Tips for Conquering the Laundry

Laundry Products Used for Conquering Laundry Day.

How to Make Laundry Day Easier

What is it about laundry that makes it one of our least favorite chores? I mean, it’s fairly easy to put the clothes in the washer and then transfer those clothes to the dryer, right? We can pretty much walk off and do other things while the clothes are washing and drying but – what is it?

Is it because doing the laundry is boring and takes up too much time? Is it because of all the sorting, pre-treating, too many products to choose from, ironing and folding?

Could it be there are articles of clothing someone in the family doesn’t want to go in the dryer because their yoga outfit or favorite sweater could shrink?

What if you don’t remove them from the dryer right away or you completely forget they are in the dryer in the first place? You turn the dryer on again to fluff the wrinkles out before folding – then hopefully it doesn’t get forgotten about again?

And what if you forget they are even in the washing machine until you go to do another load of laundry? You have to rewash the forgotten load (and hope it doesn’t smell bad). I mean, who hasn’t done this a time or two?

I know with a large family; the laundry pile is enormous. It can feel like you’re swimming in a sea of dirty clothes, and with kids still in school, you want them to look their best, so it does take time. You can conquer laundry day though – just keep reading!

Gathering Dirty Laundry

If you don’t already have some kind of system in place, create one. This will turn mountains into mole hills. You will be able to organize the laundry chaos and get everyone working together to help eliminate your laundry stress.

Here’s what we do in our house. You can use this as a guide to create your own system:

  • In our house, each bedroom and bathroom has a laundry basket or hamper for dirty clothes.
  • In our laundry room, we have laundry hampers for jeans, whites, darks, white socks, and clothes that require washing on a gentle cycle. It might sound like all these hampers take up a bit of space, but we’ve raised the shelves in the closet so they fit nicely under them. The baskets for socks and gentles are smaller so they fit on the shelf above.
  • Before laundry day, we are each responsible for bringing our dirty clothes down and sorting them into the appropriate hampers.
  • If an item of clothing needs to be treated for stains, this is typically taken care of right away. If not, it is the responsibility of the wearer to bring stains to my attention so they can be treated.
  • We typically stay away from dry-clean-only clothing, but they do creep in on occasion. Because we don’t have much, it’s taken out to the dry cleaner at least once a month.

So far, this system has been working great for us. Granted, it took some family members longer than other to figure out I wasn’t going to be coming around collecting their laundry, as I did when they were younger, but we’ve worked it out and it runs smoothly.

Washing Tips

  1. Some new items should be washed separately the first few times because they can bleed and stain other clothing. This is especially true of red items.
  2. Check the pockets of jeans and shirts.
  3. Fasten Velcro to avoid lint sticking to the Velcro.
  4. Read the care label for special instructions.
  5. Your clothes will come out cleaner if you don’t overload the washer.
  6. Keep hangers in the laundry room. For us, this is a must as a lot of our clothes are put on hangers to air dry. Maybe even consider a clothes line outside?
  7. Once a month or so (depending on how many loads of laundry we’ve done), I’ll run a large hot water cycle with no clothes. I’ll add in a quart sized bottle of white vinegar to help disinfect and remove any odors.

Schedule for Washing Dirty Clothes

Washing schedules vary from home to home. What’s really best? Well, that depends on your family’s needs. For instance, the Duggar family may need to wash every day, but we only need a couple of days.

  • On Saturdays we typically wash bedding, whites and gentle items.
  • Tuesday, we wash towels and darks.

If we have no plans for the weekend, we may wash on Sunday instead of Tuesday but we try to break it up so we are not spending all weekend in and out of the laundry room.

Washing White Cotton Socks

We wash our cotton socks separately because we all wear them, they are soft and comfy and we want them clean not dingy looking.

Select your load size (ours is usually a large load) and fill the washing machine with hot water, about 1 cup Oxi-Clean (this depends on your load size) and your regular detergent. Add the socks and let them soak for 30 to 40 minutes, then continue with the regular wash cycle.

OxiClean brightens and whitens without the use of bleach.

Drying Clothes

This are really no-brainer tips, but I have left clothes in the dryer for days before realizing I forgot about them. I’m sure we’ve all been there done that.

  1. Clean the lint trap after you take the clothes out of the dryer. A full lint trap can be a fire hazard and reduces the efficiency of the dryer.
  2. Choose the correct setting for your clothes. Delicate items should be dried on Gentle or the Air Dry setting.
  3. Don’t overload the dryer. Your clothes will dry faster and with less wrinkles. If you overload and forget about clothes for a day or two, some wrinkles just don’t come out unless the item is washed again.
  4. Don’t just throw a clump of clothes in the dryer. Shake them out before putting them in, it can help prevent wrinkling and dry your clothes faster.
  5. Remove clothes as soon as possible after the cycle is finished. This also prevents wrinkling from happening.
  6. If you don’t use a liquid fabric softener in the wash cycle, add one to the dryer. If will help reduce static cling and make your clothes softer and smell fresher.
  7. If you forget about clothes in the dryer for an extended period of time and have to fluff them up – over drying can damage some fibers, destroying the integrity of the item.

Folding and Ironing Clothes

No fun I know, but if you bring the clothes that need to be folded and/or ironed into the family room and pop in a movie, it goes much faster. And maybe you can get the kids to help.

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