Are you overwhelmed by laundry? Here are my best tips for home laundry management & laundry made easy!
Why is laundry so hard? Laundry can really feel like the never ending drudgery of life.
Maybe that’s dramatic, but there have been times in my life where I lay in bed dreading a full day of laundry ahead of me.
The simple solution is to come up with a system to keep your laundry under control.
Here are my best tips on how to stay on top of laundry for your family.
How to manage laundry at home
Set a laundry schedule
Some people prefer to do one load of laundry every day, when it is a part of your daily routine, it’s easy to remember to do and not so overwhelming.
However, some people would rather have 1-3 laundry days, when they power through a lot of loads right in a row.
I personally prefer to have 2 laundry days a week, Sunday and Wednesday. On Sunday, we do the adult laundry, sheets, and downstairs (mostly kitchen) laundry.
On Wednesday we do kids stuff. We can always throw an extra load in on other days, but that’s what works for us.
If you have a large family and need to do more than 4 loads in a day, I think you would do better doing 1 or 2 loads each day, maybe even just on week days.
When is the best time to do laundry?
I personally prefer to put laundry in first thing in the morning. This gives me time to run several loads through the washer and dryer before the end of the day.
However, if you are trying to save money, you could consider running your washing machine in off-peak times. Electricity energy companies sometimes has a surcharge for peak times. Check with your provider, but typically:
- Between 4pm and 7pm will be peak hours on most days
- Hot afternoons in the summer are considered peak times
- Early mornings during winter weather are considered peak times
Give every room it’s own hamper
My #1 tip to make laundry easier is to have a hamper or laundry bag in each room. Bedroom, bathroom, we even keep a laundry bag in our pantry for cloth napkins and rags.
You need to make it easy for dirty laundry to be bagged to cut down on the gathering that has to be done before laundry can even start.
Travel with laundry bags
On a similar note, each person in your family should have their own laundry bag when traveling. We use old king sized pillow cases (regular size work for kids or weekend trips).
This makes it super easy to unpack and also keeps things organized an d tidy in your hotel room or rental.
Load at night + run in the morning
If you plan to do a load of laundry each day, consider loading it into the washing machine at night, so all you have to do in the morning is push start!
Don’t stress about sorting
Truth bomb: I have NEVER sorted clothes by color. The only time I separate anything is our white towels or bedding that gets bleached. Otherwise, wash it all together. It will be fine.
If something is brand new and very colorful, consider throwing a color catcher cloth into the machine. These really work!
It’s much less overwhelming to do laundry by person than get ALL the clothes and sort them into color piles in the laundry room floor. Those laundry mountains are what start making me anxious.
Consider laundry pods or tablets
Whether you are doing laundry your self or getting kids to help, one of my favorite laundry tips is to use laundry pods.
They are easy to use, require no measuring, and cut down on spills and messes.
Clean the dryer
Don’t forget to clean your lint tray! Build up can make the dryer take longer and not work as well, and be a fire hazard.
Have a basket or spot for clean clothes
Have a set spot for clean clothes to go after they come out of the dryer before they are put away. For me, it’s a counter on top of the machines.
This encourages me to not let stuff sit in the dryer and wrinkle and instead keep the process moving.
Have a basket or spot for stained clothes
I really hate when I don’t know something is stained and then I wash and dry it and set the stain.
Have a basket or bag in the laundry room for stained clothes. Family members can put clothes there during the week and then they can get special attention before going into the wash.
Have a set folding place
Have a place where you fold laundry. It’s best if it’s in the laundry room, but on a bed or any tabletop works.
Fold clothes ASAP
One of the biggest bottlenecks for doing laundry is not the wash and dry but is the folding. We installed a wooden countertop over our laundry machines and fold right there.
If I put clean stuff in a basket, that’s going to add at LEAST a day to the process!
Don’t fold everything
Folding laundry takes forever and is my least part of doing laundry. So, don’t fold everything.
Socks, underwear, and similar items can just go in a drawer. I like to use drawer dividers to keep things more organized.
Kid’s items can also just go flat in a drawer, especially if your kids are constantly pulling things out to get themselves dressed anyways.
Find the thing that is causing you stress and cut it out!
One way to decrease the amount of laundry that you have to do is to have less clothes to wash.
You want to have enough clothes for each person to get through a week, but not tons of extras.
Less clothes = less dirty clothes = smaller mountain of laundry!
Only buy low maintenance clothing
Similarly, don’t buy anything with complicated laundry instructions. This will throw off your laundry routine and most likely end up with the clothing item getting ruined!
Wash items less often
OK, I am NOT telling you to be gross or dirty whatsoever. But, if something isn’t dirty, don’t wash it.
My husband will wear a pair of jeans 3 times before he puts them in the laundry basket.
I wash my clothes every day, but if I only wear something for an hour or so and don’t leave the house in it, I’ll often hang it back up.
Separate loads by person
I definitely think that the easiest way to separate loads of laundry is by person. My kids are small so I usually combine their clothes, but giving each person their own hamper + their own load of laundry makes it easiest to gather, fold, and put away quickly.
Share the load
One reason that laundry can feel overwhelming is if the laundry for four or more people is on the shoulders of one person. Get all of the family members to help!
Even if you physically do all the laundry, make people be in charge of putting the clothes in the hamper or putting clean clothes away to take on some of the burden.
How can kids help with laundry?
- Put dirty clothes in the hamper
- Put dirty clothes into the washer
- Put laundry pod into the washer
- Move clothes from washer to dryer
- Pull clean clothes out and hand them to parent
- Put dirty clothes in the hamper – turning them RIGHT SIDE OUT first (lol)
- Bring their laundry basket to the laundry room
- Put things in the washer
- Put in a laundry pod
- Some light folding
- Put away folded clothes in their own room
- Teach them to do their own laundry! Don’t be like my husband who had to be quickly shown by his mom in the dorm laundry room when she dropped him off for college :/
Why can’t laundry be easy?
Don’t be afraid to mix it up. If your laundry system isn’t working – try something different. Try to identify the major bottlenecks or problems and make small changes to make it more manageable.
Life’s too short to spend it feeling overwhelmed by laundry!
How to catch up on laundry
Way behind on laundry, maybe after a trip or life event? Here’s a step by step process to catch up:
- Gather all laundry at once
- Divide by person or room of the house. Place in baskets, bags, or piles
- Place baskets leading up to laundry room in the order to do them. I usually do adults, then kids, then miscellaneous like towels
- Use QUICK WASH setting on your washing machine
- Set an alarm on your phone so you don’t forget to keep things moving
- Fold things as soon as they come out of the machine, then immediately put away to keep the process moving
- Follow the above tips for how to keep on top of laundry
- Pour yourself a glass of the beverage of your choice, you earned it!
Any more questions about how to stay on top of laundry?
Thanks for reading!