How To Beat the Monster Laundry Pile: Getting Started

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Ivy says:

For many, keeping up with laundry is their Achilles’ heel when it comes to housekeeping. I know that it sure is mine. It seems that whenever I manage to get caught up, there’s a new giant pile lurking somewhere 5 seconds afterward. So I share with you some of the strategies I’ve picked up over the years to keep the laundry monster at bay. And I know some of our lovely home eccers who don’t have trouble with the laundry will jump in with their own helpful hints.

Make it easy on yourself- limit the amount of clothing you own.

This is a hint Heather’s shared with me at least 40 million times. “But I’m a clothes horse,” I tell her. “I can’t help it!” She tells me I’ll always have trouble with the laundry, then. I can dig that. Now, I do take that somewhat to heart—all the ill-fitting, permanently-stained, ugly clothing is removed as soon as possible.

It’s essential to deal with kid clothes since they grow out of things so quickly. If you’re saving clothes for another kid, box them up and put them away somewhere. These tips on How To Get Clothing Clutter Under Control will help.

Put off-season clothes away.

Speaking of boxing things up and putting them away, in summer, put your winter clothes away. In the winter, do the opposite. This might not be necessary if you’re living in a house with only adults, but I can tell you that this saves piles of time if you have kids. Currently, it’s June 16th, and I live in Tennessee. I just washed a pair of winter gloves. Why? They didn’t get put away, and I’m sure one of my kids played with them and tossed them in the laundry pile. Arrrgh. There are many different types of storage totes that you can use for off-season clothing.

Get a system going for your laundry.

Some people like to wash once a week. Some people like to wash every day. Decide what sort of person you are, and stick to the schedule. Right now, I’m a fan of washing once a week. Monday is my laundry day, and that’s what I do all day on Mondays. Come heck or high water. If you’re an everyday sort of launderer, then make sure you do at least one load every single day. (More or less, depending on how much laundry you need to do.) Heather has Monday as her laundry day on the weekly chore chart.

Fold and put away immediately when the dryer buzzer goes off.

Don’t mess around. Not only will you end up with wrinkly clothes, but also clothes are more likely to sit in your washer if you have a load behind it. Ewww. Smelly clothes. It wastes time and water and energy and, and, and… Just suck it up and deal with the dryer right away.

Go ahead and spend a little more for a laundry detergent scent you love.

Of course, if someone in your house is allergic, forget that idea. But if you can, get a scent that you find absolutely wonderful. Various natural laundry detergents might work with allergies, and there are many ways to make your own and add the scent you want. It makes laundry just that much better to do. Plus, your clothes will smell fabulous. Bonus!

If you’re behind, make laundry your priority.

Whenever I get behind on my laundry, I plow in and do laundry until it’s all finished. Sure, that new pile will spring up in no time, but being caught up feels soooo good. And by “plow in and do it til it’s all finished,” I mean DAY AND NIGHT. This is a little harder in the summer when it’s miserably hot, but if you let it get behind, you have to pay the price, ha!

Sorting got you down? Shout Color Catcher to the rescue!

Man, I hate sorting laundry, so I really just don’t anymore. Instead, I put clothes in (except for towels, which have to be washed separately due to fabric softener issues and delicates, for obvious reasons) until the washer is full enough and then toss in a Shout Color Catcher. I’ve not had a single pink sock since starting to use these. I think that’s totally worth the extra cost.

laundry tips and tricks
Click the picture for more tips!

Keep your laundry area clean.

Nothing makes you want to do laundry less than a dirty laundry room. My laundry room also happens to be the best place for cat boxes. So before I go in to do laundry, I clean the area well. I keep a push broom in the laundry room to push stray cat litter out of the way throughout laundry day.

OK, now it’s your turn:

Tell me, Home Eccers, what are your laundry strategies?

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43 thoughts on “How To Beat the Monster Laundry Pile: Getting Started”

  1. I’ve always been bad about sorting. In our house the washing machine IS the hamper. However, I have borrowed a method from my mom for putting them away. I had my DH put a counter by the dryer, and there is a basket for each person. I fold the clothes as they come out of the dryer and stack them into each person’s basket. At that point all bets are off. If your sock drawer is empty… go get your basket, cause Mom’s not delivering.

