August 12, 2014
3 Ways to Make Laundry Easier
I’m always looking for ways to make homekeeping easier, simpler, and a little more enjoyable. Laundry seems to be everyone’s homekeeping nemesis, so today I’m sharing a few ideas for making it easier to “take a load off”.
- GET OTHERS INVOLVED.
- Much easier said than done, getting others involved is critical to making laundry easier. Even little ones can help by pairing up socks and putting socks and undies in drawers. As kids get older, they can put away folded clothes and then they can fold and put away their own clothes.
- Only buy one type of sock and put them in a basket instead of pairing up and folding. Choose a brand and stock up when they’re on sale. If all the socks are identical (my favorite is just white sport socks) then they can be tossed in a basket or drawer without folding and sorting.
- Use a shared closet for kids to keep folding and putting away clothes easier. If there’s only one place to put clothes away it’ll keep it easier for folding and returning clothing. This is a great idea for families with children close in age that might share clothing anyway and/or if closet space is at a minimum.
- MINIMIZE THE LAUNDRY PROCESS.
- Wash every day clothes on cold to keep sorting and separating at a minimum.
- Have less clothing – less clothing is less washing. Before school starts is a great time to sort and purge extra clothing, especially for the little ones.
- Only wash clothing when it’s dirty – a sweater, sweatshirt or jeans can most likely be worn more than once before it’s put in the wash.
- SPREAD IT OUT.
- My favorite laundry tip of all time – do at least one load of laundry from start to finish, (washed, dried, folded, and put away) every single day. I know that this might sound daunting at first, but doing a little bit every day is easier (for me) than doing all the laundry on one day. I get easily overwhelmed and if I do all the laundry on one day it will just end up in baskets, unfolded and not put away.
Have a favorite laundry tip? Share in the comments!
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Having 5 kids I “LIVE” by the rule of 1 load of washing every day!!! I fill the machine last thing at night with clothes. As soon as I get up next morning I add the detergent & start. By the time the kids have left for school it’s ready to hang out & brought back in just before they get home. Then I fold, put away & voilà!!! Washing stays on track!!! I could not handle doing it all in 1 day….I think I’d cry!!!
Works great if all you ever wash is clothes I guess…any tips for towels and bedding? Cleaning rags etc.? I feel like I can never get it all done. My weekends are full with laundry.
Becky SaysPost author
I wash sheets and towels on Saturdays and cleaning rags when I have a bucket full – usually on Fridays.
How do you get your white dish cloths with no stains? I tried soaking them in water with bleach but I’m guessing I got the ratio wrong… I loved the idea of white dish cloths from target just frustrated with the stains. Thanks for all you do in the cleaning world!????
Becky SaysPost author
I use oxi clean instead of bleach and wash on the hot/sanitize cycle 🙂
Jennifer Hoffman Says
So I am good with laundry- terrible with ironing! How do you keep up with that?
Lisa Williams Says
I work full time and my commute is at least an hour each way. I’ve gotten in the habit of throwing in a load before I leave in the mornings then when the kids get home from school, my oldest will put them in the dryer then by the time I’m home, they are ready to be folded and everyone puts away their own clothes. I usually just wash towels, etc when it’s time. 🙂
Spending a couple of hours twice a week doing laundry works far better for me than washing every day. I would never feel caught up if I had to face it every single day! (I learned this from the mother of 7 children.)
I think #2 has a lot of merit- wear your clothes more than once- and have less clothes!
I’m a SAHM of 3, so for me I’ve found it works best if I have laundry day once a week. I do my laundry (clothes) and be done with it for the week. Blankets and jackets etc. I wash as needed.
The one load a day, keeps me sane and the laundry manageable. I also love my new Norwex towels that I only have to wash once a week and each family member only has one towel. It cuts down on the uber big towel laundry I used to have.
I am a one load a day woman, about 2 years ago I tried it after reading someone saying they do it that way and I have to say I love it. Now there are no baskets waiting to be folded, ironed and put away or one whole day spent on waiting for a washer and dryer to finish. By then I have gone on to something else and then it piles up. Our new washer has a timed delay cycle so I fill the washer with clothes and detergent to begin 1 hour before I get up in the morning. When I get up the load is put in the dryer and then once I am showered and dressed I fold and put that one load away. Sure works for me! Since I have started doing this I rarely ever iron, before I would spend hours and hours ironing (I’m not kidding) because everything was so wrinkled from being in a basket. I wash cleaning cloths when there is enough for a small load (I have a lot to use) and bedding is done on Fridays. Give it a try it just might work for you as it did for me.
What brand of washer do you have that has a time delay? It sounds like a great idea!
Becky SaysPost author
Whirlpool Duet 🙂
Tab Brown Says
Or just buy a timer that plugs into your normal wall socket!
Great tips! Especially getting one type of socks and toss it in a basket. Love this idea!
I have been washing my clothes after I wore once because I don’t want to put clothes that I have worn in the drawer. Any suggestion?
Put a few hooks up in the bathroom or closet or back of the door to hang jeans, etc for that very reason! 🙂
I have a separate (smaller) basket in everybody’s closet, so even my young children can fold clothes back in there that has been worn once, but can be worn again (no stains, etc.) This way, the clothes are not put back into drawers with clean clothes, yet solves the problem of wearing everything only once.
We have a laundry basket for each person in the laundry room. When clothes are clean, they are folded and put into each person’s basket. If clothes don’t get put away it’s not a problem. We just check our baskets in the laundry room.
The laundry room also has 1 shared basket where dirty clothes are deposited.
