Overwhelmed by Laundry? 4 Tips for Catching Up + Staying Ahead of the Pile


For the first few months of this year we didn’t have a working dryer. This isn’t the first time it broke and this time it happened right as we were packing to go to Mexico to visit Juan’s family for the holidays.

After we got back from our trip, we hung dry all our clothes on a rack in front of the fireplace and while it wasn’t that bad, I’m SO happy we finally got around to replacing it and are back in the modern world.

Even under the best of circumstances, laundry is one area many people struggle with. Here is what we do in our home to stay ahead of the laundry pile:


You know the clothes you try on and then change your mind about? Get rid of them.

These are the kinds of clothes that end up in piles on the floor or on the infamous “chair”. Usually, we choose not to wear them because they make us look or feel “meh”.

Eliminate them from consideration all-together. Same with mismatched socks. Let them go.

Do Laundry Every Day (But not all at once.)

Most of us have a few times during the day where it is feasible to add a small laundry step into our routines:

For me, those times are:

  1. Before leaving for the day.

  2. When I get home from work.

  3. Before bed.

Instead of making laundry a chore you need to devote the entire day to, break it up (start a load, swap a load, fold a load) and simply do a small part of it at the times that work for you.

sort before fold

  1. Dump out your clean laundry basket and quickly sort the items into categories: pants, shirts, underwear, socks, etc.

  2. Mentally divide the empty laundry basket into zones for each person.

  3. Fold all the pants. Put each person’s pants in their zone. This is the first layer.

  4. Fold the shirts. Layer them on top of the pants.

  5. Repeat with the remaining categories like you are making a laundry lasagna.

Now when you go to put things away, you can go room by room, drawer by drawer putting things away without any back and forth.

speaking of folding…

I am a believer in the Konmari or File-Folding technique.

(Here is a video that demonstrates it well.)

This method helps you see all your folded clothing at a glance and means no more digging through piles of clothing to find what you are looking for.

It also helps you designate specific areas for each type of clothing, making it easier to put your clean clothes away.

And that’s it!

Do we ever get behind on laundry? Of course! Potty training accidents, sick kids, days where we fall out of our rhythm - all of those things happen here too. That’s just life.

But thanks to these simple steps, we are usually able to get caught up and back in a good routine fairly easily and that’s a win in my book.