Please tell me I’m not the only mom who has had to dig through laundry baskets of clothes to find a shirt to wear…or the least wrinkled pair of jeans….or two socks that are at least similar!
Am I the only one guilty of starting the dryer a second time (or 3rd….or 4th!!) to de-wrinkle the clothes I forgot to get out the day before? No matter what I tried, I couldn’t figure out a laundry schedule for my family.
I felt like I was doing laundry ALL the time, and if I wasn’t actually doing laundry, I was busy dreading it!!
All of this time and emotional energy being spent, yet nobody had clothes to wear because we couldn’t find anything!!
And if we could find it (at the bottom of the basket,) even though it was clean, it was embarrassingly wrinkled.
I’m fairly certain I’ve tried every laundry routine out there. When I finally figured out how to conquer the laundry in only ONE day, it relieved so much stress for me…which made my entire family happier!
Are you ready to get your laundry under control? Follow these steps & laundry tips and you’ll have a schedule that will conquer your family’s laundry in one day!! Then you will have time for the things that matter most!
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Step 1 : Enough clothes for a week
You will need to do a few things to make sure you’re ready for only doing laundry once every 7 days.
First of all, everyone will need at least 7 days worth of clothing. But don’t go out and buy 48 t-shirts for each person….then you’ll have another set of problems!
You will have to decide the right amount of clothes for your family, but most of us have way too many clothes anyway.
This is a good time to take inventory, purge, and purchase what you will need. I found that the only things I had to purchase were extra undies and socks.
Let’s back up and talk about socks for a minute. When I realized how much time I was spending trying to match a zillion pairs of socks, I got rid of all the character/superhero/striped socks and bought packages of WHITE socks.
I only buy two styles: the low cut and crew socks. I prefer to only have the low cut socks, but Beckem wears orthotics and needs the taller socks to prevent them from pressing into his little ankles.
Don’t forget about towels. We have 10 bath towels so that each person has two towels for the week. Like the socks, I only buy white towels. Simplify.
Now everyone has enough clothes to make it through a week!
CLICK TO READ: 7 THINGS YOU ARE FORGETTING TO CLEAN
Be sure to join our FREE Resource Library for printable Labels to help get your kids laundry organized!
Step 2: Where to put the dirty laundry
A laundry sorter/hamper is essential to give you multiple sections to hold the dirty clothes. The twins have been trained from a very early age how to put their dirty clothes in the assigned place.
Since they are still small, they put their clothes into the same hamper and hubby and I have our own section.
My 15 year old, Gavin, actually does his own laundry (I know, he’s amazing!), so he has his own hamper in his room.
If you need some ideas for how to teach your kids to do chores then be sure to read this post.
You will also need a place for dirty towels. I have a double laundry sorter for this. One side is for the kitchen towels and the other for bath towels.
Step 3: Have a laundry plan
A plan helps us focus. I like to alternate washing items that are easy to put away with things that take more time.
For example, my first load of laundry is usually my husband’s work shirts. This way I can iron them while the next load is going.
The second load might be denim because this is super quick to put away.
Then the twins’ clothes would be next followed by a load of towels.
CLICK TO READ: Money Saving Laundry Tips for Frugal Busy Moms
Step 4: Quit sorting laundry
Seriously….when I stopped obsessing over separating the darks and lights and what do I do with the in-betweens, life got easier.
I was making things way too complicated….story of my life!!
This might take some getting used to if you’ve always sorted your laundry colors, but trust me– sorting is a waste of your precious time! We have more interesting things to do besides hanging out in the laundry room!
That being said, denim is the only thing I usually wash separately. For example, on laundry day, I take the twins’ bag of dirty clothes and as I’m tossing them into the washer, I pull out the jeans and drop them into a laundry basket. (I have LOTS of the white round baskets from dollar tree). I will combine them with mine and hubby’s jeans to make a full load of denim.