  2. oh, LAUNDRY! *grumble grumble* I love the tip about folding everything into each person’s basket that arctic gypsy shared – I will have to try that!!! I tend to be a once a week laundry girl, but then I am overwhelmed by the amount of laundry that needs to be put away. So no strategies…. just looking to soak up others’ advice!

  3. When a load gets left in the washe, adding a generous splash of vinegar to it, plus detergent, and re-running it will eliminate the mildew smell.

  4. I use to use a 4 part sorter but that thing held 3-4 loads in each bag. Soooo, I bought 4 seperate laundry baskets, they each hold 2 loads a piece. My DH built shelves for them. Now whenever a basket gets full I do two loads and I’m done. Of course, being a family of 4 and 3 of those being male, the system doesn’t always work but it works better than what I had before.

  5. Ugh, laundry 😛 I have no problem getting it washed and dried, it’s the folding and putting away that I have trouble with lol. I do a load or two every day or so (and the occasional marathon washing session when I get behind), but then the clean laundry just piles up at the end of my bed until I finally break down and spend a few hours putting it away. I’ve at least made that a bit easier by having all of our clothes in one closet. Our walk-in closet is big enough to hold the clothes for all 5 of us, so sometimes I just take a basket of laundry into the closet, sort it into separate piles on the floor for each person and then put the stuff in the corresponding drawer. Oh, and one more thing I do to keep it as easy as possible is I don’t fold my kids’ clothes. they get unfolded the first time my kids grab something out of the drawer so I don’t bother lol, as long as the shirts and pants have their own spot it all works out just fine.

  6. I’m moving on Friday to an apartment with a washer/dryer! This is my first since living with my parents 6 years ago! ZOMG!!!!!!!!!!

    I hate sorting laundry too. We have a 3-compartment laundry basket, so we sort as we put it into the hamper. Saves time, and I can easily see which load needs the most attention first.

    The three are: colors, whites, special (maybe a load of jeans, etc.).

    I have a separate hamper for my baby’s clothes, and kitchen towels go into a bucket in the kitchen to chill out until I do towels.

  7. I do laundry once a week. First I clean the laundry room, mostly just scoop the cat boxes and sweep the excess litter off the floor. Then I sort the laundry, usually blacks, blue jeans, whites, pink/red/purple and blue/greens. This is also when any pretreating takes place. The radio is on while this is going on, BTW. All underwear goes in whites. Then I wash. Socks, underwear and towels go in the dryer. Once dry it gets dumped on the bed in the guest room, where it is sorted, folded and put away. Everything else goes on drying racks in the guest room. One to two days later all the clothes are dry. I remove from racks, fold and place in piles, then put away. I do sheets and towels on another day.

  8. When I was in college here is how I did it: two separate baskets, one for whites and one for colored. Usually it took about 2 weeks to fill up, but sometimes I just did a load every other week. Since we had two washers and dryers, it all got done at the same time! Then i hung up the stuff that needed hanging, and threw the rest on my bed (the only place besides my desk to sit in the room) so it was sure to be folded before the day was over.

    At home, my mom does the laundry because she doesn’t like how I do it. Although we are in charge of taking it to our rooms and folding underwear and socks….they just get thrown in a basket after they are taken out of the dryer! Laundry gets done once a week, towels every 2-3 weeks and sheets whenever we remember :).

  9. Systems for doing laundry are the key.

    I live in a small apartment with a portable clothes washer, because of this, I have to be VERY careful about when I do laundry – not only does it have to be during daylight hours because of the potential noise issue, but my loads are typical half as big as a standard load.

    Here’s my system…

    1. Sort by TYPE of clothing – undies, shirts, pants, etc.

    2. Determine which pile is largest.

    3. Sort out the whites (I can’t use a color catcher), and if there’s enough to do a full load, toss it in.

    4. Most types of laundry can be done together, so if it’s not big enough for a full load, toss a like-fabric in… IE: With undies, cotton shirts. With jeans, bathrobes.

    5. One load a night until none of the piles are large enough to do on their own OR none can be combined to do a full load.

