3 laundry tips to finally get ahead

I see you frantically typing, “How do I get rid of these laundry piles?!”.

Do other moms never have baskets of clean clothes? Or piles of laundry disguised as decor around the house? 

Ever wonder what the secret to a laundry routine that actually works for moms is?

Most likely, they’re using some variation of the strategy I’m about to share with you. I call it my Just One Load method.

Luckily, I'm not one to gatekeep my secret to not being behind on laundry in over a decade. Even with them all playing sports and living all across the U.S. including Alaska, Florida, and many states in between – so variable weather and seasons. Plus, they’re regular kids who get messy, spill food and just are generally hard on their clothes.

So without wasting any more time, let's get into how you can finally get caught up on laundry, stay caught up, and not have to commit to (or limit yourself) to one load of laundry per day.

Get (And Stay) Caught Up On Laundry

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of the strategy, we have to ensure we know where this laundry routine is going.

If you've struggled with laundry piles, and things like letting the dryer run the same cycle 4 times, or having to wash the same load of laundry multiple times because it sat too long in the washer in the past, it may have been because you have too much clothing for your family to begin with.

Here's how you can clarify if too many clothes is your first issue. Ask yourself:

  • Do my kids still have enough clothes to wear even with multiple baskets of clean and/or dirty clothes?
  • If I were to have ALL of the clothes washed, dried and put away, would they fit into the closet space or drawers we currently have? 
  • Are my kids even wearing all of their clothes or are they cycling through roughly the same outfits on repeat and those are the ones I prioritize washing and drying?

Once you answer these questions, you will have a clear guiding light as to whether or not you need to declutter the clothes in your home, or not. Having the right amount of clothes is key to a laundry routine that lasts.

Bonus Support Time: Did you just realize you need to declutter the clothes in your home? You're in luck! I created this mini course to help you do exactly that!. 

Click here or grab it now so you can get started >>

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What is the Just One Load laundry method?

If you've heard of Just One Load before, you may think it is doing one load of laundry per day. But it’s not. 

Instead, it’s doing one load of laundry start to finish. Wash, dry AND put it away. THEN start the next load of laundry in the waster.

To put it simply, Just One Load is doing one load of laundry at a time.

The Only Strategy You Need: Just One Load

Remember the goal here is to get acute up on laundry, and then stay caught up. 

I may have tricked you because we already took care of getting one complete load of laundry done above. That’s one less load of laundry left to sit in a basket for who knows how long, or running the washer and dryer multiple times on the SAME load of clothes. See how  easy that was to start getting caught up? High-five!

Now, I know you’re probably thinking that’s never going to work. I need to have multiple loads going at the same time or I will never get caught up…

But how is that going for you? You’re here because you have back logs of laundry. Most of us struggle to complete tasks. Whether it’s interruptions by kids, ADHD or just having a million taks on our to do list. So the more we can create routines like this to finish what we start, the better off we will be. 

Ready? Let’s dig in. 

Just One Load Part #1: Close the open loops

The Zeigarnik Effect, a psychological phenomenon, describes our tendency to recall unfinished tasks more than completed ones. 

This means that as moms, we have a TON of open-ended loops in our minds when we leave tasks (like a load of laundry) unfinished. When we finish the task, it leaves our brain. Leaving us with more mental space, something we ALL need more of!!

When we finish a task, it’s out of our mind.

When you can start one load of laundry and finish it by putting it away, it will give you the satisfaction of completing one task and the motivation and encouragement to do the next load the same way until you are all caught up.

My favorite way to close loops  is using hacks like Just One Load to finish what I start. It’s hard for me to stick to sometimes, but I know that the reason behind why it works and that it DOES work for me, so I stick to the rules. 

It helps my mental chatter so much. I still have the never ending chatter but at least things like waking up and remembering that tomorrow I am going to have to deal with the smelly laundry in the washer aren’t in my head any more.

This article shares a bit more about the Zeigarnik effect and you can see how it really impacts us as moms with a million things on our task lists. 

Check it out here. 

