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Tips To Tame The Laundry Monster

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I don’t know about y’all but the hardest thing for me to stay on top of is laundry. I struggled for years with laundry piled up to the point that it became an all day affair just to make a dent in it. I’m totally guilty of buying my kids new socks or underwear just to avoid the laundry for another day. But all that has had to change this year. Two of my kids wear uniforms every day to school. And uniforms are expensive. So I can’t just buy more to avoid the laundry. I dedicated the summer to developing a laundry system in my household that works without being overwhelming. 

1. Designate a laundry collection area. One of my issues was too many laundry baskets in too many areas and we ended up with piles of laundry everywhere. I used to have a small basket in every kid’s closet. I took those out, bought 2 larger laundry baskets, and created a laundry station in the upstairs hallway linen closet. We have a light wash basket and a dark wash basket. Tyler has a basket in his room. Matt and I have our own separate laundry baskets. It’s working much better. I can easily see when the baskets are full and I can throw in a load before it becomes a mountain.

2. Give your kids some responsibility for laundry. All the kids are responsible for putting their dirty clothes into the proper basket. They know how to sort lights and darks. They know if something has a stain on it that needs to be treated that they are responsible for putting it on top of the washer instead of in the basket. 

3. Do it start to finish. I was the worst for starting a load in the washer and then forgetting about it. So it sat there, sometimes for days, and I had to spend time getting the icky smell out of all the clothes. Now I start the washer, transfer to the dryer or hang to dry right away, fold it when it’s done, and it gets put away immediately. Bonus- it means I don’t have to iron or steam the wrinkles out of clothes anymore. I used to make the kids put their own clothes away but now with school going back in I’m going to get all the laundry done while they’re at school. 

4. Clear out the closets regularly. Instead of waiting for the end of the season to clean out closets I’m doing it every month. Then it’s not such a big task to complete. It takes me less than 10 minutes to do all 3 little kids closets when I do it regularly. I’ve started keeping a better eye on the stuff they don’t wear and weeding it out. I’ve also limited the amount of clothing they have, especially since the 2 older kids are in uniforms for school. They don’t need 20 shirts when they wear uniforms 5 days a week. 

5. Separate the outgrown or destroyed items in the laundry room. Doing smaller loads more often lets me weed out stuff in the laundry room before I spend time putting it away. Socks with holes, underwear with torn elastic, shirts with stains, and stuff they’ve outgrown gets weeded out immediately. I keep donate bags in the closet and I toss things in them regularly. It’s so much easier and then I’m not searching for a matching sock without holes when it’s 7am.

6. Plan school clothes out on Sunday night. It’s easy with the older kids- uniforms! But with the 2 little kids, I’m going to have them choose the whole week’s worth of clothes on Sunday night. It saves time in the mornings and makes everything run smoothly. My kids are not morning people so anything I can do at night to help make the mornings easier is a bonus.

I’m really excited to actually be on top of laundry for once. I instantly feel more organized when there aren’t piles of dirty clothes waiting to be washed, or piles of clean clothes waiting to be folded! 

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  • Stephanie Burris Towne

    I used to have major laundry issues myself with all 5 of us in the house and SOME PEOPLE changing clothes multiple times a day?!!? So I decided several years ago that the kids needed to start doing their own laundry-they would need to know how to eventually anyway!

    So each kid got a day of the week that was their Laundry Day and if it didn’t get done on their day? Tough noogies, wait ’til next week. They learned quick to use their day when it came around! I taught them how to sort and wash and then taped a “cheat sheet” to the washer in case they forgot-it worked well for us!