Couple doing laundry

Laundry Schedule Ideas for a Family of 4

Doing the laundry of one person can be a mammoth task, and if it’s not managed it can soon get out of hand. But keeping control of four people’s washing is something entirely different! 

With socks going missing, t-shirts being sent to the wrong wardrobe, and dirty pants ending up in the clean clothes pile on a regular basis, it’s no wonder that people put off doing the washing for days at a time!

But all of this stress and strain can be avoided by using a laundry schedule! And while timetables like the ones we had in school can seem a little boring and olde-worlde, they do actually work, particularly when it comes to laundry! 

So, why not transform your arduous laundry cleaning sessions into something a little less painful by checking out the laundry schedule ideas below.  

Why Is a Laundry Schedule Important?

laundry schedule importance

One reason why you should consider using a laundry schedule is because it’ll take a lot of “cleaning stress” off your shoulders

Think about it, you’re never, ever truly free from doing some sort of washing. There’s always a PE kit to wash, beds to change and undies to clean. 

So, unless you live in a house with an unlimited supply of clothes, bedding and towels, you’ll have to do some sort of laundry at some stage. 

And as you might know already, leaving all your washing to mount up isn’t ideal at all, and it’s very stressful to clear it all when the time comes. Not to mention that it’s time consuming, and then you can’t always dry the laundry anyway because of the weather here in the UK. 

So, why not take the hassle out of your life by following a laundry schedule. Setting up one doesn’t need to be hard, and you can even use the ideas below if you’re not sure where to start. But either way, stress-free laundry sessions are the way forward.

In addition to the above, having a schedule also means that you’ll be quite organised, so you won’t have any hidden laundry surprises. Yes, I am talking about the worst kind of cleaning, also known as the “last minute rush clean”. This is usually the “Sunday night 8 p.m. wash before school starts on Monday” washing session! 

Being in control of your laundry means that you know what needs to be cleaned when, what’s important and who can help you out with the washing. 

Further to this, a schedule also keeps you on track, so your washing basket won’t start to run rampant in your home. A simple schedule can be extremely effective for managing your washing. 

Plus, a schedule helps you to build up a solid cleaning routine, and you could use the principles of it in other areas of your life.

But by far the most important reason is that schedules keep you on the straight and narrow, so you actually have time to go and do what you like

If you stick to a plan, and only deviate from it now and again, you’ll actually have time to do what matters to you in life. Instead of delaying spending time with your family and friends, you’ll be able to go out and enjoy yourself knowing that there’s no dreaded laundry waiting for you at home.  


Factors to Consider When Using a Laundry Schedule

As you might’ve guessed, there are many benefits to using a laundry schedule. However, before you start following a plan you should consider the points below.

Consider how many loads of washing you need to do per week

laundry load

You can split up your loads of laundry into categories like underwear, towels, dark coloured clothes, and white clothes, for example. 

If you’re not exactly sure on how much washing you do, analyse your washing behaviours over a few weeks before setting your schedule into action. 

The average family of four does about 8-10 loads of laundry a week.

When is the best time for you to do laundry?

best time for laundry

For example, morning, afternoon or night. 

Think about your personal schedule, and if you’ll actually be around to do the washing at a particular time.

If you work from home, for example, you’ll be able to slot some washing sessions in throughout the day. 

If you work at an office this may not be possible to do. However, if you have a washing machine that’s app controlled you might be able to get a load of laundry washed during the day.  

In addition to this, you should try and slot your washing sessions in at convenient times. 

For example, if you work from home and you take a coffee break at 10:30 a.m., you could plan to do some washing then because you’ll already be in the kitchen, or near to your washing machine. You’d basically be able to get two jobs done at once!

Pick laundry times that naturally fit into your schedule, so you can build habits up. 

Tip: It is usually better to do your laundry early in the morning, so that you can peg the clothes out to dry/ tumble dry as soon as possible.

Think about where you’ll actually be doing the laundry

where to do the laundry

At home, at a relative’s house, or at a launderette. You will need to factor in any travelling time, for example. 

What are you planning on washing and how important are the items?

When you know what’s important to wash you can build a schedule around it. 

School and work uniforms will take priority in a lot of homes, for example. So, it might be better to wait until the end of the week, when all the school and work uniforms have been worn, to clean them. The outfits will then be ready for the coming week. 

Where and how will you be drying the laundry?

If you plan on doing your laundry at night, you won’t have the sun’s light to dry your clothes, so how will you be drying your items, for example.

Who’s going to be helping out?

laundry help

If your children are old enough you can get them involved in the laundry process. If you have a partner, or you live with your parents, you can get them to help out too. 

You could, for example, ask everyone to place their underwear in their own underwear wash bag ready for washing, or you could delegate a specific task to each family member every week, or everyone could just do their own laundry.

Ask yourself what the laundry process looks like to you? 

For some the laundry process is as follows; sort laundry into multiple piles, wash individual laundry piles, dry laundry, iron or fold laundry and pop items away. 

For others the laundry process goes like this; grab some coloured clothes, wash them, dry them and put them away. 

Based on the answer to the question above, you’ll have a much better idea of what you need to include in your schedule. 

When it comes to setting up a laundry schedule, you have to consider all the factors listed above because they’ll have a direct impact on how successful the schedule works. 

