I have a system for doing laundry. Okay…maybe it’s not so much a system…there’s really not much system to it – it’s just my reality – but nonetheless it’s working for me. And today I’m going to share it with you. For free.

First – I should point out that I didn’t do my own laundry until I moved in with my ex-husband. Not for lack of trying – but my mom was super protective of the machines. I lived at home and went to a local college and truthfully…it wasn’t so bad having someone to do my laundry for me.

I may not have been allowed to use the machines – but aspects of proper folding had been drilled into me. Towels were folded in half twice and then into thirds. Pillow cases too. Blankets and sheets had to be folded in half over and over until they were neat and tidy.  She taught me how to make a mean bed with hospital corners too (and I still do it when I put new sheets on the beds).  Somehow mom never taught me how to fold a fitted sheet (I learned this past year on YouTube).  FYI – YouTube can also teach you how to properly install a duvet into a duvet cover (turns out I’d been doing that wrong too).  As a result, for better or worse, I don’t feel like laundry should be put away unless it’s been folded properly.

When I was first with my ex there wasn’t much laundry to do. He dry cleaned most of his own clothes (including his jeans – and yes, that should have clued me in) – so it was only mine and his t-shirts and underwear.  At the time, it was mostly a novel experience for me.  Although I had folding in hand, I had to figure out the whole color sorting thing as well as how and when to use bleach properly.  It hadn’t yet reached the level of bane of my whole existence yet.  When my son was born, I started slipping developing my own laundry system.  After two more kids my laundry system was a complete mess perfected.

The system is basically this – I have roughly one basket for each member of the family (four total – I haven’t added one for the baby yet).  Once a week I take an hour and fold all of the laundry.  All four baskets get emptied folded and put away once a week.  If I go beyond the hour – or I finish the laundry and there are still loads going, those get reloaded and placed in the upstairs hallway.  As a result, there usually four baskets of unfolded laundry in my upstairs hallway.

If I need a basket and don’t have one free (because I’ve already done my four for the week), I dip into the one that’s the least onerous to empty (usually sheets or towels), empty it, refill it and leave it or sometimes I’ll redistribute the clothing from one to the other three.  If I need something that’s in one of the baskets I’ll retrieve it.  But otherwise – they wait until designated laundry day.  If at the end of the folding there are leftover unmatched socks, they go into the leftover sock bin – an extra laundry basket that sits in the bottom of my closet until one of us runs low on clean socks.

The jist of it is – I have decided precisely how much effort I’m willing to put into laundry every week.  Some weeks I get the kids or hubs to assist with the folding and putting away – but most weeks I do it on my own.  It’s not and it’s never going to be my favorite thing to do.  But I do need to fold my laundry before it’s put into the drawers.  And that’s OKAY.   I’m not a SuperMom – and I don’t have a cape.  I can’t do it all – and I’m not going to feel guilty about the four baskets of laundry in my upstairs hallway.

And this is why I love the new book out by Kerri Rivera and Alexa Bigwarfe – Lose the Cape.

The book is so much better than Doctor Spock or What to Expect When You’re Expecting – it gives real world advice from moms who have been there.  The book is presented in such a way that it doesn’t tell you what you should do – it just gives you some tips and strategies for potential situations you could be in.  From breast-feeding to bottle-feeding – keeping a tidy house to those who are just able to keep the wolves at bay – this book has something for every mother and is a must read especially for new moms.

Whether you’re the mom who washes, folds and puts away to loads a day, the one who tucks clean clothes into drawers without folding, or the one who has the laundry in piles all over the house – this book has something for you.

More information about the authors:

ALEXA BIGWARFE is a freelance writer, wife, and mother of three children and a dog. In addition growing little people, trying to manage her home, and writing, Alexa is an advocate. Her heart is in raising awareness about infant, children and women’s issues.  Alexa launched her writing and her advocacy on her personal blog, No Holding Back, katbiggie.com.

KERRY RIVERA is a full-time working mom of three kids with a to-do list that stretches to “infinity and beyond.” Between a demanding corporate gig, the nightly homework and kids’ activities, and managing a household with her full-time working husband, she blogs about the “juggle” at BreadwinningMama.com.

For more info on Lose the Cape:

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I was honored to receive a complimentary copy of Lose the Cape. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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