Laundry Hacks for Moms
Before I dive into this post, know I’m not a genius. I still battle loads of laundry and piles of clean clothes everyday. It’s not pretty. This post is me preaching to ME. These laundry hacks for moms are written because I need them but I’ve heard that several other moms might be drowning in the laundry as well. If you’re one of those, feel free to use my laundry hacks. They’re free.
Ever wonder if laundry could just go away? I have but I’ve come to a conclusion.
The only way to permanently rid yourself of this job is to:
1. Toss all your clothing in the trash and become a caveman or nudist family or…
2. Receive a housekeeper to do the dirty work as your Christmas gift. ( P.S. Usually this is a year long gift and, though better than the Jelly of the Month Club, it still ends at some point.
Clean the wet mess. Ditch the hot mess.
Why I need Laundry Hacks
Sometimes it totally feels like my sole purpose is to make sure laundry is going, is folded and is off couch #2 and the floor in front of it. I must admit my identity since have three little humans enter the world has become more and more connected to whether or not I am on top of the clothing and dishes. Here I am drowning in water and cloth, with only my mouth sticking out to shout “Run kids, run from the monster! life will eat you up and motherhood is a danger I wasn’t prepared for! Forgive me!”
Then the boys will look at me confused and go on with their business of jumping off furniture into mounds of underwear rolled in bed sheets and my girls may decide motherhood isn’t such a fun “blessing” to reach for.
Even so, I have faith that while not all these ideas may work for you in your life, one or two or four WILL!
1. My very first laundry hack for you is to ditch the extra laundry.
My journey began when I entered our guest room. The bed had become the hang out spot for mountains of clothing to stay somewhat hidden from the world. Every time I entered that room I wanted to leave. FOR SURE.
This one particular night I was feeling extremely fed up with the mound in front of me and something cracked. Perhaps it was my postpartum hormones but I was ready to do something crazy. I picked up item after item and began to toss them in a trash bag. “Why do we even have this many shirts for a three year old?” I wondered. I got rid of so much and ya know what? It felt good. I suddenly felt ten pounds lighter and let me tell you, laundry that week seemed to go a bit smoother. There was less to do!
You’d be very surprised at how little you can actually live with and what you don’t use or worse- only use because the clothes you like are in the dirty clothing bin!
2. Large items go FIRST
When it’s hard to get yourself moving on your laundry, start with towels or blankets. Better yet- start your Monday with these! When you’re on a load with lots of clothing, start with folding the biggest articles. This can help catapult you into gear as you see the biggest work done first.
Why it works:
When you do a load of something that is easy to fold, such as a blanket or towel, only so many fit in the washer and dryer making the folding process much easier( and much smaller).
I don’t know about you, but my biggest problems comes with the folding and putting away part. Towels are one thing that can be folded and put away in less than 5 minutes. This gives you an instant feeling of productivity that can help to motivate you for the next load!
3. Teach the kids to help at every age
Yup, it’s time Mamma. Perhaps you are one of those blessed with three or more children under four years of age (I was one of those). Or maybe you have one child. Or maybe 20 (or maybe it just feels like 20). Be sure to incorporate your kids in chore time however you can.
My boys are used to a routine of dropping their brother off at school in the morning and then coming home to finish getting ready for the day and doing chores. Routines are the best way to incorporate young ones into chores. At this age I want them to see chores as both a responsibility and a blessing (because it means we have blessings to care for!).
For kids who are preschool and older, it may just be the time to help them learn how to put some clothes away. Yes, this means you’ll most likely have to do it with them but, once again, make it routine!
- This could be part of going to bed,
- it could be morning to-do’s before TV
- 10 minute clean up time in the evening.
The time it takes to walk with them and help them put clothes away can be a special time or a fighting time, but YOU make it mamma. YOU lead.
For us, the best time has been during a 2 minute break in their movie time. I hand them clean clothes or towels to take and they run to put them away because they are eager to get back to the show. “Go go go!” Note that I do still have to either follow or check afterwards because they don’t yet understand the where and how!
It can be made fun by incorporating a countdown when the clothes go into the drawer or by playing eye spy with colors of items. You can also let them pick a cheap bin just for carrying clothes to their room and allow them to decorate it in their unique style. Get creative!
