How to Take Control of Laundry - It's Simply Lindsay

Today, I am opening up about what I consider the biggest challenge in my marriage: laundry.

What? Were you expecting something more juicy? Marriage does not have to be hard, but certainly there are obstacles you have to work through together, and our biggest obstacle is laundry. With the addition of our little Ginny and me teaching part-time as well as freelance writing coupled with my husband hating to fold laundry, it’s difficult for us to keep up with everything. The result? Full blown crazy panic attacks from yours truly when I go downstairs and see that a laundry tornado tore up the entire back half of our basement. Yes, I’m crazy, but this truly gives me enraged anxiety, making me feel overwhelmed with all of the other tasks and duties I have.

Instead of letting this continue to be a problem, I came up with a solution. As much as I’m sure my husband loves to take the brunt of my manic cleaning anxiety attacks, we figured out a much better solution.

How to Take Control of Laundry

Our Old Laundry Method

Prior to our routine change, we had a pretty typical laundry method. My husband and I both kept hampers in our closets, and although we used to do that for my daughter as well, now I just grab her laundry and throw it down the basement stairs in hopes the laundry fairy will know to take care of it.

Whenever I overloaded my hamper to the absolute maximum capacity or when I ran out of socks, I made time to throw in a load…but of course it was never ‘a’ load…it was more like five. Somehow, my husband and I seemed to be on this same laundry schedule, so now one simple load of laundry turned into 10 loads, which took about two weeks to complete. Then the clean folded laundry would sit in baskets, untouched and soon forgotten, until we realized we never put the laundry away, which is a whole other endeavor in itself. As you can see, this process was not working.

How to Stay on Top of Your Laundry

Many of you may do your laundry this was, but to me, this concept was revolutionary! My husband and I are getting rid of our closet hampers, which also frees up much-needed and coveted closet space. Instead, when we have laundry, we must bring it down and put it directly in the machine. Whoever is there when it fills up to a load will run it. (I’ll keep our gentle cycle items separate though). Finally, we have a 24 hour rule – folded laundry must be put away within 24 hours.

There you have it. Taking a minute each day to walk our laundry downstairs will save us weeks of pain, work, and agony.

So tell me, how do you control your laundry situation when you have a tight schedule?

Everywhere
  • This is the perfect post for me. Lately my husband and I have been struggling with taking care of our laundry! Since we both workout almost everyday we end up going through so many clothes and thus needing to do laundry wayyy too often. I feel like I am running a load every other day. I actually just started doing this as well…placing the dirty clothes directly into the washing machine. I started with just my workout clothes and towels but now have been adding my other clothes as well. Thanks for sharing and making me feel like we are the only ones with this problem!
    xo, Laura

    • Lindsay Katherine

      When my husband and I were working out consistently, we did the same thing! I don’t know why it never occurred to me to just do that with our normal laundry, too. Glad to hear we’re not the only ones with this REAL struggle.

  • haha omg your old way of doing laundry is exactly how we function now. how does your system work with colors vs. whites, though?

    • Lindsay Katherine

      We just naturally have way more colors than whites; really our only whites are sheets and towels. Any socks or boy white tees I just throw in with the normal wash on cool : )

  • This article makes me wish I had a personal washer/dryer in my apartment! I’m usually the one who does all the laundry, which ends up being 10 loads, for 2 people on 1 day. My second bedroom is dedicated to all the clothes we can’t be bothered to put away/fold/hang. I do like the 24 hour rule; I may need to borrow that for myself!

    Amanda
    trulyyoursa.com

    • Lindsay Katherine

      Our spare room is also the collecting spot for folded but not put away laundry….it’s the worst though! Well, once I’m caught up with everything and stick to our plan, the room will be nice and tidy : )

  • Lauren Angelico

    I am very fortunate to have my laundry room on the second floor. When we have dirty clothes, I put it right into the washing machine and once it fills up, I do a load. I do laundry several days a week to prevent us from having 5 loads on the weekend.

    • Lindsay Katherine

      You are so lucky! For my next house, I hope to find a second floor laundry room…and also live right next door to you.

  • That is a great idea. I have a laundry shoot but if I didn’t this would be the way to go! 🙂

    • Lindsay Katherine

      Oh how I would love a laundry shoot!! Lucky.

  • This is a great way of doing it! Our washer and drier are in our kitchen (weird, I know!) so I’m constantly throwing bibs, clothes Caleb messes up while eating, a shirt Nate takes off in the living room, etc in the washer and, when it’s full, starting the load! It’s a great way to do it!

