How many of you have ever been overwhelmed with laundry piles?
Hands down, one of the things I get emailed about the most is laundry. Laundry quickly overwhelms even the most seasoned homemakers. And I’m not just talking about dirty laundry! When my laundry is washed and dried, but left in piles, stacks and baskets all around the house, it makes me feel so stressed out. Are y’all ready to learn the secret to avoiding clean laundry piles?
The secret to avoiding clean laundry piles is (drumroll, please)… just fold it and put it away!
This is my groundbreaking advice: when you’ve got clean laundry; just fold it and put it away. Yes, it really is that simple. Even though Pinterest tries to tell us otherwise, there are not really 14,000 different ways to overcome your laundry woes. I would love to tell you that’s there is a special, super-secret formula! It would be awesome if there really was an instant “easy button” to press. Or better yet, maybe even a new machine you can buy on Amazon that washes, dries, and folds it all for you. But no such luck – the only secret is called discipline. Just do it.
Just fold your clean laundry and put it away, as soon as you can.
Laundry seems to reproduce as quickly as bunnies, so I do a load every day. And I’ve timed it; it takes anywhere from 5-10 minutes to fold and put away an entire load of laundry. That’s it. Unless I am running crazy behind or super late for something, I always fold and put it away as soon as it comes out of the dryer or off the line. Why wash your laundry, then leave it to get wrinkled in a basket or in a pile on your couch or bed? Why not just put your laundry away, right away?
Like so many things in life, when it comes to folding and putting away laundry, the worst part is the anticipation.
The worst part is the waiting. It’s like a child who is waiting for discipline. Like when Mom says, “Go to your room and I’ll be there in a minute.” Those poor kids are in their room worrying, “Oh, dear Jesus. My life is about to come to an end, right here. It’s over.” When in reality, the punishment is usually no big deal in comparison to the time spent waiting and worrying.
Same goes with laundry. You think it’s going to take you hours and hours, so you put it off. And I’ll admit, if you let it build up, it might take you hours! That’s why you don’t let that happen. Just do it right away. And then the chore is over and you’re finished and can get on with your day.
Is it easy? No. Is life easy? No. But, are you an adult? Yes! And sometimes in life, adults have to do the hard thing and learn certain disciplines. Laundry is one of those disciplines. Just like taking daily walks, eating healthy, or keeping a budget; doing your laundry is an exercise in discipline.
We think we’re somehow saving time by putting things off, but we’re not!
I also used to pile stuff at the top of the stairs that I needed to take downstairs like books, clothes, cups, etc. Instead of just taking the two minutes to walk up and down the steps, I’d start a pile. I told myself, “Oh, I’ll just wait until I have several things and make one big trip.” But it ends up just being a big job that I put off. Y’all, they even sell special “stair baskets” to help with this kind of procrastination. But one day, I asked myself, “Stacy, why don’t you just do it now?” I did and y’all – it takes just minutes and makes a huge difference. Plus, if you have a fitbit this is good for you… you get some extra steps!
Dusting is the chore I hate the most so I used to put if off (or not do it at all!). Then recently, I started to make myself do it every week. Why do I do it every week? Because if I don’t, then the dust piles up. Literally, like my dust bunnies have dust bunnies. But if I am disciplined and make myself do it, every single week, then I don’t get behind. And I don’t feel overwhelmed.
Instead of creating a atmosphere of stress and becoming overwhelmed every time we see those growing clean laundry piles… remember my (or should I say Nike’s) advice. Just do it! Take the extra 5-10 minutes to put your laundry away, right away. It really is that easy and just takes a little discipline to become a habit.