Laundry is just one of those things. We all have it. We all have A LOT of it when you add in a full house of people. It’s that thing that is pretty consistent when you talk with moms about what frustrates them the most about chores in their house. You do five loads of laundry, everyone finally has clean clothes, but now there are piles of clean clothes you can’t find time to put away, so the pile just sits there taking residence of that big comfy chair in the corner. In the mean time, hampers keep filling up again, then sheets and towels need to get washed and the clean pile keeps getting bigger while closets and dressers stay empty, begging for you to fill the drawers and hangers.
You can finally keep your hampers low and closets full of clean clothes and focus on the more important things in life other than laundry. It’s not a pipe dream, you just need a new way of managing it so it doesn’t manage you! These 5 tips will keep the piles of laundry at bay.
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“Mom! I have no more clean jeans! Mom! Where’s my favorite shirt? Mom, Mom, Mom!” Laundry is piling up on top of the washer, kids are running out of clean clothes. Dirty towels are overflowing the hamper, And then there are piles of unfolded clean clothes covering your favorite chair just begging to be put away. Does any of that sound familiar?
Us moms have a lot on our plates and laundry is just one small piece of it. So why does it seem to dominate our day to day life so much? It can seem like just another chore. Completely impossible to stay on top of it all. Laundry takes too much time for so little reward. When there are so many people in the house that create dirty, laundry it seems to be coming out of their ears!
So how can we stay on top of laundry in the home? How can we have clothes put away so we can find what we are looking for, and not have massive piles of laundry all over the house? All while preventing it from being that monster lurking around the corner. It can be something that is just another simple task inside of our daily routines. We can go on with our day and have some fun instead of sitting there folding laundry all the time.
Laundry Piles Never End
With so many people in our house and everyone creating so much laundry, it used to be very difficult. I felt like I could never keep up with the never ending piles. My husband started doing his own laundry, but I still had all the kids clothes. Then add the bath and hand towels, the dish towels, my clothes, the bed sheets and cleaning towels. It is so much that has to get washed, folded and put away. I had no idea how I was supposed to find the time for it all. After all, life goes on outside of the piles of laundry.
The laundry hamper would always have a pile or two or three of clean clothes and towels that I washed but never got around to folding or hanging and I hated that feeling of never having it complete. Let’s face it, laundry will never be completely done. You could have it all washed, dried, folded, and put away, but everyone has clothes on so that night the hampers are going to have dirty clothes in them again. These tips will help you stay on top of the laundry mass in your home.
They can do their own laundry, right?
First things first. You are mom, you are not a maid. Others need to be pitching in. No matter their age, other than infants, there is something they can do to help. They are never to young! Teach your kids to do their own laundry, then they can be responsible for it and you no longer need to worry about it! It’s not an over night thing if they have never touched the washing machine. It will take some time and effort on your part, but in the end it’s totally worth it!
My one year old crawls in the laundry room with me and hands me clothes. He has no idea what he’s doing, but he is seeing me work, observing and participating in the only way he can, and as he grows it will be familiar to him and much easier for him to learn. Then my two year old, James, he loves doing laundry! There’s buttons. Nothing is more fun than buttons! He brings me his dirty clothes and helps me put them in the washer, then when it’s time to start the load, he gets to push the buttons to the correct setting and turn it on. As he gets older, he will slowly get more responsibilities and, eventually, do it all himself.
My older girls all do their own completely. I started later with Georgia so she learned in a different way than I am teaching the boys, but she learned and by about 8 years old she was doing it all 100% on her own. She even knew how to sort her clothes, what setting and temperature different types of clothes needed, what should be dried and what should be hung to dry. All the things. And then I didn’t have to do it. Really, take one young girl’s laundry out of the equation and that frees up tons of my laundry responsibilities! I mean really, how much dirty clothes can one young girl make! But then, we live on a farm, so there’s lots of dirt.
Schedule Your Laundry Days
As you teach your kids to do their own laundry, and your husband does his own laundry, there’s a lot of people needing to use the washer. One big thing to keep in mind when there are multiple people doing laundry in your home is communication. Make sure you communicate with each other on when each person will need to use the washer. I do all the laundry on the weekdays which doesn’t effect anyone else, The kids and Johnny, my husband, can sometimes collide when they are needing to get theirs done if there is a lack of communication. Everyone has now learned to let each other know “hey, I need to do some laundry tomorrow. Will the washer be open?” It’s that simple. Over time, we have fallen into a routine of when each person does theirs and it just flows wonderfully in our home now.
Find out what works best for each person in the home and schedule those days. Of course, some weeks will vary depending on schedules, but if you have good communication, there won’t be any conflict.
Size Makes All the Difference
Small hampers! If you do nothing else you read today, at least change everyone’s hamper to a small hamper. I recommend getting something as small as one of the bins that go in the cube storage cubbies. Yes. That small.
When you have smaller hampers, it gets full faster and laundry gets done sooner. When laundry gets done sooner, that means that favorite outfit is clean when you want to wear it. But the best thing about doing laundry sooner, it’s a smaller load. Less to wash, less to fold or hang, and it doesn’t end up in a big pile on your favorite chair because you couldn’t find the time to put it away. The smaller load will only five to ten minutes maximum to put away. I think we could all find that kind of time.
Do Your Laundry Often
Here’s where it gets good. You are wondering how you could find the time to wash things so often with those small hampers, right? This is how! Do one load each day. That’s it. Find a time each day that works for you and do a load consistently each day and your laundry will never pile up again.
Here’s how I do it…
I have added it into my morning routine. I wake up and do my morning routine, then, before the kids get up and the day gets started, I put a load in the washer. By the time breakfast is done and the kitchen is cleaned up, it’s ready to be switched to the dryer. It’s such a small load, it’s easy to fold and put away while the kids are doing their independent play during the day.
I do this five days of the week and take the weekends off. It is amazing! When you miss a day or two, because, well… life happens, just add an extra load each day to your routine and within a couple days, you are caught up and back on track!
Minimize, Minimize, Minimize
When you have less, and just what you love, it makes it easier to keep up with it. There are so many benefits to minimizing your wardrobe. I have a podcast episode on it to show you how to pair down and to teach your kids to pair down! It will simplify your life tremendously.
Following these five tips will help to keep your hampers low and your closets full and organized and you will no longer feel like laundry is a never ending chore that has overtaken your home. No one likes to have piles of clothes, clean and dirty, all over your home with the laundry room overflowing. This will save you from that horrible feeling and it will no longer be a chore, just another part of your daily routines.
Love you Mama!
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