Just One Load Part #2: clarity on the clothes you’re actually using and wearing

I know this is probably sounds obvious to you. And that your family does need and use ALL of the clothes in your home. But I want to lovingly challenge you on this.

Have you been struggling with never ending laundry? Piles in baskets, on beds, couches, treadmills etc? 

Back in the early days of my motherhood with 3 kids, I was in a similar boat as you. I would spend one day every weekend doing marathons of laundry. I would stack up the piles to sort, fold and put away… and never finish. Sometimes I would get close but then would run into the issue of the closets being full and still having clothes to put away. So I would shove clothes on top of the closet, in drawers or just… leave them in the basket because they whole experience was so defeating. 

It wasn’t until I decluttered our family’s clothes and created very simple (what some would call capsule) wardrobes that I was able to keep up on laundry with the Just One Load method long term – like more than a decade.

You may not be able to stop the dirty clothes, the smelly sports or food stains right away, and that’s okay. But you can start implementing the Just One Load method and little by little, you’ll find you have no need for all the excess clothes on standby (which is great, because it doesn’t work anyway!).

Here are 3 tips to help you get started with the Just One Load method. These are the exact steps students of my Clothes Course use to declutter their clothes, build simple wardrobes that meet their needs and stick to the Just One Load method and then get (and stay) caught up on laundry:

  • Start by doing just one load. Like today. Wash it, dry it, put it away. 
  • Then start the next load (after the first is fully put away). And do that load to completion.
  • Stick with this. One load of laundry is SO doable. And it might seem insignificant but it’s not. 
  • After a few loads of this take note of what clothes you are washing, and what your family is wearing on repeat.
  • Teach your kids and family members who are able to, to do their own laundry using this method. And then have them pay attention to what they are wearing as well.

Oh and, if you want to fast-track getting (and staying) caught up on laundry, you can get my Clothes Course right here. You’ll have a simple step by step process to decluttering clothes, building wardrobes for yourself and your family that meet your needs and personal style, AND finally get you to implement the Just One Load method consistently. Whether it’s one load a day or not, it doesn't matter. This method is truly doable and sustainable for everyone. 

Get the Clothes Course now >>

Just One Load Part #3. Getting behind and getting caught up

When you first set out to do the Just One Load method, you will likely want to skip ahead and just wash and dry multiple loads at once like you used to.

A surefire way to combat this is by just trusting me, and not doing that. I am not here to control you or your laundry, but I do know if you give this a try and you have been behind, it will help.

When you do Just One Load at a time, you end up finishing what you start, clearing your mental space AND this becomes a habit in other areas of your life. Like putting the dishes in the sink and rinsing them off after meals, or doing a toy pick up each night to reset.

This means that getting caught up on laundry is your first big win, but the way it changes your behaviors and habits over the long term is even more impactful.

While I stand by this being the only strategy you need, you must teach yourself a new behavior. Which I recognize isn’t always as easy as it sounds but hopefully you can see that this is one small thing you can do and is totally within reach.

For example, if you are someone who has previously done what I did which is marathon style laundry days, doesn’t just one load at a time sound WAY easier?

There have been many times where I know something isn’t working for me, and the suggestions I get from people are less than helpful and feel so out of reach.

But I really think this is such a simple solution for all moms. The hardest part is trusting that it’s not TOO simple. 

I heard someone say one time that “slow is smooth, and smooth is fast”. That describes the Just One Load method pretty well I think. 

Related Post: How To Build A Kids Capsule Wardrobe


Have you started your Just One Load of laundry yet? Amazing!

I love to just let our baskets fill up and do them when they’re full.

It can be this simple for me because I have simplified our wardrobes, and I have made the one load at a time method my new behavior. 

Do you have any questions about Just One Load? Drop them over in our Facebook group. The Motherhood Simplified community has a reputation as the kindest and most supportive space in all of Facebook land for moms wanting to declutter and simplify their lives. 

While we're on the topic of laundry, have you seen my Clothes Course? It's perfect for people like you who want to get control of their laundry piles for good.

Get the Clothes Course right now >>


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