Laundry is one of those things that never goes away. Just when you have all the clothes washed and your hamper is empty, you put the clothes you’re wearing back in and the cycle continues. So how can we simplify and make the process less painful? To find answers I asked some of my friends on social media to share their tips for getting their laundry done. They had so many great and unique ideas. The goal is to find the best solution for your situation. Check out these options and give some a try. Let me know what works best for your household.
When should you do laundry?
I guess the simplest answer is before you run out of clothes or your laundry stinks up the place. Let’s break it down by day.
You can pick one day a week and do it all. This is my favorite. I don’t like laundry so setting aside one day a week to just get it done is best for me and then I don’t have to think about it the rest of the week, That being said, each family member needs to have at least 7 of each type of clothing item so they never run out of anything during the week.
I often hear that people like to do laundry a few days a week to spread it out. Like one mom said she does Tuesday as household laundry (like towels and sheets) and Friday is for Mom and Dad’s clothes. Then the kids each get a day to do their laundry. Another mom does 2 days a week and she has the kids bring down their clothes and sort them. Then she washes and folds all of the clothes and then the kids put them away. One mom said she lets each day of the week for each child and one day for household laundry. One mom said she has the kids bring down their clothes and sort by color. Then she washes 2 loads every day for 5 days to finish it all. There are so many options for this one.
You can do wash every day and just a small amount of laundry each day or one load per day. This works well if you can set it to go on so it’s done when you get home from work or do a batch before work/school each day. One mom of 7 said her family does laundry just about every day when their hampers are full. She helps remind them to put the clothes into the dryer and helps the little ones (they are 6) with the washing cycle. She does her own laundry and the household laundry when the laundry room is less busy.
Who should do the laundry?
Some moms responded that they do all the family members laundry. Some have their kids do it all. While others found a mix. My household varies depending on the time of the year. For instance, during the school year I do all the laundry since I’m home during the day but in the Summer we used to alternate who does all of the laundry each week as part of their chores. Now that we only have two kids at home I think they will each have a day to do their laundry. If what you are doing right now isn’t working, make adjustments to make it flow better.
Let your kids help take off some of your burden of laundry and teach them to be self-reliant. Make sure you teach your kids know how to do all the aspects of laundry as they get older. When they are little, you can teach them to put clothes in a hamper instead of the floor, to sort clothes by color (lights and darks). They can learn pretty early on to put clothes away in their drawers. Matching socks is another great learning activity for young kids. As they get older (8-10ish) they can learn how to use the washer and dryer, what settings they should use for each load, how many clothes to put in, what type and how much detergents, softeners, or bleach you need to use. I actually put a note by the laundry detergent about how much detergent, dryer balls, etc. Just in case they forget! Folding is another great skill to learn! Laundry jobs can be added to chore charts to help get the kids into the habit.
How should you presort clothes?
There are a lot of ways to sort your clothes. I was amazed at the variety of ways just from my friends.
Sort by fabric type. Delicates, jeans, fleece, clothes that shouldn’t be dried, etc. If you are mixing loads (like I do) I sometimes forget to hang delicates after washing them. One mom recommended that you write on the washing machine with a dry erase marker any items in the wash that need to be hung instead of dried. You could also use a post it note. But now I see how nice it would be if the entire batch was to be hung up.
Sort by color. Lights, medium colors, dark colors. I have 2 laundry baskets in my bedroom. One for whites and one for everything else. On laundry day, the kids bring down their clothes and we put all of our clothes on the floor with dark clothes on the left side and then getting to the lighter colors to the right. I always do a separate white batch each week. Some of my friends said they don’t pay attention to colors and focus more on rooms. I have had reds bleed onto other things in the wash so we separate them. A laundry sorter is great way to do this.
Sort by room. Each room has its own laundry basket. When it is full the clothes are washed and then put right into the laundry basket to be put away. This is helpful if your kids have similar sizes that you need to keep separate or to simplify the sorting process.
Other laundry tips:
Folding clothes. Have a set place to fold the clothes. I like to fold them on my bed. Some people like to fold them right out of the dryer before putting the next load in. Others said they like to put the clothes in baskets to have the kids fold them when they put them away. One of my friends said she made a large laundry room with baskets for each child and places to hang things that wrinkle. That way she doesn’t have to carry heavy laundry baskets around since the kids bring the clothes to her. One mom folds clothes while she watches Netflix. You can get a pull-down table or a folding table to put in your laundry room so you can fold them right out of the dryer. There are a bunch of How-to fold videos out there for just about anything. My favorite is The Folding Lady. She has awesome, short videos of how to fold all kinds of clothes, sheets, towels, etc. They are short and you can watch them together to learn how.
Get everyone their own laundry basket to keep in their room. My kids needed lots of reminders that clothes do not go on the floor. Only on a hook, on a hanger, or in the laundry basket. One mom gives her kids two baskets each. One for their room and one for the laundry room. When the baskets are full they bring them down and swap. Then she sorts the clothes back into their baskets so they can pick them up and put them away. Here’s some top laundry baskets.
Make it fun. Laundry can be tedious so make it enjoyable. A mom said they do all their laundry and fold clothes while they watch movies and have a lazy day. Another said she listens to music or listens to a conference talk while folding laundry. Or she’ll call her mom and talk while she folds. One mom of 8 said she does a date night once a week with her husband and they watch a movie while they fold clothes.
Teach the kids what to do with clothes before they put them in the hamper. Start by emptying pockets of anything, We’ve washed all kids of items-paper, candy, money, chapstick, crayons, rocks, etc. Have them turn clothes right side out and separate clothes so they aren’t stuck together. We are still working on pulling socks out of a ball. They definitely don’t wash well like that! We like to keep a bottle of stain remover near each hamper so kids can spray spots before they put them in their hamper.
Matching socks. Some families find unmatched socks seem to multiply and end up with large piles of unmatched socks. My mom (had 14 kids) said that she used to take laundry baskets full of unmatched socks to my brothers’ football practices and sit in the van and sort socks. Another mom said she bought 30 pairs of the same white socks for all of her kids. They all fit in the same size sock so it made it so much easier for her to that they were all the same. Mesh laundry bags are a great way to keep little socks and peds together.
Use a laundry app to simplify the process. Click here to find out more about different apps available.
Although laundry feels like it will never end, there are so many ways to simplify the process. Don’t let it get you down. Set up efficient laundry systems in your home to make your life easier! Good luck and let me know what systems you decide to do with your laundry.
Kids have too many clothes? Here’s my post on how and when to sort through them.
***This post has Amazon Affiliate links. That means if you purchase something from a link I get a small percentage at no cost to you. Mostly its there so you can see what I am talking about.***