Thursday, October 25, 2007

Evolution of a laundry schedule

First of all, after I posted my schedule the other day, I meant to thank you for all your kind words of sympathy about how much laundry I do. But I suppose I should clarify something: I was just teasing!


Yes, it FEELS like I'm doing laundry all the time (it is never quite finished around here) but in reality, laundry takes me about three days. Two full days of clothes and one day of linens. That does not mean it all gets put away (we are a work in progress here) but at least it's clean. I wish I were one of those plodding, faithful folks, but I'm not. I'm one of those easily distracted people, so I need to get it done and MOVE ON to other things (how I do laundry was my very first WFMW).

I really do have a quite capable jumbo-capacity washer (now that it's fixed) and dryer. And much as I would love to justify a front-loader (I'm trying not to have washer-envy) I'm afraid a larger washer would only increase my backlog of folding. (But if anyone wants to give me one, or if some large appliance company would like me to try one out so I can blog about it (HINT, HINT), I'm game!)

Back before we had kids, laundry day was Sunday. We'd come home from church, take a nap, throw in a load, and then fold while watching the Cowboys game.

During the dark years, when the wash began its climb toward epic proportions and it became apparent that being home with kids was A JOB, I changed the day to Wednesday. It was an easy alliteration for my tired brain to remember: Wednesday Wash Day. At this point, I was too exhausted to stay awake, or too busy taking care of babies to fold during a football game.

I kept to my Wednesday Wash Day all through our homeschooling years. It worked. I had the beginning of the week to shovel out from the chaos of the weekend and to focus on school. Besides, the kids wore the same thing for days on end didn't need as many clothes back then, and as long as they had something left that was clean for church, we were good.

When we put the kids in school four years ago, our schedule again had to change. I switched my laundry day to Monday, usually sneaking in a load or two Sunday night so they'd be sure to have a clean pair of jeans for the first day of school. I love Mondays to get a good start on what is a huge project for people like me who have housework ADHD and just can't ever seem to get the job finished. That way, at least by Friday, most everybody should have some clean clothes (even if they have to come to the laundry room and find them!).

So that leads us to today. For the first time ever, I am leading a class at church on Tuesday mornings. Although I LOVE my group of ladies (Hi Staci!) I am having to completely rethink my Monday laundry day. It's such a habit to get laundry started on Monday (and everybody needs their clean clothes!) but I need to do quite a bit of study and prep on Mondays, Monday night is very busy, and, well, Tuesday (my usual spill-over day) is taken up.

I suppose I should move my prep day to another day, but for now I'm working on reining myself in on Mondays. Maybe a load or two in the morning, then I get to work studying. Then I finish the rest Tuesday afternoons and Wednesday. Today is Thursday, and I'll do sheets today (I rotate beds and change half the beds every other week).

Okay, so here's my general schedule. I hate the word "schedule" because I love to think of myself as a fun, spontaneous person. However, I've learned that I have much more fun being spontaneous when my work is done (For more info on how I put my schedule together, see the original post).

Disclaimer: I wouldn't EVER want to give anyone the impression that we are a well-oiled machine around here. Some people are organized because they are good at it. I try hard to be organized because I am DESPERATE! (Remember, I am a reluctant homemaker?) Something ALWAYS goes wrong, but having a bit of a plan helps keep things from completely unraveling.


Anyway, as you can see, by Thursday, my "big" job (laundry) is mostly done, so I try to make ALL appointments (for myself and the kids) on Thursday mornings, if possible (just got back from taking Libby(9) to the orthodontist). Friday is grocery shopping, and I sometimes even meet a friend for lunch!

I'm still trying how to work in working out (how's that for alliteration?), which I did faithfully all summer. I've been an abysmal failure this fall, but, looking at the schedule, it looks like my best days will be Thursday evening and Saturday. I get my exercise pushing two grocery carts on Friday, so if I can squeeze in one more day, I should be good.

When I look at my week I try to see what "types" of meals would be best for the evening activities. Tuesdays and Fridays are our "relaxed" weeknights so I usually put more effort into cooking those meals (Friday is breakfast night), and the rest are easy-fix.

Let me know how you work on your schedules!


Mary said...

I would love to be able to have a weekly schedule but things are constantly changing here. The biggest stumbling block I have is Hubby's work schedule. He is in retail and he usually gets his schedule on Thursday and then it starts on Sunday. So, I won't know until Thursday night what days/nights he is working the next week. Once I get his schedule, then I can plan who is watching/chauffering our son around, what nights we'll actually eat together and such.

