Have you ever stumbled into your room at the end of the day, eager to collapse into bed … and then you see that darn laundry basket? It’s sitting there, in the middle of your room, overflowing with clean clothes that need to be put away. You cringe and tell yourself that it’s going to have to wait until tomorrow. Lost sleep isn’t worth keeping up with the laundry.
Then you get into your closet to undress for bed … and you see the overflowing dirty clothes basket. Ah! You again suppress the need to start a load in the wash. But then the tipping point comes when you go to set out your clothes for the next day, hoping to help save a few moments in the morning. You realize the there are not enough clothes put away or hanging up to get dressed in for tomorrow. Grrh!
Ways Of Keeping Up With The Laundry
I have three boys, four if you count my husband. 🙂 And the laundry never ends. Sound familiar? Since the little ones are constantly getting dirty or covered in their own food daily, it’s pretty rare that I can hang up their outfits to be worn again another day.
We’ve got laundry baskets in their bathroom, two in my own closet another in the kitchen, and then piles in each bedroom. Throw the cloth diapers in and there’s more than plenty of dirty clothes to go around the house. Nobody is old enough to do their own laundry yet. When they are, it’s definitely going to be their own responsibility.
I don’t do laundry every day because I REALLY don’t want to. I don’t like doing all of it for a single day during the week because it takes too long. Unless there is some sort of disaster or blowout and stains can ensue, then I throw things in the washer immediately. But for now, how the heck do I keep up with the laundry?
Here are some of my own hacks and habits I’ve developed for myself that you can try to keep up with your own laundry messes.
- Always put the dirty clothes into a basket or hamper after you take them off. Then they’re not scattered about needing to be gathered up when you’re ready to do a load.
- Have enough baskets to separate them by colors or load types automatically. This way you don’t have to waste time dividing up clothes into different loads either. I want to get a pre-sorted basket rack like this one so I don’t have multiple baskets traveling all over my house. Plus, my laundry room is on the same floor as the bedrooms, so most of the laundry doesn’t have to travel up and down stairs.
- Pick the same days each week to wash all of the clothes for the entire week. With our schedule, Tuesday and Thursdays are the same days I do laundry. Then occasionally I’ll do Saturday’s too in case I didn’t get through everything already.
- Have a designated time on those days to wash your clothes. I do them after I get home from work around 4:30 and 5pm before I have to start cooking dinner. Occassionally I will start a load in the morning before I leave for work as part of my morning routine.
- Run quick washes first so you can get back to the next load faster. My washer has a quick wash setting that only takes about 20 minutes for a full cycle. I will do our whites on this setting because our whites are never very dirty. So then I can go do something else for a few minutes and come back to put in a big load of dirty colors that will take longer to wash.
“If I don’t do laundry today, I’m gonna have to buy new clothes tomorrow.” – Anna Paquin
- Put away smaller loads as soon as their done. When the whites are done drying, they don’t take long to dry or put away either because that load is always smaller. That way I can leave the two big loads of colors for the next day in my week.
- Fold clothes as you listen to books or watch tv. If you can’t get things put away while children are about, which can be pretty difficult I know, wait until they’re in bed and then fold or sort them as you enjoy your method of entertainment for the evening. This is how I was able to watch all of Downton Abbey in a couple weeks recently.
- Have your kids help as you put them away. To ensure I get everything back in the right closets instead of having clean clothes sit in baskets all week, I make it a game and enlist the participation of my two and three-year-olds. They get to pick the hanger or piece of clothing that’s next to go back in the closet. It may take a little longer than if I was just doing it all myself. But then I’m still having fun with and teaching my boys at the same time.
- Put a dry towel in the dryer with your load of wet clothes. The dry towel in there helps even out the moisture so things can dry faster, saving you time and money.
I like how I can throw any breast pads I’m wearing right in with my clothes too because they’re cloth. Saves time running over to the garbage can to toss the disposable gross ones away when I can just wash everything I’m wearing.
Someday, eventually, I want to look into those washer/dryer combos. Have you seen them? They’re just one machine that you throw a load in, walk away, and when you’re back your clothes are clean and dry. Now if I could just get the machine to fold all my clothes, then we’d be making some real progress. 🙂
Once I tried hanging clothes out to dry and then running them through an air-fluff cycle to soften them up, all in the name of saving money. I quickly decided that my time was worth more than what it took to save a little bit in energy costs. What do you do to keep your laundry as minimally painless as possible?
Favorites In This Post:
- DecoBros Heavy-Duty 3-Bag Laundry Sorter Cart
- Nora’s Nursery Baby Cloth Pocket or Cover Diapers with Bamboo Inserts