In addition to this, you should keep in mind that each home environment is different, so schedules have to be changed to suit each house. 


Laundry Schedule Ideas for a Family of 4

So, now you know what you need to think about when setting up a laundry schedule, let’s check out a few laundry schedule ideas!

Note: The schedules below can be adjusted as much or as little as you like. For example, you may be able to wash more on one particular day, and less on another, so alter the schedules to suit your personal situation. 

Laundry schedule based on the people in the house

laundry baskets

One of the easiest ways to manage your laundry is by washing a certain family member’s clothes on a particular day. 

For this to work effectively, you could either separate the individual’s clothes by colour and material, or you could just wash all the person’s dirty clothes at once (drum size permitting, of course). 

If your family consists of young children, then the adult in the house should do the sorting and washing. But if you’ve got teenagers, they could do their own washing with a parent’s supervision. 

It goes without saying that you need to consult and discuss this type of schedule with each member in your house, and you have to consider each person’s schedule too. 

For example, if you’re going to ask your teenagers to wash their own clothes, you have to factor in that they are in school or college during the day. 

For this schedule to work smoothly, it would be better for every member in the house to have their own laundry basket that they add their dirty clothes to. It would be desirable to separate clothes by colour too. 

This kind of schedule goes like this:


Child 1’s laundry day


Mum’s laundry day (you could combine Mum and Dad’s laundry together) 


Child 2’s laundry day


Dad’s laundry day (could be a day off, if Dad’s laundry is combined with Mum’s laundry)


Towels (all)


Bedding Child 1 (morning) and Child 2 (afternoon) – (can be swapped every other week between family members)



Keep in mind that you could do more than one wash per day, if need be. Child 1, for example, could do coloured clothes wash in the morning and a delicate wash in the early afternoon. 

In addition to this, you’d have to consider when the laundry would be dried for each person. 

Laundry schedule based on laundry type

laundry types

If you’d rather split your laundry up into piles of washing, rather than piles of people’s clothes, then you can do so. 

To follow a schedule of this nature you will need to separate everyone’s laundry based on the type of clothing that needs washing. In this case you’d end up with a large pile of coloured clothes, a pile of white clothes and a pile of delicate clothes, for example.  

If it’s easier for you, you can buy individual wash bags and label them with what should go in the bag and when the items should be cleaned. 

In addition to this, you might find it useful and more hygienic to give each family member their own underwear wash bag, so everyone’s delicates stay in the right bag. There’s less risk of a sock going missing if you try this out too! 

Further to this, you can get the whole family involved by delegating activities with this kind of schedule. For example, after Monday’s coloured clothes are washed, Child 1 could peg them out on the line and Dad could put them away. 

This kind of schedule goes like this:


Morning: Coloured clothes are washed. They are dried and stored later in the day.

Afternoon: More coloured clothes are washed. They are dried and stored. (Optional)


Morning: White clothes are washed. They are dried and stored away later in the day.

Afternoon: Towels are washed. They are dried and stored.


Morning: Miscellaneous/day off. 


Morning: Towels and tea towels washed. They are dried and stored later in the day.


Late afternoon or early evening: Coloured clothes are washed and dried (School uniforms, for example). 


Morning: Bedding washed, dried and stored.


Morning: Delicates washed, dried and stored.

Note: If you like clothes to be ironed, set aside some time on a particular day to do this.

The idea behind this type of schedule is that you choose to wash certain items on a particular day that works best for you. 

For example, all delicates are washed on a Sunday morning, so that they are ready to be worn the rest of the week. 

Towels, on the other hand, are washed twice during the week because these items are being used on a daily basis by four family members.

Basic laundry schedule

laundry task delegation

If the schedules above don’t take your fancy, and you need something much simpler, look no further! Below you’ll find an extremely simple schedule to follow, it’ll also help to ease you into using a laundry plan too.

As a family of four, you could take it in turns to do a load of washing each, or each family member could be delegated a certain task from the schedule below. For example, Dad does all the ironing and Mum sorts out all the coloured clothes for washing. 

This kind of schedule goes like this:


Wash one load of laundry (coloured clothes) and dry this load of laundry.


Wash a second load of laundry (coloured clothes) and dry this load of laundry.


Wash a third load of laundry (white clothes) and dry this load of laundry.

Iron and pop the three loads of laundry away. 




Wash delicates, dry them and pop them away.


Wash towels, dry them and pop them away.


Wash bedding, dry them and pop them away (alternate between rooms every week).

Note: You may need to slip in an extra load of washing every so often just to keep on top of the laundry. Additionally, if you have a large drum in your washing machine, you might be able to wash larger loads with ease, which’ll help to speed up the washing process for your family of four. 


Final Thoughts

laundry schedule for family of 4

Setting up a laundry schedule doesn’t have to be difficult, and you can use any of the ones above to get you started. 

However, it’s vital that you remember to adjust the schedules above to suit your home and family’s lifestyle. Failing to amend the schedules, even just a little, will result in them being ineffective. 

Don’t forget that you can speed up the laundry process by buying washing baskets that can divide clothes up for you, you can buy each person in your home their own laundry bag, and you can even utilise the ‘quick wash’ feature on your washing machine to clean unsoiled clothes!

Preparation is going to be your best friend when it comes to doing laundry.