August 17, 2017
How to Quickly Catch Up On Laundry
Laundry in its incomplete state can be overwhelming and can definitely give your home or a room a cluttered look and feel even if it’s just in a pile on a bedroom floor. What’s the best way to get a handle on your laundry quickly? Take part of a day to wash and fold everything and put it all away.
Then, moving forward, I recommend that you do one load of laundry every day (especially if you have more than four people in your household). This might sound ridiculous if you aren’t used to it but I guarantee it will save time, energy, and lead to a clutter-free laundry situation.
BUT first things first: you need to catch up on your laundry quickly. Enlist any help you can get from family members, especially if you are looking at a mountain of laundry. Use this technique when you get behind or if you’d prefer to do your laundry weekly instead of daily:
- Gather all the laundry in the house and put the baskets or hampers within reach of the laundry room. My recommendation for order is adult clothes, kid clothes, bedding, towels, kitchen towels, and cleaning cloths and rags.
- Line the baskets up in order of what’s going in the washing machine first to last.
- If you have a QUICK WASH option on your washing machine, this is the time to use it!
- Start with adult clothes—do one load of whites (on warm) and one load of darks (on cold) per adult. You could also combine these clothes into one load and wash everything on cold.
- Next in line is the kids’ laundry: one basket per child—no sorting, all of it goes in the same load on cold. Depending on how much laundry there is and your washer and dryer’s capacity, you can combine these loads into one, but for sorting’s sake it’s probably easier to keep each child’s clothes together as one load per child. Even little ones can help fold clothes or just toss socks and undies in a drawer.
- After all the clothing has been washed, it’s time for bedding.
- Once the bedding is done, move on to bath towels, hand towels, and bath mats. Wash and fold and put it away. Take the extra second or two to make sure you’re putting everything away neatly; it’ll be worth it as you continue.
- Finally, wash any kitchen towels and any cleaning cloths or rags. Fold these and put them away.
While each load is washing and drying, fold, hang, and put away each and every load as soon as it comes out of the dryer. Depending on the wash and dry time, this will most likely go on all day but it just takes minutes to fold and put away the clothing in between each load. If you can’t finish it all up, put it off until the next day and finish it up before moving on. If you have a lot of laundry, feel free to divide this up into two days.
Once you have finished with all your washing, put your washer on a clean cycle or simply run it with the hottest water setting. Select the extra rinse option and add ¾ cup of white vinegar or ¾ cup non-chlorine bleach (not both!) to the bleach dispenser or to your washtub and fill it to its maximum level. Allow the cycle to run until it has completed. Open the door and let the washer air-dry. If you have a front-loading or HE (high-efficiency) washing machine, you will want to keep it open in between loads to allow it to dry completely. This will keep it from smelling and it will keep mildew away.
Once you’re all caught up, I suggest doing a load or two of laundry every day. In my book, Simply Clean, I show you how to take it from dirty to folded to put away even on busy weekdays.
With your laundry done, I hope you feel like you have achieved a monumental goal, and even if you don’t feel like your home is where you want it to be, at least everyone has clean clothes today! By following the simple method of one load of laundry a day moving forward, this will help you keep your laundry pile at a minimum in just minutes each day.
You can see my favorite laundry products here on my cleaning favs page – happy laundry!
Curious on how I teach my kids to do laundry? Check out this post.
May I ask where you got the hamper in the last picture above? I had a similar one but the handle broke so I need to replace it! Thanks!
b r SaysPost author
Catching up on laundry is a lot harder for those of us who don’t have a drier! I sometimes get behind in the winter because we simply don’t have enough indoor space to hang it all.
We had no dryer while I was growing up. My mother did 3 loads of laundry every morning. Every bedroom had a drying rack that their own clothes were on. The linens went on my rack on days my clothes weren’t washed (because my bedroom was closest to the washer). My mother swears that kept us healthier in the winters since the drying clothes kept moisture in the air. Good luck, it is hard work.
I have drying racks and rolling hanging racks, hooks, and wire shelving in my boiler room. I use the dryer to shake out the wrinkles, then hang everything in there to dry. I save on electricity, my clothes don’t shrink, they last longer, and I rarely pull out the iron. Beach towels and ski gear dry well there too. I also keep the Downey Wrinkle Releaser spray in there in case something needs a little help drying straight. I probably have more room than many because we upgraded to a more efficient boiler (from two to one), but I have also used showers, hangers in closet with doors open, hangers on door jambs, and laying flat over the backs of (non wood) chairs and couches.
Becky you think like me! That’s exactly what I was thinking for one of my clients. They have five kids, three to sixteen years old, and they pile everything together and mix everything together. I’ve begun sorting as I pull things out of the dryer, which helps immensely, but doing each one separately from the beginning makes absolute sense. Kids could then take their own basket and learn to fold and put away. And the one load a day is way less hassle than seven or eight mixed up loads over one or two days. Awesome idea!
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Heidi keller Says
Thanks for the tips. I really do need to do a load a day to keep up with all the laundry. I love your laundry baskets in the post’s photos. Where did u manage to find turquoise ones?
b r SaysPost author
The main reason I get behind is ironing. In the uk, we ironing pretty much everything and don’t use driers as much due to the fact the electricity costs a small fortune here. Do you guys not iron?
b r SaysPost author
I don’t need to very often if I hang up from the dryers.
I live in an apartment, and don’t have a washer and dryer, but I do have access to a laundry room. What suggestions do you have to make the laundry routine smoother in that situation?
b r SaysPost author
Put together a portable laundry station that you take with you to your building’s laundry room 🙂
this would be real easy if i had laundry on the main level of the house. i never would get backed up in the firat place. i am newly physically disabled, and my partner has a brain injury. living on half the salary i was making, but it is too much to qualify for any government programs. my church said i was “too needy” when i kept ending up in the hospital. i need a pure, simple miracle, clean mama