Five laundry tips for busy families. Looking to decrease your laundry? Trying to figure out a laundry system that actually works? Follow these five laundry tips from busy moms, and you’ll be mastering your dirty clothes pile in no time.
Five SUPER Laundry Tips
If you have kids (and you’re anything like me), then you’re drowning in laundry.
Whether they’re shoving clean clothes down the laundry chute (because they don’t want to put them away) or they’re changing their clothes 800 billion times a day (because they’re dirty or wet or HOT or COLD), my kids are creating major laundry piles.
And don’t even get me started on my husband.
While laundry certainly isn’t the biggest problem in my life, two months ago I decided to spend some time really focusing on a new system that would get us out of our weekly laundry rut. I surveyed my friends, family members and Pinterest (of course) to find some of the best ways to win at laundry. Here’s what I learned.
This was the hardest step for us, but by far the most important. We’re incredibly lucky to receive a lot of hand-me-down clothes from friends and cousins.
Really nice hand-me-downs.
But my kids’ dressers were bursting with clothes. How many shorts does a 7-year-old need? 16? Not a chance – but that’s how many were in his drawer.
So our first step was cutting down on how many clothes we all actually own. We decided that eight was going to be our number, so the kids picked out their favorite eight shirts, eight pair of shorts, eight pair of pants – you get the idea.
We didn’t eliminate socks and underwear (because I feel like we always need MORE of those), but we donated more than half of their wardrobes.
That alone cut my laundry in half. Because – as we quickly discovered – my kids will wear most of their clothes in a week – no matter how many clothes they have.
Which is pretty much how I feel about cupcakes. I’ll eat as many as are on my plate (or hiding in my pantry.)
#2. DO LAUNDRY DAILY
My super smart friends have been telling me to do this for years, and I kept telling them to STOP TELLING ME TO DO LAUNDRY EVERY DAY.
I don’t enjoy doing laundry – why should I do it every single day?
Well – for the past two months, I’ve been forcing myself to toss a load in every morning and WOW – my friends were right.
Sorry for doubting you all for so long.
Every morning I toss all of our dirty clothes in the washing machine and get a load going. Then I take the previous day’s clothes out of the dryer, fold them and – this is huge – PUT THEM AWAY IMMEDIATELY.
Seriously – by the time I’m done with my first cup of coffee, I have put away an entire load of clothes.
Then, at some point during the day, I switch the wash from the washer to the dryer so that they’re ready to be folded the next morning. And that’s it.
This has made a huge difference in our lives. I’m no longer held hostage by the piles of dirty clothes or – even worse – the piles of clean clothes that never make it out of the laundry basket (or off the guest room bed).
#3. GET YOUR KIDS INVOLVED
I used to shoulder the laundry all on my own (and not very well). Now, my kids all play an active role.
Every morning they have to put their dirty clothes down the laundry chute. I know this sounds like a small task, but trust me when I tell you that it is a huge step around here.
My older two kids (ages 6 and 7) have to put their clean clothes away every day after school (I place them on their beds in the morning after they get on the bus). The 4-year-old and I work together to put away my clothes, my husband’s clothes and his clothes.
On the weekends, the 7-year-old washes sheets for me. ALL BY HIMSELF. Teaching him to do that is the greatest gift I’ve ever given myself.
#4. MAKE LAUNDRY FUN
Yes, I said fun.
In addition to our new laundry “system,” I was determined to make laundry a whole lot more fun.
Some days, I hold a contest to see who created the LEAST amount of dirty clothes for me.
HINT: My husband has never won this contest.
Some days I hold a contest to see who had the BIGGEST adventure the day before (and created the dirtiest clothes).
HINT: The 4-year-old wins nearly every single day.
Other days I challenge my husband to see who can fold a basket of clothes the fastest. (Bonus – this also means someone is helping me!)
#5. KEEP IT UP
Seriously – just keep going. Keep purging. Keep washing. Keep getting your kids involved. And just keep going!
If I can get on a laundry system, then ANYONE can get on a laundry system. (Seriously!)