Tackling a Mountain of Laundry is never fun but a laundry routine will help keep it at bay
It is inevitable. At some point in your mom life, there will be a mountain of laundry for you to tackle. It’s just not avoidable. However, creating and sticking to a laundry routine that works for you can make all the difference.
So how do you deal with it when you can’t dedicate a whole day to doing laundry?
This easy routine will get you back out from under the mountain in no time and will help you keep it at bay.
Do 1 Complete Load Every Day
This is the number one thing I think causes laundry to pile up, at least at our house. In order to keep on top of it, I have to do about 1 load of laundry a day. Occasionally, I can skip a day but in general, a load a day helps me keep up with all the laundry. Now that load a day means that I am getting sheets, towels, bathroom mats (usually), and even livingroom room blankets through the wash most weeks. So if I am going to skip something it’s usually the blankets or the bathroom mats.
Don’t Do Half a Load
Doing half a load of laundry (unless there is a really really good reason) is a waste. Throw in some towels or a set of sheets or the bathroom mats. Don’t waste that load by only doing half. Of course, there are a few good reasons you might want to ignore this rule but in general, stick to it.
Set a Timer for the Washer
My washer doesn’t make a beeping sound or anything when it’s done so I was constantly forgetting to check when it would need to be switched over. Now I set a 20-30 min timer (depending on the load type) and when that goes off then I know I need to switch the load. Since I generally try and start loads in the morning this is really helpful. My other trick has been to start a load as we get ready to leave to run errands and usually by the time we are ready to walk out the door I can throw it in the dryer as we leave.
Put it AWAY
This is where 90% of my laundry gets stuck. Folding and putting away. It can feel like it takes forever to get done. Especially when you have a toddler or infant who loves to take it out of the drawers or knock over your newly folded piles.
Plus with Kon Marie now clogging up Netflix and every other online space it seems (I’m looking at you Pinterest!). I feel the need to fold my clothes better and prettier. That, however, is a post for another time.
To help mitigate those problems I do two things. First, I fold directly into drawers instead of creating piles. Can’t knock over a pile if there isn’t one. Second, I have been distracting baby girl by letting her play in the playroom either on her own or with her brothers. Keeping her out of the laundry helps it go a lot faster but also teaches her to play independently of me as well.
Pick 2-3 Days to Do 2-3 Complete Loads
If you have more laundry than days of the week then you may need to pick a few days to do more loads. I usually save those for loads of towels, sheets, and blankets. That way the folding and putting away is a lot easier on me.
Make the Kids Help
I know I just said I distract baby girl but when I am putting away my sons’ clothes I make them come in and help me. The oldest is now able to pick through the laundry and pull out his underwear to put away. He also gets out any towels and washcloths and we practice his folding with those.
They both put their own folded clothes away. This takes a bit more help for N (2) but C (3) is able to manage pretty much by himself. This is actually a pretty big help because it does save me time in the long run of not having to put it away myself. I just keep folding and hand it off to them.
Do Something Else and Fold
I have been loving listening to podcasts while I fold laundry recently. I have a set of Bluetooth wireless headphones that allow me to turn on the ambient noise so that I can still hear the kids (plus I usually pop the camera up for whatever room they are playing in). It keeps me working and helps the time fly right on past.
If you have a show you love (hello Netflix!) then pop that on while you fold. Do something that either relaxes or motivates you, in my opinion, to get it done.
Don’t Try and Do it All
It happened. You didn’t get any laundry done that week (or maybe even the week before) and now you HAVE to get it done. Instead of trying to do it all focus on finishing what has to be done. Then get back on schedule (we will talk about that next). So if your kids don’t have clean underwear for the week (oh yes, I’ve been there plenty of times!) then grab a few sets out of the hamper and any other necessities that will get them through till their laundry is done/it’s their day to do laundry. Don’t worry about if their favorite jeans are clean. Do they have pants to wear until you get to their laundry? Call that done and move on.
The idea when you are overwhelmed is to get the necessities done in 1 or 2 loads and then focus on getting back on your schedule. It may mean that you push off doing the blankets on the couch till next week. It may mean you do an extra load of sheets next week. Whatever makes it work for you.
Have a Schedule
This is honestly my best tip for staying on top of the laundry. Create a schedule of what laundry gets done on what day. This creates a laundry routine for each week not just each day. Creating a schedule does two important things in my opinion. One, it helps you to know what needs doing each day so you don’t have to think about it. Two, it means that fewer things get forgotten each week.
A laundry schedule is also very helpful when you have older kids. Mine aren’t there yet but it was extremely important when I was growing up because there was so many of us and only one washer and dryer. The laundry schedule kept everyone on track and in clean clothes.
Have some flexible days. The couch blankets don’t need washing every week and you can probably skip a week doing sheets. That is assuming you have a spare set that can go on the bed in the meantime.
Look at Your Typical Week
You want to build your laundry routine around your family’s activity schedule. So if your spouse starts work bright and early Monday morning their laundry day may need to be late in the week to ensure their work clothes are ready. My husband works shift work and often his week does not start on Monday. We shift his laundry day around so that it is the day before his work week starts. That way his uniform and other clothes are all ready to go for his work week.
Take into account sports practices and games. If you have a child playing sports you need to make sure their laundry day comes at a time when uniforms and practice clothes will be done in time for those activities. For sports like baseball when you have multiple games per week and only one uniform ideally laundry day comes between those two days. It’s not always possible but accommodating for those types of needs helps reduce the overall loads that need done.
Get in the Habit
Find a way to integrate laundry into your life so that it becomes a habit. Maybe you start your coffee maker and then start a load of laundry. Maybe you get the kids down for a nap and then you fold a load with your favorite show on.
Getting in the habit helps for when the days are crazy and life isn’t going as planned. The habit helps you get it done.
It also helps you prevent the build up. While you may skip a day for a variety of reasons building up a habit helps you keep from pushing it off until you are completely overwhelmed by it.
Don’t Skip the Critical Days
If you have to skip days, skip the noncritical days – sheets, towels, blankets, bathmats. If you need to your laundry or kid laundry on those days go for it. Skipping critical days of your laundry routine throws you off course for the week making it more difficult to keep up.
Part of what you need to know about your schedule is what HAS to get done and what is awesome but no one will die if you skip it. My sons’ and daughter’s clothes have to get done each week. Not only does one have a sports uniform that needs clean but they just don’t have enough clothes most of the time to make it through more than about a week without clean laundry. Me on the other hand… I can skip a week and still be ok.
Your life as a mom of 3 little ones is crazy! I know. I’m living that life too. When kids get sick and they just want to lay on top of you and nothing gets done that day. I 100% get it.
This is designed to give you ideas on how to manage laundry on your “normal” days. (Is there such as thing for moms of three in 3?) Don’t worry or feel bad if you aren’t perfect with your routine every day or week or even month. The goal is to reduce the stress not add to it.
Creating a routine, doing full loads, and of course letting go of what can’t get done is going to help you reduce the laundry stress.