A never-ending cycle of laundry is the bane of existence for many moms. Unless they are nudists, a family of five will have at least 35 pairs of underwear, 100 pairs or so of socks, 10 pairs of jeans, and about 15 shirts, to wash each week. 

Wash, dry, fold, wash, dry, iron, hang, wash, dry, it’s as if we are trapped in an eternal black vortex of laundry hell!

After washing our clothes, I dry them on a clothesline, which is my contribution toward eco-friendliness. Provided our 10-year-old dog in his single act of heroism, does not pull the clothes off the line to save the family from dangling zombie intruders, I can move onto the act of folding. For me, the washing and drying is the easy part, the folding is what drives me bonkers. 

If you would rather get a root canal by a Tickle Me Elmo doll than spend another day doing laundry, here are some ideas that might help.

Socks and Underwear

First, when buying socks, determine a color or brand of socks for each family member.  We have five folks in my house so ours works like this: Mom wears socks with flowers or argyle, Dad wears gold toe socks, the baby’s sock are self explanatory, and of the two teenage boys, one wears black socks and the other wears white (without gold toes).  This helps me go through the socks quickly and drop them in the appropriate baskets.  I use the same principal with underwear since all of the big boys in my house wear boxers. Each person gets a theme and we stick with it. One has plaid and one has silly pictures. 


Each person in your home should have a basket. If you have implemented color-coding as recommended in previous articles, this is a place to incorporate your family colors.  If everyone has their own individual basket, those socks mentioned above can just go in the appropriate basket. Encourage family members over the age of six to try to put away their own clothes. (Special note: This is very difficult for moms who like things the way they like them, as I am one of those.  Be patient and teach them how to do it the way you like it or just close the door.)


Sorting is the one-step that will make the whole job easier. Use a Sharpie to mark the tags of items you will wash in hot or cold water. You should put items going to the dry cleaners somewhere else entirely. My husband and two teenage boys tend to get their clothes extraordinarily dirty so the baby and I have completely separate laundry baskets from theirs. 


Schedule a time to iron weekly. This will keep you from ironing on a towel in the kitchen!  If you still cannot make it happen, pay someone else to do it.  It will be money well spent.

There are thousands of ways to make laundry day easier but the most important is to do one load of laundry every day. This will prevent you from having to spend an entire day on the dreaded laundry regime.  If possible, find a way to make it fun, enlist the help of family members and provide a reward for a well-done job including one for you! 

Have a Neat day!
Jennifer Snyder
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