Honestly, right now, there is no schedule. I'm winging it but being able to whip up the following week's schedule on Thursday nights is a goal of mine.

Julie said...

I'm still impressed by the list. I am definitely a fly by the seat of your pants kind of gal but I do have a few routines.

Monday and Wednesday = laundry
Thursday = grocery shopping
Tuesday = run errands
Friday = do housework that didn't get done throughout the week.

Thats it. Of course, when the kids have lots of sports going on the routine can get thrown out the window.

Mary@notbefore7 said...

Girl, I am one of the clueless people who missed the joke. Yes, I thought you had quite a bit of laundry...ha ha ha. I haven't gotten enough sleep to get a joke. The past few days of our tummy virus has left me with that laundry schedule, so why question it for you?

Love your routine there!

Elspeth said...

I went back and read your 'reluctant homemaker' post, and boy could I relate! We had twins when our first was just 12 months old and like you, I was overwhelmed beyond belief. It was all I could do just to keep everyone clean and fed. It's been 12 years since then and I've gotten to be better homemaker, but we had another baby after 12 years without a baby in the house! I feel like I've taken 40 steps backwards. She's 14 months now and I'm beginning to regain my composure and create some sanity. Thanks for the scheduling tips. I'll take all the help I can get!

Caroline said...

Clueless here too but relieved you don't spend that much time in laundry. I thought maybe you were like my sister-in-law that does one load before school and one load when she walks through the door EVERY DAY. She has a small washer and three large teenagers.
I need to be more on a schedule but they stress me out when I can't stay on one. Crazy, huh?

Beck said...

Hee hee. I don't have a DAY for laundry - I just try to keep up with it everyday.

Laura said...

Oh thank God you were joking!! I was seriously considering getting on a plane to fly down there and help you dig out from under the laundry pile!!! So glad your "schedule" is coming together. I don't like the word schedule either and it's probably why I've avoided doing one up to now. But I'm calling mine a guideline and we'll see what happens. I'll let you know when I post it.


Deborah said...

Oh Katherine, I'm relieved, too! You had me going there. I'm not too good at jokes when it's late at night, but you are a riot!

I love reading your blog. Thanks for making me smile.

Blessings to all wearing their clean clothes at Raising Five!

Anonymous said...

I just have to say that I "got" the joke. I only have two kids and my husband has been out of state for almost three months, so my laundry has been very manageable and the washer hasn't been broken while he's gone. LOL

Thanks for being funny, real, spontaneous, yet practical. Again, God has given you the gift of encouragement, and I love reading your posts from Oregon

Aimee said...

have you blogged at all about your reasons to stop homeschooling? I would love to read it if you have. We have homeschooled for 3 years and stopped this year for a myriad of reasons and I always enjoy your blog b/c I know you love Jesus and your children deeply and don't homeschool!!! :) Was that a hard decision to come to or one that you always knew was coming, etc??

Kellan said...

I try to keep a weekly schedule too. And I also do a lot of laundry (4 kids - a little girls that changes choths entirely too much)! I have just a regular old top load, large capacity washer too - one day I'll move up the line. Good post - see ya.

Virginia Revoir said...

I have five little kids. I find that if I don't keep up on the laundry daily, then the mound gets huge fast!!!

Laura said...

It's funny that you've written about this, because I woke up to the fact that people did certain chores on certain days about, um, a month ago. I thought it was sort of an archaic thing (Monday is laundry day, Tuesday is ironing, etc.), but I've started trying to figure out what my rhythm should be. I'm the sort of person that resists stuff like this, but I also am coming to see that I need it. So far, I'm a first day of the week laundry girl (and for us in the Middle East, that's Sunday) and that's the only thing I have figured out.

Katherine@Raising Five said...

Hey Laura!

I like the word you used - rhythm. I think that is what I missed the most when I stopped working outside the home - the natural rhythm of work days and weekends. Suddenly every day was the same, and every day I had a million undone things hanging over my head.

With a routine, it gives some structure to what could be an amorphous mass of unfinished projects. It gives me a way to come to a certain amount of "closure" to what seem like never-ending jobs (if Monday is wash day, and someone gets a shirt dirty on Tuesday, it goes in next week's wash and I don't have to worry about it.).

It's a mental thing for me!

Lori - Queen of Dirty Laundry said...

I love your schedule, especially the Types Of Meals. I think I'll spend some time looking at it over the next few days, and maybe get some inspiration for my own schedule.

Thanks for taking the time to post it!