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Overwhelmed by Laundry? Life-Changing Tips to Catch Up!

Are you drowning in a mountain of laundry? Does the sight of your laundry room make you cringe? If you’re an overwhelmed mom, juggling family, work, and household chores, you’re not alone. The never-ending cycle of washing, folding, and putting away clothes can be a never-ending battle. I was completely overwhelmed by laundry for our 5 kids. I adopted and tweaked this simple laundry routine that helped immensely and I’m positive it can help you too!

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Sorting Clothes

We have tried this a few ways and both worked equally well.

One way was to stop sorting by color and just use color catching sheets in the wash.

I’ve used these cheaper ones for YEARS and my Amazon order history says I’ve ordered them now 9 times.

Not one time, even with new red items of clothing, have I had any dye bleed onto other clothes.

Another thing we tried was sorting by family member (again ignoring color).

This worked but I felt it led to doing way more loads of laundry.

For now, we are just doing one massive load of laundry without caring about the color.

It all just goes into the washing machine together in large loads.

Where to Start When Overwhelmed with Laundry

Now that you hopefully agree with me that sorting clothes by color is a waste of precious time and energy, let’s tackle the next issue.

The way to have less laundry is to have less clothes.

A few years ago we minimized our clothing by ruthlessly decluttering clothes in all of our closets.

This was because I was so overwhelmed with laundry and realized we were washing clothes that we hadn’t even worn.

Having 4 young kids at the time, things would just get pulled off of hangers, used for dress-up, and then forgotten on the floor somewhere.

My husband said we had too many clothes and having less would help.

At the time, I kept 14 outfits for each of our kids and created a sort of capsule wardrobe.

Everything else was either sold to Once Upon a Child or donated.

​I can’t quite describe just what  a huge difference this made.

If you’re overwhelmed with the sheer amount of laundry you have, start here.

Fewer clothes equal fewer piles of laundry.

Where to Put the Dirty Laundry

When I dissected our laundry problem, I realized part of it was having to run all over the house and get laundry from every bedroom.

Usually the bathroom floor too.

​I decided the best way to fix our laundry issues was to come up with a good system that made our laundry easier to do.

The best way I’ve found to cut down the amount of time it takes me to do laundry is to keep all of the dirty laundry in the laundry room.

We keep a central laundry basket in there where everyone puts their dirty clothes.

When it’s full, we throw it in the washer with a color catcher and run it.

Now, it’s my 8 year old’s chore to switch the laundry from the washer to the dryer and start it.

The Fastest Way to Put Away Clothes

This whole laundry fiasco started when our kids were much younger.

​I watched SO many Youtube videos about this back then and decided we’d try a no-fold system.

​Little kids have little clothes, so back then it was super easy to neatly toss their shirts in one bin, pants in another.

Now that they’re older, we hang their shirts, but pants still don’t get folded.

​Pants and shorts we lay neatly in a drawer.

So instead of folding when I’m going through piles of laundry, I stack a neat pile of each person’s bottoms and those get placed in the drawer just like that.

Our 10 month old baby still is on a no-fold system because his onesies are still tiny.

I had just realized that it was taking so much time to fold clothes.

​Then I’d get frustrated when my kids would mess them up riffling through their drawers.

Not only does a no-fold system take less time, but I’m never frustrated about the messed up drawers anymore.

It’s SO much easier to keep everything neat after you minimize your clothes and just stack them neatly.

woman holding load of laundry

Laundry Schedule – How to Keep up with Laundry Easily

In our house, doing one big laundry day of washing and drying just isn’t feasible.

It would mean like 15 loads of laundry and, because we’ve minimized our clothes, we would be nearly running out if we only did laundry once a week.

There’s just not enough time to tackle that in one day.

Besides, we’d be out of clean underwear.

Instead, part of my daily routine is doing the laundry.

I throw everything into the washer at night before bed and push start.

First thing in the morning, either I or my 8 year old will put the load in the dryer.

When we take everything out of the dryer, we lay it neatly in laundry baskets to avoid wrinkles.

Sometimes we get to put away a load or two through the week.

Usually though, all of the laundry waits until Sunday.  ​

This is the one day of the week that we don’t have some sort of sport going on.

We put on music, and all 7 of us hang out in the living room hanging shirts and sorting underwear and pants.

Everyone takes their own laundry to their room to put away.

It looks like SO much laundry, but this past Sunday I timed us.

It took us 29 minutes of dancing around to music and sorting piles of clothes to get it all put away.

29 minutes to put away a week’s worth of laundry for 7 people.

Even I was impressed.

Small children can help with the laundry too!

My 4 year old daughter made a pile of everyone’s underwear for me and then sorted by person.

This was actually a huge help!

How to Keep Laundry from Piling Up

Keep a small bin in each closet for outgrown kids’ clothes.

When it gets full, move the bin to the trunk of the car.

If you have a consignment store or a Once Upon a Child near you, drop it off and try to make some extra money.

Otherwise, find one of those clothing dumpsters and drop it off.

Everything has to earn a place in our home now that we’re minimalist.

If things don’t fit, I’m excited to get rid of them.

My kids used to have enough clothes to last an entire year without doing laundry.

Now I think 14 outfits each might just be too many.

The thing is, if you have so much that you always have clean clothes, then you can get lazy and not do laundry for weeks on end.

This is how the laundry pile gets out of control and the dirty clothes pile could fill a room of your house.

How to Get Caught Up on Laundry

Now that you know my tips to get laundry put away as quickly as possible, hopefully it isn’t so daunting to just tackle all of it.

When we traveled full time in an RV, we didn’t have daily access to a washer and dryer.

Instead, we would go to the laundromat once a week and tackle it all there.

If this sounds miserable, I assure you, it was.

BUT, we got every single article of clothing, dirty towel, and sheets done in a single day.

If you are buried under piles of dirty clothes, it might be worth it to go use laundry facilities where you’ll have access to multiple machines.

We took our kids and a tablet and just let them watch movies while we worked.

​If you can stomach it, search laundry facilities near you that you know are in a good area.

If you’re willing to pay for it, some towns have dry cleaning with a laundry drop-off service that will do the hard work for you.

The point is to get caught up so you can stay on top of the laundry.

This may be the only way to actually get caught up, especially if you’re super low on time.

​Tackling it a little bit at a time isn’t an option because at the end of the day, you’ll just have another load of dirty laundry anyway.

Especially if you have a large family like we do.

My Favorite Laundry Supplies

I’m always super curious what other moms of lots of kids are using so I’ll post my current favorites here.

This is my favorite “cleaner” detergent at the moment.

​My favorite laundry bar.

I recently bought these fabric softener sheets because the EWG website said they were clean and reviews said they worked well. So far, I agree!

​This is my favorite spray stain remover. It even worked on red crayon that I thought ruined an entire load of laundry.

If you are currently stressed about the laundry situation in your home, give these laundry tips a try. It takes breaking what you think is the “right way” to do something sometimes to get ahead. The thing is, sometimes we don’t have the time, energy, or just motivation to do things the way we’ve been taught is correct. Instead of staring at a massive pile of dirty clothes, throw it all in the washer together, add a color catching sheet, and neatly stack those clothes instead of folding them when the load is done. I really believe you’ll be glad you did!

woman holding load of laundry. Text reads "simple tips when you're overwhelmed by laundry from a mom of five"