My clients have major issues with laundry. My friends have major issues with laundry. Almost everyone I know except myself and my mom suffers from lingering laundry syndrome.
What is lingering laundry syndrome? LLS is a condition of perpetual laundry. It’s where laundry always lingers around. There is always some form of laundry task beckoning you.
Symptoms of lingering laundry syndrome might be clothes in the washer, clothes in the dryer, clothes in the laundry basket, clothes on the couch, clothes on the bed and/or clothes on the floor. Other symptoms include finding clean clothes not in your dresser or closet but in one of the aforementioned areas that laundry is lingering. You might also find yourself wondering why you own dressers or hangars. Some people have reported never having finished a single load of laundry.
That’s LLS. What is the prescription?
- Have fewer clothes. Yes, fewer clothes mean less laundry. Simple math. Fewer clothes mean it’s easier for you to put clothes away. Fewer clothes mean smaller loads. Fewer clothes mean being able to find the right stuff. Fewer clothes mean less trying on and flinging perfectly good clothing only to never have it properly reinstated to it’s upright or putaway position.
- Don’t make it complicated. I don’t know if you’re like me, but I gave up sorting laundry when I left my mom’s house. (Sorry mom). I chose to not own white clothes. It was a lifestyle decision. And I love my non-white-clothes life. I wash whatever I want, however I want, whenever I want. You can choose to do the same! Then you’ll have fewer mini-steps in doing laundry and you’ll make it easier and more likely you’ll do it.
- 5 minute rule. It only takes five minutes to do laundry. At a time. Dump a load = 5 minutes. Switch a load = 5 minutes. Fold and put away a load in supersonic speed so you can finish fast = 5 minutes. Yep, it’s true. Stop trying to do 3 loads at once. Keep up with the loads, one load at a time. It’s five minutes. In fact, you can pick a favorite song that’s five minutes, plug in the headphones and go, go, go! You MUST focus until you finish. That means phone down, tv off, no cooking, etc. Just devote the five minutes and you’re in & out.
- Make the kids help. Since it’s like a dump cake and it only takes five minutes, make your kids do their own laundry. If they’re, let’s say, 7 or older they can completely do laundry on their own if you invest time teaching them the first 2-3 times. If they’re older, you’ll still have to invest the first few times in teaching them. This is a serious investment. Like, teach, give all the information, the whys, the hows, the scenarios. It will be worth it in the future! If you don’t take the time now though, they’ll do it wrong and make more work for you. If they’re younger, you will have to help but not too much. If you have older and younger, you’re done son. My kids wash a load each on Sunday and that generally lasts them for the week. They are totally capable, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. The only thing it requires is your undivided discipline for the first few times and then you’re golden. I recommend you go in stages: first, let them bring it to the wash & start it. Next, bring, start & switch. Next bring, start & switch & put away. Finally, when they’re ready, bring, start, switch, FOLD and put away.
There you have it. What do you think? If you need a coach to help you pare down the wardrobe and help you walk through this process, I’m here. You might find it funny to think you need a laundry coach. It is kind of funny, I suppose. But then again, what else plagues you as much as laundry!? In all seriousness, I coach women how to be more productive and happier and this is just a small part of that. I’d love to help you. Click the work with me button above!