I hate laundry. There I said it. I really do!
Let’s be honest, it can be difficult to keep on top of laundry when it piles up – whether it’s because you have a family to wash for, have an illness that prevents you from doing too much around the home, or just that you’ve got too much going on and laundry falls behind.
There are few things more frustrating than being overwhelmed by laundry. baskets and piles of clothes seem to multiply overnight, and it feels like there’s no end in sight.
The never-ending cycle of sorting, washing, drying, folding seems insurmountable at times. But have no fear! There ARE things you can do to make this dreaded task a little less overwhelming.
Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a magic post that will eliminate all of your laundry where you never fall behind with it again. But, it will hopefully help you to regain control when you do begin to feel overwhelmed by laundry.
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- Why do people find themselves overwhelmed by laundry
- 13 Ways to Regain Control When Overwhelmed by Laundry
- Declutter your wardrobe
- Ditch high maintenance clothing
- Don't wash clothes so often
- Stop the sorting
- Don't fold all the clothes
- Treat stains right away
- Keep your laundry room tidy
- Put away clothes that don't need washing
- Prioritise work and school clothes
- No more procrastinating
- Enlist the help of others
- Set a loose laundry routine
- Don't be afraid to send the laundry out
- Never be overwhelmed by laundry again
Why do people find themselves overwhelmed by laundry
They have too many clothes
The more clothes you have, the more laundry you’re going to find piles up. This is because you’re more likely to wear a completely different outfit each day and when you have many clothes to choose from, the pile in the laundry keeps growing.
They don’t have enough support
If the only person doing the laundry in your house is you, it would be no surprise to find the dirty clothes piling up. Not having support at home to take the pressure off of you can contribute to overwhelm.
They have too many things on
If you’re already feeling overwhelmed by the laundry, anything else that is thrown at you will seem like it’s impossible to do. And when something seems impossible, what would be your natural response? “I’ll leave that for tomorrow”. This just makes the pile in the laundry worse.
They do not have a laundry routine
It can be difficult to keep on top of laundry if you don’t have routines in place. This is because there are no set times when you need to put clean clothes away, or when you will need to go through them and sort out what needs washing next. Having a routine will help to keep everything organised and hopefully less overwhelming.
They don’t have enough space
If you don’t have enough space in your laundry room, dirty clothes can start piling up in various places around the house. These piles can quickly get out of hand, and it can be difficult to know where to start.
13 Ways to Regain Control When Overwhelmed by Laundry
Declutter your wardrobe
Clutter can make anything seem much worse than it really is. A pile of clothes in your room may not seem that bad, but when you can’t get on top of the piles, the clutter will slowly accumulate into an avalanche when left unchecked.
Decluttering your clothes is a surefire way to give yourself more space, which means less laundry in the long run.
Too many clothes can lead to piles in various places around the house which in turn leads to more laundry. If this is the case, then decluttering your wardrobe will be a huge help.
Having a few key pieces in your wardrobe can be much easier to manage than many different options, resulting in less clothes to be washed.
Try planning out some time each week where you can sit down and go through all your clothes. This may seem like an unnecessary step, but once you get rid of clothes that no longer fit or are worn out, the amount of laundry will definitely reduce.
Once you’ve decluttered your wardrobe, make sure to put any clothes that need washing in a separate pile so that they can go straight into the wash.
Ditch high maintenance clothing
Removing high maintenance clothing from your wardrobe can be a huge help in reducing the amount of laundry you have to do. This is because these clothes tend to need more attention when it comes to washing, drying, and ironing, which can add up over time.
For example, if you have a lot of silk shirts, you’ll need to be much more careful when washing them as compared to a cotton shirt. You’ll also need to make sure that they’re looked after immediately after washing them.
Clothes that are dry clean only also contribute to a more stressful laundry load. Usually, people wait until they have a number of items to send out for dry cleaning, rather than sending one item at a time. This means that the items will inevitably pile up before they are sent out.
I HATE ironing. With a passion! I consider ironing part of the laundry process so whenever I buy new clothes or am determining which clothes in my wardrobe I want to keep, I make sure they’re not items that need to be ironed before wearing. I would say I only have five items of clothing that require ironing!
The same goes for items that require handwashing. I’ve said before that every item in my house comes with a job. Rugs need to be vacuumed, plants need to be watered and clothes need to be washed. Having items of clothing that require to be hand-washed is adding more work to your load and will often be left to pile up simply because you don’t have time or the energy to handwash it.
Don’t wash clothes so often
One way to reduce the amount of laundry you have to do is by not washing your clothes as often. This may seem like a difficult task, but if you think about it, most clothes don’t actually need to be washed after every single wear.
I know for myself, I can go a few days without washing my jeans provided I haven’t spilled anything on them (which for me is often likely!). Same goes for tops. During the winter I don’t need to wash my outer layer every day, they can do a few wears before needing to be washed.
If you can start to adopt this mentality of not washing your clothes as often, you’ll quickly see that the amount of laundry you have to do will start to go down.
Stop the sorting
When it comes to laundry, one of the biggest tasks is usually sorting the clothes by colour and type before you start washing them. This is because there’s the notion that if you don’t sort them, the colours will run and the clothes will be ruined.
But guess what… this isn’t always the case!
What if I told you that you didn’t have to always sort your laundry by colour and type? This would then reduce the amount of time needed to do the laundry, as well as the amount of laundry that you would have to do
How is this possible?
Darker coloured clothes tend to only run the first couple of times they’re washed. This means that you can wash them with other clothes without worrying about the colours running, so long as you’ve already washed them before.
If you’re worried that clothes might still run but want to try out not sorting them, try these colour catcher sheets.
