Fighting the Laundry Monster

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not the best housekeeper.  My floors aren’t always the cleanest.  The tub gets scrubbed when visually disgusting (sometimes).  And you could write in the dust on my dresser.  But one thing I’ve gotten down is fighting the laundry monster.

I used to detest doing laundry.  Even when my washer/dryer was right outside my bedroom door.  And when I finally got around to washing it, it would live in a basket indefinitely until I was in need of something to wear.  Needless to say, I was a constant frumpled mess.
Then I got married.  And my husband tried to do laundry.  He used fabric softener instead of detergent.  I knew I needed to take control.
For the past 4 years I’ve been in search of the secret to laundry perfection, and I think I’ve finally achieved it.  (If you ignore the fact that my husband wears the same pants to work several days in a row because he only has two pairs of khakis.)

Let me introduce you to the keys to laundry success!*

*Disclaimer: This is what I’ve determined to work for me and my family.  Obviously, this may not work for you.  Consider yourself warned.

  • Segregate.  I keep multiple laundry hampers in our bedroom to sort laundry as it’s used.  This allows me to quickly grab a load and throw it in the washer on my way downstairs to watch The Biggest Loser. 
  • Divide and conquer.  I’m obviously not a huge fan of sorting laundry, so to make this task simpler, I wash the kid’s clothes separately as opposed to putting whites with whites, etc.  When clothes are clean, I can just throw the basket in the appropriate room and hope the laundry fairy comes in the night to put them away.
  • Cut to the chase.  I don’t bother folding clean laundry.  Most of my clothes are hung, so why should I do double work?  If I don’t have time to put everything away when it’s fresh, I prioritize the hanging stuff and leave the rest for later.  No one’s gonna know if you have wrinkly socks.
  • Do smaller loads.  I know that seems counter-intuitive, but this really works for me.  It’s much easier to tackle a small load from hamper to closet than it is to battle a mountain of clothes. 
  • Wage. War. Every. Single. Day.  I know this is not what you wanted to hear.  And I’m sorry.  But you have to stay on top of it or else you will have an erupting volcano of dirty skivvies.  If we happen to be gone for the evening, I can always tell come the weekend because I’m scrambling to get caught up.  And at this point, it’s become routine.  Home from work–Eat dinner– Watch Wheel– Put kid to bed– Throw in laundry.  Ah, the monotony predictability of family life.

How do you tame the laundry beast?

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4 Responses to Fighting the Laundry Monster

  1. MamaTales says:

    Haha! Laundry is my biggest challenge, specifically folding laundry. We end up with mounds of clean clothes on the bed in the spare room. My hubby always teases me that I'll wash but never fold them. Hey, at least he has clean underwear right? :)

  2. Posh says:

    You have no idea….it never ends around here.

    Passing through via the Thursday hop to say hello and follow.
    You can check out my site at http://poshonabudget.com/2011/02/happy-thursday-7.html.

    POSH

  3. Kristy says:

    Yep, laundry and dishes seem to be the never-ending beasts here. I'm shaking my head yes to just about everything on your list! :) I've had the same hamper in the master bedroom for over 5 yrs now. It has 3 compartments. One for colors, whites, and towels. I have NEVER changed their order. Yet, somehow, the husband is continually confused as to which clothes belong in which compartment. I give up :)

  4. Anonymous says:

    Laundry is one thing I manage in a way that works well for me and has for years. The most critical first step? Only dirty clothes go in the laundry. I've been known to count shirts and give out awards, good and bad, for too many clothes or an improvement in the amount of clothes in the laundry. Think hard about whether something really needs to be washed. It's only hard on the clothes, washer and environment. Are your husband's pants really dirty after 2 wearings? Then, I do laundry once a week, and only very rarely in a year are there any exceptions. Everyone knows this is the rule and plans accordingly. Sort the laundry on the floor with whatever system you like and do loads until they are done. Kids that are old enough can sort their own clothes if you want. Each load gets hung up or folded and put on a bed PEOPLE SLEEP IN so by night time every person, even the littlest ones, has put their clothes away before bed. I do 4-5 loads of laundry per week for family of 4, increasing to 5-6 when family size increases by 1 or 2 in summer. Laundry. My claim to fame. Now, if I could only get behind meal planning in the same way….