I've tried so many things to help me manage the massive amount of laundry that is generated in my household. I strive to do a load a day, I "complete the cycle" by putting folded clothes away right away, and I even bought myself a nifty little tool that makes folding extremely satisfying. But I've realized that what I need to address is something way more fundamental.
Nothing quite screams You're behind on laundry like a hamper that's too full. But many hampers have a capacity large enough that by the time it's full — let alone overflowing — you've already got a good two loads, minimum, that you have to catch up on. You're behind before you even toss the first load in.
So here's the simple solution...
A smaller hamper, one that will force you into doing manageable loads often enough to stay on top of your laundry situation.
For singles and couples:
You need a laundry hamper that verges on tiny — something that reaches capacity after one load and begs to be emptied right now. A compact cloth hamper like this $30 one fits the bill, but so would a cloth basket or woven basket. Even if they're not "meant" for laundry use, they'll work a treat for your needs — and look good doing it.
For bigger families:
Try a sorting hamper, like this one, with many small compartments. I use the four-compartment sorter we have in our closet to separate clothes by hand washables, darks, lights, and whites. In addition to creating smaller loads, I love that the laundry is pre-sorted so I don't have to touch every single piece of dirty laundry and so that I can toss in a load lickety-split.
Another way to race to the full-hamper/do-that-laundry-now situation is that rather than each family member having his own hamper, have everyone share one. For instance, our kids' hamper is in a shared location, their bathroom. This way, the inserts get full faster and, in addition, gathering laundry to do is a one-stop task. (Again, I prefer a two-compartment sorter, like this one.)
Smaller loads and less time spent on laundry each time you do it will make the task much less overwhelming and can help you finally achieve "Laundry: Done" status for longer than those glorious five minutes every two weeks.