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How I Keep Laundry from Taking Over My Life

Six simple ways to keep laundry from taking over your life!

This post was sponsored by OxiClean through their partnership with POPSUGAR Select. While I was compensated to write a post about OxiClean Stain, all opinions (and laundry!) are my own.

I started doing my own laundry when I was five.

My dad made a big hook out of a wire hanger so I could get clothing out of the washer. My parents made up a little song about me taking things out of the washer and handing them to Merrick who would put them in the dryer (“Janssen takes ‘em out; Merrick puts ‘em in, I said Janssen takes ‘em out. . . “ I didn’t say it was a great song, but it’s definitely been memorable for the last 25 years).

I’ve never particularly loved laundry, but now that I’m in charge of all the laundry for five people, I’ve developed some strategies to make it as minimally invasive to my life as possible. Because folding t-shirts is not my idea of a great time.

Six simple ways to keep laundry from taking over your life!
  1. Pick one day to do the laundry. I know some people prefer to do one load every day, but I do not want laundry to be part of my daily life, so I just only do laundry on Monday. Everyone in the house owns enough clothing, pajamas, underwear, and socks to make it through a full week, so unless there is a major emergency, I only do laundry that one day a week. I throw a load in the minute I wake up, run them through, remake the beds and put all the clothing away, and don’t think about laundry again for another week.
  2. Sort your laundry as you go. In our closet, we have two laundry baskets. One is for whites and one is for colors, so I don’t have to sort laundry before I throw it in. I can just grab the white basket and throw everything directly in the machine with some OxiClean White Revive to keep everything looking pristine. Next I do the colors, and then I wash all the little girls’ clothing in one load. One load of bedding, one load of towels and the laundry is finished.
  3. Stain treat every load. In a perfect world, there wouldn’t be any stains (actually, in a perfect world, there wouldn’t be any LAUNDRY), but with little kids, there is a plethora of various spills and stains on the laundry, and I’m not on the ball enough to catch them as they happen, so I just put a scoop of OxiClean Versatile Stain Remover in every single load and then I don’t have to worry about whether or not I noticed spaghetti sauce on a pair of white 2T shorts or a baby sleeper that mysteriously got spit-up on it. Everything comes out sparkling clean and I didn’t have to do any extra sorting. 
  4. Put together a clothes storage system that works for your life. Set up your closet in a way that you can put things away pretty easily. I don’t fold underwear or socks – they just all go in a bin (I know that Marie Kondo would be horrified, but I’m more horrified by clothing in a pile in my bedroom). I hang up all the shirts for everyone in the family because I’m not a great folder and I find hanging easier to put away and also to get dressed in the morning.
  5. Involve your children. Once the laundry comes out, I have Ella and Ani help me out by sorting their laundry into their own piles and then fold their pajamas and shorts, put their socks and underwear away, and lay out their shirts and dresses so I can hang them up (Ella also loves putting shirts on hangers).
  6. Put your clean laundry on your bed. I always put the clean laundry on my bed so that I won’t go to bed without it getting done. Bart folds his stuff and puts it away, and then I do mine and the girls. Because if I wake up on Tuesday and have to deal with laundry a second day in a row, I’m not a happy camper.

Any other tricks for making laundry easier? Or would you like to come do my laundry for me?

I’ll happily take either.

Six simple ways to keep laundry from taking over your life!

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  • Reply Fleurthefearless August 10, 2015 at 11:03 am

    I loved this blog because with 5 kids washing is my life everyday!

  • Reply Kate Unger August 10, 2015 at 11:10 am

    We pre-sort too. It makes it a lot easier. I don't have a laundry day. I just grab a basket when someone is getting low on clothes or when the basket is getting full. It can take a couple of days for the clothes to get back into our rooms, but I don't mind it being spread out like that. I work full time, so a laundry day would need to be on the weekend, and I like to do stuff on the weekends, so I don't want to spend it doing laundry.

  • Reply Paige Flamm August 10, 2015 at 11:35 am

    I'm the same as you! It all gets done one day a week. Although I'm terrible and it mostly all never leaves the laundry room because I never put it away. I'll have to throw it all on the bed like you to force myself into it! We usually just do one massive white load, one massive dark color load, one massive bright color load and call it good.

  • Reply Kristin @ Going Country August 10, 2015 at 12:06 pm

    I think I've kind of surrendered to laundry taking over my life at this point. I have three little boys and a husband with exceptionally dirty clothing, because we live in the country and my husband does things on weekends like dig wells out back or fix the lawn tractor. And the little boys . . . well, they're little boys. And we live in a place with a lot of mud. I do laundry about every other day, but I don't seem to mind it as much as some other things (like, say, mopping floors) and I don't seem to have that reluctance to doing it and getting it put away that a lot of people struggle with.

    I count myself lucky to have a dryer in my cellar, because for the first few years we lived here, there wasn't one, and that was no fun at all. It's all about perspective.

  • Reply MommySizedHeart August 10, 2015 at 1:30 pm

    I definitely prefer one load a day. I can't imagine being trapped at home in a Monday, just because if laundry. 🙂

  • Reply MommySizedHeart August 10, 2015 at 1:30 pm

    I definitely prefer one load a day. I can't imagine being trapped at home in a Monday, just because if laundry. 🙂

  • Reply myr_heille August 10, 2015 at 1:41 pm

    Laundry is my favorite task. You mean I just throw everything in the machine and the machine does it for me? I thank my lucky stars that I was born in this era. But folding can be a real drag. My trick was to get a TV show that I was only allowed to watch while folding laundry. This way, I look forward to it! I've watched ten seasons of Smallville and five of Leverage since I've started this trick… that's a lot of laundry, heh.

