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Taming the Laundry Monster

Housework is part of how we love and serve our families, but it can feel disastrously overwhelming at times. Use this strategy to tame the laundry monster.(Last Updated On: February 1, 2016)

Housework is part of how we serve and love our families, but it can feel disastrously overwhelming. It is the job that is never finished. Sometimes, late at night, I have a moment the house is clean, organized, and smells good. The laundry is finished, and the dishes are done.

A brief moment of housework nirvana that I bask in deliciously, the master of all I survey . . .

.  .  .  for about ten seconds. Because if I look longer than that I’ll see the blinds that need dusting or the baseboards I’ve been ignoring. So I’ve started using the good enough standard – is it good enough to keep my husband happy and make his life easier? is it good enough to keep us healthy? Is it good enough to be welcoming to guests without feeling like a museum.

Our homes are supposed to serve us, be a shelter and refuge, not an idol that we break our backs to serve. Whether you’re a neat-nick or not, getting housework done quickly gives us more time to do the things that matter, like read stories and kiss cheeks because those days will be gone before we know it.

Several of my friends have been struggling with the sheer volume of laundry this week. The piles and piles of it gathering makes them feel like an army is mounting an offensive.  I’ve found a solution to taming the laundry monster. Housework is part of how we love and serve our families, but it can feel disastrously overwhelming at times. Use this strategy to tame the laundry monster.

I’ve divided up my laundry to one load per day. One day it is my husband’s things, the next our daughter’s, then mine, then towels, the next sheets, etc.

First thing in the morning, I start a load of laundry. You could even put it in the night before and start the washing machine in the morning. By the time I’ve brushed my teeth, gotten dressed, etc. the load is ready for the dryer.

Folding is the longest part of this process, but I’ve realized that I spend more time dreading it than just getting it done.Restart the dryer over and over rather than just fold it -

When I open the dryer, I start pulling out the clothes and separating them into piles: socks, underwear, shirts, pants. Anything that doesn’t fit in one of those categories gets folded and set aside. Then I fold all the pants since those go the fastest. T-shirts are the largest laundry group in our house, so I found a way to fold them faster.

Then I stack or fold all the underwear and any miscellaneous items left before tackling the socks. I lay them all out and start to match them. By laying them all out before I start to fold them, I eliminate digging through the pile to find matches.

I found that I can fold almost an entire load of laundry in about five minutes. It feels like less work as well when I approach it in essentially five-minute increments: 5 minutes to gather and put in the wash, 5 minutes to transfer to the dryer, 5 minutes to fold.  I spend 10-20 minutes a day and never have a laundry monster.

Plus, once I got ahead of the curve on this one, I’ve had days that I didn’t have any laundry to do . . . whoa.

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11 thoughts on “Taming the Laundry Monster

  1. Oh, laundry is my nemesis! It’s the chore I dread and struggle with the most, so I appreciate your input so much. I find that when I put it in first thing in the morning, I am more likely to get it done in a timely manner. 🙂

  2. Sounds like you found a great system! Mine is to have my kids help me fold!

    1. My daughter helps pull things from the dryer and the boys will help with their things when they are home. But sometimes letting them help is really about them learning and less about actually being of any assistance.

  3. I like folding laundry, it’s soothing to me…. weird huh? I hate sweeping and scrubbing floors. Uh – I put that off too long for sure!

    1. I used to love folding baby laundry. But the little girl clothes are taking over our house!

  4. Tuesday is laundry day, and I do it all on Tuesdays – my son knows to bring his basket out or he has to do it whenever he can fit it in!
    My shirts get hung, so I have a rack over the washer as I pull a shirt out of the dryer I hang it up. My son’s shirts get folder – and I’ve seen that tip and trick before, but that takes me longer than my way! I wish it worked for me, though, cause it looks so neat!

    1. The t-shirt trick took longer at first, but once I practiced it, it was much faster and requires significantly less effort, but my way versus fast way was about even steven for awhile.

  5. Okay. I’m a laundry procrastinator too. I actually don’t fold my underwear I just throw them in the drawer. My hubby and I like to fold laundry together while watching tv. It’s like a mini date. 🙂

    1. Funny how marriage changes us. I have done that as well, but hubby is only home for an hour or two before he has to go to bed, so I try to be just with him during that time instead of doing housework.

    2. Good idea! I fold while watching TV too, but usually by myself

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