How often should you do your laundry?
Does it seem like you are in a constant battle with the size of your Laundry pile?
In this series, we answer the question: 'how often should I clean my home?'
You should clean daily. That’s it. That’s our answer. But we don’t mean clean your WHOLE house EVERY day from top to bottom.
So we've broken it down into a few different parts: a daily, monthly and yearly cleaning routine.
What needs a clean every day needs a different routine to things that you can give a deeper clean less often.
All you really need is 15 minutes each day. Here we're discussing day 5 of your daily cleaning schedule, and that's doing your dang laundry.
As we’ve already mentioned, making your bed, vacuuming and airing out your rooms should happen every day.
If you haven't already read our article introducing the basics of your cleaning routine, make sure to check that out.
It talks about the importance of regular cleaning and how it affects our mental health. It also lays the foundation for daily cleaning (which take about 5 minutes).
For the final 10 minutes of your daily cleaning schedule, you will choose one room and give it a quick surface clean. We started in the bedroom, run through the other high-traffic areas of your house and now its time for the laundry.
DAY 5: LAUNDRY
On day five, we like to dedicate our 10 minutes to laundry. This should include your dirty clothes that were put away in your hamper, plus any musty smelling tea towels or bath towels/mats.
Spend five minutes gathering everything into the washing machine. We use natural washes (like soapberries and vinegar) to clean a range of items.
We also never put our washer on more than 40°C. This avoids colours running and allows us to shove everything into one wash. It also saves you money on your energy bills!
If you have too many clothes for one wash, dedicate two days to laundry. One for clothes, one for towels. Or, consider re-wearing items (like pyjamas or ‘home clothes’) that aren’t as dirty as your work shirt and undies.
If you find yourself getting overwhelmed by your clothes in the dirty pile (whether they're yours or your other family members) try breaking it up as much as possible.
Encourage your kids to get into this cleaning routine also. Have a separate laundry basket in their rooms and remind them to do their washing at least once a week.
Consider if you're going through too many clothes throughout the week, how can you re-wear or reduce the number of items that need a wash?
We don't necessarily mean wear your undies inside out/upside down, but things like sleeping clothes and some types of jeans can be worn multiple times before washing.
Then, set your cycle and go about your day. Once washed, spend the last five minutes hanging them out to dry.
We live in sunny Queensland, Australia, so we are lucky to be able to hang our laundry outside on most days.
If you don't have space (or the weather), put your clothes in the dryer. Don’t use dryer sheets they’re not necessary! Invest in some dryer wool balls if you really want.
Once clothes are dry fold them straight away! If they're fresh from the dryer, folding them immediately gives them a crispness and makes them feel like they were ironed.
When was the last time you went through all of your clothing and got rid of what you no longer wear?
We go through our closets once every six months or so. Especially when we decide to buy new clothes, we always ensure we get rid of something to justify that new item.
We recommend going through your clothes for both health and therapeutic reasons.
Holding onto clothes that fit you at a previous stage in your life can have some very negative effects on your mental health.
Our bodies are constantly changing with our environment and age, if something no longer fits you, it is no reason to punish yourself just to wear it again.
Just get rid of it and move on.
We like to ensure we have a limited number of outfits in our closet, both for space-saving and ease of decision making. We purchase high-quality items that can last us for a long time.
I also make some clothing if I find some fabric I love, or repurpose some fabric from an item that may have worn out.
Whilst going through your clothes might not be part of your 10 minutes every week, we have to mention it to emphasise how much it will impact your laundry days.
Keep an eye out for our full article on 'how to consolidate stuff'. We'll break down how you can do a yearly overhaul of any clutter in your home for peace of mind.
Just like that, your pile of laundry will slowly reduce over time and eventually you will only have a small pile to get through each week.
By doing this once a week you will see yourself making smarter choices of clothing and find yourself not spending as much on new clothes. You'll also make use of some of your older styles.
And just remember, your cleanliness is not a reflection of your success. We still (mainly me) have clothes on the floor and unwashed towels hanging around.
If you can't quite get as far as putting away your clothes, don't stress! Be kind to yourself; at least you got out of bed! Be gentle but be firm. You'll get there eventually!
This advice column is part of our 'How often should I clean...' series. We're going through day by day where you should be spending 10 minutes to keep your house tidy and free of clutter. Next up: those random places which just don't belong in any other category...
Is there anywhere else you struggle to keep clean in your house?