Raise your hand if you are constantly falling behind on laundry. My hand is way up in the air! Even pre-kids, I had a hard time keeping up with laundry. Now, I am the main washer of clothes for my family of 4 plus pets. It’s amazing how much clothing tiny humans seem to dirty! Add cloth diaper laundry, and it’s like the mail. It just keeps coming and will never be done.
Tips for Keeping Up with Laundry
Make a Plan
When I am getting ready, I can easily go through multiple outfits until I find something worthy of wearing out of the house. This is especially true on the weekends. During the work week, I am typically too tired to keep trying.
I am the mom of a strong-willed 3 1/2-year-old. For the time being, our princess phase appears to be on pause. For several months, she ONLY wore princess, fairy or very dressy-dresses. It was adorable, but it required a lot of hand-washing delicate dresses. And she’s a toddler, so she’s messy. There’s no wearing it for several days. As an attempt to shorten our bedtime routine, we’ve given her a checklist of tasks to complete before going to bed. One of those tasks is choosing what she’ll wear to school the following day. Sometimes it works, other times we’re on outfit #3 by 7:30 am.
Involve the Kids
My kids love to “help.” It’s easy to get frustrated while folding laundry when the baby (just shy of 1 1/2) starts pulling clothes out of the basket. I’ve found he prefers to play peek-a-boo with a blanket and an empty laundry basket. At least it works for now! My daughter really is a diva and likes to admire all of her clothes. It’s good to keep her occupied by asking her to put jammies or pants away in drawers.
Save Time & Energy
I am always looking for ways to be a little bit more green. In order to save on energy costs, I read that you should only use your dryer at night in the summer because it will keep an already hot house from getting hotter. To speed up the process, I always use Wool Dryer Balls. And when possible, I use my clothesline to line dry some of our laundry – including cloth diapers, dresses, delicates and some 100% cotton items. Plus, the sun is truly an amazing natural stain remover.
Once you’ve been through a round of stomach illness or if you have pets that constantly make a mess, you really understand the importance of a planning and having a back-up plan ready. If your kiddo is sick and unable to make it to the bathroom, layer crib sheets with a mattress protector or towels. Rather than doing a complete room change in the middle of the night, you can just peel off the top gross layers.
I have a dog who takes requires a diuretic medicine. He pees all the time, which is fine if we are home. However, if it’s a long day at work or he drank too much water, he will pee in his crate. (I know – poor puppers!) Because this is a known problem, we make sure to keep plenty of old towels and blankets suitable for pets around.
I am really and truly trying to embrace some aspects of a minimalist lifestyle. If we didn’t have SO many clothes, they wouldn’t pile up so bad. I’ve been looking around and realizing I don’t “need” all of these options. If I haven’t reached for it in a year, it’s time for it to leave my closet. If I don’t feel good when I’m wearing it, why keep it? Through pregnancy and life as a mom, my size has fluctuated. Am I really holding onto 10-year-old jeans that don’t fit? If they ever fit again, it’s doubtful they will be fashionable. And if I lose weight, won’t I want to celebrate by buying new clothes? Holding onto these old clothes clogs up the closet and makes it more difficult to put everything away once it is clean.
In an effort to stay on top of your laundry, try to do a load each day or pre-sort. Keep baskets or hampers for darks and lights. When the basket is full, it’s easy to toss it in the washing machine.
Do you hate folding laundry? You can try putting clothes on hangers as they come out of the dryer. They way they will stay wrinkle-free and you won’t stare at them sitting in the laundry basket until it’s time to wear them next.
Hopefully, these tips will motivate you to stay on top of your laundry situation! Remember, the size of your laundry pile is not indicative of your skills as a mom. We’ve all got this!