As kids get older, chore charts can be used and (gasp) they can learn to do it themselves! Teach those growing boys and girls how less is best when it comes to laundry and prepare them for someday taking care of their own house and family.
Less is Best Game
Show your kids how to keep laundry to a minimum by using this activity.
One of the best ways I can think of to illustrate this point is to gather a bunch of markers (20 or more). It’s great to do this with a child so they can see how it works too! get 5 cups and divide the markers into each cup.
Tell your child, “We’re going to pretend these markers are clothes in laundry and each cup is a load. We’re going to have a race. When I say go, you take one cup and begin to do your laundry by taking a marker and drawing a circle (or another specific object) on a paper. When you’re done, place the marker back into the box where it goes.”
Proceed to time them as they race to finish the “laundry.” Then tell them their time and write it down so you remember. Tell them, “O.K.” Now we’re going to get rid of some clothing.” Help them remove half of the markers and then fill up cups with about the same amount of markers as before. You will need to remove some cups.
Now say “Wow! look at how many loads of laundry we just lost! Let’s see how fast it takes you to finish the loads this time.” Time them again as they start and finish their loads. This is a great visual for both you and your kids and something they can remember as they grow up and someday have their own home for which to care.
4. Find the problem and solution (for me it’s folding)
What is stopping those clothes from getting from the couch to the room? Or even folded? These are questions I must ask myself and I sure have. Over and over.
Nothing changed. Oh wait! That’s because I never answered the question!
This is my number one reason I don’t change my habits: I don’t figure out what is preventing the results. So start with finding why your results can’t happen!
In order to change a problem, you need to know the root of the problem.
For myself, things get left on the couch because A. I don’t have a time dedicated to folding and putting them away, or B. I lack the motivation to follow a routine.
Those are the two real problems I needed to solve. Give yourself grace when solving problems! Some things just take time and lots of wrong answers. How am I solving my problems now?
- Not folding all clothes at one time but doing what I can during morning chore time.
- Putting clothing away before starting that new load. Which brings me to the next point…
5. Fold during your time of highest productivity
The hardest task to follow through on should be done at the time when you are most productive!
It’s so easy to get up in the morning and think I’m starting the day right by tossing in a load of wash. Unfortunately, in my house, that’s been the “big” job. Don’t you feel so productive by pressing that “wash” button? One thing is all done, right?
Mamma, a little secret for you…that isn’t the completed task at all!
I celebrate the dry cycle ending and plop the large load onto the couch. By that time I’m tired from all the other things I’ve endured in the day and my mental capacity for folding is gone.
The clothes do eventually get to their homes but only when the stress of having them piled on my living room couch (or thrown across the floor) surpasses the stress of putting them away.
For me, morning is the time of high productivity, so whatever I focus my productivity on during that time is what tends to get finished in the day.
Because of this realization, I’ve started folding BEFORE washing. Yes, this means laundry stays in the dryer overnight at times. I do go through the dryer before bed and take out anything I’m not wanting to leave inside. It’s also easy to re-fluff the dryer load in the morning for a few minutes before taking them out.
The result of doing this forces me to take action on my unfolded clothing in order to keep the wash cycle going.
My chore ends, not with getting the laundry in the dryer, but in delivering them to the bedrooms! Ah sweet success!
And last but not least…
6. Give your mess some grace!
Life with kids is messy and no matter what rules, routines or systems you put in place, things won’t stay balanced. The great thing about having a plan is that it DOES help you in the unbalanced times and it reminds you that things won’t be this crazy forever. There is hope.
Favorite Laundry Hack Items to Enjoy your Work
- All Natural Wool Dryer Balls
- A few drops of Peppermint with a few drops wild orange essential oils on the Dryer Balls. It may sound off, but it really smells great!
- I love this brand of detergent and it comes at a super price when bought in bulk.
- A classic wicker basket is one of the best ways to enjoy a simple classy atmosphere while completing your laundry chores!
Good luck in your wet mess and may you find the best laundry hacks to keep your clothes clean.
Other Posts you may Like
A Homemaking Devotional Every Mom should Hear
Enjoy Spring Cleaning with Kids
Simple Einkorn Lemon Blueberry Sourdough Scones
Hang in there and wash ’em well.
From the hilltop,