7 Laundry Tips to Tame the Laundry Pileup


On the hunt for some laundry tips to tame that laundry pileup? Here are some great ways to easily tackle the laundry once and for all.

laundry tips

I’m a recent convert to Downton Abbey (I know, I’m terribly late to the party! But at least I’ve arrived, right?) I’m loving all the gorgeous clothing and hairstyles and beautifully decorated rooms.

But I have to confess that when I see all those servants in starched white shirts and aprons that my first thought is sympathy for whoever had to do all that laundry!

Learning to Tackle Laundry Pileup

Thank goodness we don’t have all those rules requiring such time-consuming laundry these days. But still, laundry is a chore that demands almost daily attention in a busy family. Any systems that help me to reduce the time I spend on laundry are definitely appreciated!

Here are 7 laundry tips to help you cut back

Wear it again 

If you’re wearing multiple layers (hello arctic temperatures!) or something hasn’t really gotten dirty, there’s no reason not to hang it up at the end of the day.

Jeans and sweaters, in particular, can be worn multiple times without washing. In my house, if it passes the sniff test, it gets put away for another day. Teaching your kids to put away clothes that are still clean is an excellent way to cut down on laundry.

If everyone in your house puts back 1 or 2 articles of clothing each day, you can cut back on the household laundry by up to 50%!

best laundry tips and tricksHave your kids do their own laundry 

I know there are a million reasons not to do this. They will overstuff the washing machine. A stain could be overlooked, and more. But with a lot of supervision and some training, this task is so worthwhile.

If you need somewhere to start, have them help you sort dirty laundry and put away clean things. Besides, this is an important skill for life that they need to know.

Keep the clothing in circulation to a minimum.

If your child only has 4 pairs of jeans, you won’t end up with 3 loads of jeans to wash. Once they’re all dirty, it’s time to do laundry and it won’t take all week to catch up, either.

I put out-of-season items in a box in each child’s closet so he’s not tempted to wear shorts in the winter and there’s more room in the closets for the clothes that are available.

Since my boys are so hard on their jeans, I do buy extra pairs, usually for cheap at ThredUp. I keep them in reserve. When a pair wears out, I can pull out a new pair.

tips laundry


Have a laundry system in place

that works for you. Maybe you like to do a load a day, maybe you save it all for the weekend.  Use eco-friendly wool dryer balls to speed up drying time.

Use effective stain-fighting techniques.

Doing battle with set-in stains can easily double your laundry time. Dawn dish soap works on tough grease stains. Soaking in diluted hydrogen peroxide is great for stains as well. Here is a list of 10 natural stain removers.

Wear an apron when cooking.

It may feel a little old-fashioned, but wearing an apron while cooking can spare your favorite clothes. Kids can wear them too! My 3 year old has this one and he loves wearing it when we bake.

Skip high-maintenance clothes.

If it requires hand-washing, dry-cleaning, or even ironing, it’s probably not going to be found in my house! I have better things to do with my time than fuss over clothing.

I love the formality and beauty of Downton Abbey, but I sure am glad I don’t have to keep up appearances the way they did. (By the way, did you know watching shows like Downton Abbey for free is one of the secret features of Amazon Prime?)

What are your favorite laundry tips?

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21 thoughts on “7 Laundry Tips to Tame the Laundry Pileup”

  1. Hi,
    I liked number 7,..it is me.
    Why do you think aprons are old fashion…..if there is home chores then there must be an apron worn,
    I am just lazy to put it on……wish if you can have a tip for this one!!!!!
    Thanks very much sarah.

  2. Thank you for sharing your insights. It’s fun to hear others’ systems. One tip that helps save time in the laundry department in our home is to have “pre-sorted” laundry. I have a laundry basket for each load (whites, lights, darks, and towels). Everyone puts their dirty laundry in the appropriate baskets. The baskets hold the approximate amount of laundry that will fit in the washer. When a specific hamper is full, I know that I have a a load ready to go in to be washed. I have found this to be a huge time saver!

  3. Great list of ideas Sarah! Oh the laundry that we have around here is unbearable!!! Especially with 3 teens in sports! 2 towels each day for each child! They just don’t get the concept that they should be CLEAN when they come out of the shower! HA It’s definitely time to start doing there own laundry! I’ve been saying that for a few months now..but really..it’s time!
    Blessings to you!

    • 3 teens in sports! Yikes! That is definitely going to exercise your washing machine 🙂 Let me know how it goes with them doing their own laundry.

      Thanks for stopping by!

    • Isn’t Downton just amazing?

      Thanks for linking your post. The chart on your site is adorable! Thanks for posting on Family Fun Friday!

  4. I try to avoid using a laundry basket to force myself to get the clothes folded before I go to bed. I just transfer the clean clothes from the dryer to my bed. Sometimes when I forget about them and my husband is getting ready for bed first, he folds them 🙂

    I do need to work on #1. I find clean (literally still folded) clothes as well as clothes that are worn, but definitely not dirty in the laundry hampers. My kids are 5 and under, so it’s understandable, but it’s really time to get it under control!

  5. Yes, YES, YES!! We follow these same tips. It’s not dirty unless it smells or has something spilled on it. My boys have 3 pairs of jeans to be worn for a week. And my 10, 8, and 7 yr olds know how to wash, fold, and put away their own laundry. My 5 yr old folds and puts away his laundry. I can’t even imagine being the person who had to wash all that laundry AND iron it!!!

    • Wear them down (the girls, not the jeans!) or they’ll wear you down 🙂 Eventually they’ll get tired of hearing you say it.

  6. Love Downton as well! I need to watch the first two episodes of this season still. I grew up doing my own laundry and am looking forward to my kids doing the same. It’s good for them to learn how to do it and it takes something off of my plate. My oldest will be 3 next month so I still have a little while to do until she can reach the bottom of the machine but she helps with putting things away.

  7. I came across the idea of a family closet online and decided to adopt the method while we are in transition from selling our house to moving towns and renting. Verdict is….I love it! We are a family of 4 (Me. Hubs, a 4 year old and a newborn in cloth diapers) So we have a fair share of laundry. But with the family closet and dresser, all the laundry stays in one room. It is so easy to stay on top of and you don’t have that “cart the folded pile to another bedroom and put it all away” task. We also keep a simple wardrobe with basic pieces and a few nice things for church/events/etc. My system has me doing a load of our laundry every other day and diapers every two days. No laundry on the weekends…I want to play! 🙂

  8. Thank you so much for not having the first tip to be a load a day! I grew up doing that method and hated it, because we always had laundry to do.It never seemed to finish.
    I tend to follow step seven very much as well as having my sons and daughter do their own. My own mother made sure we knew how to do our own laundry and I ended up teaching several friends how to do laundry as well as cook. That is reason enough to teach your kids to do their own.


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Welcome. I’m Sarah!


I’m the creator of Decluttering School (formerly known as Early Bird Mom), lover of organized spaces, encourager to women and mom to four boys. Click here to read more!

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