There are so many times in my life where I have been completely overwhelmed with laundry…and I just didn’t know where to start. Having a mountain of dirty laundry staring you in the face can be daunting. Not to mention depressing.
So how do you get started on such a task?
Here are 10 steps that will move you well on your way to conquering that huge laundry pile:
- Plan to stay home for the day.
This might be the most important piece to the process of getting your laundry out of crisis mode. You simply can’t roll the laundry along if you aren’t there to do it! If you are a stay at home mom, cancel all trips to the library or grocery store. That can wait for another day when people have clean underwear again. Instead, clear your calendar of everything but the essentials. Make sure breakfasts and lunches are super easy with minimal prep and clean up. This is not the day for elaborate meals!
- Plan to stay home for the evening.
If you work outside of the home, come straight home after work and clear your evening calendar to make room for your laundry plans. Order take out or pull something from the freezer for dinner. Whatever dinner plans are, make them simple with minimal prep work and clean up.
- Next, designate a sorting spot for your mountain of laundry.
For me, I sort everything in our upstairs hallway. My laundry room is super little and can hardly fit the machines and myself in there at the same time. So throwing all of our dirty clothes in there would be pointless. Of course this spot will vary for each family. Yours may be in the laundry room, on your bedroom floor, or in a corner of the kitchen. Make sure to make your sorting spot near your washing machine. You don’t want to create extra work for yourself.
- Go into each room of your house and look for stray clothes.
I cannot tell you the days that I find random socks and tshirts in the school room or by the back door. I have no idea how or why they are there, but they are nonetheless. After you’ve examined every room, take all of the clothes and put them in your already designated sorting spot.
- Gather all dirty clothes from your laundry baskets.
Take them to your sorting spot. Just dump them in a big pile. Don’t worry about sorting anything until every dirty piece of clothing in your house is in this sorting spot.
- Start sorting!
Just start at the top and start sorting clothes into piles: whites, darks, delicates, towels, etc. I would encourage you to sort through the entire pile of clothes at one time. Don’t stop halfway through when you think you have a full load of whites. I can guarantee you there will be that stray shirt at the bottom of the stack that you wish you would have thrown in there.
- Start your first load and set your timer.
Put your first load in the machine and set your timer so you know when it is completed. Today is not the day to leave a load in the washer for several hours. As soon as your timer dings, move it on to the dryer or clothesline and put your next load in the washer. Don’t forget to set your timer again! If you are like me, there are a million things going on in your household and you need the timer as a reminder. I call this “rolling laundry.” By having everything already sorted, you can easily put loads in the machine when it is time.
- As soon as the loads are finished in the dryer, take them out, fold them and put them away.
A load of clothes is not fully completed until the load of laundry is folded and put away. This is the hard part for many people. That last step can be a toughie! I can’t even tell you how pleased you will be with your results if you’ll go ahead and take the 5-7 minutes to put the entire load away. So just save yourself the headache later and do it as soon as they are folded!
- When you are finished with your final load, rest.
You deserve it! You’ve accomplished a ton of work by getting your laundry out of crisis mode. Be proud of yourself!
- Finally, when you’ve recovered from your day or evening of laundry work brainstorm about your laundry routine.
I’ve outlined a few ideas to move your laundry routine out of crisis mode, whether you are a mom that stays at home or a mom that works outside of the home. You don’t want your laundry routine to be crisis mode – you want it to be on auto-pilot. It gets old when your laundry is always piled up high, so when you’ve recuperated from your laundry day, work on developing and implementing a laundry routine.
If you have children that are old enough to help, then by all means assign them some laundry tasks! My 3 year old is definitely old enough to carry the random-room clothes to the laundry pile. And both my 3 and 5 year olds can put away their own clothes in their drawers (with minimal assistance). So if your children can help, give them a job and let them get to it!
Clean clothes can be such a blessing to your family. So get motivated and cross this big laundry pile off of your to-do list!
Do you have questions about how to work out a laundry routine? Or how to conquer your own Laundry Mountain? Ask in the comments or send me an email: [email protected].