How to Conquer Your Mountain of Laundry

So how did the first week of the You Can Have a Clean House While Homeschooling challenge go? Are your dishes clean?

This last week we focused on cleaning the dishes after every meal. So you should be caught up on the dishes with a reasonably tidy kitchen.

If not, go wash your dishes right now and then come back. I promise I’ll wait!

One Load a Day Keeps the Mountain of Laundry Away

This week we’re moving on to the second week of the You can Have a Clean House While Homeschooling challenge. And we’re focusing on laundry.

Have you noticed how quickly dirty clothing piles up? Skip laundry for a couple of days and suddenly you’ve realized Mount Everest is starting to grow in your laundry room. The sheets pile up. Kids begin to dive into the pile of dirty laundry searching for a pair of socks.

No one has clean clothes to wear.

The solution is simple though. Wash, dry, fold, and put away one load a day.

If you’re behind on the wash, plan a day just to get caught up. My favorite technique learned from my mom, is to let the kids watch TV to their hearts’ content.

HOWEVER, they have to fold and put away laundry as they watch.

Your job is to keep the wash moving.

  • Start a load of wash and let it run.
  • When the washing machine has run its course, move the wash to the dryer, and start a new load.
  • When the first load is dry, take it to the kids to be folded and put away.

Keep the laundry moving and the kids folding. My kids prefer to fold during the show and run clean clothing to the appropriate rooms between shows.

The system is simple. It’s easy. And it works!

Once You’ve Destroyed Mount Everest

Once you’ve destroyed Mount Everest, the goal is to keep the wash from building up again. No longer will you deal with moldy towels, children going to sports in stinky socks, or toddlers crying for their favorite shirt.

Well, you may still need to deal with a toddler crying for their shirt since the favorite shirt will need to be washed. But it will only be gone for a couple of hours instead of disappearing for days on end!

On my weekly cleaning checklist, which you can find at the bottom of the post, you’ll notice I broke laundry into various tasks. There’s a check for starting laundry, moving the wash, as well as folding and putting away the laundry.

I don’t know about you, but I can always start the wash. And it will be moved to the dryer. But I always get stuck folding and putting it away.

So I added folding and putting laundry away to the checklist so we don’t forget them.

But the secret is to find the perfect time to fold and put laundry away.

Ideally, you’ll fold and put away the laundry as it comes out of the dryer. Have you noticed how tasks grow larger the longer you wait to finish them? Folding and putting away laundry works that way. It seems like it takes an extra 5 minutes for every hour I procrastinate!

But usually, I have teens asking me to explain how to factor equations or the short and cute squad requesting a fried egg sandwich for lunch.

Folding is quickly forgotten.

So make a backup plan. Find a good time to fold and put away laundry if you can’t get to it right away.

  • During lunch and after lunch have kids run the clean clothing to the various rooms
  • As a family, while enjoying a television show in the evenings
  • While reading aloud in the afternoon
  • Immediately after you pull the wash from the dryer

And remember even your little preschoolers can help run clothing and towels to the right room!

Assignment for Week 2

  • Download and print the weekly checklist. I post mine next to the sink.
  • Maintain your habit of cleaning the dishes after every meal and/or running the dishwasher after supper.
  • Catch up on the laundry and destroy Mount Everest.
  • Wash 1 load of laundry every day. Check the steps off the weekly checklist as you complete them.

You should find, once you’ve caught up on the dishes and laundry, that it’s now easy to keep your family fed and clothed!

>>> Now go conquer your mountain of laundry!

Don’t forget to check back next week for week 3 of the You Can Have a Clean House and Homeschool Challenge!

mountain of laundry

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4 Comments

  1. A load a day keeps the Chaos away… I have said that for years. I manage to get things washed and dried… but that putting away part {{{sigh}}}
    Love your site. 🙂

  2. Unfortunately my laundry depends on weather as no drier here, we r in the uk do if it’s rainy sometimes laundry doesn’t dry in one day.

  3. How many clothes do you have per kid? I’m thinking that we might have way more than 7 loads per week but I’d love to have to do only one per day!!

    1. It depends upon the size of your family and the size of your washing machine. Our old washing machine needed two loads most days to stay on top of the laundry. It broke. We replaced it. I started tossing a load of laundry into the new washer, looked in, and it was only half-full! 😮

      The system is similar though. Build times to start your first load, move wash to the dryer & start the new load, dry the final load, and fold all the laundry into your day. 🙂

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