Does this sound familiar? The couch is covered in a heaving, teetering mountain of clean laundry waiting to be folded. No matter how much you sort and fold, the pile doesn’t seem to diminish in size. And it takes forever! Been there. Done that for too many years.
Do you feel overwhelmed by your piles of laundry? I know I did until I tried this fail proof system four years ago and it works beautifully for me. I watched a very smart lady on Youtube who told me this secret and I wish I remembered who she is so I can give her full credit.
Here is the Secret…
I keep one laundry basket on the washer for clean laundry called “Mom’s Basket”. In the morning, I start the first load in the washer. Let’s call this Load A. Once washed, Load A goes in the dryer. Next, the second load goes in the washer (hereafter referred to as Load B; You get the point). When Load A is done in the dryer, I place it in the laundry basket for folding. When Load B has finished washing, Load B goes in the dryer. Load A must be folded and put away before Load C goes in the washer. Essentially, everything stops until Load A is folded and put away. The laundry basket must be empty before a new load is washed. Let me break it down step by step.
- Place Load A in the washer
- Once washed, place Load A in the dryer and begin drying.
- Begin washing Load B.
- Once dry, place Load A in the laundry basket.
- Place Load B in dryer and begin drying.
- Fold and put away Load A.
- Return empty laundry basket to laundry room.
- Begin washing Load C.
It really does work. Stay with me here.
Q. Does dirty laundry ever pile up?
A. No, because the greatest motivation for me is wanting to have that particular clothing item washed as soon as possible. This can only be achieved when I fold and put away the clean load in the basket. Plus, my children’s laundry is washed on other days of the week so I need to stick to the schedule.
Q. But I don’t have enough time to fold each load one at a time, I’d rather fold everything all at once.
A. Chances are if you are reading this, you are already frustrated with your process. I thought the same once for years. I imagined I would dump all the clean clothes in the living room and fold them one-by-one while we watched Sesame Street. This never went well. Why? Too many interruptions. Too overwhelming. It never worked for me.
Have you heard the saying, “how do you eat an elephant? The answer is one bite at a time.” It’s smaller bite-size pieces of laundry versus one colossal pile. It’s manageable and easily doable. It is in my control instead of out of control.
Another tip I can offer, is I devote a whole day to laundry. I don’t schedule anything on that day. If I do for some unavoidable reason have to leave the house that day, I wash the next day. No distractions. No interruptions.
Q. But I hate folding clothes. I would rather do it all at one time and get it over with.
A. I hear you! I really dislike folding clothes. But let me share with you how I manage through the drudgery. While I fold and put away clean clothes, I listen to my favorite podcasts, watch one of my favorite Youtube channels, or listen to music. I make it “me time”. So when everything is folded and put away, I look forward to the next load so I can continue with my podcast/show/music. And whenever I can, I fold behind closed doors. Oh, the bliss!
Make a Weekly Schedule and Stick To It
Everyone in our household has assigned days of the week to do their laundry. This way, I’m not running eight loads of laundry in one day. Here is our typical week:
- Monday – Mom and Dad’s clothes
- Tuesday – Child #1 and towels
- Wednesday – Child #2
- Thursday – Child #3 and bedding
- Friday – towels and microfiber towels (wash separately!!!)
There is flexibility worked into the schedule, so please don’t think we stick to this all the time. Somedays, we just aren’t home to do the laundry, so it just rolls to the next day. I also keep Saturdays open because I don’t want to be stuck inside with housework because Saturdays are our major project days. Most of the time, we run a special load of dirties on Saturday because of those projects.
On Sunday, the washer and dryer get a Sabbath. Ok, it’s really for me.
I also want to share a sorting shortcut. I keep a separate basket on top of the dryer for towels. When a towel is ready to be laundered, it goes in the towel basket. This way, I don’t have to sort out the towels before I wash.
Seriously, I want to share with the world about these microfiber cleaning clothes (GET IT HERE). I can’t say enough good things about them. The are so soft and can clean like nobody’s business. I was skeptical at first because I was not really impressed with microfiber cloths until I bought these. They are a must have. They too, have their own presorted basket separate from the regular towels.
An Empty Basket is a Happy Basket
The overall goal is to keep an empty laundry basket. As soon as I empty my laundry basket, I park it on top of the washer. It’s emptiness reminds me that there is not a overwhelming pile to fold waiting for me. It reminds me that laundry is all managed and in my control.
I dare you to try it for a week and tell me what you think!