Keeping up with the laundry is much like keeping up with the dishes. There is a point when the laundry is “done”, but it doesn’t stay “done”. Also, there is a lot of conflicting information out there about how to do laundry. Should you wash everything in cold? Should you wait to do laundry until you have a full load? Should you put everything in the dryer? What about pretreating stains? Should every family member do their own laundry? Should everyone put away their own laundry? My dogs have steadfastly refused to be responsible for their own wardrobes!) We have made doing the laundry very complicated. So, it’s no wonder most families get upset about laundry on some level.
The first thing you need to know about laundry is that it has five basic steps: sort, wash, dry, fold, and put away. The laundry is “done” when it is put away. The second thing you need to know about laundry is that it is easier to do laundry more often and have fewer clothes. That may seem counterintuitive, but it’s true.
Sort: There is so much information about this, it’s ridiculous. I keep it pretty simple. I do my towels separately once a week. I do my sheets separately once a week. For clothes, I sort into whites, dark colors, and light colors.
Wash: Some people like to wash everything all in one day, but I find it easier to wash a load a day. I do not force myself to wait to have a completely full load. I put a load of laundry into the washer in the morning.
Dry: When I get home, I put the wash in the dryer and/or I hang the things I don’t want to put in the dryer.
Fold: It’s no trouble to fold the clothes sometime that evening because it’s just one load! Folding is very easy when you don’t have a lot to fold.
Put Away: As soon as I get through folding the load of laundry, I put it away. It’s not that much, so it’s not hard to put away. If your children are likely to leave the clothes in a pile, and pull things out of it, it will be hard to figure out what’s clean and what’s dirty. Perhaps part of having a peaceful house might be putting their clothes in the drawer, closet, etc.
So, that’s it. I “keep up” with the laundry, and I think it’s easier – just like it’s easier to wash a plate and cup and put it away than it is to let the dishes pile up and only do them once a day.
Random tips on laundry: I keep a bag in my closet in which I put things I wish to donate. When you’re doing your laundry, put clothes that have gotten too big or small into a bag and when it’s full, donate it. Declutter clothes as you do laundry. Make sure you’ve got a place to put clean clothes! If your child doesn’t have a dresser, that might explain why the clothes are on the floor! Or if the dresser is stuffed with things and it’s hard to put anything in there, that could also explain why clothes are all over the place. Clear out the drawers and create enough space to put laundry away. The same applies to the closet. Is it easy to hang things in the closet? If not, spend some time cleaning it out so it can be easily used. Also, make sure it’s easy to use your laundry room. Are there things all over the washer and dryer that have to be removed before you can even start a load of laundry? Do you have laundry soap, etc. in a handy spot? If not, spend some time clearing out your laundry room. Make it easy on yourself to do laundry.
If laundry has turned into a major headache, it’s probably because you have too many clothes, towels, sheets, etc. You only need 2 sets of sheets per bed. You only need 2 sets of towels per person in the house. As for clothes, no one needs 50 t-shirts! Pare down the amount you have in your house, and keeping up with the laundry will be easier. Part of having a peaceful house is making it very easy on yourself to keep up with the laundry.