Taming the Laundry Monster
Laundry, laundry, laundry. It seems like the laundry hamper at our house is always full. What about you? I sometimes wonder if it fills up so fast because my kids practice their basketball shots with clean clothes? No matter how frequently we do laundry at our house, it always seems like there is more to do. It’s time to organize and tame the laundry today.
This post is week 18 of the Organize Your Life series. This year we are sharing ways you can use to become more organized, going step-by-step through your home, digital life and more. Join us each week for a new organization project.
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Keep All the Dirty Laundry in One Place
Kids are great at leaving dirty clothes and wet towels laying anywhere and everywhere. We have baskets for dirty clothes and towels in or near each bathroom, but it’s amazing how rarely the dirty clothes make it to those baskets. But I do find dirty clothes on the floor, crumpled in the closet, laying on the bed, but not in the hamper.
The first step to keeping laundry under control is making sure all the dirty laundry is placed in the hamper or the one place you designate for dirty laundry. You don’t want to wash all the clothes and then find another half load of dirty clothes on the floor or hidden in the back of a closet, right? This is not a quick fix, because just telling your kids one time – put your dirty clothes in the hamper is not likely to fix the problem they need many reminders.
At our house, we are constantly “in training” mode learning to pick up after ourselves and put the dirty laundry in the hamper. We aren’t the only ones right? If you have a quick fix to this one, please share in the comments.
Do Laundry When You Have a Full Load
I am not going to say do a load of laundry every day, maybe you don’t have a load of laundry every day. Maybe you have a full load every 2 or 3 or 4 days. I suggest doing a laundry schedule that’s right for you. Maybe your children have practice and activities after school 2 days a week and you don’t do laundry on those days because it doesn’t fit your schedule.
Finding the right schedule to do laundry also means you don’t wait until you are pulling dirty clothes out of the hamper because you or your children have no clean uniforms or clothes to wear. Doing laundry requires balance. The more frequently you do it, the less time it will take daily (i.e. you can fold and put away one or two loads of laundry in 15-20 minutes, but 7-8 loads will probably take a few hours). Since laundry is a part of life, I prefer to keep it small and under control.
The One Secret that Will Fix Your Laundry Madness Once and For All
Here’s the big secret, are you ready? When you wash and dry a load of laundry, always fold and put it away the same day. Don’t let the clean laundry pile up. I have always found it’s easy to throw clothes into the washer and dryer, it’s getting them folded and put back where they belong that becomes the challenge.
I am fortunate my husband usually washes and folds all the laundry in our home, but the kids and I have to put it away. It’s just the rule, if you fold you don’t have to put it away. Just like with dinner, if you cook you don’t have to clean. You have these kind of rules too, right? Let’s get back to the laundry.
It’s so easy to let a clean pile of laundry sit for another day isn’t? You have just finished a long day of work, then homework. You are tired. You tell yourself, I will fold and put the laundry away tomorrow. Then tomorrow becomes the next day and next day. Let’s face it, we hate putting laundry away, and we will avoid putting it away when we can.
If you don’t put the laundry away as soon as you wash and fold it, the pile will start to get mixed up and unfolded. Your son will need a pair of pants to wear. Your daughter will be looking for her favorite shirt. Before you know it, the neat basket of laundry you folded, but did not put away is a big mess on the floor again.
Put the laundry away! You just have to discipline yourself to do it – every time you do laundry.
Let’s start today taming the laundry mess in your home. Start (or continue) training everyone to put their dirty clothes in a hamper (or one set place) to make gathering dirty items easy. Find the right schedule that works for you, and last and most important, be sure you always fold and put the clean laundry away on the same day. The last step takes discipline and you will probably have to practice to make it a habit. But you will be happier if you do and the laundry madness will end.
How do you organize and manage the laundry in your house? What’s your best laundry tip?
My best way of doing it is get the kids involved. I tend to fold the washing straight of the line into the basket and I get the kids to come out and ride their bikes or draw on the concrete with chalk. sometimes they hang their undies on their own special little clothes line.
I also get them involved in putting the washing in their drawers. It doesn’t help much but it stops them for hassling me for 5 minutes 🙂
Great idea to get your kids involved with the laundry too! Sooner is probably better.
Victoria @DazzleWhileFrazzled says
Wish I had a secret to the laundry madness but I don’t! With three kids, it’s basically survival. I do agree with folding it and putting it away. Waking up and seeing a pile of crumpled laundry does not bode well for a happy morning. Thanks for linking up with Funtastic Friday.
Lady Lilith says
I agree. If I do not have the time to fold and put the clothing away, I will push it off a day or two. I found this to be a great way to stay organized and less mess.
Hi Lilith, because laundry is not a chore you can start and complete in 20 minutes. If you don’t want clean clothes piled up, you are right it’s a good idea to wait until you know you have time to wash, fold and put everything away.
I think we have finally conquered the laundry monster at our house. My teens do their own laundry! I was constantly doing laundry until one day I discovered rather than put their clean clothes away they would just throw them in with their dirty clothes for me to re-wash! It felt like never ending laundry because it was! It’s funny how much we have cut down on doing laundry now.
Hi Tina, I like the idea of having your teens do their own laundry. It teaches them responsibility and how to plan ahead (if you don’t wash, you won’t have anything to wear). My children aren’t quite old enough to do all their own laundry yet. But it’s an idea to start when they get a little older.
Rachel, I LOVE DOING LAUNDRY!!! My daughter loves to see me coming because she turns laundry room duty over to me! Your neighbor at Jenny’s today #9
Hi Susan, I love the fresh smell of clean soft clothes and linens, but I don’t love the process of doing laundry. I think this is one of the reasons I always get laundry done, I don’t want loads and loads to do all at one time. Maybe someday, it will be back to just a load or two a week.
You are so right about putting it away the same day! That was always my biggest problem! Lately, I’ve started folding and putting it away immediately. It makes all the difference! Also, I realized that saving laundry for one day a week was not cutting it. Doing it twice a week makes life so much easier!
Gina, I think I have done laundry every day since I wrote this post. I have disciplined myself if it’s washed and folded it has to be put away the same day. Doing laundry in smaller batches definitely helps too.