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Don’t fold all the clothes
When it comes to folding clothes, there’s a lot of debate as to whether or not this is an effective way to store them.
Some people believe that folding clothes takes up less space and makes it easier to find the item you’re looking for. Others believe that folding clothes creates more wrinkles and takes up more time in the long run.
Whatever you’ve been told before, you do NOT need to fold underwear!
Even things like socks, bras and other non-wrinkle items can be stored in a basket rather than folding and putting in a drawer. This makes them quicker to deal with and quicker to rummage through to find in the mornings.
By hanging the majority of your clothes, you can also prevent ironing because the clothes won’t crease in the same way they would if they were folded. It’s also easier to see your clothes in the wardrobe and it takes less time than folding.
Treat stains right away
I’m the person who wears white jeans out to dinner and ends up with bolognese sauce all over them! if this is you, then you’ll know how important it is to deal with the stain straight away.
Now that doesn’t mean that you have to put an entire wash on with just one pair of jeans. Just work out the stain firstly and then either pop the item in the laundry basket or fill up the washing machine with a full load.
Not treating stains straight away can mean that by the time they go in and come out of the wash, they’ll have set and become even harder to remove.
Keep your laundry room tidy
When you have a messy laundry room, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by laundry. It’s the same as any space. When you walk in and are met with a cluttered mess, it’s difficult to figure out where to start.
A good way to help with this is by keeping your laundry baskets in each bedroom. This also stops piles of clothing from accumulating on bedroom floors as dirty washing can be put into each basket immediately.
What this does is it makes it simpler for you to pick up clothes that are dirty when you walk into bedrooms, but then keeps them separate from where you put clean laundry.
As soon as clothes are dry, remove them from the laundry room also.
Put away clothes that don’t need washing
Do you have that chair in your bedroom that is the home for all clothes you take off every night for days on end? I used to be, until I realised what was happening and now I’ve gotten rid of this chair!
The problem with having this chair is that clothes end up piling up and it becomes unclear which are ready for washing and which are clean. So they all end up in the washing machine!
Instead, try putting clothes that don’t need washing away as soon as you take them off.
If you don’t like putting them back in the closet with unworn clothes, keep a designated drawer free for these clothes that have a couple of more wears in them. That way, you’re not messing up your room and you still get to put your clothes away.
Prioritise work and school clothes
There’s nothing worse than finding the clothes you need to wear the following day are still in the laundry. This has happened to me so many times that I now have a dedicated space just for clothes that are for work.
If you’re anything like me and aren’t naturally good at prioritising clothes, then this is the best way around it. Having a designated place where these items go each day makes sure they get cleaned in a timely fashion and are ready to wear when needed.
By making sure the important things are washed, you’re less likely to get overwhelmed by laundry in the long run.
No more procrastinating
We’re all guilty of it. Instead of putting the washing in the machine right away, we end up using any distraction we can find to avoid it. But procrastination is probably the fasted way to get behind on laundry.
Firstly, when you see the clothes start to pile up, get them in the washing machine! Once you have a load started, it’s much easier to continue anything else you need to be doing because you’ll know the clothes are sorted.
When you strip the bedding, get that into the wash straight away too. Bedding takes up so much space and can often be the culprit for pushing you over your washing threshold.
And as soon as the clothes come out of the dryer or off the line, put them away. Don’t leave them in a pile in the laundry room or on that famous chair in your bedroom.
By doing these tasks straight away when they need to be done and not procrastinating, as much as you may not want to do it right away, it will lessen the load and the chances of becoming overwhelmed by all the laundry that needs to be done.
Enlist the help of others
The laundry for the entire household isn’t just your responsibility! Too often, the task lies with just one person – no wonder you’re overwhelmed by laundry! Since laundry is never-ending, enlisting the help of other family members can make it feel more manageable.
Giving chores to children can help them feel more responsible and they will most likely enjoy having a designated ‘job’ in the house.
If your three year old isn’t old enough to help much, start by getting them to check pockets before you put a wash on. They may find a treat and decide they love helping with the laundry! Show them how other laundry tasks are done and when they’re older, they’ll be ready to help.
Older kids can learn to put away their clean clothes in their closets so you don’t have to. And as they get older, you can show them how to put a wash on themselves and they can eventually become responsible for their own laundry.
So start delegating!
Set a loose laundry routine
This isn’t a military operation we’re talking about but having a loose laundry routine can help you stay on top of your weekly or bi-weekly loads.
If you set Wednesday as laundry day, prepare a couple of loads on Tuesday.
When it comes around to Wednesday morning, simply get the clothes into the washing machine, dried, and put them away straight away. If you get through a dent in the laundry over one or two days, this will leave less laundry lying around for the rest of the week.
If you get into the habit of doing this, you’ll be surprised how much less overwhelming it becomes to do your weekly or bi-weekly loads.
Don’t be afraid to send the laundry out
Superman or superwoman doesn’t exist. We can’t do everything all the time. Sometimes things get in the way, whether it’s an illness, work or family commitments.
There is nothing wrong in sending your washing out to be cleaned every now and again to help you get on top of things. It doesn’t mean you’re lazy by any account.
Get one load done yourself while you send another load or two out and do this until you’re back on track. When there’s too much of a backlog, it can seem impossible to get through.
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Never be overwhelmed by laundry again
Ok, that’s maybe bold statement but by following the above laundry tips, you can make a life-changing difference to your household laundry.
So don’t be overwhelmed by laundry any longer, take control and get back on top of things. You’ll be glad you did because who wants to spend their weekends doing laundry? Not me! I hope these tips will help you feel much more in control of the laundry and bring a smile to your face when you open your laundry room door from now on.
Have you ever been overwhelmed by laundry? What are some of the challenges you face with this task?