Laundry is one of those never-ending, boring, mundane chores. Many busy families just can’t keep up with the sheer volume of laundry. Others struggle with laundry piles because they don’t have a good laundry routine. To help you get through your laundry quickly and efficiently, we’ve compiled a list of laundry tips and tricks from various experts.
- Number one laundry tip: Don’t sort your laundry. This is a huge timesaver. Toss in a load of colored, dark and white clothes together with detergent and a ½ cup of vinegar on the cold temperature setting. One exception to this is new dark denim and new red items. Wash those on their own to be sure the color won’t bleed. If you have very expensive silk or delicate items, follow individual washing instructions.
- Provide each family member with their own labeled laundry basket. Wash each family member’s clothes separately. Wash their entire load of dirty clothes (all colors together) on the cold temperature setting. Add ½ cup of vinegar to the wash (either in the bleach or fabric softener receptacle in front loading machines) to prevent color bleeding. When the clothes are clean, return them to the owner’s basket. Putting the clothes away will be a cinch. No time wasted trying to pair socks belonging to five different people.
- Teach children to be responsible for their own laundry. Start by having them help you when putting the clothes away. Hanging t-shirts and pants is easier for children than folding them.
- Teach children which items can be worn more than once. Jeans and sweatshirts are good candidates for multiple use.
- Speaking of socks, experts seem to agree that buying one style and color of athletic socks saves a ton of time when doing laundry. If your eight-year old son has 20 pairs of the same white Nike socks, you don’t have to worry about pairing them. Also, if one gets a hole, toss it, don’t worry about its mate!
- Use a mesh zipper laundry bag to wash socks. Give each family member a mesh bag for their dirty socks. Toss the sock filled bag into the dryer and once dry return to owner.
- Some use the mesh zipper bags to help identify items that should not go into the dryer. When transferring wet clothes into the dryer, pull out the mesh bag and dry contents as appropriate.
- Other experts recommend doing a load of laundry each day. Choose a day to wash towels. Pick another day to wash sheets. Children will typically have about one basketful of dirty laundry per week. Each child gets a day and you and your spouse/partner get a laundry day.
- Another popular laundry tip is to start a load of laundry in the morning before you head out of the house. Pop the clothes into the dryer when you return. Fold the clothes while relaxing in front of the TV, and pause the commercials to put the clothing away in the closet or dresser. Doing a little every day keeps the dirty laundry from piling up.
- Laundry rooms attract random items like change found in pockets, orphan socks, or clothes awaiting stain treatment. Keep a change jar on a shelf in your laundry room. A small basket or two can contain other small items. Having a place to hang air-dry items in your laundry room is very useful. Bathroom towel racks can handle light items.
- For tricky laundry items such as curtains or rugs, check out these tips from Real Simple magazine.
Whatever laundry system or laundry tips you use, get everyone in the household on board. Write out the specifics of your laundry system and review it with your children. Post the directions in your laundry room and stick to it. Happy laundering!
Author: Vlasta Hillger