We usually assess the clothing situation every night. "Do the kids have clothes for tomorrow? Are they weather-appropriate? Do we have clothes? Are sports uniforms clean?" Inevitably, we forget something, and Ian is wearing my socks, or we're drying off with hand towels (a 6'1" man drying off with a hand towel is pretty comical). After studying this problem for several months, I've noticed that we're all wearing the same four outfits (well, we're not ALL wearing the same outfits, we're each wearing our own same four outfits). A few clothes get washed, they're worn and thrown on top of the dirty pile, they get washed again, and the vicious cycle starts over.
After amassing piles of data (literally) and conducting a thorough analysis, I've concluded that we all need fewer clothes. The kids will have seven warm-weather outfits and one cold-weather outfit for spring and summer (we recently bought their spring/summer clothes and I'm in the process of sorting their winter stuff). All their other clothes will be given away or put away for a younger sibling. I have tons of clothes that I will only wear if nothing else is clean, but if I keep my acceptable clothes clean, I won't need the "emergency" clothes ("Quick, grab the stained Yosemite t-shirt--it's a laundry emergency!!"). And Nathan can't possibly need 20 junky work t-shirts and 30 pairs of holey socks.
I hope that this simplification will improve the laundry situation, and if it doesn't, at least the piles will be smaller.