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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!
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.
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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