Too Much Laundry?

I have tons of laundry, I have no organization, and its a chore for me to just keep my downstairs clean. I just close doors on bedrooms, because I just don't seem to have the time. Laundry on the other had is atrocious. My grandma says that it's because I am a perfectionist, which made me laugh quite hard, but it's basically because I can't see me completing it and so I just don't do it. That makes the most sense.


I can't see a light at the end of this tunnel. We have too many clothes, which I am slowly but surely getting rid of them as the older laundry gets done. I probably have at least 8 black garbage bags filled with dirty laundry, a couple of baskets and then we have the sheets and blankets which are just in piles. Can anyone help me get this dwindled down? I think the number one idea would be to go the the laundry mat, but that's also costly, anything else would be great.


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September 19, 20050 found this helpful

Your grandmother is right! For the long term, go to and see what she has to say about laundry.

For the short term, either go to the laundromat and get it all done at once, or plan a weekend of washing. Sort out unloved clothes as you fold and put them in a bag to donate. Then get them out of your house.


Then you need to get yourself into a laundry routine. I try to do a load every day or two (there are 5 of us). Everybody has a hamper in their bedrooms and I have found it much easier to do minimal sorting and just wash a basket of each child's clothes together regardless of color (there are some exceptions, but so far it's working out fine). each kid's hamper has a "lingere bag" clothespinned to it for socks -- no more sock sorting!

But really -- check out Flylady. She changed my life!

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September 19, 20050 found this helpful

I think you will have to go to a laundry mat and get it all done at once. This way you have a fresh start. But first sort out the clothes....give all your clothes not used anymore to charity, or to friends etc. That will help deplete the pile right from the start! I know it is more expensive going to the laundry mat, but just getting it ALL done and starting over will make you feel better! I used to wait a week or so to do laundry then would have 7 or 8 loads to do at once - and I hated it!! But now that I do a load or 2 everyday it is SO much easier!!


I used to be on public sewers, but now that I am on a well and septic I had no choice but to do laundry differently. Instead of needing a whole day to do it, I have it done in a couple of hours. It feels good to have it done and out of sight. Then I have more time for fun things! Do you have kids? Mine are 10 and 7, and they put all their dirty laundry in their own hampers, bring laundry to laundry room and they put away all their clean laundry. They are never to young to help out!! My son (10) will be learning to do his own laundry very soon. Even that little bit of help from them makes the job easier!! Good luck!!

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By Cindy Irby (Guest Post)
September 19, 20050 found this helpful

I'm a perfectionist too. My problem wasn't getting started, it was knowing when to stop! I agree - you MUST check out - she changed my life!!


CJIrby @

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By Linda L (Guest Post)
September 19, 20050 found this helpful

Anyone over the age of 8 can do their own laundry. I rarely sort anything except things with beadwork or very fragile things, and heavy things like jeans. I always wash reds (or soak in the sink) when I first get them to be sure they don't run.

Once your kids CAN do their own laundry, including towels and sheets, it becomes their responsibility to make sure they have clean clothes, etc. Set some ground rules like change and wash linens on Saturday, or whenever, for them, teach them how to do the job, and let it go. It is their chore, like any other chore. If the favorite pink shirt isn't available when she wants it on Tuesday morning, oh well! Football uni dirty and the game is tomorrow-not your problem!


To solve the immediate problem, do go to a laundromat. Some of them have the really large capacity machines meant for comforters and such-but there is no reason a super-size load of other compatible things can't be done. If you can go at an "off-time", it will be easier. Take a book, and a latte' for while you wait!

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September 19, 20050 found this helpful


I have to say, if you have 8 large garbage bags of dirty laundry, as well as others in baskets and on the floor, but are still able to get dressed each day and have underwear and clothing to spare, then you do have way too many clothes and need to purge.

We also have a family of 5, with three kids ages 8, 6, and 5, and it seems like the laundry is never done. I agree that doing a load or two each day really helps keep things under control. You'll find that you and your family really wear a few items consistently, so buckle down and get rid of the items you haven't worn.


Donate them to charity, or list them on a Freecycle group, and you'll feel much "lighter" after you're done.

