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Not too long ago, I read a funny meme on the FB that went something like, “I do so much laundry that there must be people living here that I haven’t met.”
After years of being up to my eyeballs in laundry, I have figured out the following tips to save some time in the laundry room. Hopefully, they will help make your laundry life a smidge more manageable too!
Schedule your laundry time
Stick to a schedule. You can wash a load every day or tackle it all on one day. It really is up to your life and your routine. But tackling your laundry will be less daunting if you know when you will washing, drying and folding.
I am a weekend laundry warrior. One of Xan’s chores is tossing the laundry in the shoot first thing Saturday morning. That way I can get a load of laundry started while my coffee is brewing. As we hustle around on Saturday’s and Sunday’s, I will throw laundry in and out of the washer and fold as I go. It works for me because I am not doing laundry for hours straight. It is broken up over the weekend.
Every once in a while, if we have a soccer game or a favorite pair of jeans get wrecked, I will throw in a small load mid-week. The key is to wash the necessary clothes only. This makes the follow through of drying, folding, and putting away much easier at the end of a long work day.
Since we have a laundry shoot and a super tiny laundry room, this isn’t an option for us. But if you have space in your laundry room to hold a large, heavy-duty laundry sorter like this one…you can skip the sorting at laundry time. Better yet! Put a couple of small mesh laundry hampers in each closet. They don’t take up a lot of room, fold flat, and you can carry the whole hamper easily to the washing machine.
Hang your clothes
My general rule is if you wear it out of the house, it gets hung up in your closet. There are several benefits to this method. First, no folding required. Second, it makes finding something to wear much easier when you can see all of your options at a glance. Especially for the kids when they are getting ready for school. Third, the clothes don’t get tousled around the drawer and get wrinkly.
So, by hanging your clothes, you save time in deciding what to wear and don’t have to worry about getting wrinkles out last minute.
Use Wool Dryer Balls
If you want to dry your clothes faster, soften your clothes, and skip the chemically, one use dryer sheets, throw a few wool dryer balls in the dryer along with the wet clothes.
Wool dryer balls bounce around the dryer, aerating your clothes ultimately quickening the drying time. The best part is that they are reusable up to 1,000 times, saving you money and time!
I get my dryer balls from Mighty Fix. Mighty Fix is an online store where you can buy affordable, healthy and eco-friendly products all in one place.
Clean the dryer filter
Cleaning your dryer filter will dry clothes more effectively and extend the life of your dryer. The lint, pocket stuff, and dryer sheets leave a coating of gunk on the filter.
Wash the filter gently with a toothbrush and mild detergent (like dish detergent), rinse, and dry thoroughly before replacing.
Match socks last
Sock hell. It’s a thing.
After 7 loads of laundry, there a gazillion socks that need to be matched. All socks are tossed into a collapsible bin and matched at the very end after all laundry has been washed. Surprisingly, there is still a dozen socks without matches? I am just not sure how that happens.
The kids are notorious for taking their socks off and leaving them around the house. Now we keep a weekly tally on the fridge of how many socks I find on the floor. The kid with the most marks gets to match all the socks from that week’s wash. They hate matching socks just enough to keep their own off the floor!
Hang bath towel after every use
Each kid used to grab a new towel every time they took a shower. 2 kids x 6 showers = 12 towels a week! That doesn’t include my husband (who was equally as guilty) or myself. We were constantly running out of towels. Typically, they would throw the towel on the ground and let it get musty. So, next shower, new towel.
Adding hooks to the back of their bedroom doors where they could hang their damp towels put an end to funky piles of towels and lessened my laundry load.
Keep a small trash can in the laundry area
This was a game changer. By keeping a trash can where you do laundry, you can quickly toss lint, used dryer sheets, or rando pocket items.
It takes a while to fill up even a small can, so dumping it out won’t add extra time to your cleaning routine. Bonus if you make it one of your kid’s chores.
Keep a bottle of white distilled Vinegar in the laundry room
White distilled vinegar is a cleaning powerhouse when it comes to laundry.
Yeah, it may smell like feet but it does wonders for getting bad smells out of clothes and for brightening them. The smell dissipates pretty quickly and vinegar is super cheap.
- Clean washing machine – Pour 2 cups of undiluted vinegar into your washing machine and run a full cycle to clean out soap scum and get your washer sparkly clean.
- Brighten clothes – Add 1/2 cup vinegar to the final rinse cycle to brighten.
- Clean musty smell from clothes – Add 2 cups of vinegar to a load of mildewy items and wash through one cycle. Wash a second time like normal and the musty smell will be gone.
Keeping a bottle of white distilled vinegar around is not only handy for the laundry, but you can also use it to clean all areas of the house.
Organize the laundry area
Our laundry room is pretty small so maximizing the space is super important. Keeping all of your laundry supplies in a plastic bin is very helpful to stay organized. You can see what you need in real time and if you are running low or out of a product. We keep our detergent, dryer sheets, dryer balls, vinegar and small steamer in our basket.
Keeping a small container in your laundry room can hold any loose change or fun stuff you find in pockets. If you’re lucky, maybe even paper money.
Foldable bins rule our laundry room. You can find large bins with handles for about $5 each and they are worth every penny! As mentioned above, each person has their own bin with their clothes to put away and bring back down to the laundry room. The bins are folded and put away until the next laundry day. The sock bin is a smaller version. Of course, there are always socks in there so it stays out all week.