The irony is not lost on me that I am going to share a post on keeping up with your laundry when I just admitted that I had washed the same load of laundry three times before it finally hit the dryer. Still, I’m going to carry on and share this list of tips anyway because I think they’re good tips. I just don’t always manage to follow them.
10 Tips for Keeping up with Your Laundry
1. Set aside specific laundry days. Yes, I said days not day. Of course, if you have a very small family, maybe you can get away with doing it once a week. I cannot. The last time I could get away with that (without ending up with a full laundry room) was before we had kids. To help keep up your laundry days, schedule it into your weeks or else it just won’t get done.
2. Set your machine on the loudest alert sounds. Now, this one doesn’t help you if your washer and dryer don’t make a sound when they’re done or if there is only one option. On my washer and dryer, I can pick between no beep, a softer beep, or a louder beep. On days when I want to keep working through it efficiently, I pick the louder beep so there’s no way I can miss it.
3. Get your family involved in sorting and folding. Do you know why I left that one load in the washer so long last week? It’s because it was whites in the dryer and I hate sorting through everyone’s socks and folding them (especially with three guys in white socks that are all similar but different). However, I sometimes get over this hurtle by telling the kids to gather around and I just give them piles of socks from the dryer to sort and fold. They get it done quickly, but it saves me a lot of time.
4. Invest in a hamper with a sorting feature. We have our clothes all in one hamper together. But, I love those hamper systems that have separate areas so the laundry can be sorted as it is added to the hamper. Alas, my laundry room is tiny, so I have no room for that. But, it would save some time and might encourage me to do a load right when I see one portion filling up.
5. Work on a load of laundry as soon as there is enough to warrant doing it. Every so often, when I have just dug myself out of a lot of laundry, I am better about keeping an eye on the hamper and doing a load of laundry as soon as I notice that there is enough of one type for it to make sense to do it. When I manage to do this, I just feel more organized and laundry is less of a chore.
6. Have your kids do their own laundry. If they are old enough (especially before they’re 40!), you can have each of your children be responsible for their own laundry. I will admit that I don’t ever see myself going that route, as it wasn’t like that for me growing up either. But, in Eric’s house, he was responsible for his own laundry and I know that a lot of kids are.
Personally, I just like the simplicity of them all being done together, even if it’s me doing it all. Though I must admit that Eric does do the laundry here from time to time, including this past weekend when he did all of our laundry!
7. Commit to working on the next load of laundry as soon as the previous load is finished. Although I’m listing this far down the list, I would point to this as the single thing that works for me when I’m behind on my laundry. It amazes me how much laundry I can get done in a shorter amount of time when I just go right to the dryer as soon as it’s done, fold the laundry, switch over the load, put a new load into the wash, and then continue this rapid laundry until it’s all done.
8. Visit Lauren’s site Mama’s Laundry Talk for tips and ideas about laundry. I have learned a lot about better ways to do laundry from her. Plus, I’m just crazy about that girl. She is really quite darling.
9. Go to the laundromat. This makes me flash back to my college days, but I was surprised when we did our laundry during our December trip to Disney World. I forgot how nice it was to do three loads of laundry (or more!) all at once. If you’re really far behind with your laundry, a few hours at a laundromat doing it all at once might just be the thing to get you caught up.
10. Combine items that you wouldn’t normally do in a load. I’m not suggesting that you wash your favorite sweater in with the towels. But, during our Disney trip, we put some things in together that I would have normally not done at home. You know what? Everything was fine. In a pinch, it could be a way to get through some laundry, especially if you have a Shout Color Catcher to throw in the wash. (Use common sense though, and don’t do any combining that’s too crazy, okay?)