What Should I Do When I Feel Overloaded With Laundry?

Laundry is one of the household chores that most people hate because it’s time consuming and involves lots of work, especially folding. Like most people, I quickly get fed up of doing laundry because the laundry never stops! So, here are the strategies I use when I feel overwhelmed with my family’s laundry:

1. Declutter!

When my helper went away, I was constantly feeling frustrated because the cleaning, washing and drying were endless! So, I started decluttering my own clothes and my children’s clothes. I became more aware of my own pattern and my boys’ pattern of choosing clothes. I realized we only wear a handful of clothes every day! And our choices of clothes were always the same, comfy ones.

So, I started decluttering my own clothes first. Then, I did the decluttering with my children. It was easy for them to decide what to let go and what to keep. But it was extremely difficult for me to let go of certain clothes due to sentimental value. But, once I managed to break through the barrier, my decluttering of clothes helped me save time and effort on doing the laundry. Less clothes, less washing and less putting back! Effort and time were both being saved.

I was letting go of my old clothes.

2. Keep clothes at the optimal level

My household has only 5 members, 2 adults and 3 children. But the laundry is done daily. My children are active and they love to play outdoors. On a typical day, they will be playing at outside, either in the garden, playground or the park at least 2 times per day for two hours. I will be there to accompany them when they are out. At the same time, I’ll be doing my walking too. Hence our clothes are always sweaty, stinky and dirty.

The main reason I did my laundry every day was because I wanted to keep our clothes to the minimal or at least, the optimal level. If I have a lot of clothes, chances are I will put off my laundry because, in my mind, I always know that I still have clothes to wear. But if I know I don’t have any clothes to wear if I don’t do my laundry, I will be pushed to do it. And that’s my motivation.

3. Schedule and Discipline

For me, having a schedule to do the laundry is important. Every morning, at 6.30am, I bring all the clothes to wash and, after two hours, it is time to put the wet laundry in the dryer. Then, at night, after putting the children to sleep, I get ready to watch my favorite dramas while folding the clothes.

For me, the discipline of doing the laundry is important. Once, I screwed up my own schedule. It ended badly. I had tons of laundry to wash and dry and fold and put back and I spent 2 consecutive days just clearing the laundry backlog.

4. Technology

I prefer to invest in technology rather than depending on other people. Whether the person is my spouse, child, domestic helper or part time helper, I feel that the electricals such as the washing machine and dryer are more reliable. When I rely on others, I always need to follow their schedule, and, because of that, my own timing and schedule are being screwed up. But if I don’t need them to do the laundry for me, I can use the machines, which follow my time and schedule. And the machines just need me to press the buttons. There’s no need to shout, scream, negotiate and nag!

My loyal “helpers”. I can’t live without them.

5. Temporary station

When my laundry schedule is not being followed due to reasons such as attending a wedding, working in an office, sick children, etc., I have a spot to temporarily place the washed and dried laundry. Because I know the mess is temporary and all the clothes have their own home, it’s totally okay to slow down and put the clothes back later.

What it’s not okay is when the clothes have nowhere to go and they remain as clutter in the same spot and the clutter keeps growing day by day.

6. Right place and tools

The best piece of furniture that my husband ever bought was the big round coffee table. I love my coffee table a lot because it is the right size and right height for doing the folding. Because I have the right place to do my folding, I can do it properly and this reduces my frustration.

Having the right laundry baskets also helps to ease the whole laundry process. I have only 2 types of laundry baskets, 1 for dirty laundry and 1 for folded clothes, and each type of basket has a maximum of 2 units. Being aware of the limit I have on items helps me stay on track of not overbuying and over-keeping.

My large brown laundry baskets.

7. Hangers?

I always feel clothes that are hung will create more clutter. But, don’t misunderstand, certain clothes, e.g. dresses, gowns, blazers, pants for working, ironed clothes, I still hang them. But if possible, I prefer folding clothes e.g. t-shirts, short pants, jeans, etc. Because by doing so, I can go through the details of the clothes and appreciate them more. With a different mindset, I feel grateful and blessed with the many clothes my family and myself have.

And if I ever feel overwhelmed with the folding, it means that there are too many clothes in the closet and it’s getting beyond my ability to handle. As such, it tells me that’s the perfect time to declutter. Also, hangers create a clutter to me because it’s another extra thing that I need to manage.

The number of hangers which I got rid of

Laundry work is easier to manage when the amount of clothes that need to be cleaned is reduced. Getting the job done fast, easily and with less stress is everyone’s dream. So, having less means having more, i.e. less clothes to clean means more time for other things.


Hi! I’m Josephine Yap and I’m a clutter liberation expert, a wife, a daughter, a homemaker, and a mom to my active triplet boys. I’m super passionate about decluttering. My wish is to share my decluttering journey so that everyone get inspired to reduce the clutter, make their life at home easier, and enjoy the comfort of their space at home with the people their love.

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