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  • The Secret to Keeping Laundry Under Control

    Secret to Keeping Laundry Under ControlAfter nearly three years as a full-time work-at-home mom and numerous attempts at developing a cleaning routine, I’m a little embarrassed to admit that I still haven’t mastered keeping my house clean all the time.

    However, the one housecleaning task I have mastered is laundry.

    Here’s my big secret: Do at least one load of laundry each day.

    It really is possible, even if you work full-time outside the home. If you have a newer washer with a timer, you can use the timer setting to start a load in the morning so that you can switch it over to the dryer when you wake up. Before you leave the house, remove the dry clothes and spread the items you especially don’t want wrinkled over the top of the pile. Alternatively, before you leave for work, load the washer and start it as soon as you get home.

    I actually do about ten loads of laundry each week, between clothes, towels, sheets, and baseball pants (which require their own load with extra OxiClean and special whites setting). On the very rare occasion when I’m completely caught up on all of the above, I’ll wash a blanket that doesn’t need to be washed every week.

    Every once in a while, I won’t be able to do any laundry at all. But because I’m caught up, skipping one day doesn’t escalate a bad situation, and it’s not hard to get caught up the next day.

    As an added bonus, I’ll share my secret for getting white baseball pants white: Spray the worst stains with OxiClean Laundry Stain Remover Spray. Then fill a bucket with Oxiclean powder and water (preferably warm, but I use cold since I don’t have hot water in my garage where the washer is). Soak the pants in the bucket at least overnight. Wash in hot water with more Oxiclean powder, plus a soak setting if available. Then cross your fingers when you pull the pants out!

    Image via FreeDigitalPhotos.net by Natara.


    1. I feel like I found a system that works for me with laundry. I had no problem doing it, it was the sorting and putting away, that was a failure. Then I decided to do laundry room by room and get the kids involved. I use Shout Color Catchers or the Carbona reusable equivalent and toss one into each load and wash with cold water. For example on Monday’s, I take my daughters hamper and wash it. Once it’s out of the dryer, I stick the laundry basket on my daughters bed and it’s her chore to fold and put away. (She is 7 by the way.) Then on Tuesday I do my son’s and he folds and puts away. It is Awesome! No more sorting out into piles!

      • Chief Family Officer says:

        That’s a great idea, too! It’s good to know that you don’t have any issues with color bleeding. That’s always scared me off from doing all of the laundry together …

    2. I sort my clothes and do at least one load a day(mostly 2) and like Qwendy my problem is the sorting/folding/putting away. So once the load is done I bring to my bed and immediately sort(I can’t go to sleep if its not done right!) then I will fold my fiance’s and my clothes but put my sons and daughters in their rooms for them to fold and put away. the are 7 and 8 almost 9. And every Friday which is my house cleaning/de-cluttering day I wash sheets and towels and all that stuff that needs to get done which is usually about 3 extra loads but it gets done faster because im cleaning the bathrooms and kitchen and vacuuming and such so I’m paying attention!

      • Chief Family Officer says:

        Thanks, Linda – you’ve convinced me that I need to get my kids more involved in putting their clothes away 🙂

        • It really has kept me sane! The only thing I make sure to do is match the socks because both of mine seem to lose all of theirs if I don’t do this. But thats easy enough! They still have to put them away and fold all the other clothes. It has also helped with them turning things on the right side because they don’t like to do it when folding 😉 and I won’t do it for them. My son has some OCD tendencies so this actually started as a part of his therapy at age 5 and now it is just the norm and I believe any child as long as you show them what you want and how to do it can easily do this task.

          • Chief Family Officer says:

            I did recently start showing my kids how to fold the laundry, but I’m going to be more intentional about it now.

            On socks: One of my kids has white and gray socks and the other gets all-white. I bought about a dozen pairs of each, and now the only sorting that has to be done is separating the different kinds of socks. But no pairs have to be matched because they’re all the same. Does that make sense? It works really well for us! I have my kids separate their own socks out all the time, and they can put them away too. So much less work for me 🙂