4. I always fold laundry on my bed. If I put the clean laundry on my bed then I have to fold it before I can go to sleep that night. I also feel like our bed gives me plenty of room to make nice piles for every room in the house (a Kensington pile, a kitchen towel pile, a bathroom towel pile, etc.) and this way, when it’s time to put things up, my clothes are folded and sorted according to room.
5. I keep two laundry baskets in the house now that we have a two story home. I keep one basket upstairs and one basket downstairs in the laundry room. I’ve decided that the bane of my existence is running up and down the stairs, so with two laundry baskets, I can gather laundry faster and easier and not have to run up and down those stairs quite so frequently.
6. I ask my kids to help me fold clothes some days…and they love it! My kids love matching socks, folding easy clothes like pjs, kitchen towels, etc. We get the chance to talk about numbers, colors, sorting, chores…it’s a great little time for us.
7. Only buy clothes that are wash, dry and wear.
When I married Andrew, I promised to love and cherish him in sickness and in health…I did not promise to iron his clothes. Ever.
I’m going to go ahead and blame this one on my mama…you see, my mom is quite fantastic. She cooks, she bakes, she tends to her massive yard and garden, she is an interior designer (so, her home is fabulous!), she throws elaborate parties, she’s pretty darn perfect. But in all my 32 years, I’m not sure I’ve ever seen her iron anything. She doesn’t iron, she didn’t teach me to iron, and so, I just don’t iron. Ever. Like in the fact that we don’t even own an iron kind of way.
I remember clearly being 22, newly married, and Andrew explaining to me that his shirts had to be washed, then hung dry for fear of shrinking and then ironed. And I’m pretty sure I started thinking that an annulment was in our new future. I looked at him and said that the top priority of our marriage was now going to be figuring out how to get his entire wardrobe switched over to wash, dry and wear clothes…cause this new wife of his wasn’t going to iron.
So, that’s my tip. Be mindful of the clothes you buy for your family. If they look like the kind of clothes that are going to be high-maintenance in the cleaning department, you might want to reconsider. I have enough high-maintenance problems in my life without my laundry adding to it.
Here are a few examples of some things I like that washes, drys and wears beautifully…
These 3/4 sleeve Loft tees wash, dry and wear great too! Just be mindful of what you’re buying…sometimes, high-maintenance is good…but I think more often than not, it’s a big old pain.
And if you do have something (like Andrew’s dress shirts for work) that require a little TLC, find a good and convenient dry cleaner to help you with that. Sometimes, it’s worth the few extra dollars to have someone else mess with cleaning and ironing more formal or complicated clothes than spending the time (and often aggravation) doing it yourself.
And quickly, we’ll talk about doing the dishes. I have two rules for dishes.
1. Use your dishwasher!
My mother-in-law actually taught me this trick. Growing up, my parents would hand wash everything but plates, cups and silverware (your basic everyday stuff). Pots, pans, big bowls, etc., my parents hand washed. Well, then I met my mother-in-law and I noticed that she cooked and baked up a storm and then threw everything into the dishwasher. This might mean that on a busy cooking day, she ran her dishwasher twice, but oh golly, you didn’t see her fussing with hand washing and drying dishes. She just threw everything into the dishwasher, hit the button and moved on. Sure, later she had to unload the dishwasher but at least the mess of hand washing was behind her.
So…I started using this method. I started actually using my dishwasher more often…and my life became so much easier! If you think I’m lying, just try it. I promise, you’ll feel like you have it more together and you’ll be less stressed about cleaning up the kitchen.
My other rule is this…
2. Run your dishwasher every night before bed. Period.
We run our dishwasher every night and then empty it every morning to avoid that awkward moment during the day when you have a bunch of dirty dishes but a full dishwasher. Let me explain…
Dishwasher empty in the morning…
Breakfast dishes go in.
Lunch/miscellaneous day dishes go in
Dinner dishes go in
Run before bed.
Dishwasher 1/2 empty, 1/2 full in the morning…
Breakfast dishes go in
Lunch/miscellaneous day dishes go in
Dinner dishes…uh oh…there is no room for the dinner dishes and you just finished eating dinner! Now what? You have to run the dishwasher and wait for it to finish before cleaning up after dinner…your kitchen stays messy, your sink is full…not fun mommy moments.
Just try it. Always run it at night, empty it in the morning and then your empty dishwasher is waiting on you and not the other way around.
That’s it. I just did an entire post about laundry and dishes. I have nothing left to say about the subject :). I hope you found at least one tip that you can put into practice. And if you have one I didn’t think of, please comment below!! We could all use some more tips that simplify our life.
And Sheaffer…if you’re still with us (and not shopping at Gap.com), I don’t ever want to hear you say again that you had to re-wash clothes 3 times because you kept forgetting to move them from your washer to your dryer. Move ’em girlfriend! 🙂
Next week…Organizing and saving your kids’ clothes once they outgrow them…I have a few thoughts on that (and it’s not to save everything!).
And I’m simplifying things over at my foodie blog…
Love you all!
Find me on Instagram @mixandmatchmama