Two weeks ago my parents came over to visit. The kids had just come home from school, I had been busy with some web design projects, there were dirty dishes in my sink, the back porch where they entered was a mess of coats and snow pants, and there were piles of laundry in my living room.
I really wasn’t expecting company, and I was embarrassed about the condition of my home. My mom said a few things that made me feel like I was a little girl with a messy room. (Love you, Mom!)
She said, “Are all of those clothes clean?” and “Why don’t you just fold and put away the clothes when you take them out of the dryer.”
I immediately felt defensive and I gave her some excuses as to why I had so much clean laundry that was sitting in a pile (getting wrinkled). I told her how busy I had been and that doing laundry for 7 people is hard, or something like that.
However, I didn’t feel good about it. I didn’t want to have piles of clean and dirty laundry. I knew what I needed to do, but sometimes doing what you need to do is easier said than done.
Wash. Dry. Fold. Put Away. Yes, I knew that was what I needed to do but I was so overwhelmed with how many loads I had to do that my plan to do 1 load of laundry per day last year wasn’t going to cut it.
Have you ever struggled with getting control of your laundry like I was (and have struggled many times in the past)? I am here to tell you that there is hope.
Let me start by showing you just how bad my laundry room looked last week. This picture doesn’t show you the additional piles of clean laundry that were in the living room.
Scary, right? I’m just trying to keep it real here. While I am at it I might as well tell you that I am a procrastinating perfectionist, but that might be a post for another day. 🙂
So, how did I get my laundry room back in order?
Getting Control of Your Out of Control Laundry Piles
The first thing you are going to have to do is wash all of the laundry in your home. Here’s what I did last week. This took me the better parts of 2 days to complete. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day.
- Gather all of the dirty laundry in your entire house.
- Sort it all into piles by color, type, etc. (I lined my hallway with dirty laundry piles but you can use any area that won’t be in your way.)
- Start a load of laundry and keep going until all of the laundry is washed, dried, folded and put away.
- If you have clean, wrinkled laundry lying around, get it unwrinkled, folded and put away.
- When you have finished all of the laundry, give your laundry room/area a thorough cleaning.
- Vow to never let this happen again, but give yourself grace if it does. Just do this process over again if it happens.
Alternative: Take all of your dirty laundry to a laundromat and get it all done at once. It may cost you a little bit of money but it will be a much faster process than spending 2 days washing and drying clothes.
Once I completed all of the steps above last week, I put together the new laundry sorter (affiliate link) I ordered. I taught the kids how to use it and so far they have been doing a great job.
Years ago I had a laundry sorter that had a plastic frame and tiny wheels. It broke and my husband tried to fix it. Eventually, we got rid of it because we were just too rough with it apparently.
My new laundry sorter (affiliate link) is so much sturdier. Plus, I am not filling it to the brim, smashing the clothes down, and filling it even fuller. 🙂
Every laundry room also needs a place to put mismatched socks. Several years ago I embroidered this tote bag and I still chuckle at how clever I thought I was.
It really has been helpful because we always seem to have socks that are missing their mates.
Since the title of this post promises a simple way to take control of your laundry, I better tell you what it is. Actually, I already told you, but I will say it in bold this time.
A Simple Way to Take Control of Your Laundry
Wash, dry, fold, and put away one load of laundry at a time. Do not let the clothes sit in the washer or dryer or in a pile on the floor after they are clean.
While I didn’t like it when my mom asked me why I didn’t just fold and put away the laundry after it was dry, her question was the answer to my laundry issues.
Guess what? It actually works. I have been able to keep on top of my laundry all week. My laundry room looks just like the picture above as we speak with one exception. We had to get a new washing machine on Saturday.
I knew this day was coming but I had hoped it wouldn’t be so soon. I must have worn it out with my marathon washing sessions last week. 🙂
I will say that I was so thankful I had a clean laundry room when it happened because it was so easy to move out the old washer and bring the new washer in. Plus, it was easy to clean up a few gallons of water off the floor, too. Long story…
My new washer is a top loader with no agitator inside and I really like it. I personally don’t intend to get a front loader again.
Do you struggle with laundry issues, too?