How to Catch up on Laundry

Are you overwhelmed by laundry?  Do you want to know how to get caught up on laundry?  It’s not impossible.  I’m going to tell you how you can get a lot of laundry done fast and stay on top of that mountain.

catch up on laundry

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When my kids were really small I had a ridiculously hard time staying on top of the laundry.  I didn’t have a routine or plan and I didn’t seem to have time or energy.  Looking back now, it makes sense that I couldn’t stay on top of things.  I really didn’t know what I was doing and I didn’t even know where to begin.  I was so overwhelmed by laundry, on top of the other housework that needed to be done.

Turns out I’m a super slow learner, because, while I’m finally in a place where it is rare that my laundry piles get out of control, it’s taken me a really long time to get here.

But – better late than never, right?

Now, there are times I have a load or two waiting to get done, but I used to consistently be behind an average of 4 or 5 loads of laundry.  Over time I’ve learned different techniques that help me stay on top of it.

So, let’s talk about them so you can incorporate them into your laundry plan.

First of all, I want to stress the important of having a plan.  Wishing our laundry will get easier, or that our house will be cleaner, or our garden will be nicely weeded this year without any plan of how we will get there will never work.

Also, it doesn’t hurt to have functional laundry baskets. I like this one for multiple family members.  But then, if you need something cute to keep you motivated to stay on top of the laundry, there’s no judgment here!  If you need cute baskets, check these ones out.  I’m not going to lie, after seeing the cute baskets I’m re-evaluating all my life choices – or at least my plastic dollar store laundry basket choices.  Maybe I’ll have to invest in some pretty baskets one day.


Do a load of laundry every day

You know the old saying, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away?”  Well, a load of laundry a day keeps the mountain at bay.  If you do a load of laundry every single day, it’ll prevent the laundry from piling up as fast.  You can do it at whatever time of day works for you.  Maybe throw a load in around 7:00 p.m., switch it to the dryer before you go to bed, and fold it the next day when it works for you. 

Make sure you schedule in that folding time though, or you’ll keep putting it off.  And then someone in your family will try to pull out their favorite shirt from that basket to wear from church, stating that they don’t care that it’s all wrinkled.  Ask me how I know.

Designate a laundry day

Take one day a week where you do laundry.  Aim for four or five loads that day.  That means as soon as you wake up in the morning you are going to put a load in.  When you here the buzzer go off telling you it’s finished, switch it right away.  Do this throughout the day.  This obviously only works if there is a day you are at home for the majority of the time.  If you work you can do this on a weekend, but if you don’t, you can pick a day in the week that works best for you.

If you have a large family you can combine the designated laundry day with doing a load on every other day.  This might be necessary if you have a lot of kids and it’s the only way to stay on top of all the laundry because you do more than 4-5 loads a week.

Teach older kids to do their own laundry

All three of my kids now have a designated laundry day.  On that day they will do their own laundry.  They are required to wash it, either hang it if it’s nice or put in the dryer, and then fold it and put it in their drawer.  I’m working really hard at teaching my kids to do chores consistently as I haven’t always done that, and I believe if we want our kids to be equipped to take care of their own homes one day, then it’s an important life skill we should be teaching them.

My youngest who is ten still needs some help with this, but my 13 and 15 year old children do this all on their own without my help anymore (you know, aside from me telling them that, hey, it’s your laundry day, kid – get’er done, please!)

Downsize your clothing

Years ago when I mentioned that downsizing your clothing could cut back on laundry, someone said to me that downsizing your clothes didn’t make sense because you’d still wear the same amount of clothes in a week, thus needing to do the same amount of laundry.

In theory this sounds correct, but downsizing prevents you from creating mountains of laundry and I’ll tell you how.  When you have lots of clothes it means that you can go a lot longer in between doing a load of laundry. 

You might see that load of laundry next to your bed and think, “well, I have more clothes in my drawer so it can wait another few days.”  Before you know it, a few days have turned into a week, and so on.  But, if you only have so many clothes you are going to have to do laundry a lot sooner if you want clean clothes to wear.  You will be motivated to get your laundry done a lot quicker.

Downsizing my clothes was extremely helpful when I was just starting out on trying to get on top of my laundry.  My kids weren’t quite old enough to be helpful in the laundry department, And I struggled with being consistent on doing a load a day, or designating a day each week to get laundry done. 

If you aren’t sure about the other options, I encourage you to go through your closet, and your children’s drawers and get rid of a bunch of clothes.  You only need so many clothes to wear and most of us have way too many.   Here’s a good resource giving you exact numbers of articles of clothing you need.


If you are one of those people who hates folding laundry, you are not alone.  Honestly, I’ve yet to find a person who happily announces how much they love folding laundry.  There are ways to make it a little more tolerable though.  One of the best ways to make time go by a little faster when folding laundry is to put on a show.  Another great way to make folding laundry feel a little less like drudgery is to do it with another family member.  That way you can chat while you do it!


It feels like it never ends, and I guess that’s because it kind of never does.  But if you stay on top of it you will feel better about your laundry situation.  At our house our laundry room isn’t really a room, but more like a hallway with no door.  It’s right near our entrance so it kind of forces us to not get too behind because if we did everyone would see it!  It’s surprising how much not having a laundry door motivates you to keep your dirty laundry to a minimum.

Whatever the case is with you, consider trying the above tips.  Pick one and if it doesn’t work, try another one of the laundry tips.  And if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.  I know homemaking has been a really long journey for me, and I’ve failed at keeping the house in order in many areas, many times.  And of course, it still happens to this day.  But each year I get a little bit better and that’ s only possible because I choose to continually try after my failures.  So, if laundry is the area you feel like you are constantly failing, keep trying.  This might be the time you figure it out.

Want to save money on laundry?  Consider making your own laundry soap.  It’s cheap and effective!  You can make a very large amount and it goes very far.  It’s a great way to keep your laundry costs down.  A few other ways to keep your laundry costs down are to hang laundry whenever the weather is nice (the dryer is a BIG energy hog!) and to make sure your clothes are actually dirty before washing them so you aren’t needlessly washing things that aren’t dirty.

In my area it is cheaper to use energy at certain times of the day so many people will wash their laundry later at night when the price goes down.  If your area does this, consider doing the laundry when the rate is it’s lowest.


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