    Also, I hang all of my laundry, so it’s a huge note to self to remember to take it OUT of the washer when it’s done and get it hung up.

  10. My issues with laundry all center around the fact that my machines are located in the garage, which is now my husband’s workshop/machine shop/hobby area, and thus is always FILTHY, with no way to keep anything clean out there. I also can’t hear the machines to be reminded to swap loads or pick up the last one from the dryer. I have issued an edict that included in the remodeling plans for this house, a high priority item is to create an inside laundry area.

    My system starts with a huge collapsible mesh “cylinder” basket I use exclusively for moving laundry. I strongly recommend getting one of these – they’re light, tough, easy and comfortable to carry, hold 3-4 loads of laundry, and fold flat to store when not in use.

    Having a well-organized closet and adequate dressers with assigned locations for clothes really takes the chore out of putting away. Ikea sells small nylon storage boxes that fit exactly into most of their dresser drawers, so each drawer is easily organized. Before I had “resources,” I did the same thing with a thrift store dresser and an assortment of salvaged cardboard boxes.

  11. I’m usually pretty good about keeping up with laundry – mainly because I don’t have enough clothes to let it go too long…

    I also sort by type of clothes, not color, and use those color catchers – I love those things.

    I’m a 2-3 loads twice a week girl. When I’m working during the school year I’d do laundry on my days off (I work MWF). Now that it’s summer I haven’t figured out my laundry schedule and it’s killing me!

    One thing I recently started doing is sorting the laundry upstairs before taking it to the basement. It’s hard for me to run downstairs to sort with my two sons – so I sort the laundry in the upstairs hallway – and carry down one load at a time – and then take the other loads down also. This sounds confusing, but it’s easier than bringing the boys downstairs while I carry all that laundry down.

    But one thing that I always do – on the days I’m doing laundry – I start the first load right when I wake up and am usually done by lunchtime – so that gives me naptime to fold, sort, and put away.

  12. i woke up one morning and my arms were killing me it took me a a few minutes to figure out why — i had used a saws-all to cut a hole in the floor under my bathroom sink/cabinet for a laundry chute — the piles of laundry in the bathroom were now a childs chore to open the door and dump the cloths down the hole into a pile next to the washing machine — it worked out perfectly!!

    Like Arctic Gypsy i have baskets that the cloths are sorted into after they are washed and if you need clean cloths you know where yours are go get them yourself 🙂 oh yeah and while you are at it (this is for the older children — do your own laundry 🙂

    the older children also are each assigned a day where one of their jobs is to do their own laundry, my youngest child helps me with the rest of the laundry as she learns how to do it, and when she is about 7 or 8 she will take over doing her own laundry — i don’t bother with teaching them about bleach yet — maybe when they are teenagers

    I find folding cloths comes easier if i’m taking them off a laundry line then from the dryer

    all clean socks are placed in a tub between the washer and dryer unsorted / unmatched — socks are just to irritating to deal with — it’s an ADD thing

    i’ve also found that if i run a cycle in the morning and a cycle at night i can keep up on laundry — a cycle being sort what’s in the dryer, put the load from the washer to the dryer and turn it on, start a new load in the washer

  13. not much strategerie here – i just try to do at least one load a day. Priority goes to DH’s clothes. He has only 2 pairs of pants right now (until I get the third one repaired) so I just have to make sure he’s got clean pants.

    My biggest stumbling block is actually putting things away before they’re needed. Yell at me some more, please, Ivy. I’ll get it eventually. 🙂

  14. When our 4 kids were at home, I did at least 2 loads a day ….. and the struggle was always folding them right away. How I hated it when 2 or 3 or 4 loads piled up on the couch to be folded!
    I’ve learned to fold as soon as they come out of the dryer. THe big difference for me was buying a table for the laundry room on which I can sort and fold. Plus laundry baskets for each person, to carry clean clothes upstairs.
    But just recently, when 2 adult kids were still with us and I was doing laundry for everyone plus the 19 year old who is in college, I rebelled. I called a family meeting in the kitchen and told everyone, including my husband: I expect you all to do your own laundry. I wil do my own and the towels, sheets, etc……. but your clothes are your responsibility.
    FREEDOM! After 26 years of being the family laundress, with only occasional help (the kids and I would have sock and underwear folding parties in front of the TV when they were young) ……… no more. Yippee! Now it’s a breeze.
    Don’t give up hope, sisters …….. your day will come!

