The One Episode Laundry Schedule

Do you hate laundry? I sure did. I’m thinking a good amount of people share those feelings. And everyone deals with their hatred in their own way. Avoidance. Aggressive purging. Suffering in silence. Or not in silence.

In 2018, our new year’s resolution was to solve our laundry problem. Our living room had a constant presence of clean, but unfolded, laundry. It was annoying. 

We went through a small purge to have less laundry. Then set up a daily schedule so each family member had a laundry day and we would never have to sort clothes. And a day for towels. 

And that was a drag. Put a load in the washer. Wait for the beep. Switch to dryer. Wait for the beep. Empty and fold. Put it away. Ugh. Hours of laundry. Every. Stinking. Day. 

After a while, we got a suggestion to adjust the schedule. And, since the schedule wasn’t really working anyway, we gave it a try. We did keep the part about each person has an assigned laundry day – that is awesome. But we shifted the fold and put away so that the entire process each day only takes about 45 minutes, or the length of one episode of your favorite TV show. Unless your favorite show is Friends or another half hour show; then you get to watch two episodes while you work. 

Side Note (and how the system got it's name): We binge TV shows on Netflix. When the credits roll, whether they have been watching or not, all the kids call out “one episode” as a request for more. And then they go right back to whatever they were doing.

Day 1.

  1. Wash and dry load A of clothes.
  2. Done

Day 2.

  1. Put Load B into the washer.
  2. Remove Load A from the dryer.
  3. Turn on favorite TV show*
  4. Fold Load A and put away.
  5. Move Load B from washer to dryer.
  6. Done

Day 3.

  1. Put load C into the washer.
  2. Remove load B from the dryer.
  3. Turn on favorite TV show* 
  4. Fold Load B and put away.
  5. Move load C from washer to dryer.
  6. Done
Repeat each day.
*TV show not necessary for process to work, but it is more enjoyable

Now, stay with me; this plan is great if you don’t have clothes that wrinkle easily, or you don’t care so much if they do wrinkle. So, for most of us, not a big deal. Ron's work clothes: kinda big deal. (I let him do his own laundry)

The main thing is the psychology of this method. A full load of laundry in the normal timeframe takes at least 2 hours from the time you throw it in the wash until you put everything away. A typical load of laundry in our house takes 45 minutes to wash and coincidentally, that’s about how long it takes to fold and put away. So, you are getting the same amount of work done in a lot less time each day.

It also keeps clean clothes out of the living room. Or dining room. Or wherever you fold clothes. The clean clothes stay in the dryer until it’s time to fold and put them away.

And the biggest plus of this method: It is a lot harder to forget to switch laundry from the washer to the dryer. No more stinky clothes that must be washed again. 

With our transition to a new work schedule, this laundry method has worked well for me to do in the time between when I finish breakfast and Ron gets home from work (provided I actually get up on time). If I don't get up on time, I just fit it in to another part of my day.

And I don’t hate laundry anymore.

I challenge you to give it a try for a week or two. And then, if it works for you, send out a thank you to my mom for suggesting the schedule to me. If it doesn’t work for you, that’s ok; you’ll find your laundry solution.



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