Doing the laundry. Do those 3 words make you shudder? Do you dread laundry day? Is folding your nemesis? Or is the sheer fact that laundry in and of itself is a never-ending, insurmountable part of your life as a mom making you feel helpless and overwhelmed?
If you’re weighed down by laundry and absolutely dread the entire process of it all, then here are 7 quick tips that may help you to reduce the laundry load at home.
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1| Create capsule wardrobes for your family members to reduce the laundry load.
Curating capsule wardrobes for each member of your family is one of the top ways to greatly reduce your laundry load.
The wardrobes that you can control most easily may be yours and your kids. After all, if you purchase less clothing for them, then there will be less clothing options for them to change into and out of throughout the day.
The exception to this is of course your spouse. Your husband may not be on board for this. In that case, once you’ve reduced yours and your kids’ wardrobes you could mention the benefits to him. Hearing how capsule wardrobes have simplified your laundry routine may help him get on board for this.
As a side note, I’ve noticed that since mens’ clothing options are generally less than womens’ they tend to have their own “uniform” or “capsule wardrobe” of sorts by default. That said, men can still own more clothes than they truly need. T-shirts are a good example of this.
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2| Set limits on the amount of clothes each family member needs.
This is more detailed than creating a capsule wardrobe, because it creates thresholds depending on your families needs, activities, and the climate you live in. It’s setting a limit TO the capsule wardrobe. No less than x number of pants, but no more than x number. It’s not a hard and fast “my child can only have 5 pairs of pants” but more like “she needs no less than 5 pairs of pants and no more than 7 pairs of pants to get through the school week.” This number provides you with an “excessive” threshold. For example, if a child needs between 5-7 pairs of pants and they have 12 or 14 then the number exceeds the excessive threshold and can increase the overall laundry load for you.
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3| Decide how often you need to do laundry.
This varies for everyone. Some prefer to do laundry daily and others may feel that doing laundry everyday perpetuates the feeling that laundry is never-ending.
Every family has different needs and lifestyles – some have a large family, a child with special needs, lots of kids in sports, a spouse in the military, or an irregular work schedule.
Consider your household, your schedule, your lifestyle, and what would help to save your sanity the most. Approach your laundry system with fresh eyes according to your capacity and life situation.
After reducing our overall laundry load with capsule wardrobes for our family members, I realized that our wardrobes provide us with at least enough clothing to get through one full week – just what we need. I cut out what excess that I could while keeping enough options and variety. This greatly reduced our laundry load, allowing me to do the laundry over a period of 2 to 3 days.
When it came to my husband’s wardrobe, I found that it naturally lent itself to being a capsule wardrobe anyways. Maybe it’s a man thing?
4| Consider doing smaller loads, more often.
In some households, the laundry may need to be done daily, depending on the size of your family. Some people prefer to do one small load of laundry every day in order to keep the laundry under control. This could help some moms to break the cycle of having to do 6 or 7 loads to do in one marathon laundry day.
Because who wants to spend an entire day doing 7 loads of laundry?!
One tip to reduce the laundry load is to break it down into daily smaller loads. Perhaps throw one load of laundry in the washing machine in the early evening, before dinner or before the kids go down for bed. Then throw that same load of laundry in the dryer right before you go to bed.
I’ve heard of many moms doing this and for them it seems to work better for them than a marathon laundry day.
5| Try a New Sorting System
In our house I separate our clothes by those that are line dry and those that go in the dryer. This is because all of our clothes generally fall into these two categories, apart from linens. Having two laundry baskets respectively greatly speeds up the laundry process.
If I wash all of the clothes on cold then the colors don’t run and I’ve personally found it streamlines our laundry system to separate the clothes this way versus lights versus darks. We haven’t had any issue with clothes bleeding as long as they’re washed on cold.
Considering a new sorting system for your household could bring you to consider your laundry basket system…
6| Have Everyone Use the Same Laundry Baskets
Instead of having laundry baskets in each persons’ room or closet, consider if you could put them in a central place to combine all the laundry. This depends a lot on the layout of your house and the ages of your kids, but it’s worth spending some time to brainstorm how to approach the laundry differently.
As I mentioned before, we have 2 large laundry baskets in our house – one for items that are line dry and another for things that go in the dryer.
7| Reconsider Your Current System
Look at where you’re spending (or wasting) the most time. Is it sorting clothes? If so, then setting up labeled laundry baskets may help cut down on time spent sorting.
Do you spend a lot of time matching socks? Use a mesh laundry bag with each person’s name on it. Have then put their dirty socks in it when they take them off. Then zip it up and put them in the washer.
Do you spend an inordinate amount of time folding? Perhaps giving everyone their own “clean” basket that they have to fold on their own would help reduce your laundry load.
Of course, there are certainly seasons where laundry is more difficult than others.
Like the newborn days, caring for a family member that’s very ill or is recovering from surgery, or times when the entire household has the stomach flu.
Those times you can just give yourself grace and get back into the swing of things when the circumstances allow.