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How I Conquered Mount Laundsuvius: Practical Laundry Tips For The Overwhelmed Mama

Mom life is laundry life, right?

Creating Coghlans How I Conquered Mount Laundsuvius Practical Laundry Tips For The Overwhelmed Mama

For the seven years I’ve been a mom, I have had a constant pile of laundry that needs to be washed, folded and put away.

All that changed with a few simple alterations to my clothing systems.

  • No longer do I have a huge pile to be folded.
  • I do not have tons of clothes to be washed.
  • Rewashing clothes which haven’t even been worn is a thing of the past.

Our family is happier and less stressed.

How Did I Do It?

Step One: I Went Through All Of Our Clothes And Downsized, BY A LOT!

Less clothes equals less laundry, I’m serious about this!

I decided to start with my clothing, and lead by example. It has taken a while to perfect my method, but I do feel confident now in my style and ability to have enough. (So always remember to trust the process. It may take a while and it will take going through things a few times before settling where you feel good about it).

The first thing I did was take all my clothing and lay it out by style. It may seem overwhelming, but seeing your 20-25 t-shirts piled up you realize how many you actually own. From these piles I implemented my “Keep it, Maybe, Donate, Trash” piles.

After I sorted into those four piles, I look through my maybe pile and choose if I want to keep it, or donate it.  about it realistically I do laundry everyday, so I should only need enough clothes to last me a few days before the clothes that were dirty are clean again. For my shirts I kept 5-7 each of the following:

  • Cotton Short Sleeve T-Shirts
  • Nicer Tops
  • Long Sleeve Shirts.

For my pants I kept:

  • 4-5 pairs of jeans
  • 3-4 pairs of shorts.

Work out clothes I have around 3 outfits, and sleep shirts and yoga pants I have 3 pants and two pairs of shorts.

That’s it!

I know everyone is different, and has different needs. I am a stay at home mom who does not need to work outside the home, so I don’t need work attire. Although even if you need work attire, then you will need less casual clothing. Just think about your life realistically, perhaps walk through your week and see what clothing you actually wear during the hours of the day during any given week.

Going Through Kids Clothing

When I went through the kids clothing, I made sure to include them in the process.  

First I sorted all their clothes by style. It surprised me how many of the same type of clothing they had! Then I went through and had THEM choose 4-5 from each category. (Short sleeve shirts, Long sleeve shirts, dresses, pants, shorts, pj’s).

The process was fairly simple for them because they knew what they loved. Actually it was harder for my husband and I because we wanted them to keep things they didn’t like, but we were feeling attached to or has sentimental value to US.

This was an important learning lesson for us, we need to let them choose what they like.

Before we downsized our childrens clothing a typical morning consisted of my children rifling through their drawers to find the clothing they actually liked. When I took the process to step one, and only allowed clothes in their drawers they loved – the searching stopped. And now I am no longer washing clean clothes.


Creating Coghlans Laundry Routine

Step Two: Develop A Laundry System That Works

Now that you have less laundry, develop a system that works for your family.

Don’t keep doing that same thing that isn’t working and expect different results.  

For my family this means we have one laundry basket where we carry all our dirty laundry (located in the laundry room). When we get out of the shower we carry our laundry from the bathroom and put it into the basket.

Step Three: Plan To Fold And Put Away The Laundry Right Away

Growing up my dad never allowed laundry baskets at his house.  
He said that the main purpose of a laundry basket was just to hold laundry, but that was a dressers job. I always thought he was crazy, “I have too much laundry to fold it all at once.”

I was actually correct. Which is ironic that the answer to my problem laid in the excuse I gave him for why we should have a laundry basket.

Problem: I have too much laundry.
Solution : Have less clothing.

It seems crazy, but the less clothes you have, the less laundry you will have. I promise. So ditch the laundry basket and set to fold and put away your clothes right away! It will not take much more time, but it will save you the headache of always having a pile of laundry laying around your house.

Creating Coghlans Closet Laundry Routine

Step Four: Place More Value On Your Clothing

When you only have clothing you love, you’re much more willing to place a higher value on keeping them nice. Spending more time on less clothing resulted in more organization and less time overall!

By having less clothing, and knowing what you already have it will help you not over buy clothes in the future. When you intentionally purchase clothing you will stop buying just because it’s on sale, or you forgot that you already had four of the same thing at home. You are able to take charge of your life in a way you didn’t realize you even needed to.  

The laundry explosion has stopped at my house, and I am confident you can tame this laundry beast too!

Carissa Coghlan

Carissa Coghlan is the mother to three beautiful children, seven and younger. She stays at home full time and homeschools her oldest son. She loves drinking coffee, crafting and organizing her home. She grew up in the bay area of California, and will always feel most at peace standing on the beach hearing the waves crash onto the shore. She has a podcast, called Creating Coghlans, where her and her family are striving to live a more intentional life, filled with more understanding and grace.

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