In my opinion, laundry is a drag. But it doesn't have to be! I've come up with 5 easy ways to add in a little “me time” while still getting your laundry done. As busy moms, it's hard to find time to focus on ourselves. I like to find ways to make chores a little more fun but still get our to-do list taken care of. And it is possible to make laundry more enjoyable.
As the only girl in my home our laundry can be gross. My two boys, although they aren't currently playing organized sports, are super active. My 11-year-old is an avid scooter rider who does tricks and scoots around the neighborhood with his bros. To say his clothes get sweaty is an understatement. My youngest son likes to dig (insert shrugging lady emoji here) in dirt, grass, just about anything and he also roller blades. More sweat. My husband plays in an adult soccer league weekly. So when I reach into our hampers to start a load of laundry I am often totally grossed out. Damp clothes are a breeding ground for bacteria and germs which can not only cause illness, but STINK!
Because I have to deal with gross, smelly boy things, I look for ways to make laundry more enjoyable.
5 Ways to Make Laundry More Enjoyable
Take Stock of your Mental Health
One thing I dislike about the laundry is that it is never actually done! Just when I get it all cleaned and put away, somehow the hampers are full again! I usually do things in batches. Otherwise, the chore of doing the laundry would be so overwhelming that I would probably try to curl up in a ball and hide underneath all the clothes – the clean clothes. So when it's time to put the first load in the washing machine, I like to take a second and think about my well-being.
One of my favorite ways to do this is to be intentional and think about what I need in that moment (like more energy, feel less stressed, calm down). Usually I'll pull out my essential oils and choose or make a blend to diffuse while I'm doing housework. It's a small thing that only takes a moment, but allows me to focus on myself for a minute. Which is a good thing for busy moms.
Trust your Tools
I've been doing laundry now for about 20 years, and I've never separated loads. Everything has always just gone in the washer together. In the last 6 months, though, I have pretty much turned all our whites to pinks. Oops! I blame red underwear (not mine…) so I've become more aware of water temperature and colors, etc. Due to my lack of laundry common sense, I will not use bleach. So I've mostly switched to cold water to avoid ruining more clothes, but that goes against everything I've learned about killing germs, etc., which puts me in a bit of a pickle.
I picked up a laundry additive that is supposed to help kill the bacteria that is in your laundry. It doesn't have bleach and it works in cold water which is great for my current color running situation. Now I don't worry about germs, etc. remaining. I can fold the clothes with ease, and know all the gross is gone.Take Back the Wash Cycle
A wash cycle is about half an hour. So on laundry day, I try to give myself one wash cycle to do whatever I want. Usually, it's grabbing a magazine and sitting on the couch. Magazines are a guilty pleasure for me and I've gotten so far behind in reading them! It lets me turn off my brain and just relax for a few minutes. But the reality is that I'm totally doing laundry at the same time. This is my favorite way to multi-task. I might not get to do this every laundry day, but it's a great way to take a breather without feeling guilty since the chores are still getting done.
Binge and Fold
By the time I get to folding laundry there are probably 7 loads to get through. It usually doesn't take more than an hour but I think that is prime time to find a new show to binge watch. I save the shows that I know my husband wouldn't want to watch for laundry folding. It might slow me down a little bit, but now I look forward to folding the laundry instead of putting it off and hating every minute of it. One folding session is about the time it takes to watch one show. However many shows you watch after that is on you. (The binge struggle is real!)
My laundry folding routine means that I leave matching up the socks to the very end. But I hate matching up the socks. One day I realized that it was the perfect chore to give my 7-year-old. It helps them practice matching, helps them with small motor skills for folding them together and gives them a responsibility. AND THEN I DON'T HAVE TO DO IT! It's genius! It makes me almost as happy as when I figured out the kids could make their own lunches.
I still don't love doing laundry. But I've mastered the art of making laundry more enjoyable. And knowing that the clothes are as clean as they can be is important to me!
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