I used to HATE doing laundry. I didn’t really mind washing it or drying it but I absolutely HATED folding it and putting it all away. With a family of 6, most of them under 7 years old, we create a LOT of laundry so it’s inevitable that I’m always doing laundry. It got to the point where I was spending so many hours per week on laundry that I was falling behind on other things. My husband watched from the sidelines and said there has to be a better laundry system, this is insane! And he was right! I needed someone to point out the insanity of it all though before I realized that there WAS a better way. Take my laundry hacks and learn from them. They seriously changed my life! I have more time to devote to other things and that constant battle of laundry is over. Gone are the days of basket after basket of clean clothes sitting in my living room. It’s always put away as soon as it’s done now. How? Read on!
The biggest time suck in the whole laundry process was folding it and putting it away. I have four little ones, all close in size, so sorting the laundry was one huge hurdle. The clothes would come out of the dryer and I would then sit and check each tag for the size and then fold it and sort it into piles according to which child the clothes belonged to. Then the light bulb moment hit!
Tip #1: The clothes should be sorted before they ever hit the washing machine. That meant each family member got their own laundry basket and clothes were sorted as they were taken off. That completely eliminated sorting altogether and gained a whole bunch of time. Now I wash each child’s clothes on a different day and do them by themselves as a load so that I don’t have to sort them when they come out.
Tip #2: Stop folding your children’s clothes! They are tiny little humans who will dig through that beautifully folded drawer and in two seconds they will destroy all of your efforts folding those little shirts into cute little squares. Stop it! We use those pull out drawers you see above and label them. The kids clothes fit perfectly in them and are laid out and stacked one on top of the other, no folding!
Tip #3: Use your minions! Put your kids to work and teach them the value of doing chores. Enlist their help to put their own clothes away. Even my 3 year old can do it! Resist the urge to fix everything they do. Create picture labels for each drawer so they can match up what goes where. We’ve been doing this for years and my kids can all put away the clothes now. My 5 and 7 year old can even put away the baby’s clothes thanks to the picture labels. Pssst…they don’t look wrinkled and disheveled either! The clothes are little and fit nicely stacked one on top of the other so they really don’t wrinkle.
Now that we’ve tackled the kids clothing dilemma, and eliminated some major time sucks, we can move on with some general laundry tips that also make a big difference in the routine.
Tip #4: Make your own laundry detergent. Making your own laundry detergent can save you a TON of money. I’ve been using this homemade laundry detergent recipe for years and I love it! My clothes come out clean and fresh. It works to remove stains and my whites stay white. It will only cost you $30 for an entire YEAR of laundry detergent. The savings are incredible! Plus it’s really easy to make a big batch of it, and since you only need 1 Tbsp per load, it will last a long time! I have many friends who have started making this with my recipe and they haven’t turned back! They can’t believe how easy it is and how much money they are saving.
Tip #5: Use laundry clips to easily hang dry anything that doesn’t go in the dryer. I hang a lot of our clothes so they won’t shrink. I lacked hanging space in my laundry room but I did have a wire shelf that went across the top of the room. I use these laundry clips to easily hang anything that can’t go in the dryer. They make it quick, easy and efficient.
Tip #6: Stay on top of the laundry by creating a routine! Don’t let the laundry pile up and become daunting. If I toss in one load a day during each weekday that is 5 loads. My husband volunteered to do his own laundry so that means all I have left to do are the towels and sheets. That makes easy work of a previously dreaded chore!
What are your tips for tackling laundry? Do you have any great laundry hacks to share?