Laundry, ugh, I hate the word. I’ve been terrible at laundry since before I had children, so you can only imagine what it’s like now that I have three kids. It’s bad. Really bad. Laundry mountain isn’t some kind of metaphor either. I literally have enough dirty laundry to make a mountain most of the time. I haven’t met a mom yet who enjoys this chore. Most of the moms I know, like me, just can’t seem to stay caught up. The ones who can, I have asked them for tips.
I have read hundreds of Pinterest articles on how to stay caught up on laundry and how to organize your laundry and bla bla bla. I haven’t ever read one article that gave me tips I could actually manage to do between being sick and having two special needs kids. So, I came up with my own tips. Tips that ACTUALLY work. If you have a problem with laundry, whether you want to admit it or not, read on for tips that are manageable and really work!
Before & After
Start in your laundry room. Don’t have a room, even better, one less floor to sweep. I have a huge laundry room. In case your wondering, yes that is a twin bed on the left. This room used to be a bedroom, but the people who owned the house before us must’ve LOVED laundry because now, it’s a laundry room. Talk about a waste of space. Get the laundry sorted and put things away. If you don’t have cupboards, invest in a cheap pantry. If you can’t afford a pantry,
get your man to build some shelves! Honestly, you can do it in 20 minutes, even putting up a closet rod helps. In our old place, we bought an old, low, four drawer dresser from a garage sale. I painted it the same color as the washer and dryer and Dirty Gentleman put them on top of it for me. Voila, storage space. You can even find old kitchen cabinets at garage sales for cheap and buy a few to put on the wall. There are so many affordable options and storage in your laundry space is a MUST. If your washer and dryer are in a closet, invest in multiple shelves. Okay, now that it’s clean and you sorted the laundry, put a load on.
Every time you go to do something else, before you pick up the kids, when you start dinner or after you ask them to get ready for bed, do another load until your caught up. Sometimes, I just spend a day or two doing it all until it’s caught up. I put it away, or throw it in front of the kid’s doors, as soon as it comes out of the dryer.**
Bins, bins, bins!
I have WAY too many laundry bins, so I never stay caught up. There are always bins to put the dirty laundry in! I limited it to four inside the laundry room. There are five people in our household and two extra beds. Four seemed reasonable. Each of the kids has one bin in their room and we have one in our room. That’s nine altogether. I guess people who actually do their laundry have these things called “set laundry days”?? This is something I’ve never been good at either. It’s more like “Mom, I don’t have any clean pants to wear!” “Okay, I’ll do laundry today”. That goes on for about three days before I actually remember to do the laundry. I tried having set days, but if something came up, I would get totally off schedule. I tried doing one load a day, but I hate mixing colors with whites and darks, and there was never enough to justify doing a load of each. These may sound like excuses….because they are. I do all of our clothes on Wednesdays now. It doesn’t matter if something comes up, I just have to put one load on in the morning and one at night. That means, on Tuesday night, EVERYONE brings their bin to the laundry room. Even Little Miss Psychopath does this. I sort it and they come back to get their bins before bed. My motivation? If I don’t get it sorted on Tuesday night, I have to get up earlier Wednesday to sort. On Sunday’s I do towels, rags and any bedding that needs to be done, and whatever else is miscellaneous that needs washing. There’s no way I will ever wash bedding EVERY week, I think it’s ridiculous personally.
Folding laundry, lets not.
Once I stopped folding laundry it was way easier to keep on track. I’m dead serious, no one gets their laundry folded by me. The only thing I fold is towels and that’s only because my towel closet has no door. I would either spend hours folding tons of tiny articles of clothing, or they would stay in the baskets and we would pick out of them until there was nothing, or we forgot whether they were dirty or clean. My kids would put their folded clothes away, and then get clothes out the next day and unfold every item in the process. No thanks! Now everyone’s clothes go into piles and they come and get them to put away as soon as they’re pile is done. If they aren’t home the piles get put in front of they’re doors to put away as soon as they’re home. I’m not joking, want to stay caught up, cut out folding, it takes up way to much time and makes laundry unbearable. Just try it, you will be glad you did. You all wear your clothes every day anyway, they don’t have time to get wrinkled.
Finish what you started
I know, it’s hard. You put a load in the washer, go upstairs, totally forget about it for a week. It’s happened to the best of us. It’s hard to keep on top of things as a mother when there is always a big list and so many distractions. The only thing that helped me in this area was setting a goal. I think this is something you have to personalize because it will be different for everyone. You could try the goal setting, or an alarm, or a reward after you take it out of the dryer. Stash a box of chocolates down there and reward yourself!
I hope these helped somewhat. The best tip I’ve picked up so far, when you fail, try try again. If you never quit trying eventually it will work. It is pretty though, isn’t it? ↓↓↓
**edited Jan.16th, 2018 8:25 AM