This may sound strange, but if you have a good friend or relative who is a helpful soul, ask them if they would come and do laundry for you to help you get caught up. Having that moral support might help you get going on it. Sometimes doing something for someone else is easier than doing it yourself (I would rather help my sister clean her house than clean my own sometimes).

Good luck.

Trudy Powell
Independent Watkins Assoc. #357561

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By Mary Ellen from NJ (Guest Post)
September 20, 20050 found this helpful

I always tell me husband and kids that they must get up and change in the middle of the night--how else could we possibly have made so many dirty cloths!

Go to a laundry mat to get caught up. OR--identify one full day at home to JUST DO LAUNDRY. No if, ands, or buts. JUST DO IT. Wash, dry, fold. And...the most important thing: PUT IT AWAY!!!!

After your catch-up day, I recommend doing a load everyday. Until you get into the new routine, don't even worry about sorting (unless there's a new red sweatshirt or a special white blouse). Just do a load a day.

Once you get in that routine, then start a sorting routine. Grab all the whites/towels. Do those day one. Grab all the darks. Do those day two.

And remember: Once they're washed, dried, and folded, PUT THEM AWAY.

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September 20, 20050 found this helpful

Good Morning, I have 8 ppl. in my home,
we have assigned days.
Monday is the 2 younger boys (they share a room.)
my brothers is Tues., 14yr old daughter on Weds,Daughter and son-in-law on Thurs. my and DH and Friday.
if anyone has extra they have to do it on the week-end Mom's done washing clothes for the week

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By Claudia- MD (Guest Post)
September 20, 20050 found this helpful

I agree with Trudy. Sounds like you own way too many clothes, linens. I am a thrift shop shopper and can't resist a bargain. After a while, I find I have sooooo much I don't really know what I own, and I end up wearing/using the same few items over and over. So I try to go through my stuff on a regular basis and take things that I don't wear/use regularly back to the thrift store. Guess that makes me a good little recycler!

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September 20, 20050 found this helpful

I don't know if this idea will help now or not. You might find it useful in the future. I bought a hamper that has 4 bins. I have whites in one bin, lights in another and so on. When a bin gets full, I wash that load. My husband likes it because I don't have laundry sorted all over the house.

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September 20, 20050 found this helpful

Definitely check out'll never be piled up again if you follow her advice. And I would also agree with going to the laundromat to get it all done...then start with the Flylady system.
JoAnn in Elkhart, IN

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By Sandy W (Guest Post)
September 20, 20050 found this helpful

Another vote for (not com)! What a wonderful site to help the perfectionist who is drowning in laundry and household see, it is your perfectionism (wanting it ALL to be done and STAY done) that is stopping you.

Believe in yourself and check out our beloved FlyLady - she is truly wonderful!!

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By Elizabeth (Guest Post)
September 20, 20050 found this helpful

We have lots of laundry in our house, too. I have experimented with different systems, but one I like best is to do two loads everyday. I like to start the first one right away when I get up, and fit the second in around my daily schedule. I would do darks in the first load, so that I can hang them to dry on drying racks and hangars sometime in the morning. Then attack the lights later in the day, because most of mine go in the dryer.

To attack the current dirty pile, I would psych myself up for a two day laundry fest. Plan easy meals, and don't try to get anything else done, but laundry. Rent a couple movies for when you are folding, or invite a friend or family member over for coffee and a chat - fold as you talk. Try to make it as fun as you can.

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By (Guest Post)
September 20, 20050 found this helpful

Once you get caught up on the laundry you need to establish some rules so you can stay ahead. If something is worn only for a couple of hours or even all day but it hasn't got a stain or oder it should be put away as soon as it's taken off! If it's tossed on the floor to gather dust bunnies and wrinkles it's likely to wind up back in the laundry. Also, consider laying down the law and making everyone use their bath towels for more than just one shower. If you hang them up to dry right away they will still feel nice for the next use. Finally, you may want to start a "pre sort" routine. I have several laundry baskets on which I have written with perminate marker for whites to be bleached, bath towels, work clothes, delicates, good jeans, lights, and darks. Then, when it's time to wash you just have to double check what's in the baskets.