  • Reply Kate August 10, 2015 at 1:43 pm

    I LOVE OxiClean — it's definitely the best stain remover I have used. I'm like you, I'm not super on top of treating every possible stain, but I toss a scoop of OxiClean in most loads and it really does get 'em out.

  • Reply Kayris August 10, 2015 at 2:55 pm

    I do laundry every day. Our house is small and the laundry room is also used to store extra towels and sheets and health/beauty supplies, plus it's home to the cat box. There is no extra room in there for towering piles of laundry. And since the house is small and the kids don't even have a closet in their room, none of us have a lot of clothes. My son tends to wear the same clothes anyway, regardless of what else he has. And because they wear uniforms to school, they each have enough for three days. They wear gym uniforms to school on gym day but that day changes every year. Throw in sports and muddy clothes and letting stuff sit for a week isn't an option.

    Shortcuts-I don't sort, except for whites, and that's because the whites are usually cleaning rags and dish towels. Everything else gets done together on cold. My mom is horrified but it's a time saver and my clothes haven't suffered at all. I also don't fold very precisely. The kondo method of rolling stuff doesn't work if all your clothes are black.

  • Reply april August 10, 2015 at 3:43 pm

    I prefer to do all my laundry at once too. I feel so accomplished when there is zero dirty clothing in my house. It irritates me when everyone has to change into pjs and there's new dirty clothes again. (also, I didn't get to my last load yesterday so I have one left and it's nagging at me even though I'm not home and couldn't do it if I wanted to, which I do.)

    • Reply Julia Manfredi-Hobbs August 11, 2015 at 3:20 pm

      haha me too! Nobody is allowed to have a shower after I'm done doing laundry! LOL

  • Reply Chaun August 10, 2015 at 5:00 pm

    We don't use dressers in our family, either. All shirts/dresses get put on hangers, and the pants get folded and are put on the closet shelves (they are low hanging shelves 🙂 ) Somehow I feel more accomplished seeing all the hung up clothes rather than them being folded away in a dresser.

    I like your idea of having a single laundry day. I sort of like having it spread out though, because the sound of the washer makes me feel like I've been productive in at least one thing that day. Also the hum of the dryer is relaxing 🙂 But it would definitely be nice to have a single housekeeping day, and leave the rest to focusing on other things.

    Love your blog, by the way 🙂
    -Chaun from http://www.hiccupsandpastries.com

  • Reply Brie August 10, 2015 at 5:39 pm

    You know you're old when you enjoy a post about laundry, haha! 😉 But seriously, I enjoyed this post! While I love the idea of only doing laundry one day a week, I can't seem to execute this. I also hang a lot of things to dry and that gets tedious and makes me not want to do laundry. I agree – hanging everything is easier than folding, and especially makes getting the little ones dressed a lot easier. Otherwise I find I forget about clothes for my son. Also makes it easier for my husband to get our son dressed 🙂

    Ok, now that laundry is covered, what I really want to know is, how do you deal with dirty dishes?! It's like a never ending battle over here! I feel like I'm doing dishes all day long. Especially tupperware!

    • Reply Emma August 10, 2015 at 9:05 pm

      Ha ha, Iove hearing about how people do things like laundry too! Like most people here in Australia we hang out most of our washing (laundry) so once a week isn't really an option if you have more than a few loads. Fortunately I don't actually mind washing as a chore, but like Brie hate dirty dishes! Even with dishwasher. I think you've said in the past you cook and your husband washes. Unfortunately my husband and I both like to cook and not wash so we alternate days…

  • Reply Maggie August 10, 2015 at 6:31 pm

    Laundry once a week is SOOO my thing. But I find that my dishrags can't wait all week. So I have a mini laundry day in the middle of the week. It keeps my laundry room from smelling like a gym locker.

  • Reply Maggie August 10, 2015 at 6:31 pm

    Laundry once a week is SOOO my thing. But I find that my dishrags can't wait all week. So I have a mini laundry day in the middle of the week. It keeps my laundry room from smelling like a gym locker.

  • Reply Jessica August 10, 2015 at 7:15 pm

    I'm a one-load-a-day kind of girl. If I have to do more than one, because I've missed a day or something, it really does feel like it's taking over my life. And I've finally started folding things the Marie Kondo way 🙂 I thought it would be awful, because I didn't fold the kids clothes before (I put them in the drawer laid flat), but it's oddly relaxing and I do feel like I appreciate the clothes more. I get rid of more, too, because I actually think about each item. I still don't fold socks, though.

  • Reply JoLee August 10, 2015 at 10:31 pm

    I the opposite in one regard: I prefer to fold everything and hang nothing. I find that hanging is hard on clothes. I even told a bunch of my dresses so they won't get stretched out. Also, we have small closets and I'd rather that everything was tucked away in a closed dresser drawer.

  • Reply Julia Manfredi-Hobbs August 11, 2015 at 3:22 pm

    YES! I also only do laundry one day a week. I work outside of my home throughout the week, and I work from home on Friday. So Friday is my laundry day. I do it all at once and I'm done with it for another week! haha I have been doing this for years and it works just fine (though you'll hear my husband often say he needs to go buy more underwear and socks for himself LOL)

  • Reply Laura H August 11, 2015 at 6:29 pm

    We do the laundry once a week too. Its the best!

  • Reply Karen August 12, 2015 at 2:42 pm

    I'm glad to learn about OxiClean White Revive. I'm looking for a replacement for the Vanish I loved in Ukraine—it really made a difference with the whites.

  • Reply Denise Ekenstierna September 16, 2015 at 5:34 pm

    Hi Janssen! I tried out some of your routine and wrote about it on my blog at http://www.booksbugandbear.com – and I wanted to share how it went with you.

    I've been reading your blog for almost a year now and it has been part of my inspiration to start my own blog, which I did recently. Thank you so much for that!

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