Let’s face it. Doing laundry stinks. (sometimes literally). But like death and taxes, it is just one of life’s inevitabilities (unless you are one of the lucky few who has a laundry service.) Here are a few tips to reduce the amount of time you spend doing laundry–and to reduce the laundry clutter in your home.
1. Reduce the amount of laundry you do. There is no reason to wash your jeans every time you wear them. There is no reason that kids need to sleep in a different set of pajamas every night (especially if bath time happens right before bedtime.) Go from a weekly washing of sheets and towels to every two weeks. Be mindful about what makes its way into your dirty clothes hamper–we waste a lot of time, effort and water washing clothing that doesn’t need to be cleaned yet.
2. Let the dry cleaning be the dry cleaning: Don’t be a hero. Send your work shirts and slacks to the dry cleaners. Find a good, affordable cleaner that you trust, and let them have at it. The time you will save in washing and ironing will be well worth the cost of the cleaning.
3. Do big loads. If you are washing only what truly needs to be refreshed and you have a large capacity washer and dryer, then you can wash yours and your spouse’s clothing together, and can likely wash two kids’ clothes at a time. This will save time, water and energy. Wash everything on warm with a good color-safe detergent, and you don’t need to separate lights and darks. (With the exception of stark white items like school uniform shirts or white towels, which will get dingy over time unless separated, but if you keep a separate hamper for all-white items and just separate as you go, the whites can all be handled in one load.)
4. Organize as you fold. Make multiple piles per person, per drawer. (I.e. keep your kids’ underwear and socks in one pile, tshirts in another, jeans in another and then stack them all together at the end in order of drawer (i.e. socks and underwear on top so you can offload those first, then tshirts in the second drawer so that’s the second “layer” of the stack. etc.) This will make putting away the folded clothes much faster and easier.
5. Stay on Top of it: Have a designated laundry day each week and stick to it–heck, even block out a couple of hours on your calendar for “laundry time” and plan to just get ‘er done. Train yourself to transfer wet clothes to the dryer as soon as you hear the buzzer–not only will this save your clothes from mildew, but it will save your machines as well. Fold clothes right after they come out of the dryer to avoid the headache of leaving them in too long and having to re-dry (or heaven forbid, iron) them.
6. Multitask. DVR a favorite show and watching it while you fold. Have your spouse help you fold and bring each other up to speed about what’s on tap for the week while you work.
7. Treat yourself. While the feeling of being done with laundry for the week is a reward in itself, plan a special treat for yourself after you finish–go to Starbucks, relax in the tub or talk a walk–you’ve earned it!
Source: JP YouPlusDallas Blog