I think we’ve probably all been there at some point in time – standing at the bottom staring up at Mt. Laundry and wondering how we’re ever going to conquer it. When we have so much laundry to do, we feel like we will never get caught up, much less keep on, our family’s laundry.
Because we all know what happens when we have a lot of laundry to do, while we’re working on getting caught up, the piles just keep growing and growing.
I recently found myself in this exact place. After finally finding an awesome system for keeping up with the laundry (keep reading to hear more about this amazing system!), I did really well for about 2 weeks and kept completely on top of our family’s laundry.
Then, as always, life happened and I got
a little, okay A LOT behind on our laundry. I don’t even remember how or why it happened, so I don’t really have an excuse, except that I just stopped using my system and I got behind, and then it felt so overwhelming to try to caught up again. You can relate to this on some level, right? Please tell me you’re not always 100% completely caught up on laundry?!
Finally, last week I decided to tackle Mt. Laundry and get caught up, while at the same time getting back into my awesome system that helped me keep on top of my laundry. And you know what? It worked!
Usually when I try to catch up on laundry I just continue to be behind because, of course, new dirty laundry keeps appearing every day. Imagine that, my family, kids especially, wear clothes and get them dirty every single day. Ha!
So this time around, instead of just getting caught up, I also wanted to stay on top of our day-to-day laundry. And I did it! Here’s the strategy I used:
Conquering the Laundry Pile: A Strategy for Catching Up While Creating a System that Works!
1. Gather ALL the laundry
Gather all your family’s dirty laundry together in hampers or baskets and take it to the laundry area. This will be referred to as Mt. Laundry for the remainder of this post.
Yes, it is important to put all of your family’s laundry together. I know it’s shocking, but really, your clothes won’t be hurt by being washed at the same time as your kids clothes. It just makes it so much easier to have all of your dirty laundry together, so you can get through it more quickly.
2. Create a family laundry hamper
From now on, use just one hamper for all of your family’s dirty laundry. Place the family hamper in a central location, like a bathroom or a linen closet, and place all of the family’s dirty laundry into this one hamper.
This is the first step in the awesome system of staying on top of your laundry. We keep our family hamper in our coat closet in the hallway between our bedrooms and bathroom.
3. Put one load of laundry in at night
Before you go to bed on the evening of the first day, put one load of laundry from Mt. Laundry into the wash to be washed overnight. I always think it’s amazing that I have appliances like my washing machine and dishwasher that will work for me while I sleep!
We have a delay wash button on our washing machine that I use to set the washer to run around 5:00AM so it’s done by 6:00AM when I get up. But I have friends who just run theirs at night and they don’t have a problem with it smelling dirty or moldy by the morning.
1. Rotate the laundry
In the morning, move the clean clothes to the dryer (or hang them on the line), and put another load from Mt. Laundry into the wash.
Depending on how many loads you have to catch up on, you may need to add another rotation of laundry at lunch time. I would say if you have more then 7 loads to catch up on, then you probably need to repeat the rotation again at lunch time, otherwise you can relax until the evening.
2. Gather all the dirty laundry from the day
At the end of the day gather all of your family’s dirty laundry together and take it to the laundry area. Get the clothes out of the dryer into a hamper and move the laundry from the washer to the dryer. Place the load of all your family’s dirty laundry from the day into the washing machine to wash overnight, like on the first day.
This is how you will stay on top of your family’s laundry and keep from falling farther behind as you catch up! Quickly fold the clean laundry and have it ready to be put away in the morning.
Days 3 – 7
1. Repeat Day Two
Basically, you’re just going to repeat the steps of Day Two: In the morning, move the laundry from the washer to the dryer and throw another load from Mt. Laundry into the washer.
In the evening, gather all your family’s dirty laundry from the day again, and take the clothes out of the dryer, move the laundry from the washer to the dryer and throw the day’s dirty laundry into the washer overnight.
By repeating this cycle every day for the rest of the week, you will be catching up on your mountain of laundry, while also keeping up with your daily laundry so you don’t get behind again! See how that works?!
Maintain: After You’re Caught Up
Once you’re caught up on Mt. Laundry, you can easily maintain this system of daily laundry by just throwing your family’s dirty laundry in the wash every night and moving it over to the dryer in the morning (or even better – hang it out on the line!)
And if you ever have extra loads to do, like cloth diapers, linens, cleaning wipes and rags, or if your family is like mine – pee-soaked bed sheets (just keeping it real!), you can easily add in those loads in the mornings like you did when you were catching up!
I didn’t come up with this brilliant system of washing the family’s laundry together at the end of every day myself. My friend Megan from Sorta Crunchy did, and you can read more about how this laundry system work for her.
I have found that washing all the of the family’s dirty clothes together at the end of the day makes laundry so much more manageable for me, and I’m able to maintain it on a regular basis much more easily. (Except for the few times when I fall behind, and then I’ll just come back to this post and read it again for myself!)
Do you struggle with conquering Mt. Laundry? How do you stay on top of your family’s laundry? Do you think this system could work for you?
Also, be sure to check out the amazing system we use to fold and organize our clothes!
For even more laundry inspiration check out these posts: