Recently I asked some of my mom friends what they felt was the most overwhelming household task. Their response: Laundry! Today I am sharing my favorite tips to keep the laundry piles under control.
Overwhelmed by Laundry; 10 Hacks that Make it Easy
Growing up I wasn’t allowed to do laundry…or load the dishwasher.
In fact, I wasn’t allowed to do many typical household tasks that fall under the category of “chores” for most kids.
My mom had the particular type of OCD that requires her to be in control of everything. She was so afraid that we would do something wrong that she found it easier to just do it all herself.
The result was that I had zero homemaking experience when I became a wife, mother and CEO of a household.
This required that I build my skills from the ground up. On the upside, I didn’t have any ingrained habits to break. As our family grew and the amount of clothing increased I began to feel overwhelmed by laundry and started to avoid it.
That wasn’t good because it began to pile up – which only created more stress!
As a busy, working mom I didn’t want to spend my weekends doing laundry. I want to spend that time having fun with my family or doing something I love (which is not laundry).
Through trial and error I was able to discover methods that make the process streamlined and easy. I am sharing these genius laundry tips with you today!
How to keep up on the laundry
We all love having our clothes clean and ready to wear. There’s nothing worse during the rush to get ready in the morning than realizing the pants you had planned to wear are in the hamper.
Laundry can also feel like a never ending task depending on your current routine and how many people are in your family.
When you loathe doing laundry it’s easy to put it off until it’s too late and you’ve got mountains of clothes, towels and bedding to wash.
The best strategies that I have found make doing laundry a simple process that doesn’t take up an entire day.
Here are my favorite tips and tricks:
Declutter your clothes
The more clothing you have, the longer you can go without having to wash them. Before I began decluttering my closet and using a capsule wardrobe I could go a couple weeks without running out of stuff to wear (even socks and undies).
When you have fewer clothes you will stay on top of the laundry because if you don’t you won’t have anything to wear. Quickly go through your closet and dressers to donate anything that doesn’t fit well, or that you don’t love wearing.
Do Laundry During the Week
Saving all the laundry for the weekend is no fun. It’s easy to get busy doing something else or come up with plans to do anything else.
Instead, toss in a load when you can during the week.
For me, that is in the evening when I get home from work. This means I can have a load washed before I start dinner. That’s when I toss it in the dryer, so that it’s done when we finish our meal.
I have friends who wake up early and they are able to get a load washed and dried before heading out to work. Getting all or some of the laundry done during the week makes the weekends more fun to look forward to.
Start a Load Before Running Errands
Let’s say you are headed out the door to go grocery shopping or head out to an appointment. Start a load of laundry before you leave. Then it’s ready to pop in the dryer when you return. This method saves a ton of time in the long run.
Use Mesh Bags to Save Time Sorting
The one part of laundry that I absolutely despise is sorting socks and underwear. I actually got to the point where I would do all of the laundry – except that part. I would put them all in a big basket and make everyone find their own stuff to put away.
Then I saw a tip to use mesh laundry bags. Genius! Each family member has their own and all of their small items stay together in the wash. You can even quickly do a load by grabbing each family member’s bag and washing them all together without them getting all jumbled together.
The best part is that each family member then receives their own bag to fold and put away.
Use the Quick Wash Setting
Wondering how you can get laundry done faster?
We bought a new high efficiency washer last year and I was amazed at how long it took to wash a load of clothes. For the most part my clothes and my husbands clothes are not actually “dirty”. We both have indoor jobs that allow us to stay pretty clean. Same goes for my oldest child. She hates getting messy.
I have found that the quick wash setting does a great job of getting the clothes clean in a short amount of time. Try it on your washer to see if the setting works for you too!
Set the timer on your phone
Nothing wastes more time than having to wash a load of laundry twice. If you forget that you have a load in the washer it can get all musty smelling, which is no good. The only way to get it out is to wash them again. Not even a dryer sheet can cover up the smell.
Instead, set a timer on your phone so that you can switch it over to the dryer ASAP. This will allow you to get another load into the wash right away and prevent the piles of laundry from backing up.
Hang most of your clothes
Remember earlier when I said that I hated dealing with socks? Well, the other part about laundry that I don’t enjoy is folding. That is one of the main reasons I don’t use the KonMari Method.
Instead, I bring a stack of hangers with me into the laundry room and hang almost everything up right then and there. It’s so much faster than folding and I hardly ever have to iron anything.
Wash Less Frequently
One of the fastest growing piles of laundry in our home used to be towels. Each time someone took a bath, shower or dried off a dish they would throw the towel right in the hamper.
Eventually, we decluttered our towels until we only had two towels per person. This was the perfect number to last one week. Instead of washing after each use, we use them for 2-3 days before washing. As long as you hang them to dry overnight they are always ready to go the next day.
Now I do the same thing with our jeans, sweaters and sweatshirts. As long as they are not physically dirty we get two to three wears out of them before they get washed.
Only Buy Colored Clothes for Kids
Honestly, this is a life-changer that I stumbled upon by accident that is pure genius!
I used to sort my kid’s clothes by first combining their hampers together, then sorting the darks and lights.Then I would have to re-sort when the loads were done. I didn’t like this method because it added extra steps and took up too much time.
Eventually, I decided that keeping light colored kid’s clothing clean is just too much of a chore. Now, we just buy colored clothing that can all be tossed in together. No more sorting required and we don’t have to worry about the accidental red shirt getting put in with the whites.
Avoid High Maintenance Fabrics
If you know that after you do the laundry you are going to have to do the ironing you are probably going to avoid getting started in the first place. If you avoid doing laundry those piles are going to start to build up again.
Instead, be smart about the types of fabrics that you buy. I stick with brands and fabrics for my family that I know are wash and wear. No ironing required. This way I know that as soon as the clothes come out of the dryer and I hang them up, my job is done. This makes it easy to stay motivated to keep on top of the laundry each week.
There you have it mama! 10 simple tips that will help you to keep the laundry under control.
What are your favorite laundry hacks? Please share in the comments below!