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By KLS8800 (Guest Post)
September 20, 20050 found this helpful

Just an observation: if you have 8 bags of dirty laundry, and if they are yours and only yours, you just have too much laundry/clothes. Wash them, and yes, a laundrymat is probably in order for that volume, unless you can have someone come to your house and do some laundry there, and you go out. After that is done. Be objective. Look at the article of clothing. Have you worn it in the season it is meant for in the past year? Does it fit? If you never saw it again would it be okay? Could someone less fortunate than you benefit (99% of the time the answer to that one is yes).

If you are disciplined enough allow yourself to ONLY keep clothes for seven to ten days (ten pair of jeans, ten pair of socks..) Allow four Church worthy outfits, three casual shoes, two everyday shoes (we called them sneakers or tennies) and two or three pair of Church shoes in neutral colour, black, and white. (most of the time, that will look good with most outfuts)

With Katrina's victims and survivors who have nothing but the clothes on thier backs, you could go through all those bags, launder them and give them to a reputible charity that will make sure they go to these people. Two things will happen: One, you will lighten your volume of clothing, thus saving on both your water and power bill, not to mention more room in your home. Two, and most important, you have given someone who has nothing, lost everything something to begin again. One of our Church hymns has a line in it that goes 'because I have been given much, I too, must give.' You'll feel great: laundry caught up, helped someone (probably a lot of someones) who has less than you, and a clean laundry area/house and no smelly dirty laundry. Good luck.

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By Jenny (Guest Post)
September 20, 20050 found this helpful

Once you get caught up on all the old laundry you have to do and get rid of some stuff I find it helpful to do smaller loads more often. This way you do not feel overwhelmed at the thought of folding and putting away a huge load. Designate a day for your whites, your husband's work shirts, your kids darks. Make sure your kids are not changing 5 times a day, they havea tendency to do that, especially as teenagers. Let them know that things like jeans and sweatshirts can be worn more than once as long as they are not stained or stinky. Good Luck!

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By Fran Marie (Guest Post)
September 21, 20050 found this helpful

My children have been doing their own laundry from the age of 8. I showed them how from instructions I posted over the machine [in case they got stuck].

Doing laundry on assigned days is an EXCELLENT idea and one that works!

You may want to have an assigned day where EVERYONE gets together to weed out clothes. I was very firm with my kids about how many clothes they should have.

4-casual pants 2-dress pants (or any combo of 6)
4-casual shirsts 4 dress shirts (OR any combo of 8)
4 sweaters or sweatshirtsin any combo
7 pairs socks, underwear, bras
2 pair sneakers 2-4 pair dress shoes depending on girl/boy
2 dresses 2 skirts for my daughter 3 pair pantyhose
This is MORE than enough clothing!

No overflowing closets or dressers and they never complained about laundry because it was always managable. It also cuts down on changing multiple times a day because you quickly run out of clothes. I kept them to their scheduled laundry days so no one was constantly changing and washing.

BTW I keep the same number of clothing and if I buy something then I get rid of the same number of items in exchange.

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By Ame (Guest Post)
September 27, 20050 found this helpful

I just want to add my rec for! The first thing I thought of when I started reading the post was 'it's time to fly!'

It is your perfectionism, and the attitude that 'it's just never going to end' that are standing in the way. It isn't ever done. Once we accept that, we can start to get a handle on it.

You've gotten great tips.

Good luck!

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By Dee from CO (Guest Post)
September 29, 20050 found this helpful

I too felt overwhelmed by laundry until I broke my leg and could no longer get down the stairs to do it. Wonder of wonders, my teenage children were forced to do their own. Suddenly they discovered a pair of jeans could be worn more than once! I have since recovered, but my children still do their own laundry. They occasionally complain about not having enough space to store their clean clothes (therefore, they "cannot" be put away) I point out yet again that the same clothes seem to get washed over and over, and the stuff at the back of the drawers and closet need to go. Really many clothes does one person need? Thin them out, the hurricane survivors could certainly make better use of them than you stressing out over DIRTY LAUNDRY????? Really, where are your priorities?

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May 4, 20060 found this helpful

I go for the good old "designated laundry weekend" idea. Because I work all week the last thing I want to do when i get home is laundry, so I do it all either Saturday or Sunday (whichever day I can be bothered) But, then again, I have a hubby and 1 child, so I only have about 5-6 loads a week, including towels and linen, maximum.

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