  15. At our house each person has a day. I try to make sure they get in, do their laundry and get out in that 24 hour period. It’s hard, to get them to get it out of the laundry room.

    We have hampers that keep it in in their rooms. They sort it in the laundry room. They wash colored clothes, towels, and sheets (every other week). They leave whites and I do one load of those a week.
    We hang everything, including shorts and that helps to get rid of stuff.

    THe secret is to make sure the person of the day stays on top of it and gets there stuff down and running even if they have to be away from home.

    Sunday: Mine and Dad’s sheets,
    Monday: My clothes
    Tuesday:#3 clothes
    Wednesday: #2 clothes
    Thursday: #1 clothes
    Friday: Dad’s clothes
    Saturday: rugs, curtains, dog beds, etc.

  16. I bring each laundry basket down to the basement. I sort (warm/cold/jeans/whites) into large fabric laundry containers. After I put the first wash in, I set the timer on my oven for 30 minutes. Once it beeps, I go down to the basement, take the load out of the wash and into the dryer. Back upstairs, I set the timer for an hour. Once it goes off, down to the basement I go. I get the clothes out of the dryer and onto the sorting table; then put the next batch of wet clothes into the dryer. I fold and sort the first load; then fill up the washer with the third load. I keep this up until all clothes are washed and dried. Setting the timer keeps me from forgetting that I am doing laundry; also, I have found that by keeping the dryer going cuts down on “cold time” and my clothes dry faster by the end of the process.
    When it’s spring/summer, I adjust my process by skipping the dryer and head out to the clothes line. All the wet clothes are on the line by noon; by 6 or 7 I am out there taking the dry clothes down. I find it is easier to take our 3 laundry baskets outside, and fold and sort into the correct basket as I go.

  17. I’m still determining what my strategy will be in the new house, but your advice to use those color catchers might very well change my life. Seriously. I have my 1st color catchered load chugging away right now.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  18. I am so glad I've found this website. I'm trying to learn how to take care of my house on my own, and I need all the help I can get!

    I've been trying to do one load of laundry a day. That way, there's not that much stuff to put away, which is the part I hate the most. Thanks for all of the good ideas!

  19. I used to do laundry when the pile got out of hand and we ran out of clean socks. I just did a huge marathon load like that, and I never want to do another one, ever again! My new plan is to use the portable washer in my bathroom and hang everything to dry in the mornings, even on days I have to work (this may not work, as the washer requires a significant amount of supervision to complete a cycle). Unfortunately, this will result in only about half a regular load getting done each day. Before bed I will put away the clothes on the drying racks and put more clothes in the washer (but not start it). This way I can avoid dragging my laundry to and from the car or up and down the stairs and down half a hallway. And save my quarters too. I'm hoping that this will keep me on top of the laundry enough to not have to drag the entire fabric content of the apartment in and out every month.

  20. I'm really glad I found this site. I've been searching online for days to find ANYTHING to help me conquer my laundry monster. And, let me tell you all, it is just like The Blob right out of the movies. I've gotten my husband's and my clothes done, but the kids' clothes? OMG. There's no way to get to their room through the hallway without walking over the mountains of laundry. At first I tried to step in what used to be empty spots because I didn't want to soil them any further; however, when the ENTIRE floor was completely covered, I just gave up. Now, I just try not to slip and fall. I am not the kind of person who works well on a schedule. I do things as they need to be done. But laundry is the bane of my existence. I lack motivation because it is such a huge task by the time I get around to it. One time, my 8-yr old came out of his room, holding up a pair of underwear, and said, "Mommy, this is the cleanest pair of dirty underwear I have." I decided that was the day to do laundry. Help!

    • Hang in there. Just don't forget to move the stuff out of the washer to the dryer. There's nothing like being behind, only to discover you've made more work. Your eight year old is old enough to help, at the very least with the sorting, folding, and putting away.
      I usually geek out to podcasts while I fold, audio books work for me, too. I find it easier to do repetitive stuff while my mind is busy, otherwise I just get impatient and wander away.

