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How to Keep Up With Laundry – And Never Fall Behind!

How to keep up with laundry in less than 20 minutes a day with these easy steps.

Here are my top 10 tips and tricks for how to stay on top of the laundry pile without spending hours on it. Once you have a good system established in your home, you’ll be surprised how quick and easy laundry can be!

a woman loading a washing machine with pastel clothes coming from a laundry basket

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How to Stop Being Overwhelmed by Your Pile of Laundry

1. Stick to a Simple, Easy to Remember Laundry Routine:

A routine that actually helps you save time, is one that is easy to remember and doesn’t need to be written out or thought about each day.

Have you gotten my free printable housework checklist yet?

My routine is extremely basic. I always know exactly what I’m supposed to be doing each day without having to waste time planning.

a simple and easy laundry schedule chart

Simple, but effective! This schedule works great for my large family. If you don’t have enough laundry to wash on the wash days, thank your lucky stars and skip it that day!

I find its easiest to designate specific days for washing towels and sheets. This way, I’m not doing an extra load for them each washing day. For example, towels on Wednesdays, sheets on Fridays…

2. Have Hampers in Obvious Places

Going from room to room gathering dirty laundry to wash is a big waste of time. The easiest solution is to have a hamper in either the bathroom or other easy to remember spot so that each family member can do their part.

In our 2 story house, we have two bathrooms upstairs along with all of our bedrooms. I hang a washable laundry bag in each bathroom and everyone knows that their dirty things go in these bags.

On washing days its as simple as gathering up the bags and throwing them in the dirty hampers in the laundry room!

3. Prep the night before

In the evening, I like to give myself a head start on the next day’s laundry job. So if I’m washing laundry the next day, I’ll go ahead and gather the laundry bags from the bathrooms and throw them into the laundry room hampers.

If I’m going to be folding and putting piles of laundry away the next day, I’ll unload the dryer or drying racks and carry the clothes upstairs to make it easier on myself the next morning. It just takes a minute or two.

Don’t think of it as extra work, just looking out for yourself the next day!

a woman loading a washing machine with pastel clothes coming from a laundry basket

4. Get it Done First Thing in the Morning

Getting your laundry done in the morning is the best feeling! I mean, who doesn’t want to forget about laundry? It takes me about 15 minutes of active work, to get my task knocked out for the day.

Maybe this doesn’t sound relaxing to you, but I like to drink my morning coffee while I do laundry. It helps me form the habit of getting to it nice and early so its not on my mind all day long.

5. Combine Loads

Ok, hear me out. I know you aren’t supposed to wash whites with other types of laundry. But, I have been for years and its working out ok! Simplify in ways that work for your family.

Just because most people do it one way doesn’t mean its the only way.

6. Check for Stains After Washing:

One of the biggest time saving tactics for me is to check for stains as I’m taking the freshly cleaned clothes out of the washing machine, before they are dried. Even if I sprayed stains before washing, I’d have to check them after they were washed to make sure the stains came out, so I’m saving myself one step here.

For one thing, my homemade stain remover spray works best on wet clothing. For another, some stains might come out without spraying them, and this way, you save yourself some stain remover!

If an article of clothing is still stained after going through the wash, simply spray the stain, put it back in the hamper to let the stain remover soak in till next washing day!

Now, the only time I spray stains before is if the item is very obviously soiled. For example if my son spills chocolate milk on his shirt, I’ll change as soon as possible. Then I’ll spray the spot at that time to keep it from setting.

I like to have a bucket of water and borax in my laundry room to toss very stained items in if I don’t have time to spray them before washing. Then on washing day, I just dump the bucket of wet clothes in the washing machine and launder as usual!

7. Buy Low Maintenance Clothing

Buying wrinkle free clothing will save you a lot of time ironing. I hate ironing so much that we don’t own a single item of clothing that needs it! Call me lazy, but it sure does help speed up the laundry process.

a woman holding a laundry basket of pastel clothes

8. Keep the Laundry Pile Moving:

The longer the pile of laundry sits in one spot, the harder its going to be to get caught up. I like to dump out the clean clothes in the hallway between bedrooms. Next, I sort it into piles for each bedroom.

And fold in the room they go in. Because, waiting to fold the clothes is just asking for someone to run past and knock your piles down!

Dumping the clean clothes in a very obnoxious and in the way spot will make me want to get it folded and put away as quickly as possible to get it out of the way!

9. Cut Corners When Folding

Laundry that’s put away is better than laundry left in the pile, right? If you’re finding you’re having a hard time having enough time to fold and put away your clean clothes. You might just have to cut a few corners here and there.

My boys have a drawer just for PJs. If I’m running short on time, I just turn the pajamas right side out and stick them in the drawer. Since they won’t wrinkle so folding is just a formality anyway!

10. Get Your Kids Help to Tackle the Pile of Laundry:

Feeling overwhelmed by laundry isn’t going to help anyone. Getting your kids involved with age appropriate chores can really help take some of the load off of you and teach them useful life skills.

Everyone has to do wash clothes, so they need to learn at some point! Have you seen my kids’ chore charts yet?

Making things as simple and straight forward as possible will help your kids actually help you instead of giving you more work to do. Adding dividers inside drawers makes it clear exactly where each type of clothing belongs and keeps stacks of folded clothing in place.

a drawer of a dresser filled with neatly folded pastel colored clothes

My Favorite Laundry Supplies:

Bonus, Tip #11: Declutter Your Family’s Clothing

I can’t tell you how much starting a capsule wardrobe system has helped me to keep from getting overwhelmed by laundry. Less clothing = Less laundry.

If you are serious about getting that laundry pile out of your living room, give these 10 tips a try! I promise you won’t be disappointed. Try setting the timer to see just how quickly you can knock this chore out each morning. It really can be a 15 minute a day deal!

More Cleaning hacks You Might Enjoy:

If you liked this post, I think you’ll really enjoy these other cleaning posts on the blog!

I hope you found these laundry tips helpful! If you did, I’d love for you to come back and leave a comment!

Pin these steps to try later. Tag @athomeontheprairie on Instagram to share what you’ve made with us!

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  1. With the mesh bags, do you tie them up To keep them seperated or just throw them and let the clothing mingle? I’ve thought about doing this for a while, but wasn’t sure if it was worth it.

  2. Wow. I don’t know why the bag in the bathroom hasn’t come to my mind before, but this is a tip I needed for my family who tends to put their laundry on the floor and not in the hamper no matter how many times I ask for them not to do this!!!! I am buying them today and hopefully they put their dirties in there. Thank you for the idea. I will also be trying your stain spray recipe because my family makes SO many stains!!!!

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