I did the one load a day when my kids were little and fell out of the habit when they left home as I preferred to wash all my uniforms together after a run of shifts, but now my eldest and her baby have moved back in with me we are back to the good old once a day, my daughter was sceptical but now she is a convert to the one load a day. and it being Saturday the sheets and towels are done and in the basket at the bottom of the stairs ready for the next person going up to take them up and put them away!
My washing machine has a time delay also, but l always check the weather for the next day on my weather app. If it’s no chance of rain, l put a load on at night (time delayed) and when l wake up it’s ready to be hung out. I allow myself almost two hours in the morning to get ready (I like to take my time!) and l will put on another load to be hung out before l leave. So before l even leave to go to work l have done two loads of laundry.
On wet days/chance of rain, l on,y do one load and l try to keep it to a minimum so l can hang up inside on clothes horses.
I eliminated sorting. I empowered my three kids do their own laundry. I gave them each a lesson, explained how it only needed to be done once a week, and now I only do a load of towels and 2 Loads for my husband and myself a week. I think my youngest was six when I had this brilliant idea, but her bedroom was closest to the laundry room.
Cleaninup Kate Says
I love the one type of sock idea. Maybe I should get one type of underwear too. I have two boys that fight over the 1 pair of batman undies. Guess I need more of those 😉
We used to own only 2 laundry baskets, but last year I had an epiphany and got one for each person. We still tend to load all the dirty laundry into one basket but as I pull clean laundry out of the dryer/off the line, I fold and place cloths from each person into separate baskets. This has drastically reduced the time it takes to put clean clothes away.
L. Gordon Says
When my 3 boys were growing up, I had a great laundry system. My washer/dryer were in the basement, and I had a shelving unit beside them, which held 2 baskets on each of 3 shelves. I’d come downstairs in the morning with another basket of dirty clothes, towels, etc., gathered from all over the house. That basket would be sorted into the other baskets. Depending on which baskets filled up first (whites, medium colours, dark colours, blacks, rugs and rags, sheets and towels), that’s the load I’d start for that day. I had a small folding table in that spot too, and always folded right out of the dryer. If I couldn’t, then that load would get another 10 minutes in the dryer when I was sure I could fold them right away. I have always liked doing laundry, even pre-soaking kids’ white socks before washing them. I call my machines my “robots,” because hey do all the work, in my opinion.
We have 3 hampers along one wall in our bedroom. One for light colored clothes, one for darks and one for towels. We sort as we strip! Makes throwing in a load a day very easy, as it is already sorted. Plus I wash on cold, so if something happens to get in one hamper that shouldn’t, it’s usually not a big deal. I do skip a day once in awhile, when I feel it can wait a day. I do think the load a day works especially well for those who work outside the home. My mom was a SAHM and washed clothes twice a week, towels once a week and sheets once a week. Since I work, I’ve come to realize that washing sheets happens far less than once a week, but pillowcases fit into a load of towels or even clothes easily.
I have a laundry system that has worked for me/my family for awhile. It keeps me from playing catch up on laundry all weekend. (I work outside the home part time). I have 5 laundry baskets with color coded large labels on them so that everyone knows what dirty clothes go in what baskets and I do one basket of laundry per day. 1. Reds and related family of colors (orange, pink, purple, maroon). These are washed (warm to cool water) /dried/folded/put away on Mondays. 2. All Whites (Tuesdays – hot water/bleach) 3. blacks, dark colors, blue jeans (Wednesdays-cold water) 4. All towels, wash cloths, and underwear (Thursdays – hot water) 5. All other colors that don’t fit into any of the previous categories (Fridays -warm to cool water) I don’t have a laundry basket for these, but on Saturdays, I wash all bed linens and pillow cases. My comforters are too large to wash in my machine, so I take those to the laundry mat every three mos. In the mean time, each Saturday, I take all comforters and pillows (not together, of course lol) and spray with febreeze and put into the dryer for 30 min. to freshen and fluff.
Katie Burt Says
I have to preface this with 2 things. 1) I am an early riser. As in 4:30 am type early riser. 2) I just had a baby. A big baby. Between that and having ridiculous temperatures this summer, I’ve been moving slow for the last 3 months. Think turtle running uphill through molasses. So I’ve been in survival mode for a while. I hate survival mode.
Anyway, normally I have 2 laundry routines. One for warm weather and one for cold. The warm weather routine starts mid-spring and is your basic 1 load a day routine except that I use a clothes line. Helps keep my electric bill down in the summer when we hit triple digits.
My cold weather routine is a once a week laundry day. I start with my cold water loads in the morning so we aren’t fighting the washer for hot water while we get ready for the day. I don’t do anything else on laundry day, other than a few daily house keeping chores, so that I can move the laundry as soon as possible. It’s kind of a “band-aid” approach. Just get it over with and then I don’t think about it for a week. I prefer this method because I don’t like having my laundry hanging over me all the time.
I do have a few things that are consistent with both routines. First, laundry is gathered the night before. Usually I just have my kids put their hampers in the hall. Second, I start the laundry between 5:30 and 6 in the morning. Third, if you live in my house and are over the age of 5 you fold your own clothes and put them away. Fourth, sheets are washed weekly and blankets are washed once a month.
I do agree with you on the sock thing. As far as sheets and towels go, we have 2 towels per person and 2 sets of sheets per bed. The less clothing you have the less laundry you have to do.
Can you help me with an Oxyclean Laundry Detergent question? I contacted the company a while back to see if the product is made with sodium laurel sulfate. I never received a response. Since you are a sponsor, maybe they will let you know? Thanks so much. Love your stuff!
Becky SaysPost author
Here’s the info on the EWG website: