Thursday, January 30, 2014

Making Laundry Easier (and more tolerable!) {5 Tips}

If you have been reading my blog for an extended time, or if you have read back through a few of my posts on cleaning, then you have probably picked up on how I feel about laundry. Let's just say--not good. I wasn't sure why, but I have pondered and come to a conclusion. I hate laundry because it takes FOREVER to be able to cross it off my to-do list. I like to do mine all in one day, but even if you are a one-load-a-day type, it isn't that you spend a good 20-30 minutes and it is done. No. You spend your time to sort, then start a load. Then you wait. Then you move it to the dryer. Then you wait. Then you can fold and put away. I like to get my chores done and over with first thing, so to drag it out is pretty much torturous for me.

And THAT is why I hate laundry so.

But, as I shared last year, I have been working on improving my attitude toward laundry. And in my efforts to do so, I have found some things that work to make it a bit more tolerable. (for previous tips, see Quick Cleaning: Laundry Day.

I found some smaller hampers to use and replace my older ones that took up more space. This way, I can have more hampers in the same area--which means laundry can be automatically sorted as it is put in hampers. This means less sorting on laundry day. Follow me? Easier.

This is linked to Amazon, but I am pretty sure if Walmart still carries them, you can get them cheaper there. So if you are interested in this, you might want to shop around first. 

2-Laundry Garment Bags
A huge annoyance with laundry is folding socks. You have to sort out the matches, and them match them, and then the most annoying aspect of all is when you have that stray sock that apparently was "eaten" in the laundry process of the day.

If you find this annoying, also, try this out. Get a garment laundry bag. Give one to each person in the family. As that person takes socks off each day, that person puts the socks in the bag. Then on laundry day, you zip it up (important step here--zip it up. If you don't, it negates the whole process. We have learned through sad experience). Put it in the washer. Then move the bag to the dryer, then that person gets the bag back and can fold the socks and put them away.

It isn't a perfect solution, and it takes cooperation from the kids, but it can work if you can get the family on board!

Side note: If you ever need to wash a stuffed animal (because puke happens!), put it in one of these bags. 

3-Start Loads the Night Before
I have found a magical solution to make my process the next day shorter. My washing machine has a setting where I can delay the start of my load. So the night before laundry day, I put the first load in the washer. I put my detergent in the detergent spot. Then I turn it on and choose "delay wash." I set it to start so that the load finishes right before I wake up in the morning. The next morning, I wake up and the first thing I do is move that load to the dryer and start the next load. This is my favorite tip! (so why put it at number 3? I don't know, that is where it landed). It shortens the day of laundry, which I like, so it is a huge bonus for me.

So a side-tip to this one is to figure out what it is about laundry you don't like so much and figure out a way to solve or relieve that problem.

4-Use the Kids!
My kids help a lot with laundry. They sort their hamper (they only have space for their one so theirs needs to be sorted). Then they are in charge of folding all socks (ha ha!). Then they put away what they are able to put away. Brayden (8) and Kaitlyn (6) put 100% of their own laundry away. McKenna (4) does everything that is not hung up. 

5-Find the routine that works for you
I find doing all loads in one day the best option for me. I also find most moms agree with that, so if you haven't tried it, give it a try. Some moms prefer one load a day. We all have different tolerances and preferences, so figure out what works for you and do it.

I have lots of laundry tips pinned on my Cleaning board on Pinterest!

BONUS TIPS
I surveyed my friends and got some more good tips. Most came from my friend Laura, mom to 8. She obviously needs to have her laundry streamlined to maintain some measure of sanity.

1-Don't Fold--Pile
Laura doesn't fold, she piles her laundry. Each person has a pile to put away. She also doesn't fold for her younger ones--she says that way when her kids pull their clothes out of the dresser drawers, she can still like them :)

2-Don't even fold socks--just group them
Laura buys one style and color of sock and everyone just shares those. Then there is no need to sort or match socks. And another friend mentioned that mis-matched socks are in style right now, so if you ever want to try this out, now is the time to do so!

3-Don't sort baby loads
Another friend, Brooke, said she washes each child's clothes in their own load on cold and doesn't bother with sorting them into different loads.

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5 comments:

Jessie said...

I like to get up just five minutes earlier and start a load before I get up my daughter. It's kinda like the delay cycle, but no e doesn't do that:) Anyway, if I have the load ready to go, it's quick and ready for the dryer by the time we're done cleaning up breakfast. I've purchased hampers with fabric liners so I can sew a section of fabric in the middle to have a dark and lights side. When it's full, I do laundry. Now for stain removal hints! :) (oranges and colored peppers are horrible!)

Amanda said...

I don't sort the kids' clothes by color either. Each kid has a laundry basket and I toss all their clothes in on cold or warm and that's it. I've never had a problem with colors bleeding. If you need to do a load on warm/hot because of pee accidents then just use 1 cup of vinegar...it cuts urine smells and it prevents colors from bleeding at all.

But yeah, I still hate laundry, I am trying to find ways to streamline but so far it's still daunting.

The Holstien's said...

My husband does our laundry since is my dreaded chore and he doesn't mind it. However, he refuses to sort colors for our laundry or the kids loads. It freaked me out at first because i was taught to sort. I just made a resolution that since he was doing it i would let him do it his way. In 7 years he had only ruined two shirts doing laundry this way! Wash on cold or warm. Towels are separate on hot. I'm not convinced now that laundry needs to be separated like we were all taught to do. Red shirts with white shirts do fine on cold. IF something does turn pink or is looking dingy go find RIT on the laundry aisle at the store. It's been around for ages and really does work!

Megan Beyl said...

I found a laundry hamper at walmart that is on wheels and has four hanging bags on it. I labeled each bag according to my sorting preferences and family sorts as we take off our dirty clothes. This way when it comes to laundry day, I can wheel the bags to laundry room and do one bag at a time. Sorting is already done! I love it!

maria smith said...

It's such a learning process, isn't it. I'm working with our kids, teaching them to help out on our little cleaning service here at home. :)

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