The Lazy Mom’s Guide to Doing Laundry


One thing that irritates me more than anything is washing and matching socks.

A sock inevitably gets lost.

It takes a million years for me to “triple roll” all those socks.

I can’t differentiate one boy’s socks from another, therefore they get put in the wrong place.

After a sock-less summer, I was sharing my upcoming laundry woes with my husband (who hates doing laundry even more than I do) and he came up with a brilliant plan.

I’m going to share this plan with you…are you ready?

It might just revolutionize the way you do laundry.

Either that or you’ll just think I’m really lazy. Well, I am…at least when it comes to laundry.

Here’s your new miracle:  mesh lingerie bags. I walked around aimlessly in Target for about 30 minutes trying to find these beauties. The only thing I found was a mesh laundry bag. DON’T GET THAT! The bag is larger than your kid and holds multiple loads of laundry…it’s for college students! Make you sure you buy the mesh lingerie bags…I found mine on Amazon.

And new socks. Preferably not triple roll socks (because they are a pain to “roll”), but get them if you must. I bought triple roll for Little Brother, since they stay on his better, and ankle socks for Big Brother. I really like the socks from Old Navy. They hold up well and they have the sizes on the bottom, so I know which child the sock belongs to based upon the sizes. And they’re relatively affordable.


Now here’s the trick:  Hang a mesh lingerie bag in each child’s closet. Put only their socks in the bag as they become dirty. When you’re ready to do the laundry, tighten the drawstring and throw the bag in with the rest of your laundry. Once dry, just dump the socks into the drawer…no need to match or roll unless you want to!

Interested in my other laundry “shortcuts”?

Read about my brilliant “plan” for doing less laundry.

We don’t use a top sheet for Big Brother. He always kicked it down to the bottom of the bed anyway, so we just removed the top sheet. Now he just sleeps with the fitted sheet on his twin bed and his quilt. And I have a little bit less laundry to do!

I do laundry one day a week.  I’ve got laundry on the brain today…Fridays are officially my “laundry day.” I occasionally do just the boys’ laundry on Tuesdays as well, especially when Little Brother was a baby and went through more changes of clothes (with blowouts and whatnot). I’ve found that I can get myself geared up for doing laundry on Fridays and just get it all over at once. Then I have the weekend to relax do other things.

Oh, and don’t forget to try my homemade liquid laundry soap recipe. It will save you TONS of money on laundry detergent!

What’s your favorite laundry shortcut?


  1. my sock tip – Hanes socks. They color code on the bottom based on size – big girl has a purple “hanes” logo, little girl’s is pink. simple sorting.

    Now if there was a better way to sort their underwear…

  2. I actually used the lingerie bag for socks & newborn clothes in the past. I’ve actually just switched to one day for laundry, sorting into baskets and the same basket follows the clothes all the way to their ‘home’ in dressers! Its actually been smoother (than piles in my living room that I’m chasing kids away from!)

    What do you use for stain remover? I also use the homemade laundry detergent and was hoping for an alternative to my constant companion of a shout bottle!! (Can I grate up part of a bar of soap, melt it with water and use it in an old shout bottle?)

    1. I actually just use a spray bottle of Oxi-Clean spot remover that I’ve had for a while. I’m not sure about the soap spray, but I’ve heard of people wetting down the end of he Fels-Neptha bar and rubbing it on the stains.

    2. peroxide is a wonderful cheap stain remover! I just spray it in and rub into the stain with an old toothbrush. Soak in the peroxide if really bad!

    3. I use mixture of 1 part original dawn dish soup 2 parts peroxide. White baseball and football pants stayed white all season. Can also be used on carpet for spills. Got out Koolaid and tomato sauce.

  3. I do the same thing with lingerie bags but go one step further…. All the same socks! My hubby & I even share socks. Then I don’t have to match at all. Just toss in drawer & grab two when needed!

