Updated: Jun 27
Short and sweet. That's how doing laundry should be, or at least I wish it was. But in reality, it's most often one of the most dreaded household duties. Why is this? Is it because of the drudgery of folding one thing at a time? Or is it the problem of finding the time to complete the whole process before you have to start it all over again? Whatever the reason - I've compiled the following list of simple tips to help take the unpleasantness out of your laundry days:
MAKE your laundry area pleasant to be in. Some fresh paint and a few pictures on the wall are a great start. No need to break your budget. Shop your own closet or storage areas, or even the thrift shop or discount store.
KEEP track of socks by washing them all together in a mesh bag. This will save you both time and money instead of waiting for a missing sock to turn up, then buying new socks when it never does. If you come up with a spare sock, keep it for a while to see if the mate will surface (I use a small magnetic basket on the side of my washing machine).
DON'T forget about the clothes in the washer (or the dryer) - get in the habit of setting a timer that will go off after the wash cycle. If you're not sure how long it will take, estimate 35 to 40 minutes and adjust from there. Not only will this get your laundry finished in less time, but it will also do away with that awful "stayed in the washer too long" odor.
KEEP the floor clean. Clean items are always falling out onto the floor when transferring or removing from the machines, and you don't want your face washcloth or a white blouse to fall out onto a dirty floor. If your laundry area is in the basement (I've been there, girl), you can put down a strip of beautiful flooring or a plushy rug in front the of washer and dryer to prevent the need to re-wash.
IF YOU ARE IN A HURRY to have something dry, throw it in the dryer with a clean dry towel. The towel will absorb the wetness more quickly and your item should be dry in a fraction of the time.
IRON? Who irons any more? Just hang up clothes that are wrinkle-prone immediately after removing from the dryer. When you go to wear them, if they still need touching up with the iron, you can do it quickly. Or better yet, get a steamer and the wrinkles will fall out in seconds.
CLEAN the lint trap of your dryer each time you use it. This will decrease the drying time, shortening the whole process.
SCENT your laundry naturally. Make your own scent booster by adding 20-30 drops of essential oil to about 2 cups of Epsom salts. Stir together and store in a glass jar. Add about a Tablespoon per load to the wash cycle and you'll have beautifully fresh-smelling clothes with very little extra effort or expense. Some ideas for combinations are: lemon/clove/grapefruit , lavender/lemon, or even lavender/eucalyptus. I have also discovered that 4-5 drops of tea tree essential oil, which has natural disinfectant properties, will give the laundry a fresh scent and keep it fresh smelling (even if left in a little too long).
SCHEDULE which laundry you will be doing on what day. You may be a "do it all in one day per week" kind of person, but if you find yourself running out of time before you run out of laundry, you can schedule a load per day. Example: Towels on Monday, Darks on Tuesday, Whites on Wednesday, Towels on Thursday, Darks on Friday, Bedding on Saturday, or any variation that works with your household. The key is DO WHAT WORKS. If one system doesn't work out for you, don't give up - keep what's working, ditch what's not, and revise the system so that it works for your life.
I have made a printable laundry guide for you so that you can have empty laundry machines and laundry baskets, and neatly folded and put away clothes and linens in as little time as possible. Then you can enjoy spending your precious time doing the things that really matter to you and your family, without sacrificing clean and organized laundry. You can download the guide by signing up HERE for my email list and full access to the Resources section of the website. Already subscribed? Sign in HERE.