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  • Writer's pictureLauren Hass

Hate Doing Laundry? How to Get Out From Under the Overwhelming Pile(s)

An unofficial non-scientific study of my clients' laundry situations found that almost everyone does not enjoy doing laundry; many people put off this task until the quantity of dirty clothing is too overwhelming; clean laundry can pile up and take over; and buying more laundry baskets does not improve the situation.

If you can relate, maybe it's time to get our from under the overwhelming pile(s) and change how you process laundry.

In my family, everyone has a hamper in their room for dirty laundry, and they are each responsible for doing their own laundry from start to finish. My husband and I share a hamper. When our laundry comes out of the dryer, we dump it on our bed and fold it together while we watch TV. That way we can't go to bed until it's done.

Here are some more tips, tricks, and best practices...could any of these work for you and your family?

1. If you have two people in your family with similar clothing, keep their dirty laundry separated to save on confusion when putting clothes away.

2. Limit the number of laundry baskets, so there is less that can accumulate.

3. More clothes is not the answer! Buying more [undergarments, shirts, etc.] only adds to the clutter. Plus that gets expensive.

4. If you're procrastinating on putting laundry away in order to find what you need, throw on a favorite show or play some fun music and set a timer.

5. Make sure all clothing types have a home. Label shelves and drawers, if needed. That way putting clothing away is easier.

6. Try detergent sheets -- less messy, less heavy, and more environmentally friendly than liquid detergent.

7. Skip the sorting, if it's holding up the process.

We also reached out to some pros to ask them for their best tips, and here's what they had to say:

"It’s obvious, but put laundry detergent near the washer and dryer sheets near the dryer. You’d be surprised how many people don’t do this and have to move back and forth!"

"Everyone keeps their laundry separate and in their own room. Each kid (I have five) is assigned a day to wash, dry and fold. This keeps me from having piles that get wild, saves time on sorting and gives them some ownership. Towels and sheets are done on weekends when I've got time away from work to focus on it." -Jocelyn, August Oliver Interiors

"Break it up into doing one full basket when it's accumulated. That way, it doesn't feel like so much." -Kiera,

"My family helps bring the baskets up and down; everyone puts away their own laundry."

How do you know when your kids are ready to do their own laundry? I learned that one from a friend, a not-so-tall mother of four now-grown children. "When they grew taller than I am, they were ready." But Lauren Mang of Get Littles Organized has seen kids as young as 10 months old "help" with laundry, and certainly by 15-18 months. "You can help them put things in the washer, pull things out of the washer and put into the dryer, and pull things out of the dryer. They can help fold washcloths or small rags/towels, pair socks, and roll small pants or even onesies."

In a post I love on Zapier by Breetel Graves, Graves talks about the massive pile of accumulated clean laundry ("The Pile") in her laundry room. She overcame the overwhelming pile by feeling her feelings and reflecting, "The Pile is too big. What's the next small thing?" She ended up sorting The Pile into a laundry bin for each member of her family. It wasn't perfect, but it was progress, and progress is productive.

I would love to hear how laundry works in your family. And if you need a new solution, please reach out and let's figure it out together.

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