    • I am not sure how many children you have but maybe they have too many clothes????

      I also “enlisted” (that really means forced!) my children’s labor for laundry when they were not being responsible.

      Step ONE: Each child separates into the following piles: 1-jeans, 2- darks, 3-lights and 4-whites that need bleach (we also had a “reds” category but they may not apply to every family. Reds include oranges, browns, red and pink.)

      Step TWO: Each child checks pockets, zips zippers and buttons buttons. (They learn quickly to do this when they take the clothes off each night to avoid doing it all at once and to keep any money they might have in their pockets.)

      Step THREE: Each child carries the first load to the washing machine. (Most of the time the three kiddos would have a full load together.) Parent is responsible for starting the appliance. It is the “fun” part for the child to pour is the soap, choose the settings, start the appliance, etc. so if you can, have the children take turns while you supervise.

      Step FOUR: Choose a child to be responsible for setting the oven timer for the amount of time the washing machine is operating. Step FIVE A: Choose another child to be responsible to turn off the timer and put the clothes into the dryer. Step FIVE B: Choose another child to get the clothes out of the dryer. Step SIX: Folding party! Step SEVEN: Put the clothes away dance! Step EIGHT: Everyone starts again at step THREE!

      Step NINE: Make a “done with the laundry” ritual like gathering around the table to enjoy hot chocolate or popcorn or make laundry day a movie night, too….only to be enjoyed when the laundry is done, of course! 🙂

      Remember to regularly praise your children when they are helping and doing a good job. Ask them lots of questions so they can figure out the answers themselves…it teaches good critical thinking skills and lets your child know that you believe in them and that you know they are smart, too! Ex. “Mom, how much soap do I pour in?” “Well, I don’t know. How much soap do we pour in? How do you find out?” “Well, I could read the package. Here, it says…..” The clothes get done so much more quickly when everyone is taking a part in helping. And everyone gets to feel self confident and proud of themselves for a job well done. Everyone learns responsibility, too! Even your littlest one can help….even if its to pour in the soap or push the button to start the appliances, gather up “lost” items left behind, sort by color, etc. They really CAN help. Most people underestimate their young children! 🙂

    • Displaced, I guarantee that if you take a minute and look through your piles you’ll find lots of clothes that can (should) be given away.

      I used to have the exact same problem. Finally I asked my husband to help me go through my piles. He pulled out an ugly, ill-fitting tee shirt belonging to our little daughter and suggested I get rid of it. I said, “But she WEARS that!” He replied, “Only because there’s nothing else for her to wear.” He was right. Her good, cute clothes were sharing space with junk. I did a major purge (a few items at a time over about a year) and committed to buying MUCH less and our laundry situation has improved dramatically!

      Also, although I know this will be an unpopular suggestion, give yourself permission to throw clothes away. In the TRASH! I found I was keeping everything to “give away” to my friends or charity. Truth is, it never got done. I had to put myself and my family before my good intentions. I’m to a point now where I can save things and do give them away. But for a year or two, I kept a big black trash bag in my laundry room and when something unneeded came through, it was simply thrown away. I trashed a ton of clothes and it was incredibly freeing! Hey, at the rate I was going, nobody was actually receiving my hand-me-downs anyway, so I wasn’t depriving anyone of anything, I was just being realistic and making MY family my priority!

      Best of luck to you and all of the great posters here!

  21. I have ADD (and 3 kids…) and I had a huge problem with remembering to get clothes out of the washer when they were done. You can't hear my washer's signal most places in my house. Like other posters I hate finding wrinkly smelly clothes in the washer when I need them to wear! Now I set the alarm on my cell phone to remind me when a load will be done and I keep using the snooze feature until I am physically in the laundry room with the washer open, then and only then will I turn off the alarm. This works well for other chores too like adding something to the crockpot at a certain point or moving the hose on the new grass seed.

