Overwhelmed By Laundry? Here’s How to Get Out From Under It, for GOOD

Sometimes it can feel like you just have TOO MUCH LAUNDRY.  Whatever the reason, it can be so, so hard to keep up with it.

I’m showing you what to do when you are overwhelmed by laundry, how to deal with laundry when it’s turned into mountains, and what you can do to stay on top of laundry.

Pin overwhelmed by laundry

Why Is Laundry So Overwhelming?

Laundry can be overwhelming because it’s one of the home tasks that never actually gets “done.”  Like dishes & dinner, there will always be another load of laundry to wash, something else to throw into the laundry…it’s extremely frustrating!

Some other reasons you may be overwhelmed by laundry are:

  • You aren’t following a regular laundry routine
  • You have a large family, which equals tons of laundry
  • You are not doing the laundry often enough, or too often
  • You are the ONLY one in the house doing the laundry
  • Some family members are adding clean, or clean-ish, clothes to the laundry bin
  • It’s a mindset thing – you just hate laundry.  I absolutely relate – I HATE dishes!

First, I’m showing you TWO ways to catch up on laundry, the easiest way and the fastest way.

Then, I’m giving you a great laundry routine to follow so you don’t become overwhelmed by laundry again, and a bunch of amazing tips to help your laundry time be easy, fast and efficient for your family.

How To Catch Up on Laundry – The Easiest Way

There have been times when I just stopped doing laundry, and then found myself with seven+ loads to deal with.  I learned how to tackle mountains of laundry, like this:

I didn’t try to do it all in one day, unless I really was sitting at home doing next to nothing that day.  

Instead, you have to prioritize doing ONE “normal” load for the next bunch of days, and then also do one more “extra” load on the days you are able to.

Don’t force the second load every day – if you really can’t do that second load one day, it’s really fine.  Laundry never actually “goes away” once you’re done.  Just pick up again tomorrow.

Eventually those mountains will be gone, and you’ll morph into having a one-load-a-day routine!

What’s the FASTEST Way to Catch Up on Laundry?

Here is the super fastest way to catch up on laundry that I’ve ever used:

Do all of the loads in one day, AT A LAUNDROMAT.  The washers and dryers at laundromats specifically run MUCH shorter & more efficient cycles than home washing machines.  They need people in and out of there! 

Yes, you’ll be paying for the machines.  But, this is the FASTEST way to get all of the loads of laundry done at once.

Call the laundromat ahead of time and ask what days and times they are NOT busy.  This will make it possible to run as many loads of laundry as you want, all at the same time.  I’ve been in and out of the laundromat with six loads, in an hour and a half!

mom and dad doing laundry together

How to Keep Up With Laundry & Stop The Overwhelm

Having an easy-to-follow laundry routine is the best long-term solution to not get behind on laundry again.

Of course, life happens and sometimes you’ll get backed up, but you won’t be constantly overwhelmed by laundry like you have been.

A laundry routine can be once a day, once a week, or any combination of the two.  Depending on the number of people in your home, you can do this routine more or less often.

We are a family of four, and we personally use this routine once per day.  We usually wash two loads, the first one being clothes and the second one being either towels, bed sheets, washing rags, bath mats, etc.

My kids wash their own clothes, so we have designated days of the week that everyone does their own laundry (but we are flexible in case someone really needs the machine).

**Before we start, if you have a washing machine that has a timer, you can set it to start one hour before you wake up, so first thing in the morning you can throw that load in the dryer and start your second load of the day.  This really helps me “stop the leak” and not get backed up with loads.

Laundry Routine

  • Early Morning: Take clothes out of the washing machine and put in dryer, Start second load of the day (if needed)
  • Morning: Fold dried clothes & put away, Put 2nd load in dryer (if needed)
  • Evening: Fold dried clothes from 2nd load & put away (if needed)
  • Bedtime: Load washing machine, set timer to start 1 hour before you wake up.

If you make it a habit, your laundry routine will be super-helpful and you may even run out of laundry for a day or two!

