As crazy and simple as it sounds, doing one load each of laundry and dirty dishes everyday will make your life less frantic, more focused & more organized. A more focused you will have an easier time managing your other short-term tasks and keep you on track to knock down your long-term goals.
Why It Works
What this simple strategy does is keep your most basic items - clothes, dishes, pots & pans - under control. The right dishes, equipment and utensils will be ready for you to make healthier meals at home instead of ordering a pizza or picking up take-out. No matter what you make at home, it will more than likely be healthier (and cheaper) than anything you could purchase out. When you want to go to the gym or take your friend up on that hike invitation, you’ll be ready. An unexpected opportunity to meet with someone about that amazing business idea you have, the right outfit is ready to wear or at the very least, you have a wide range of clean clothes to choose from.
The Benefits Broken Down
- No more excuses: I'll skip the gym because my work out clothes need to be washed. We don't have any clean dishes so I'd need to wash all that before cooking dinner and that would take so much time, so let's just get order a pizza. If you do one load everyday, you lose excuses like those and have no reason not to do those tasks that you know are better for you.
- Use your time more efficiently: No more spending a ½ hour getting ready to cook dinner because you need to clear the counter, wash the dishes, etc. No more wasted time finding the right outfit for that meeting because you're caught up with your laundry and you know where everything is!
- Healthier meals: More than likely almost anything you make yourself at home is going to be healthier than any take out or restaurant. You can also control the ingredients and portion sizes so you know absolutely what you’re putting in your body.
- Save Money, Spend Less: If you’re able to use your kitchen to prepare meals, you will rely less on take-out and other convenience foods (boxed mixes, pre-cut meat/veggies) because you have time & appropriate tools to make your meals. With a steady stream of clean laundry, you should be able to find what you need for whatever occasion. I know I've used the "I don't have anything to wear" excuse to go buy new clothes for job interviews, conferences and last minute invite to dinner party invites more than I care to admit. Later I realize I did have the right sweater or pants in my closet but my clothes were in a laundry basket.
- Do one load only: Run the dishwasher even if it is not jampacked full. Don’t use water efficiency or savings as an excuse. Most dishwashers nowadays have a “quick” or “small load” setting which will use less water & energy as an adjustment to a smaller & less dirty load dishes. Don't get tempted to do more laundry. For me, I find that just leads to being burnt out on laundry which leads to things not getting folded and put away and/or the dirty piles growing exponentially again because I'm over it. One load of each is a small commitment of time. However the laundry especially will get into a nice groove of manageable amounts after about a week.
- Do it everyday: Every single day. No matter what. I know I've slipped on this one and things get out of control pretty quickly. Making sure to run a single load each, helps keep the kitchen and clothing from becoming overwhelming. I know I've missed a couple days and I can attest to this.
Time for Things That Really Matter
Instead of getting behind on dishes or scheduling a half day (or whole day!) for washing clothes, implement this small task everyday and things will begin to fall in place. You will have time back and a clear mind for those things that really matter in life. You'll be able to do what needs to be done.