Refresh: Laundry Tips

We all have it — the never-ending cycle of laundry. It can be a real struggle to stay on top of it. Now, it really is just a job that never ends and simply needs to be done, but there are some things that may help you as you work.

For starters, it is a continuous process. It’s not a full-focus activity with modern washing machines and dryers, so it doesn’t need to dominate our time and attention for an entire day. It can fit into small pieces of time all week. Also, letting it pile up may be too overwhelming and hurt rather than help. Staying on top of it a little at a time can keep it manageable.

  • Constant sorting — Don’t let it pile up in the hamper. If you sort on a consistent daily basis or at least often, the chore won’t take long and loads are ready to go when the pile is big enough to throw in the washer. You won’t feel as if you are at the start of a long haul before you even can get a load in the washer.
  • You may want to do one load every day — Start in the morning. Circle back later on to transfer the load to the dryer. At some point in the afternoon, empty the dryer and fold the clothes. From then on, grab a stack to put away every time you walk by. Before you know it, it’s done. You are eating the elephant…
  • If you are picky enough to not be able to go to bed under a pile of clothes, you can drop the freshly-dried load on your bed. It will physically remind you to get them folded and put away before you go to bed, instead of being out of sight and out of mind.

Also, remember many hands make light work — teach your children when they are young to help with the process. They learn a valuable skill, and the load is light for everyone.

Finally, there might be the first world problem of too many clothes, perhaps? Occasionally there isn’t room in the dresser or closet to put all the clean clothes away. This is especially a problem when children are helping with laundry. They will have a much easier task with less to manage while they learn.

If you run into this overload, take it as a cue to look at the bottom layer of the drawer or the back of the closet rod to see what hasn’t been worn for a year or two. Maybe it’s time to donate a few things and make it easier to finish up the laundry and put clothes away.

Meal Planning Reset

Ever get in a rut with meals? Where you eat the same thing over and over every week? Sometimes that is necessary…and helpful. Ruts keep us on the road. But sometimes a little creativity goes a long way. If you have the time (20-30 minutes) and the desire, a meal planning reset can easily jump you out of the ruts and spice up your diet.

Today is that day for me. Here’s how it worked:

Gather tools. I still use and love the mini sticky note meal plan on the refrigerator door method. So I needed those and a pen. Then I grabbed a new cookbook I’m excited about and my two go-to recipe binders. The new cookbook was tabbed with the recipes I was most eager to try. The binders are either tried-and-true recipes (rated by how much we enjoyed them) or new ones I’ve printed and want to try.

Browse and choose. First I went through the new cookbook (because…exciting!). I choose a few meals and wrote them on sticky notes. Then I paged through the binders. There were a bunch of new recipes to try there, so I wrote those down. I considered using a couple of old ones we hadn’t had for a while, but ended up having plenty of new options to try.

Add to grocery list. As I went through the recipes, I checked the ingredient lists to see if I would need anything that isn’t usually (or already) in my pantry/freezer. If so, I added the items to my grocery list as I went.

Clean up. The notes went on the refrigerator door. The books went back on the shelf. The grocery order was placed. Good to go!

This worked for me. What works for you?