Laundry Tips & Tricks, Sharing My Laundry Routine

I’m not really sure why, but laundry is my favorite chore to do. Maybe it’s the same reason I like organizing, because it turns chaos – a big pile of dirty, stinky clothes, into order – everything neatly folded, put away, and smelling clean! I have a laundry routine that works well for me and I have been doing it for years! I’ve been married 24 years, and we have three children – one just graduated from college, one in college, and one in high school. I have been doing this same laundry routine for as long as I can remember. From the multiple outfits of toddlerhood to everyone having sports clothes! I wash our clothes once a week! I wanted to share with you some laundry tips. Some of these relate to doing laundry only once a week, but they could apply to however often you prefer to do laundry.

Here is the video I made in conjunction with this blog post if you want to check it out!

 My first tip is to separate clothing. I know, I know… I sound like your mom, right? This does prevent clothes colors from bleeding onto lighter clothing, and it also helps so you can choose the appropriate washer settings. I like to do four types of loads: darks (usually two loads a week, we got down to one load while my two older kids were in college and doing laundry on their own), lights (one load per week), load of dark towels/socks/underwear, and a load of light towels/socks/underwear (sometimes I push this load off until later in the week when I wash my sheets if it’s not big enough). I know this may not work for everyone to separate their laundry, particularly if you are someone who does laundry every day.

Wash socks, underwear, towels, and sheets together on hot. I like to wash all of these items on hot to be sure that they are disinfected as well as cleaned. 

Pre-treat stained items. Since I only do laundry once a week, I like to treat stained items immediately and just let the stain treatment set until the laundry day. This could be done no matter how often you do your laundry!

Own at least two sets of sheets per bed and two towels per person so you can replace them immediately. I find that two sets of sheets per bed and two towels per person is sufficient. One set for on the bed/on the towel rack, and one set for in the linen closet or in the laundry.

Use wool dryer balls instead of dryer sheets. They are reusable, and so environmentally friendly, and they don’t have chemicals like some dryer sheets do. You can add essential oil to the balls for a fresh scent. I like to store my dryer balls in a glass jar on a shelf about my washer and dryer as they also double as great laundry room decor!

Check your pockets before washing any items! I learned this the hard way after washing a pen with my laundry one time. Since then, I have not done a perfect job at this and have washed all kinds of things including our key fob one time! But not to worry, it actually still worked!

Do an entire load, start to finish so you don’t forget it. This also helps reduce wrinkles if you take the laundry out of the dryer immediately and hang it up so less likely to have iron clothes.

Hang dry items that are wet or sweaty before putting them in your laundry basket. This may be an obvious tip! I have found that the one drawback to only doing laundry once per week is the laundry getting moldy/musty smelling. It does help that we have a laundry shoot in both bathrooms, so our laundry is concealed. If we do have something that is wet – like a bathing suit or workout clothes we hang those up to dry before putting them in the basket.

Be sure to read the labels on your clothes, not only to determine what temperature is ideal to wash the garment, but also to line dry anything that should not be put in the dryer. I also like using a lingerie bag for any bras or bathing suits that could get tangled in the wash.

Keep laundry baskets where people take their clothes off. We keep a laundry basket in each bathroom and then one in the laundry room. I have a rule that if it’s not in the laundry basket by Monday (laundry day), then it won’t get washed.

Well, I hope this gave you some tips that you have never thought of doing! Please let me know of any tips you have that I missed!

Why Do We Buy So Much Stuff + My Intentional Spending Year Progress

For those of you new to my blog, last year in 2019, I did a No Spend Year. This included home decor, clothing, shoes, and accessories. I definitely learned a lot throughout that year. {{You can read about it in my No Spend Year Reflections, which I documented each month – check it out on my main page under No Spend Year!}} I did decide after that year to be more intentional with my spending moving forward. I have done one blog post discussing how I have been doing in 2020, My Intentional Spending Year, back in the spring. As I continue to move through 2020 I see that shopping is such a slippery slope, and even with some “rules” in place, it’s easy to get out of control. I’m considering re-evaluating my rules and implementing more or more well-defined rules for myself.

All of this got me thinking about how deep-seated my spending habits had become, and just like an addict going back to the thing they are addicted to, it got out of control fast. I really dislike using that word “addict,” but the truth is there really isn’t another way to explain it. Shopping can cause the brain to release dopamine just like any other “drug” of choice – drugs, alcohol, or even food! 

In an article found on Psychology Today, it stated, “Many people think that dopamine is released when the brain receives a reward, but dopamine is actually released in anticipation of a reward.” There was a study where monkeys were given a reward after they pushed a button 10 times, and it was found they released dopamine while pressing the button and not when they actually received the reward. Our brains are wired to release dopamine when we are in the process of looking for that perfect item, not just acquiring it!

In this time we are living in (I’m writing this in summer of 2020 during the Coronavirus pandemic), now more than ever people are looking for ways to experience that dopamine surge. Perhaps some things that used to give us this feeling, we can no longer do.

Not only does shopping give you a dopamine surge, you believe this next item will make you happy. The truth is, it works opposite of that. Every time you give into your temptation to get something new, it just makes it easier to give in the next time, and you are never really satisfied.

I am learning through this year, after doing a no spend year, that I definitely had an addiction to shopping. That is why it is so important for me to focus on being intentional with my spending in 2020. I still don’t feel like I have it “figured out.” I do feel like I continue to buy things because I believe in that idea that “this one last thing will make me happy” even if it is subconscious. Also, I’m learning to balance my love for making things beautiful with being very intentional with what comes into my home. Especially in this time when I am stuck at home so much, I see all kinds of things I want to make more beautiful throughout my home!

The positive thing in all of this is that I am aware. I think in the past I was not even aware of my behavior, or the psychological reasons behind spending/accumulating. Knowing is always the biggest step, because if you know then you can make changes! I’m already thinking about what I can do in 2021 to continue to make changes to my behavior. I’m pondering creative ways to put parameters on myself – which I find helpful for me specifically.

Here is the video I made for my YouTube channel in conjunction with this blog post.