How to Put Laundry Away, Efficiently 

If you are having trouble getting laundry put away at a reasonable time, your best bet is to start sorting your laundry loads by ROOM, instead of lights, darks and whatever. 

This means, when you wash & dry a load of laundry, that whole load is going to just one place in the house.  You aren’t running around to all of the bedrooms putting clothes away.  

In fact, sorting laundry like this makes it much easier to have someone else put it away, because there aren’t a lot of steps to this task anymore!

If you are worried about washing lights & darks together, don’t be!  Just wash your loads with cold water, and make sure to wash any TOTALLY BRAND NEW clothes separately (they are more likely to bleed extra dye when washing).

woman next to piles of laundry

Why Do I Have So Much Laundry?

Having “too much laundry” or a ton of loads all the time, can be the result of a few things:

  1. People in the house are putting their clean clothes in the laundry bins (especially children and teens can do this, when they try on different clothes to wear in the morning)
  2. You are washing clothes that don’t really need to be washed after every single wear (like jeans & sweaters)
  3. The clothes in your closet are styled in a way that makes it hard to wear one outfit for the whole day, like day-to-night.

Sometimes it just takes a few tweaks for you to reduce the amount of clothes that end up in your laundry bin.  

It can be as simple as reminding the kids that if they try something on and don’t end up wearing it, it goes back in the drawer!

If you have clothes that don’t transition well between places, times of day or seasons, you may want to think about buying more neutral clothes, and punch up the color and trend with accessories like hats, bags, belts, scarves, shoes, etc.

Ways To Keep Worn-But-Not-Dirty Clothes Organized

While we are on the subject of too much laundry, for clothes that don’t need to be washed after every wear, it can be hard to remember what you’ve worn already vs. what is freshly washed.

The easiest way I keep track and organize my “worn but not dirty” clothes is by using the hangers in my closet.  Whenever I wear a piece of clothing and then put it back after wearing it, I turn the hanger around so the hanger is hanging backwards in the opposite direction of the rest of my clothes.  That makes it very easy to spot the clothes I’ve worn already.

Another way to keeptrack is to have a separate drawer or dedicated space in your drawer for only those clothes you’ve worn already, if you don’t have hanging storage space. 

mom and child smelling laundry

How To Find Motivation To Do Laundry – Help With Mindset

Any way you cut it, chores suck. Sometimes it feels unfair, overwhelming, or annoying to have to do the same things every single day.

But, if we can reframe our thoughts around them, we can make it much easier on ourselves, instead of having complaining thoughts which don’t help at all.

It helps take the edge off to say out loud how happy I am that I have a washing machine & dryer, that my kids and husband love their clothes, and that they have clean clothes to wear each day.  

Some More Helpful Tips to Stop Being Overwhelmed By Laundry

Kids as young as 8 can do their own laundry.  Use a simple checklist or stickie notes on the washer to show simple steps & which buttons to push.  

Train the family (including you!) to follow the house laundry rules.  Some examples are: 

  • Make sure the kids aren’t putting clean clothes in their laundry bins
  • Laundry gets put away before bed
  • Clothes get put in the laundry basket right-side-out, etc.

If you use stain removing spray, keep it close to the washing machine.  I personally just put a little bit of laundry detergent on the stains and shush-shush-shush the fabric to treat it, then wash it sometime that day (try not to let the detergent dry on the stain).

Keep a set of hangars by the dryer to immediately hang any clothes that need hanging.

Keep a set of wool dryer balls in your dryer.  I have this set of wool dryer balls and I love them – they cut the drying time for me by at least ten minutes per load.

You can also use a clean, dry towel but in my experience, a towel doesn’t work as well when you are drying bigger things like bed sheets & towels.

Having laundry right side out & sorted before bringing laundry to the washing machine saves a TON of time.  I use separate laundry baskets for each pile of laundry that goes together.

These tips should help keep you from getting too overwhelmed with laundry, and lighten your load!

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Mina White
Mina White
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