Creating a laundry schedule or routine is the simplest and easiest way to keep up with your laundry on a regular basis.
This is true whether you like doing the wash or it is the very bane of your existence.
Whether you like it or not it has to get done, and many of the items in your home need to be washed on a regular basis, such as clothes, dish towels and drying cloths, bath towels, sheets and blankets, and more.
There is nothing worse than you or a family member realizing, when its too late, that something you need to wear is not clean. It puts a cramp in your day at the least, and can be disasterous at worst if you've got to wear a uniform, for example, and you don't have it ready.
However, if you do laundry on a regular basis than you'll find you can keep up with it, without too big of a pile building up, and it just becomes a task on your list, and not something to stress about or cause you trouble.
To make a laundry schedule or laundry routine that works for you and your family consider the following questions to help you make your plan.
Before you ask the questions though, please understand that I believe you need to wash all dirty clothes and other items in your home at the maximum about a week after they get dirty. If you wait longer than that they'll get smelly, or the stains will sit so long they'll set.
So, whether you want to do your laundry all at once, weekly, or some everyday, you'll need to work from some type of weekly schedule.
Clearly, the more people you need to wash for the more loads you'll have to do over the course of the week.
For example, I've got a family of 5, and I currently wash everyone's clothes plus other items in the home, including lots of sports stuff. That means I've got lots of loads of wash to do.
Realistically, in a week I've got to plan to wash approximately 6-8 loads of laundry, at least. I could, at maximum, do about 3-4 loads in a day, so I've got to plan on doing laundry at least twice a week, at the least, or could spread it out over the whole week if I wanted.
You'll need to answer for yourself how many loads of laundry you'll be washing, approximately, to make sure you can fit them all into your laundry routine.
Next, you'll need to think about on what days and times you could do a load of wash, if you wanted.
For example, I work from home, so I often have the opportunity to throw a load in either in the morning, noon, or even the evening.
However, that was not always the case. When I used to work outside the home I could only do laundry at night or the weekends.
Further, when I didn't have a washing machine and dryer I had to wash the laundry at the laundromat, which meant I could only wash about once a week.
When making your schedule be realistic when you have the opportunity to wash everything, and only schedule your laundry during those times.
For question 3 you've got to decide what types of stuff you need to wash, and how often.
For example, consider how many loads of clothes you have to wash, making sure to separate it by both the types of loads and items within each load.
This could include, for example, thinking of how you sort items for washing, such as whites, brights, darks, items that need to be washed separately, delicate items, etc.
Further, think of how many loads of bedding you need to wash each week, as well as towels. Also, consider how often you think these items should be washed, such as once a week, twice, etc.
There is no right or wrong answer for this stuff, but you need to make sure you meet your personal preferences of how frequently to wash certain items. If you're unsure about how often common clothing and household items need to be washed in your home, you should check out (and print) my printable chart for how often to wash everything. It will provide you with helpful rules of thumb that can help you design your laundry routine.
You may then want to designate certain days for certain items, such as always washing towels on Saturday, or bedding on Monday, for example.
The final question is to really consider yourself and your personal preferences.
After all, if you don't like the laundry schedule you create for yourself you won't stick to it. Therefore, you must make it fit your personality as much as possible.
If you really hate doing laundry you may want to do it in big spurts, for example, so you can get it out of the way. You may be the type of person, for example, who would really dread doing a load or two everyday.
Or, maybe you hate feeling chained to the washing machine all weekend long, and would prefer to have more time for other activities during that time. Therefore, you would prefer to spread it out, doing a bit daily to get it all done and not do any at all on Saturday and Sunday.
Again, there are no right or wrong answers. Instead, you just need to be honest with yourself about what you prefer.
Also, remember that if you don't like your laundry routine, or things change within your family circumstances, you don't have to feel like a failure and scrap it. Instead, try again by tweaking or reworking it, to find a way to get your laundry done that makes you happier, and works for your life.
Once you've thought of the answers to these four questions you're ready to create your own laundry schedule.
I have created a printable you can fill out and place either in your household notebook and/or pin to a bulletin board of your laundry room to remind you of your schedule daily.
Click here to get your printable
(opens into new window, as PDF)
I've also gathered many other people's laundry routines on the sister site, Household Management 101, which can help you get ideas for how you want to create your own schedule if you feel stuck. Here they are:
Further, if you've got a schedule or routine you want to share you can tell me about it here.
Here's an example of a personalized laundry schedule sent in by a reader, Andrea.
Finally, you'll find that starting a schedule for your laundry is really difficult if you're really far behind on it to begin with, and need to catch up.
That's because a laundry routine is designed to keep you on track, and once it's in place it will keep you from falling behind in the future. However, you've got to get to that starting line somehow, to begin the schedule.
So, instead of thinking this is impossible to do, before you even get started, know that if you're currently overwhelmed with too much laundry, you've got to do one more thing to start your schedule -- catch up so you can start well. To help you I've written this article with 7 steps to catch up on laundry, when it's out of control.
Here are additional articles and resources on the site you may enjoy, since you're considering creating a laundry schedule.
How To Create A House Cleaning Schedule
Printable Cleaning Schedule Form
Laundry Organization Challenge
I would love to hear from you, sharing your thoughts, questions, or ideas about this topic, so leave me a comment below. I try to always respond back!