Conquering Mt. Washmore: 7 Tips to Stop Laundry from Taking over Your House

When we moved into our new house this summer, I swore that with that clean slate, I’d stay on top of the housework. That I wouldn’t let things pile up and I wouldn’t get so far behind on the cleaning.

But with three boys (plus all of Hubs and my stuff- let’s be honest, it’s not just the kids), things can get out of control rather quickly. So I’m going to share some of my anti-slob tips with you, starting with how to keep up with the laundry, since that’s a pile that can rapidly grow taller than I am.

7 tips to stop laundry from taking over your house

Wash it all. Before we moved, our laundry room was pretty terrifying. I let things pile up and was only washing what we absolutely needed for the next few days. And it was easy to let that happen because it still felt like I was doing tons of laundry. But by doing it all(or as near as you can get- no need to have your kids sit around nekkid), you’ll see what all you have. AND it’s so much easier to stay on top of the laundry if you aren’t starting out behind.

Purge. Now that you have it all washed, be honest about what it is that no one actually wears. Go through the laundry you just did and what is in closets and drawers. If it’s too small, ripped, ugly(you know those outfits that were gifts, usually from a grandparent), or hasn’t been worn in a year- get rid of it. By keeping these items, you’re taking up space you need for what you actually do wear. Make a pile to be tossed out, to be sold, to be given away: and then actually get rid of it.

A place for everything. Take a look at the space you have and figure out where things can go- it’s better to have a plan to keep everything organized. Maybe you need to look into getting another dresser. I make use of the space we have by getting sliding plastic bins for under my boys’ beds for their out of season clothes. A shelf in the hall linen closet is where I keep all three of my boys’ soccer uniforms/practice clothes. When it’s time for practice or a game, I only have to head to that one spot to find what we need instead of letting those clothes get mixed in with the others and having to dig for them in three separate places.

laundry tips for moms

On the floor of my two youngest’s shared closet, I put a cloth bin(found at Target) where I toss their empty hangers, so they are easy to find when it’s time to hang clean clothes.

That includes the dirty clothes. For a while, we were using laundry baskets for both clean and dirty clothes. Which led to the confusion of is it dirty or is it clean, which led to even more loads of laundry for me. My boys know their dirty clothes need to go into their shared clothes hamper in their bathroom. Hubs and I have one in our room. If there are dirty clothes downstairs, I generally just toss them straight into the washer. Anything that needs pre-treated goes on top of the washing machine to be treated ASAP and then put into the washer.

Embrace mixed loads. Unless you have a really good reason for washing something separately(I like my towels and sheets washed separately, on hot. And sometimes really muddy soccer gear goes alone. Or the delicates), don’t worry so much about whose things you are washing- just fill the washing machine(using good laundry detergent is a help with this- I’m obsessed with Tide). Except in those exceptions I mentioned, when it’s time to start the washing machine, I make sure that I have checked all the hampers for dirty clothes and try to make as large of a load as I can. It’s a more efficient use of my time(and more economical).

Put it away NOW. Even if you did the largest load of clothes that will fit into your washing machine, it’s still not going to take you THAT long to put the clothes away. But if you toss the clean clothes on the couch and then do the same thing with the next load or two, it will soon be overwhelming. I do a quick sort- making a pile for me, Hubs, each of the three boys, and a soccer pile. Then I take the individual piles where they need to be and put away from there. (Oldest and Hubs are both just given their piles and they have to put them away).

Don’t let the socks get you. I hate matching socks. It’s a pain in the butt. However, it’s much easier to match one load worth of socks than to wait until you have multiple loads’ worth and try to match those.

What tips would you add for keeping up with the laundry?


    • Shell says

      I have to admit that I love summertime when my boys don’t wear any and I don’t have to worry about them!

  1. says

    Great great tips!!  That idea for the hangers is genius!  I tend to gather them all up and bring them in my room, so I will have them when I am folding/putting clothes away and then the extra ones I tend to throw in my dresser or the floor- need to get a bin for me!  
      The putting away is also my downfall too, but if I spread the laundry out and am only doing a load a day then really putting one load away isn’t so bad, just need to stay on top of it.
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  2. says

    I agree about the mixed loads. Outside of towels and sheets (and an occasional “messed up” pair of underwear from one of my daughters) it’s all going together. At one point, I didn’t even want the kids’ stuff washed with our stuff JUST WASH IT ALL. My tip for socks: use a mesh bag or safety pin to keep them together. I have tried and will continue to strive toward put it away now, but I’m not there yet. My tip, though? Make a schedule. I still haven’t gotten on one fully myself but the times that I laundry on specific days each week it really helps.
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    • Shell says

      I keep meaning to try the mesh bag, but haven’t yet. I tried the schedule for laundry, but haven’t really found a rhythm. If I didn’t do a load the previous day, I check to see if I need to do one that day.

    • Shell says

      I’m wondering if it’s just some sort of leftover piece of advice from before our washing machines got so much better!

  3. says

    I love the shelf idea for the uniforms. Right now we have old cubbies (that used to fit their stuff but since they have gotten bigger, hardly anything fits in there anymore. It makes so much more sense for there to be a shelf in our linen closet since it’s where I fold the clothes. I HATE folding socks because Leo and Nico have the same size feet (and their shorts are confusing, too) so I never know whose socks are whose so I end up with socks all over the house. Speaking of which, I have about 4 loads to do today. I need to purge.
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    • Shell says

      For about a year, all three of my boys wore the same size socks. It was very confusing. Now, two of them wear the same size. I miss summer, when they could just wear flip flops and ditch the socks.

  4. says

    I admit my laundry days are probably easier than a lot of families. It’s just me and my son. But I still stick to a schedule. I do laundry on Saturday or Sunday as we laze about the house. I do a load of darks, a load of whites, and then sheets get thrown in.

    The biggest problem is the folding and putting away. I’ve been known to leave ALL those clothes piled on the couch for a day or two. I just think it’s the worst part. So I’ll sit down and put on an episode of Doctor Who or something while I do it.
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    • Shell says

      I have had the scariest piles of laundry on my couch. Like you could lose a kid or two in there. I’ve been good since we moved, though.

  5. says

    Socks are evil! When we moved, I ended up with an entire very large box of unpaired socks. It sat for a month before I was willing to tackle it. But now that I have it under control, it’s not so bad! 
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    • Shell says

      I wish my boys could just keep wearing their flip flops all year so we didn’t have to deal with socks!

  6. says

    Great tips! I try just do it all on one day and then not let it worry me (but occasionally have to throw 1 load in mid week). Having a home for everything is so important – and you need to get it out it away asap!
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