06 March 2015

How to Do Laundry Only Once a Week (7QT)

When I hear that some people do laundry every single day, you should see the odd sideways glance I give them. Actually, no, you shouldn't. I'm probably a jerk. I don't care how many kids you have, once a day is too flippin' much. Our family, with 2 working parents and a fully(!) potty-trained 3-year-old girl does laundry on Saturday. And only Saturday. (I will admit when I stayed home full-time, we did laundry on Tuesday AND Saturday. But we could have gotten away with just Saturday.)

Side note: Cloth diapers don't count as laundry, so none of this applies to those loads. Also, if you have an infant under 6 months old, I wouldn't even attempt any of this. Carry on.

Know that you'll be doing more than one load on laundry day. The most I've done in one day is 4 loads. (But I think that actually included diapers, so maybe only 3.)

B and I have one very full basket, Cora's basket is half-full or a bit more. (Kids' clothes are small!) For us, that's usually 2 full loads on laundry day.

Have only 1 child. Don't know what you'll do with the rest of them. Ship 'em off to somewhere sunny and let them run around naked, I suppose.

*I'm pretty sure I can maintain this once a week thing with 2 kids (after the 6-month window). Time will tell. After 2 kids, maybe we'll bump it up to twice a week.

Live somewhere so cold that you're inside all winter. Make sure that winter lasts at least 9 months.

Read: no mud stains to sort out. Snowsuits and coats don't get washed until June, of course.
None of this is laundry.

Have LOTS of clothes. Too many clothes, actually. Especially underwear and workout clothes. Your drawers need to be full of drawers--enough undies for everyone in your family to be able to go 2 weeks if it came down to it.

[I say this, but I'll also claim that I only have enough maternity office clothes to last me about one week right now. And yet we still make it work.]

Get a HE (High-Efficiency) washer. Our top-loader HE fits an entire basket full of clothes in it. Make sure you have a dryer with similar capacity. I don't know why top-loading HE's aren't more popular--they're only a bit more expensive than the old-school kind. This puppy has probably paid for itself in the 4.5 years we've had it.

DO NOT separate your colors. No. Just don't. Segregation is over, didn't ya hear? It's unnecessary. Separate your laundry by how it needs to be washed. Which, for us, is 2 things: hot water/high heat dry; or delicate/cold water/low heat dry (or hung). If you're afraid of your colors running, maybe try a color catcher thing. But I don't use 'em. (We also don't use bleach or fabric softener, so no need to separate towels or whites or do any of that nonsense.)
The 'hot wash' (don't-care clothes) are in the washer and the 'delicates' are standing by

Lower your standards. This is probably the most important step. Bed sheets get washed once a month. Maybe. When's the last time that bath towel was washed? Meh, keep on using it unless I have some spare space in the 'hot wash' load. The only thing I really make sure gets washed are washrags and kitchen towels, because ain't nobody got time for salmonella. And Shout totally works on weeks-old stains.

On that note, don't pre-wash anything unless you got it second-hand. This tip especially applies to brand-new baby clothes. Because if you don't take the tags off and baby never wears it, you can totally re-gift it.

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  1. Haha, love the part about having only one kid! I do my laundry every two weeks, but that is because I only do laundry for myself. I'm a big fan of re-wearing clothes, so I keep it to a minimum, but it definitely fills more than one load.

  2. This is too funny! I only do clothes laundry once a week and did even when I had one under 6 months (but, we did have an over abundance of baby clothes). I typically have 2-3 loads of clothes. Once or twice a month I do another day of laundry that is either towels or sheets. And of course diapers 2x a week. I also throw things like dish rags or cloth napkins in with the clothes or the second wash of diapers, so I really try to keep it to a minimum.

  3. Ha! Nice! We don't have any kids yet, so our laundry is inconsequential at best (especially since I had to use a laundromat for YEARS, meaning I totally perfected the art of having way too many pairs of underwear and socks). Plus, 99% of my clothing is black, meaning if I want to do a load of whites I practically have to throw my sheets in just so I'd have a decently sized load. :p I know this is going to drastically change once the (future) babies come along, though. :p