I have a theory that the latest in the day a load of laundry should be started is 2pm. If you start it at two, you have a fighting chance to get it through the washer, through the dryer, and put away. If you start it any later than two, there is no way it is going to end well. Supper and the evening requirements will interfere. It will be left in a heap somewhere along the way and I will feel sad and horrible. So if it is after 2pm, I'm not starting a load unless it is an emergency. It's just not worth the bother to me.
Does anything else work on a schedule like this?
Kind of. For example, it doesn't matter if the kitchen is left a mess at night. What matters is that it's not a mess when I get home from work and make dinner. If it's a mess when I need to make dinner, dinner takes twice as long.
And I have to make my bed in the morning, or the whole day goes wrong.
My laundry rule is I can start a wash load as late as I want as long as the stuff is in the dryer by the time I go to bed. But my version of putting away is tossing stuff into baskets in the laundry room. No folding involved. We wear rumpled clothes around here. Dom wears polo shirts that don't need ironing and buys the kind of chinos that are wrinkle resistant. And I wear jeans and t-shirts most days.
But the dishes have to be done so that the kitchen is clean for breakfast. I cannot deal with dirty dishes in the sink first thing in the morning with seven breakfasts to prepare. I would turn around and go back to bed.
I like to do laundry over the weekend, sort outfits for the week, and not look at it again until the next weekend. So my rule is not to start a load unless there is something wet/stinky. It throws off my whole rhythm when someone starts a load midweek and then I have dirty clothes piling up and clean spilling out from the dryer at the same time. I have never been a load-a-day person. I think the hopelessness of the laundry cycle is more depressing that way!
I used to be a one laundry day kind of person, but I have transitioned to a load a day kind of person. Something about having it entirely done and then 'not done' the next day was discouraging, but just having a rolling full basket didn't bother me as much. Of course I'm talking like I do the laundry. Ha! Only on maternity leave.
But the thing about needing the kitchen clean in order to function in the kitchen. That's totally me.
I definitely need the kitchen clean in order to function. The schoolroom and the kitchen must be clean before bed, or else we clean before anyone gets breakfast!
I have a very functional laundry room on the second floor, and enough room that we can let several loads of clean laundry accumulate there. So we have loads of laundry going all the time and then we catch up on sorting and putting away on the weekends. I am trying to institute a "one in one out" rule but it isn't working so well.
We wash whenever a basket gets full or stinky. The 8yo and 11yo are assigned to put their dirty clothes in the laundry on Tuesday and on Wednesday mornings respectively, lest they never decide the basket is full enough to wash.
I stumbled upon several laundry ideas years ago so I have felt ahead of the game in that one area. First we have two baskets in our closet, one for whites and the other for colors, so the sorting is already mostly done. Second each kid has a laundry basket and one of their very first chores is to put their dirty clothes into their laundry basket. Even before they can dress themselves, we will hand the toddler the dirty clothes and have baby put it in the basket just to establish the habit.
Still, we have stray socks. Well, fewer than before thanks to sticks.
I cannot bake a batch of bread in the afternoons. Even if I start it at 2:00 and it's therefore done well before bedtime, it makes me feel like my whole day is off. I don't know why.
I have to be disciplined about laundry because we have coin-op machines in our apartment basement with stern signs above them saying that you must remove your clothes within 15 minutes of the machine stopping. (Our landlord is actually a teddy bear but occasionally he must put his foot down.)
My husband washes and dries his own laundry (probably the only chore he does reliably) but never puts it away. He has a plastic bin for clean clothes and a bag for dirty clothes. I don't care as long as the bin/bag pile stays out of my way. (Yes, this makes his work clothes wrinkly, but I pretend they will straighten themselves out on his 45-minute bus ride. Whatever, he hasn't been fired yet.)
Oh, and I always prefer to do dishes in the morning. My mother was an inveterate, "There must not be ONE dirty dish when we go to bed" person, and I rebel. Sometimes if I am busy in the mornings this causes problems because I fall behind and then have to wash everything before dinner and it's terrible. But mostly it works fine.
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