I have never had a problem washing colors and whites together. Not that I’m brave enough to have white clothes for 5 year old boys! BUT, if I were washing a brightly colored item, I would wash it solo the first time to prevent pink socks.
As soon as the washing machine has completed the dirty work, those clothes go straight to the dryer so the laundry train can keep-a-movin.
You will also save money by using more energy efficient appliances.
You will use less water and less electricity.
Do you need to organize your days at home with a productive schedule? Then be sure to download my FREE workbook below!!
Step 5: Putting the laundry away
This is the part that I absolutely loathe!! The part that I used to procrastinate and dread. Now, although not my favorite thing in the world, it’s much more tolerable because I’m not taking the clothes to 4 different places.
When the dryer of the twins’ clothes is finished, I line up 5 laundry baskets.
I put like items into each basket.
- Socks and undies are tossed into one (no need to pair the socks if they are all the same),
- Shirts in a basket
- Bottoms in another (pants & shorts)
- All pajama tops in a basket
- All pajama bottoms in a basket
When you group like items together, you can save so much time, not only when putting everything away, but also when choosing clothes to wear.
I nest the laundry baskets inside each other and easily carry all 5 baskets to their closet. Or, if I’m having the boys help, they each carry a basket.
Another laundry tip that is a big time saver is to hang up everything you can. You’ll be able to quickly find things and it’s much faster than the time consuming task of folding.
My favorite hangers are the “flocked”hangers like these for the kids–and these for the grown-ups. they are covered with velvet fuzzy stuff to prevent your clothes from sliding off and ending up in the closet floor.
Then I use these little clips that I can slide onto the hanger for hanging shorts and pants.
BONUS TIP: Don’t switch out seasonal clothes to save time.
We live in north Texas and our seasons do whatever they please. We seriously had an ice storm at the end of February and a couple of weeks later it was almost 80 degrees! But it may make sense for you to switch out your clothing depending on the seasons where you live.
Back to hanging clothes.
Hanging is my preferred way to put away clothes, but we need a place for undies and socks. The most logical place would be to put them in a dresser drawer, but we don’t use dressers. Instead, I use these plastic, see-through drawers inside our closets.
All the socks go in a drawer (again, you save precious time by not pairing socks), all the undies in a drawer, and pajama tops and bottoms have their own drawer.
Oh, and don’t even bother folding the pajamas…throw those suckers in the drawer!
You will also want to have some type of label on the drawers to tell what lives inside. For toddlers and preschoolers, you could use a picture to label, and for the bigger people in your house you can just use a label with the word.
Labels are essential to not only help you remember what goes where, but to enable your kids to gain independence. With everything clearly marked, they can fetch their own things and also easily help with putting their clothes away.
Be sure to join our Resource Library to download your FREE printable drawer labels for kids!
I printed the labels onto cardstock, cut them out, and laminated them. Love my laminator!
I’ve had it from my classroom days–It’s probably 8 years old and I’m pretty sure I bought it from Sams.
Amazon has this one that looks similar, has good reviews and is very reasonably priced.
I get the 100 pack of these laminating pouches and they last forever!
Step 6: Don’t even THINK about laundry for 6 more days!!!
This has relieved so much anxiety for me!
I don’t have to feel guilty because I forgot to put a load of laundry in first thing in the morning or forgot to switch it to the dryer and now have to rewash stinky clothes.
I don’t waste money drying the same pile of clothes 3 times just to get the wrinkles out.
No more feelings of “loser wife” when my hard working husband doesn’t have an ironed shirt to wear to the office.
So long to digging a pair of yoga pants from the bottom of a dirty laundry pile just so I can get my day started.
But what if you don’t have a full day at home that you can dedicate to laundry?
This system and laundry tips will still put more minutes in your day simply by tackling one family member’s laundry at a time.
You could wash towels on Mondays, husband’s clothes on Tuesdays, etc.
With some preparation and planning, laundry doesn’t have to be a tedious, overwhelming task that keeps us from enjoying the things that matter.
What laundry solutions for your family do you use?