even slightly... well unless we are fabric painting!!!

Here is our laundry post and yes I am this ordered, that's why we have eight kids - their chaos keeps me grounded in reality!!!

Charity, CEO said...

I don't mind doing laundry, especially if I can get it all done at once. I have 4 people to do laundry for (2 adults, 2 young school age children) and my husband and I have work clothes too.

We don't really have a system yet, but, I try to do laundry every week.

I do not iron. We don't own clothes that require the use of an iron.

Lisa said...

oh my gosh! I hate laundry! I'm not sure how our clothes reproduce, but they do! I do work full time outside of the home and I am gone 12 hours a day. We are real bad about washing and piling it on the couch and then it takes us forever to fold and put up. I'm am going to post your suggestions in my laundry area! Thanks!!

Anne Alagna said...

I dont mind doing laundry. I especially love folding towels and other linens. There is nothing more rewarding than storing away clean linens in the closet and seeing rows and stacks of perfectly folded items. MMM love!

Marcia said...

Anne, I will say this – of everything laundry, folding towels is about as satisfying as it gets!

rskmom said...

I don't really mind laundry. My goal for the past month has been to get it put away every night - that's the part I fall down on!

I do laundry for five of us, two adults and three boys (13, 10 and 10). I do a load every day, minimum. I have thus far taught one Ds10 to assist, and my goal for the rest of the year is to get the other two involved.

I do not iron. My sisters laugh at me, but I literally do not iron. My hubby used to wear white shirts to work, but luckily his company paid for laundry for them. He has since left that company and wears casual shirts and pants, so no ironing required. I'm not actually sure I even own an iron anymore!

And sheets. Ooooh, I love the smell of clean, fresh sheets. I cannot, however, fold a fitted sheet to save my own life. (shrug)

Gramercy Home - Atlanta said...

I find that doing laundry is much more enjoyable when using fun favorite is lavender linen spray and and linen wash by Le Blanc - it's heaven!!

Michelle said...

This is Michelle ... thank-you Marcia!!!!

Jenny said...

One way to help keep caught up with the laundry is to do less of it. Clothes often don't need to be washed everytime you wear them, especially when you are wearing layers. I do laundry for two adults, and I only do 1-2 loads every two weeks or so, with an extra once a month for bedsheets.

I just make sure I have a large supply of underwear, and change that everyday, and most other clothes stay clean for at least a few days (and a sweatshirt worn as an outer layer can last for weeks). The exception to this is workout clothes, and when I spill food or something.

I have three laundry baskets in my bedroom (apartment shared laundry), one for dirty clothes, and one for each of us for clothes that have been worn but are still clean enough to wear again. I tend to have a few of each item, and cycle through them so I am not wearing the same clothes two days in a row. We also use our towels several times, hanging them up each time, until they start to smell funky.