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Overwhelmed by Laundry? 10 Tips for an Efficient Laundry Routine

Overwhelmed by Laundry? 10 Tips for an Efficient Laundry Routine

Wash, dry, sort, fold, repeat, repeat, repeat … sound familiar? The never-ending deluge of dirty clothes and linens can easily be overwhelming. To help get your wash routine under control, we’ve rounded up 10 mom-recommended laundry tips for an efficient system.

1. One Load Per Day

“A load a day keeps chaos away,” says online housekeeping coach FlyLady, and many Circle of Moms members couldn’t agree more. Aiming to compete one load of laundry per day can prevent huge pile-ups and stave off laundry-related stress. As Sarah H. shares: “I make it my goal to do ONE load a day…By doing at least one load a day, I find that I don't really get behind.”

2. One Day Per Person

Assigning a different day of the week to each family member’s laundry is another way to keep the washroom under control. As Pene M. explains of her seven-person laundry plan: “Each person has one day assigned to them to do their laundry. This includes their towels and bedding. If they don't do it on their day they can do it on another day after that person is finished.”

3. Separate Loads for Each Person

If your kids are young, delegating wash responsibilities may not be an option. Still, divvying up loads by person may work, as Shannon G. shares: “I do each child's laundry separately. That way when it comes out of the dryer, I can fold it and put it in the right room.”

4. One Epic Laundry Day Per Week

Could you do the entire week’s laundry on one day? Moms like Kandi K., a mother of three, find one blow-out laundry day—supplemented by a few loads throughout the week—is an efficient system: “Wednesday is laundry day here and that's an all-day event! Then I usually need to wash 1-3 loads throughout the week...That includes work, school, play, baseball clothes and the 50 times in a day I have to change my two-year-old’s clothes!”

5. Schedule a Category Per Day

Assigning various items to different days is another system that works for many moms. Danielle M. breaks down the details: “Each day I wash something different. Monday is whites, undies, socks. Tuesday is jeans and darks. Wenesday is reds, browns, yellows and khakis and Friday is towels, sheets and blankets."

6. Fold Immediately

Yeah, we know it’s hard. But tackling laundry-folding when the clothes are freshly dried one of the top laundry tips offered by Circle of Moms members. Jenny S. shares: “I always fold the laundry as soon as I take it off the line or it’s dry from the dryer. I just pause anything else I’m doing and just quickly get it done. If my husband is around i get him to stop what he's doing to help.”

7. Folding Parties

Other moms make folding into a family event! “We take all the clean clothes to the TV room, turn some music really loud and fold all the clothes together,” says Angie C. “It's kinda like a clean clothes party—and the kids really get into it."

8. Re-Use Towels

Are you running several loads of towels each week? Re-think your family’s towel use, advise moms like Kathy P.: “A towel can be used several times...after all, you are clean after a shower when you use it...so have each family member use one towel at least twice, hanging it up to dry after each use, preferably in their rooms.” 

9. Division of Labor

With older kids, why not get everyone involved? Sarah H. stations laundry baskets in each kid’s room and requires them to bring full baskets to the laundry room, while Karen L. taught her kids to do their own laundry at age 12!

10. Amazing Sock Solution

One of our favorite laundry tips is Kerri D.'s system for keeping socks connected to their partners: “Each person has their own lingerie bag to put socks in!  Makes it sooo much easier to keep them together and matched." Lingerie bags for each family member's socks? Genius!

Image Source: Dano via Flickr/Creative Commons

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AlysonShankster AlysonShankster 4 years
how does everyone manage the ironing? Thats my dread!
AlysonShankster AlysonShankster 4 years
Im a load a day girl ... cant stand seeing the washing basket overflowing. However ... I quite like the idea of seperate laundry baskets and sock bags as we all hate pairing socks!!
JenniferMoseley22807 JenniferMoseley22807 4 years
My problem is I have so much going on at one time that I don't put the clothes up right away. And that piles up. :-( i'm gonna try and just drop everything until a load is completely put away. I can usually get all the laundry done in 3-4 loads since it's just me and my 2 year old.
KristaClarke56022 KristaClarke56022 4 years
In my house laundry has been a nightmare since day one, there are four of us (2 adults and two girls aged 5 & 2) My husband does not know that a laundry basket even exicts, so what I started doing is I down graded the amount of clothes my girls have 7 days, 7 outfits, 3 outfits as play clothes, 12 undies, 12 socks, 2-3 hoodies. Same goes for me. We have baskets for sorting, and both my girls love to fold and put away there clothes, as for sheets and towels, 1 towel over a week, it's not like it gets dirty. Sheets come off and go right back on. There are extras in the closet for accidents. Our washer and dryer are in the bathroom so I do a load a day usually throw it in when the kids are in the tub and then in the dryer after I have my shower the next morning. Folding is sometimes forgotten, but as for my husband, his stuff ends up the last load on the Sunday he runs out of socks or underware, I will only do it if he asks and if it is already rounded up. It does not get sorted and goes from washer to dryer and lives there until I dump it on his side of the bed for him to shove into his drawers!
RoseSantano RoseSantano 4 years
Lingerie bag for socks! omg, why didn't i think of that before. such a good idea, Thanks,!!
LeighSummersHinrichs LeighSummersHinrichs 4 years
I have tried both ways, and I have found that one day is the best way for us. Tuesday is known as Laundry day- or the yickest day of the week. There are only 4 of us, but with bedding and towels I do about 10 loads. I start as soon as I wake up, and I am usually still folding and ironing sheets at 9pm. But then the rest of the week is free of laundry- unless there is a major "accident: of some kind, and that is enough of a reward for me !
CyndyTurner CyndyTurner 4 years
In the mornings I would walk past the kids rooms (I had four) and wake them up for first call. Then I would go put laundry in the washer and move last nights to the dryer. Then I go through and wake them up for the final time. In the evening I would tell them lights out and go do laundry again. Then go back to each room and kiss them goodnight, I was killing time and being productive at the same time. I rarely had dirty laundry. Each day was a different color or type of laundry.
kittyangel kittyangel 4 years
wow intresting
Addie83323 Addie83323 4 years
Keep a roll of paper towels in the bathroom as well as the kitchen. It will cut down on towel use. And it is more sanitary.
ElizabethDeLouise ElizabethDeLouise 4 years
For moms who have to go to a laundry mat, I am not sure about the timing for this one but when I have had to use the public laundry mats, I make sure I bring a good book or something I want to look at. I make this my ME time while I wait. With the kids I would definitely bring a group project! I hope this helps other moms a little.
ElizabethDeLouise ElizabethDeLouise 4 years
I have started instead of three separate hampers for us all, in separate rooms, to just put one main hamper by the laundry room. That way you are walking by and if you want to do a towel wash you do, or all kid clothes you do it, or mix and match you just do it! It's only taken me nearly five years to figure this out but I find it does work for me.
Okie18758 Okie18758 4 years
My former husband bought a different color of towels, wash cloths and linens for each family member. There was no argument about who was using a towel once and throwing it in the laundry!
JoseeMeehan JoseeMeehan 4 years
um, folding? i don't bother anymore. i have three kids under the age of four, two of whom dress themselves. their clothes never stay folded. i only fold the baby's clothes. so recently, i figured why bother? the kids help me separate the load into their own baskets and they put it away. they enjoy plucking their own clothes from the basket and nearly always put the clothes away in the right drawers (except for my son, who has decided that he wants his underwear in different drawer). my daughter, who is two, has already started trying to fold her own clothes. less work for me and they enjoy the process.
KatherineWalsh KatherineWalsh 4 years
Must admit that I am always struggling with the laundry. With Irish weather a load a day or a scheduled wash day just doesn't work. I wash by colour because this helps the clothes look good for longer. I fill a shopping bag (exactly a load for my machine) with each colour and one for jeans, and stack them beside the washing machine. Jeans get washed first because they take the longest to dry, then towels and then what ever is next. The family knows that if a load is finished when they go past the machine, they should empty it and pop in the next bag. Another help is that if clothes don't wash at 40, I won't buy them. If the label says "dry clean only" or "hand wash" or "only to laundered in goats milk by a handmaiden on Tuesdays", I just won't have it. Life is too short. The last thing is that my daughter helps. I know at 3 years old this isn't a time-saver but I am considering it an investment in the future. She can sort by colour, match socks, pass me clothes to fold, pull clothes out of the machine and stuff others in... Helping keeps her entertained and maybe in the future she will be doing all her own laundry.
janellrawlins janellrawlins 4 years
towel use was out of control in our house so I when we needed some new ones instead of buying all one colour I bought each family their own colour, now there are no arguments about using the wrong towel and the need for a fresh one every time, cuts down on my laundry and if someone is using too many towels I know who it is by the colour!
RebeccaPower71781 RebeccaPower71781 4 years
I used to be so fussy with my clothes-i wouldn't wear anything that wasnt ironed(except underware, woolens etc) and when i met my husband he said he never ironed anything and just hung it up or folded after washing and his clothes always looked ok, they didnt look like they weren't ironed! so once i had kids and i didnt care as much i started wearing clothes without ironing them and i got used to it and realised after wearing the clothes for about 1/2hr they looked the same anyway! as your body heat removes rhe creases and ironed clothes that i used to wear never stayed perfect looking after wearing for a while either! i cant believe how much time i used to waste ironing clothes!
MelissaPerez96222 MelissaPerez96222 4 years
These are fantastic ideas!! Thanks for sharing! I've got a huge mountain of laundry from our 2 week camping trip with our church....... *sigh
AmyHauer AmyHauer 4 years
Those are great tips! Thanks for sharing!
ShawnHill22409 ShawnHill22409 4 years
Wow. Not really sure why complain when I read these articles and comments. We're a family of 3 (21mon old daughter). I work full time.' I also have cleaning svc come every other week. I do my grocery shopping online and go thru a drive-thru for pickup. Diapers and other baby essentials are on auto delivery from amazon moms club. I cook once a week then use a dinner delivery service once a week. Between my cooked meal leftovers and the food delivery leftovers, I feed my family wholesome meals 6 days out of the week. With all my chores streamlined. I STILL loathe folding laundry! lol. However I may tackle a load during the week then finish early sat morning. Hubby will isit and fold during my tv sport event which free up my time to spend with our daughter. The next time I complain about laundry, I'll refer back to this article. :). Cheers and happy folding to all!
GerryHendrix GerryHendrix 4 years
This is great advise but who has time? To all the busy parents - my I suggest using your local Laundromat and get all the wash done in 3 hours (Laundromat - 509 E. Basin Road)
TanjaAnderson TanjaAnderson 4 years
@Betty Ulrich-alot! I have to do at least 3 very full loads per person. And if I do the bedding, 3 more. With a family of 6 I cannot follow the one load a day. I would be buried alive. Each family has a unique situation and trying a few methods to see what fits best is a great plan.
CoMMember13631167061852 CoMMember13631167061852 4 years
I saw some posts about doing laundry at an outside facility. May I suggest that a laundry sorter and the pre-measured soaps may be the answer. There are many sorters with laundry bags that can be removed from their frames. Place either a Purex Complete 3-in-1 laundry sheet or the small packs into each bag. When you arrive at the laundry-mat you can just dump in each bag (with the soap already mixed in) and catch up on your reading. It eliminates the need for carrying the big soap containers, too. To save money, purchase snack-sized storage containers and pre-measure the soap from your larger container into each. Just dump it in when you arrive!
AdrienneDavis11370 AdrienneDavis11370 4 years
I don't necessarily do a load a day but I often do two or three loads in one...maximum is 4 in a day and that's only if we've have beens super on the go...this past summer break I did, however teach the 12 y.o. and 13 y.o. to do their own laundry. Now that school is back in session they are expected to do their laundry on the weekend. If they forget and don't have clean gym clothes on Monday, that is their problem. That still leaves me a good 5 loads a week to do as I do bedding and towels along with laundry for my husband and myself.
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