Do you know it’s possible to NOT be overwhelmed by laundry? There are people that don’t have piles of laundry around the house, baskets full of clothes waiting to go into the wash, or clothes in the dryer waiting for days to be folded.
Mountains of laundry don’t have to be the story of your life. There are a few aspects of doing laundry that need to work together, and, once they do, you’ll stop being overwhelmed by laundry.
How many clothes do you have?
One reason laundry might overwhelm you is because you have too many clothes. Hear me out.
When you have 24 pairs of pants, and assuming you wear each pair once before washing, you can go at least 24 days (more than 3 weeks) without doing laundry. When you’re out of pants, or at least out of the pants you like, and you go to do the laundry, you can’t just throw a single load in and get it done. 24 pants are too much for a normal washing machine. Plus, with those 24 pants comes countless other articles of clothing that you wore WITH the pants and pajamas you were wearing when you weren’t wearing the pants, and it turns out that pile is pretty large.
If you have other members of your household who ALSO have too many clothes and can also go weeks before they need their laundry done, this exacerbates the problem. It’s insurmountable, really.
Solution: Let go of some clothing
Now think about this: If you have 7 pairs of pants, you’d be able to go about a week without doing laundry. 7 pairs of pants will fit in the wash, along with the shirts that accompanied the pants. You can do one load of laundry, start to finish, and be caught up on your own personal laundry in just one load.
Drastically reducing the items of clothing you own and wear will force you to keep up with doing laundry and will stop the overwhelm you may feel. Can you stay on top of laundry while also owning a lot of clothes? Yes. IF you have a strong laundry routine.
What kind of routine do you have?
The second aspect of laundry is having a solid laundry routine. Waiting until you’re out of clothing, until your dirty clothes are a literal mountain, or until you’re digging dirty pants out of the hamper IS NOT AN ACCEPTABLE ROUTINE. Again, if there are multiple people in the house who you do the laundry for, having an effective routine is going to be even more essential. Make laundry a priority, schedule it on your calendar, set reminders on your phone, or write it on your do to list– especially while you’re still forming your routine.
Solution: Create a routine
Try out a few different methods and see if you can find a routine that works for you. The two most common routines are: A Load a Day or Laundry Day. When you’re first getting started, it might even be helpful to create a laundry schedule and stick to it.
A Load a Day
A load a day is just like it sounds — doing one load of laundry each day. Since “A load a day keeps the pile away,” once you’ve adopted this routine, laundry will be much more manageable. A load a day is my preference, since I do one person’s laundry at a time. You can read the details of my laundry routine here. While this routine works for me, some dislike it because they feel like they’re never done doing laundry.
Laundry Day is another popular routine. Families choose a specific day and do allllll the laundry on that day. This might be more doable for families that work outside the home if the last thing they want to do in the evenings is laundry. It’s really whatever works for you, your family, and your schedule. There’s no one right way! Follow these helpful tips to use your time efficiently and make sure you get it done!
Consider including family members, even kids, in your laundry routine, as well. Here’s an age-by-age guide to laundry chores for kids. Will it take more time than usual and be a bit painful? Yes. But it will be worth it to teach your children to be independent and responsible.
What kind of space you do you have?
The third aspect of taking control of your laundry is to have an organized, tidy space to work in. It’s much more motivating to do laundry when your space allows you to be efficient and focused. When you walk into a messy room and see other tasks that need to get done, it’s hard to maintain your focus and motivation to do the laundry, and it’s MUCH easier to get overwhelmed.
Solution: Get Organized
Before doing another load of laundry, invest some time in caring for your space. Clear off the top of your machines, tidy up the cabinets, run a tub clean cycle, vacuum the floor. Create an uncluttered space where you can focus on the task at hand.
While you’re tidying, think about how efficient your space is. Do you have a spot to fold? Is there a place for hanging clothes? A place to dry delicates? Are you detergents easy to reach? Little things can make a big difference when you’re doing an unpleasant chore. Here’s my favorite way to organize a laundry space.
Stop being Overwhelmed by Laundry
Once you have fewer clothes, a laundry routine down, and an organizational system figured out, you’ll never have to climb mount laundry again. And I’m willing to bet that once you don’t have so much laundry to do, you won’t mind doing it so much. So what’s your stance on laundry?