  4. Yes, I’ve been doing the same thing for about a year and a half. Target does have them — I got a lingerie bag (that ZIPS!) from there. It’s the easiest thing I’ve found as well.

  5. That’s funny, my mom’s been doing this for decades, literally. In fact, she’s been making mesh laundry bags before you could buy them.

  6. I have three brothers, and they all have slightly different size feet and so preferred different socks. Add in my dad, and socks could get really confusing. Eventually, my mom just took a fabric marker and added initials to every sock. Since my brothers all shared a room, there was one basket that was entirely socks, and my mom didn’t match them. All the dirty socks went into the laundry, got put back into the basket and they could find their own socks. (Until they were old enough to do their own laundry, then she claimed no more power over lost socks)

  7. Thankfully we have a boy and girl combo, (and little sister is SO much smaller than little brother, even their socks are easy). Sorting laundry has never been an issue for us.

    I actually do one load of laundry every day. I have a wonderful washing machine that has 5 load capacity settings, so I can do an “extra small” load. And with a potty training 2 year old and a 4 year old bed-wetter, I am always doing laundry. We use cloth training pants and plastic pants for my 4 year old bed wetter (genetics) but he still leaks out and gets pee all over the bed. I wash sheets at least 2 or 3 times a week 8-o

    1. You’ve probably tried all the tricks, but just in case you haven’t heard of this, I thought I would mention it. We had a bed wetter too, and we limited drinks after about 4 pm to water or milk. Cut all drinks off after 7 pm and made him use the bathroom right before he went to bed. Then we took him again before my husband and I went to bed. Finally, we set an alarm for 2:30 in the morning to wake him up and take him again. After just a couple of weeks, his body got the idea that it could go through the night. He occasionally still has an accident, but it’s usually once ever six months or so. Good luck!

      1. Our son had the same difficulty with bed wetting. I kept happening every 4-6 months for ages. When he was invited to his first sleep-over and didn’t want to go we decided it was time to talk to the Pediatrician. Seems there is a little valve that in some little boys that doesn’t quiet mature. We did one round of little pills, as I remember it was four or five days and we never had a problem again. He’s 15 now and would be mortified that I’m telling this story on the internet, but if it helps another Mom then it’s worth it!

      2. Hi Nancy,

        We also took our 4 years old son to to the bathroom 3 times, like you did. The problem was he was getting sleep deprived. Even though most of the times he will not even open his eyes, he will wake up sooo tired in the morning. We have tried waking him up once a night but that wasn’t enough. We also tried to limit water before bedtime but he does sports in the afternoon and he needs to stay hydrated. He’s thirsty especially at night.

        One option would be to bet one of those alarms:
        I am not sure it will help. Our son is pretty stubborn when it comes trying new things. We may need to just wait and hope the condition will improve or go away on its own.

  8. I have used a lingerie bag for Punkin’s socks (so tiny so easily lost) from the beginning never thought about how it will be easier when we have another little.

  9. When I have stained laundry that I don’t wash right away (especially baby stains), I put it in a bucket with some water and Tide and let it soak. Then I dump the bucket into a mesh lingerie bag before tossing it in the wash. Now I know what items I need to check to see if the stains came out and can find them easily. It came in handy when my baby had leaky poopy diapers nearly every day for a while. Some stains I try to wash right away though because they come out easier.

    1. HW, love the idea of stained laundry in the lingerie bag! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve pulled things out of the dryer and thought, “Stink! I forgot to check this one and rewash!”

  10. I’ve been using lingerie bags for J’s socks since he was born. We have a front loader washing machine, and someone clued me into using these so the socks wouldn’t get sucked into the seal. They now go into EVERY baby shower gift I give, and I encourage all my new mommy friends to put one on their registry.

  11. they have those a the dollar tree in my area ( its a $1.00 store) I never thought of putting the socks in there but thank you soo much for the idea i’m out to get a couple of them now!