    • Lindsay Katherine

      That is so convenient, Susannah! For our next house, I would love a laundry room on the main or second floor instead of the basement.

  • I have a love/hate relationship with laundry. I totally don’t mind folding as long as I can watch TV while I do it, but I hate that even if it’s folded it never gets put away! It drives me nuts because I spend so much time washing and folding then my son comes through and throws everything around (unfolding it), my husband doesn’t put his away and it sits in piles in our front room-either half folded or completely unfolded. I need to get better at putting it right away or having baskets to put it in so that my son is less tempted to grab it and drag it around the whole house.

    • Lindsay Katherine

      I can totally sympathize with you. It really stinks when you do fold the laundry and it just sits there – or my daughter tries to ‘help’ by pulling whatever she can reach out of the basket.

  • Interesting…I’ve never thought of that! Our laundry room is actually on our second floor with the bedrooms, which would make something like this pretty easy. At ths point, we still both do our own laundry and that system has worked great for us. I have a feeling that will shift though once we have our little man and I’m home during the week! I think laundry is one of the many things we’ll have to figure out once we have a new little one! Thanks for sharing your tips and tricks 🙂

    • Lindsay Katherine

      I’m so jealous! I would love to have our laundry room on our second floor. Sounds like you have a great system worked out already, but you’re right- things are bound to chance one little man English arrives. Although you’ll be home, I have a feeling you won’t have much time to do all the laundry!!

  • Shann Eva

    That’s a really great idea. With three boys and my husband, our laundry is out of control.

    • Lindsay Katherine

      I can only imagine how crazy that must be for you!!

  • Lauren Jane

    With five kids, laundry has been an absolute nightmare. We personally do a load every day and our older daughter is in charge of switching it after school then we deliver it with the kids at night! Sometimes it isn’t put away right away(okay often with the five year old :p) but that helps me not get too far behind!

    • Lindsay Katherine

      Lauren, what a great system! Sounds like your family is a well-oiled laundry machine. Growing up, my sister and I were responsible for helping with laundry, too. Too bad my daughter is only 9 months… : )

  • I tend to do laundry each night for my fiance and I.
    I don’t really have a schedule persay but this method seems pretty good.

    xoxo, Jenny || http://www.breakfastatlillys.com

    • Lindsay Katherine

      That sounds like it would work so well! I think laundry in small manageable loads is best. Good job!!

  • interesting. I just make sure I do at least one load a day!

    • Lindsay Katherine

      Very smart. That’s a great way to do it so it doesn’t get out of control!

  • Thats a pretty good way! I have 4 kids so between the six of us, we have a load a day. I throw a load in the morning, switch it to the dryer after lunch, fold it before dinner. It doesn’t always work out that way as life does take over but for the most part it works and keeps us going. Now that I have a huge laundry room, we have a folding table so I’m able to fold everything there and then make the kids put it away!

    • Lindsay Katherine

      A folding table sounds heavenly! Way to go staying on top of everything with your big family.

  • Oh my gosh, yes. I am so referring back to this! I can’t wait until Michael and I move so we can have our own washer/dryer. I hate paying $3.00 a load. The money is mainly our issue. But the family I nanny for – I do some housework and errands for them, too. I am constantly running their laundry, bedding, and odds & ends!

    • Lindsay Katherine

      $3 for a load is such a rip off! How annoying – it will be so nice to have your own at your disposal.

  • So smart! I wish our laundry machines weren’t several flights of stairs down… it’s so much easier just to let it all pile up into a heaping mess. My husband actually does the laundry (I do the folding), and I really need to enforce that 24-hour rule on myself!

    • Lindsay Katherine

      Daisy, that’s what we usually do, too! Husband does the laundry, and I fold (since he hates it!). Now I guess we will moreso share the responsibility of washing with the new system, which is fine by me. Honestly, having a reason to walk up and down the stairs is not a bad thing in our house, but SEVERAL flights of stairs…nope, that would not work!

  • What a clever idea!! I am way to OCD about separating my laundry, but it might be worth trying to break those habits. 🙂 Do you wash Ginny’s clothes in with yours?

    • Lindsay Katherine

      I used to wash hers all separately in Dreft before I realized her skin is not sensitive, so Dreft wasn’t necessary for us. I am particular about how I wash certain items, so if that’s the case, I just put them to the side and wash/dry them how I need to : )