  22. I never got the point of doing laundry everyday. it seems like a collosal waste of time and money, but to each their own. Here's something that works for me: I do my laundry once a week, not really a set day just whenever it needs done (or mainly whenever I have time) My son's laundry I do twice a month, he is small and so are is clothes, and his hamper can hold more. Plus he has ton's of clothes, most of which he'll never wear, so I think it's fair 🙂 My sheets, and towels and other "household" laundry I do before washing my clothes when I do wash them. Once to twice a week is all I see is needed to wash.

    • In our household, each child has about 7 outfits with a few extras that vary by season. Laundry has to be done each week, but your system obvious works for you. Neither is wrong, it's a balance each family must find on their own. It's just finding the rhythm that avoids chaos and emergencies.

    • Kudos to you! You have a great system that works for you!

      When I had 3 children in my home and a smaller washing machine…we could literally wash jeans and t-shirts in a load every day just from that day. It just depends on how many clothes are being worn each day!

  23. I think one important related topic about laundry is how many clothes you own; having too many clothes leads to too much laundry. I keep a simple closet. I keep clothes in the closet that are appropriate for the season & weather. When we rotate out the clothes (bring in the winter and take out the summer for example), we assess the incoming season for size, fit, etc. Anything that won't be worn is given away or donated. Anything worn out is budgeted to be fixed or replaced. This helps to keep wardrobes in check and weekly laundry loads manageable.

  24. I have to wash all my laundry by hand in the tub with vinegar lemon juice baking soda and a splash of fabric softener because we don't have a washer OR dryer OR money to spare on laundry…. the biggest help I have? A laundry rack. Put a towel you use specifically FOR drying clothes beneath the rack if the clothes are really wet to avoid slippery floors from drying-clothes-drippage… it's also a good idea to do the same thing with boot racks and boots so you dont end up needing to mop as often near the door and you can use coat hangers to hang your hats and gloves and ski pants on near a heat source so they can dry…

  25. I still prefer to sort my clothes. Instead of sorting one mountain of a pile, we sort our clothes into different laundry baskets as we take them off. I bought a 3-divided laundry bin from Bed, Bath & Beyond for about $30 (I’m sure you can find less expensive ones at Wal-Mart). It has 3 different canvas bins, that can also be washed from time to time. I LOVE IT!

  26. I have a terrible laundry closet. It is actually just a closet in the hallway, there is no room for laundry to pile up but it DOES! This area is such a bad design that it is just a dark hole of messiness. I dream of getting a stacked set and installing a flat surface to fold on with room under it for a laundry divider…however I have to make due with what I have…does anyone have any suggestions for organizing a laundry closet?

    • Is there an area or a room close by that can be used? Our home has the guest bedroom and the garage near the laundry closet. I could easily set up a folding table in either area. The guest room would probably be easier and more comfortable. I can also use the closet in the guest room for the ironing supplies and other laundry items that won’t fit in the laundry closet.

  27. Another laundry question…I have a family of 7 people. 5 kids (2 girls/3 boys) and myself and hubby. The biggest problem I have with laundry are socks…I have tons of socks but no one can ever find a match. I ended up just getting a box and dumping all the socks in there and let everyone figure it out, but this is just my lazy way of dealing with the problem. I’m almost tempted to just throw all my socks away and start over with specific color socks for each person. Any advice on how to handle this problem? Anyone please???

    • I don’t know if you will see this but I have a couple of ideas….

      1 – You can mark each person’s sock with a bit of thread at the toe. With that many people in the home it will take awhile.

      2 – Buy all new socks. Throw away ALL others…good or bad…. This is expensive especially with so many toes to cover!

      3 – Who really cares if their socks match? No one sees them anyway (for the most part!) Besides, our daughter LIKES wearing mis-matched socks on purpose!

      4 – Teach EVERYONE to fold their socks together when they take them off their feet. An alternate to this is to have everyone clip their socks together with a clothes pin (old fashioned style.) I’ve heard of people who just wash ’em with the clothespins holding them together. I’ve never tried it myself but I have heard of it. A really great deterrent for anyone who can’t fold their socks together…they get to fold all the socks!