  12. My laundry short cut isn’t actually a short cut, but it feels like one… I throw a load in right before I go to bed, set the timer on my washer to have it run at about 5am (that way it doesn’t sit wet overnight). Then when I get up at 6am, I just head down there and put in the dryer. By 7am, I already have a clean load of laundry… and clean school clothes for the kids, in case I need them.

  13. For my son’s socks, we threw them all out and bought all new socks (the exact same kind) and we don’t even fold them, just throw them in a little basket. When you need socks, just grab two. Works great!

  14. I LOVE your idea on the socks. Doing white clothes are one of my least favorite things to do. And the socks always stay in the basket until anyone needs a pair because I hate to fold them. So thank you so much you made my life easier.

  15. This might be a dumb question, but can you put those mesh lingerie bags w/ socks in the dryer, too? I never have used them in the dryer. I’m pregnant with my first and I use them ALL the time for washing delicates.

  16. What a great idea! I hate dealing with socks! I have five little ones, so you can imagine the socks. I am going to buy one tonight!!!

  17. Thanks for this tip. I tried adding my daughter’s socks loose into the laundry – what a pain. I’ve been using the mesh bag since I read this and it has made a huge difference. I hate sorting socks out of a load of laundry so I use large safety pins in the toes of my socks and my husbands socks. This prevents a large pile of loose socks to sort through. Just remove the pin and fold when the socks are clean. The pins don’t usually leave holes – except in my really thick, fuzzy socks. The pins sometimes get stuck in those.

  18. Jenae, this is a great idea. I hate matching and folding socks with a passion. I am trying to figure out how to make this system work when my kids put socks in their hampers upstairs, in the laundry room downstairs and sometimes all over the house. Two sets of bags, maybe?
    My latest laundry triumph was figuring out a way to not buy any more of those expensive tablets for cleaning out my H.E. washer. I just blogged about it here.

  19. I found ones with zippers for a dollar at berlington coat factory… My mom use to do this and it is the best idea for my 18 month old… Oh they work great for bibs too!

  20. The sock tip is great! But I don’t understand the “no top sheet” thing. You would have washed the top sheet, so why don’t you feel the need to wash the quilt? It’s getting just as dirty as a top sheet would. But to prevent the kicking down, my mom suggested diaper pins at the corners. It’s genius! So easy to make the bed in the morning.

  21. In the warmer months I do a load of laundry before I go to bed, hang it up outside when I get up, and then fold it after the kids go to bed. But doing laundry is actually my favorite chore and I find it relaxing. I think I will try the sock bag idea though. For a while I had a grocery bag or basket in each person’s room for their odd socks, so at least I could find my size when I was looking for them.

    My best tip is my clothesline stretched out above my machines which I love for items that can’t go in the dryer. There are clothespins stuck on it so I can easily clip diaper covers, bath matts and anything else that I want to hang to dry.

  22. When I worked at a children’s home w/ 30-35 kids, they used the mesh bags for everybody’s socks and underwear. That’s a lot of socks to keep straight! :) (And yes, Emily, they go in the dryer.)

  23. I have four boys, and I have used the mesh bags for years. You can find them at the Dollar General and several other locations for a $1.00 apiece. Mine zip shut so no losing socks. In my house each of my boys are assigned a color so each of their sock bags are color coded and they hang on the back of the bathroom door. I have two bags for each boy so when I take it down to wash the socks, I put up a clean empty bag. When the boys shower the socks come off and go right into their sock bag. I also mark the bottom of their socks with permanent marker. I use X’s. firstborn’s socks have 1 X, second born has 2 X’s and so on. I use this system in all of there clothes so when an item gets handed down I don’t have to worry about initials, I just add another X.

  24. I have been doing this since my second was born as well. With the bags those little bitty socks don’t get eaten anymore either. With underwear I just make sure each kid has a different pattern. I used to write the girls names in the back, but then you have to look for that. Now that they put away their own laundry I just put all the stuff in a basket and they sort it out. Having a different pattern on it helps them too.

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