October 22, 2018
Essentials for Laundry
Everyone loves clean clothes but no one wants to fold and put them away, right?! Today I’m going to go through some of my favorite tips and products for laundry with the hope that it helps you share a little love for laundry with me. I talk about laundry a lot on the blog and it’s because I find that there are so many of my readers that are overwhelmed with how to get it done quickly and are sick of having a laundry chair (you know, a chair covered in laundry that needs to be put away). Today’s post will link to quite a few laundry posts but in reality I’ve written hundreds – we won’t go all the way back 🙂 You might see the evolution of our laundry room in the process too – fun stuff.
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.
MINIMIZE THE LAUNDRY PROCESS
- Wash every day clothes on cold to keep sorting and separating at a minimum.
- Need to catch up on laundry quickly? Here’s my method.
- Use this method for hanging shirts.
- Have less clothing – less clothing is less washing. Keep an eye on this as seasons change – this 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.
ONE LOAD A DAY
- 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.
- I recommend doing a load of laundry every day and with three kids in sports, some days it’s more like 2 loads of laundry every day. You might not need to do laundry every day – this post Laundry Day vs Laundry Every Day shares my recommendation for how to tackle both methods quickly and in the shortest amount of time.
Laundry Room Tour
Want to see what my laundry room looks like? Go to this post. I’ve added a couple things since then, you can see what’s new in this post.
DIY Recipes for Laundry
My secret to white laundry? Oxygen Whitener!
Laundry Scent Booster – like those scent boosters but safe!
Vinegar as a Fabric Softener – yes, please! This is my secret to soft and fluffy towels.
Ditch the Dryer Sheets – they’re horrible for you! Check out what I use instead.
4 Ways to Soften Laundry – use one or all of them!
How to Keep Your Washing Machine from Smelling
How to Naturally Clean Any Washing Machine + Free Printable
DIY Laundry Detergent recipe. I haven’t mixed this up in awhile but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t work – give it a try if you want to DIY your laundry soap.
You can also find these recipes in my books Clean Mama’s Guide to a Healthy Home, Simply Clean, and The Organically Clean Home.
You can see my favorite products for LAUNDRY here on my Cleaning Faves page. You’ll see my Amazon faves and Clean Mama Home at the bottom of the page. Keep your eye out for some new Clean Mama Home laundry products – I cannot wait to share them with you in the next couple months!
Favorite Laundry Baskets + Hampers
Laundry baskets and hampers that work for you are important – I’ve linked up some of my favorites below:
If you do a load a day, start with the clothing. I only do light and dark loads, but underthings separately. Begin with the one that is larger. I separate and fold the clothes on the made-up bed. Fold as the clothes come out of the dryer; I leave them out and folded in case there is remaining moisture that needs to evaporate. This also forces you to put away the clothes so that you can go to bed.
I work full time and my kids are still little so the washing one load a day won’t happen. Neither would taking a break if I’m not careful. I do one laundry day and pile up baskets of clean stuff in the living room. Once the last load is done, I now have an “excuse” to sit and take a break in front of the TV for an hour or two and relax with a show while I fold. I set out empty baskets, one for each member of ht efamily and put folded items right in the right basket as I fold. My kindergarten aged kids wander in to see what’s on TV and when they do, they get to match up socks, fold dinner napkins, and roll up bathroom hand towels.
A game changer for our family : we wash our clothes separately. We do one load of laundry for my husband, one for me, one for the baby, one for the bathroom towels, one for the kitchen towels, etc. Keeps the sorting to a minimum and it is easier to find our clothes if we don’t have time to fold.
Sharon K Says
I had 3 boys (all grown & gone now) that started doing all of their own laundry when they reached 4th grade. Each son had a day of the week to do his laundry. And all 3 of them, at some point in college, have been paid to do someone else’s laundry …. it’s a “life skill”!!
Oh goodness! Here’s the thing…I wasn’t taught how to do laundry and so I was left to having to “figure it out” on my own. That was forty years ago! I still don’t have complete confidence in what I’m doing, ha, ha, and it doesn’t help that I am a “little”, OCD. ????
So, when it comes to laundry, this is what I have done:
•Clothing loads ~
Dark clothes, Light clothes, Bright clothes,
Jeans/heavy duty clothes, and White clothes
•Bath towel loads ~
Dark bath towels, Light bath towels, White bath towels, Dark kitchen towels, Light kitchen towels, and White kitchen towels
•Bed sheets loads ~
Dark sheets, Light sheets
All together and usually bleached *however, I’m not using bleach nearly as much any more and trying to go without out it altogether.
PHEW!!! Crazy, right? I was 17 when I got married and moved 800 miles away from home, and thus, help! ☺️ 40 years and five grown children (4 married and with children) later, I haven’t broken from this method much, really. Thanks to the brilliant “invention“ of the internet, I have been able to learn a little about laundry. I have appreciated you, so much, Becky! I still have a ways to go concerning the whole laundry “thing”, but thanks to you and a few others who have shared clear and concise information, I feel like I’m gaining a better understanding, but my, do I struggle mixing darks and lights! ???? I can’t do it! ????☺️
One of the ideas I’ve read, that I love, is using the same color towels, sheets, socks, etc. I’ve done that to an extent, but not in a purposeful way, necessarily.
Thanks for your tips and helpful hints, Becky!
~ Elle 🙂
PS ~ I had an AWESOME childhood: full of fun and not a care in the world… BUT I wouldn’t recommend not making sure you teach and train your children, from a very young age, how to cook, clean, and take proper care of a home and family. My mother was an awesome wife, mom and homemaker, but she did everything for us six children! It was great fun at the time, but when I was on my own…woah! I was completely unprepared! ????????