      You could always go military on the family. Give them mesh bags and have them write their name on them. When you wash the bags, separate them by name and have the kids fold and put them away. As soon as they take their socks off, they put them in a bag. I would say 2-4 pairs per bag, depending on size of bag and socks. That way, if they can’t find the match to the sock it’s their own fault… 🙂

    • I read a blog post once, and I tried to find it to link it for you, but I can’t.  I think it was on the site Large Family Logistics.  They use all gold toe socks in their family, and they are automatically “labeled” by size based on the number of bands on the toes.  So they can just dump them all in one basket and they only have to make sure that they grab socks with matching stripes (1 stripe, 2 stripes, 3 stripes, solid, etc).  I want to say the girls socks don’t have stripes at all, but I don’t remember for sure.

  28. I need to take a lesson from all the ladies here who actually take time to clean their laundry rooms before starting laundry.  I dread having a clean piece of laundry fall out onto a dusty floor.  Something I did for comfort was that I placed a bath mat (small slightly cushioned rug) in front of both my washer and my dryer, that way if I have to spend any length of time in there sorting, folding, hanging, etc. my feet & back don’t get as tired.  I usually have a few loads to do on Monday to catch up from taking the weekend off.  But I got tired of having to do that, so I’m trying to remember to do an extra load on Fridays (even if it is a very small one) so that I’m not quite as far behind on Mondays.  Right now, I don’t quite have enough to do a load every day, but we are going to have a new baby in November, and I anticipate using cloth diapers, so that in addition to having extra clothes and blankets, burp rags, etc, I’m sure my laundry days will increase.

  29. I line dry almost everything. What I find helpful is to do five or six loads at once, get it out on the line and then I have six hours of free time while the sun and wind do the work. Now, my method does take creating a drying area. But the money I save on electricity is worth it.

    If I am careful with the way I hang, it’s easier to take down and fold. One less step in the laundry process skipping the dryer. Some will say this is not up to their standards but who decides what the standard is? I decided that relaxing my standards is okay.

    For those who worry about wrinkles, my grandma and experience taught me a trick. Either hose down items once they are on the line so the weight of the water pulls out wrinkles. Or even easier, leave it on the line overnight. The morning dew leaves garments practically ready to wear.

    In the winter, wet garments go directly on hangers, dry on hangers and those hangers go right into the closet.

  30. now that we have a full basement and I have an actual laundry ROOM, we have 9 -yes, NINE- baskets on shelves for sorting. towels, colors (not reds), black/darks, delicates, socks/underwear, whites, jeans, reds/pinks, work clothes (clothes with paint and saw dust, etc on them. My hubs does a lot of this). My kids take their clothes downstairs every night as part of their routine and THEY sort their clothes.
    I wash & dry the clothes -some hang/lay flat- and I fold the clothes but they come back downstairs to get them them and put them away.
    I do a couple loads a day, most days of the week. I miss having my laundry on the main floor but I LOVE having plenty of room to sort, hang, dry flat & iron.
    We too have the litter box in the laundry area and I feel compelled to sweep twice a week or so in case something falls on the dusty floor.

  31. *my KIDS come back downstairs to get their clothes and put them away. p.s. I use color catchers in color/red loads but they haven’t always worked perfectly for me so I still generally separate the reds.

  32. My grandmother use to say, “Your never to old to learn something new”. After washing clothes for over thirty years, I realized that no matter how many good suggestions I read about keeping up with the dirty laundry, it was short lived. Raising five kids, didn’t make it any easier either. So one day, a new neighbor of mine told me her secret for doing laundry. Once a week on Saturday’s she bags up all the family’s dirty laundry, and takes it down the road to the modern, coin- operated laundry matt. It has the mother of all washing machines, and can wash five loads at once! You can sit back relax watch cable television, get your favorite snack or cup of coffee from the vending machines, or even do a little socializing with the other customers while you wait for your clothes, (usually thirty-five minutes or less to wash). In some laundry matts they even have attendants who will help fold your clothes after they are done drying, (for a small fee, or tip). If you have an errand to run while your clothes are washing or drying, you can let the attendant know so when you return your clothes will be ready to go! I found this to be the best suggestion of all when it comes to keeping up with my dirty laundry. It can even save you some money on your utility bill at home.


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