Laundry is one of those necessary evils. I actually don’t mind it too much, but if you have a big family, or some messy moments, laundry can be a huge hassle.

The trick is, to stay on top of it, without getting overwhelmed… because once that happens, you’ll end up procrastinating, and it will pile up to a level that is completely unmanageable and torturous.

So what’s the trick?

  1. Do A House Sweep Before You Start!
    • Nothing is worse than getting all of your laundry done… then, finding a stash of dirty clothes somewhere.  Do a quick check of the house before you start, to make sure all dirty laundry is accounted for.
  2. Sort Your Dirty Laundry!
    • Of course, doing laundry is easier if the clothes are already separated into the appropriate piles for various load types.
    • The easiest way to do this, is to have separate laundry bins, for whites, colors, jeans, towels, however you divide the laundry to put into the washer.
      • Laundry Sorter
      • That being said, I don’t do it this way
        • Why?
          • I just don’t have room for all those bins.  I would love to pre-separate my laundry, but we live in an apartment, and realistically, we don’t have space for all these bins, or the extra cash to buy something so fancy that I don’t really need.
          • So, how do I manage the sorting?
            • Well, I presort the night before.  The night before laundry day, I take all of the dirty laundry bins, and sort the clothes into piles on the floor in our hallway.  Sure, it’s not the prettiest thing, but I do it right before bedtime, and start the laundry first thing the next morning, so it won’t sit there for long.
            • The other bonus to this, I see all the laundry in it’s giant messy glory, so if that isn’t motivation to get it done, I don’t know what is.
  3. Designate Specific Laundry Days!
    • Yes… Days
      • This might be difficult for some people, if you don’t have laundry available in your home, BUT, designating 2-3 days a week to do smaller quantities of laundry, will stop you from having to spend an entire day solely devoted to getting it done.
    • I do laundry every Monday, Wednesday & Friday
      • With a family of four, including a messy child and a baby, we have plenty of laundry to constitute several loads each of those days.
  4. Do ALL Of the Laundry!
    • On laundry day, everything gets washed.  No sock left behind!
    • Every dirty item in my house makes it into the washing machine, even if the last load of the day is a small one.
    • The best part of doing the laundry is that sense of satisfaction at the end of the day, when everything is clean, so make sure everything gets completed.  If you’re frequently having trouble getting all loads completed on laundry day, you might need to add another day to the schedule.  But, surpassing three days is a bit much, you don’t want laundry to take over your life, so try to make three or less work for you.
  5. Everything That Comes Out Of The Dryer, Gets Folded
    • There are two ways to go about this
      • 1. Fold everything as soon as it comes out of the dryer
      • 2. Wait until all loads have been washed, and fold everything at once.
    • My preference depends on how much time I have to invest
      • For example, if the baby is down for a nap, I’m under a time crunch to accomplish things while he’s sleeping, so I might wait on folding, until a few loads are done.
      • If I’m just taking a break and watching some TV or something, I usually fold a load a time, as soon as it comes out of the dryer.  It really depends on the day, but either way works.
  6. Put Everything Away!
    • Just like with folding, you may want to put everything away at once, or in phases.
      • If, you have older children, I highly recommend having baskets for them. You can put the folded laundry into the baskets, but they are responsible for putting them away
        • AND, hold them to it! Everything needs to be put away by the end of the day. Do a check and make sure it happens.  Putting clothes away is a minimal task, so there’s no reason they can’t get it done.
        • My son is 8 now, I’ll be honest, I don’t always make him put the clothes away, (if we have something to do in the evening, it may be more convenient for me to just get it out of the way before he gets home from school, since the younger kids take a bit longer to put things away), but, he is more than capable to get it done.
  7. Bedtime is the Deadline!
    • All loads for that day, need to be done before bedtime.
    • I live in an apartment, so there’s a definite cutoff time, as far as, when it’s appropriate to be running the washer/dryer.  So, I start the laundry as early as possible, so I have plenty of time to get it done throughout the day.
    • Notice before, I said, “everything that comes out of the dryer, gets folded,” this is because, everything might not make it out of the dryer.  Life is hectic, you get busy, and there are lots of other things to do everyday.  It’s ok, to leave a finished load of laundry in the dryer.
      • Honestly, sometimes I forget I had that last load in there, and it’s ok, because on your next laundry day, when you move that first wet load from the washer to the dryer, you’ll notice that load of laundry ready to fold and put away.
      • There is absolutely nothing wrong with that laundry sitting in the dryer for  a few days.  Don’t leave wet clothes in the dryer for days!  But, as long as they have already been dried, no big deal.
  8. Don’t Do Laundry On Non-Laundry Days!
    • So maybe you’re starting to stockpile a big pile of laundry, or you have some free time on the weekend, and want to cut out of few loads of laundry… DON’T DO IT!
      • Why not?
        • I know it seems counter-intuitive, but i’ll tell you why. If you end up doing laundry on a non-laundry day, then you’ll probably keep doing laundry… you’ll lose track of your specific laundry days, then, before you know it, you’re doing laundry EVERYDAY… it becomes monotonous, annoying, and you end up completely dreading it… just don’t do it.
        • Use those other days, for other priorities, just because you have time to do laundry, doesn’t mean that’s what you should be doing.