Do you hate folding laundry? Or is it just so hard to get to with all the other million things on your to-do list? Oh man, I feel ya sooooo much.
Having 4 kids in less than 5 years meant that laundry very quickly became the bane of my existence. Oh my gosh, it was insane. It felt like I blinked and suddenly went from doing a couple of loads a laundry a week to the seventh circle of laundry hell.
I WAS DROWNING IN THE LAUNDRY OF A TINY CREW OF DIRT MAGNETS.
Dirt magnets who routinely used their clothes as napkins.
It was as baffling as it was depressing. I mean, how do tiny little bodies produce sooooo much laundry? Absolutely mindboggling.
And while washing laundry never seemed to be too big of a problem (because it takes like 2 seconds to start the washing machine), folding it was an another matter entirely.
While it weighed on me, it just never seemed like a pressing matter. After all, the clothes are clean.
“Do I know where that shirt is? No. But it’s clean…somewhere in these 4 overflowing baskets of clean clothes.”
Folding clothes that I’d just have to wash and fold again a week later just never got me super motivated. It felt like a waste of time.
But if I can be honest, living out of clean laundry baskets is an even greater waste of time. Not only did it take 15 minutes to find that one article of clothing my kid was searching for, but she left a mess of clothes in her wake.
That’s when I realized that the biggest waste of time was not staying on top of my folding. So I set out to figure out how I (someone who hates folding clothes with the fire of a thousand suns) could create a routine that makes it easy to keep up.
And I did. I first figured our my 15 minute a day laundry hack and then discovered 3 fabulous folding laundry hacks to motivate me to do the dreaded task of folding clothes.
Here they are:
1) USE PAIRING
Pairing is one of the best ways to get yourself to do basically anything that you regularly put off, be it folding clothes or exercising.
Here’s what you do: you pair up an enjoyable task with the loathed task. You ONLY can do the fun thing if you are doing the unpleasant thing. This uses your desire to do the pleasurable task to get yourself to do the not-so-pleasurable task.
Things you can pair with folding clothes:
- Listening to podcasts
- Watching a specific TV show
- Watching a movie
- Listening to audiobooks
- Listening to music
- Movie date night with your husband (where you both fold together)
Honestly, the possibilities are endless!
The key is that you’ve got to be folding clothes in order to allow yourself to engage in the fun activity.
Like you can only watch your Netflix show when you fold laundry. It also has the added benefit of getting the joy of watching your show and not feeling guilty. All while getting your folding done.
2) SET AN ALARM AND JUST DO IT JUST A FEW MINUTES A DAY.
I had friend in college who absolutely hated goodbyes. So he would either just suddenly leave without saying a word or would give a quick, unexpected hug and take off without warning.
In his words, he was “ripping it off like a band-aid.” In other words, doing something painful really fast makes it less awful.
This is the rip-the-bandaid-off-fast method of folding clothes.
Set an alarm for 10 minutes and just fold whatever you can in that time. This makes folding quick and relatively painless. You can do anything for 10 minutes. And you may be surprised what you get done. This method works extremely well with my 15-minute a day philosophy to laundry.
3) ENLIST YOUR KIDS.
I’m constantly amazed as a parent how often my children learn things well before I think they’ll be able to. After introducing folding laundry to my older kids at 4 and 5 years old, they enthusiastically began to help me.
And not only are they more meticulous than I (which is not hard, I’ll admit), they actually love it. So I gotta tap into that while I can!
I started by giving them easy rectangular items, like wash clothes, dish towels, and baby blankets. They then happily moved on to their own clothes.
This is an especially great hack because not only does it take the pressure off of you, it teaches your children a new skill and gives them an important responsibility. So you’re just winning all over the place.
The key is to make it a routine and habit your kids are used to. Make them expect to help with folding each week or however it works for you.
USE THE FOLDING LAUNDRY HACKS TO GET OUR LAUNDRY HELL.
No matter how much you loathe folding, using these folding laundry hacks will make keeping up with your laundry painless...and maybe even enjoyable. Pick one or do as I do and use a combination of all of them. I fold for about 10 minutes a day, while listening to podcasts and enlist my children in folding towels, blankets, and most of their own clothes.
You’ve got this, mama!