5 Ways to Simplify Laundry
Michele Johansen is a writer in Bellevue, WA. She is the co-creator of the Ruby Slipper Guide, a website that lists activities and events for families living east of Seattle and blog that delves into the foils of parenting.
Laundry may be a chore we all face, but it doesn’t have to feel like one. With improvements to washing machines, laundry products, and even fabrics, the old rules of laundry don’t necessarily apply today.
Make this task go more quickly and easily with these simple tips to help you get you out of the laundry room and back to more important things!
1. Don’t sort!
We all grew up watching and helping our parents sort darks, whites, and colors on laundry day. If one stray white sock got mixed up with darks or colors, we saw the result: A dingy blue/gray/pink replaced the white.
These days, sorting isn’t always required. Thanks to higher quality fabrics that aren’t as likely to run, you can put together a last minute load of whites and darks without much chance for disaster. Start slowly with subtle colors, cold water and clothes that are not new.
And there are new products like Shout Color Catchers. Toss in a Color Catcher and let it “catch” any dyes that run, which you’ll see when the load is clean.
2. Keep folded clothes in the basket.
Another annoying part of laundry is folding clothes in the basket and then having to rely on your kids to put their own clothes away. Inevitably the clean clothes stay in the basket and you’ve got to nag to get the clothes put away, right?
Why not just let your kiddo live out of the basket? If there’s room in the closet, have her keep the basket in there or have her keep it in a neat area. Does it really matter if she grabs her shirts from a drawer or a basket? Let go of that anxiety and make putting laundry away that much simpler!
3. Stop ironing.
I used to think it was essential to iron everything, and that included underwear. I spent hours ironing every week much to the bafflement of my husband, who finally said it didn’t matter if his t-shirts weren’t starched and ironed. Really? Alright!
Since then I’ve made it a point to fold clothes while they’re still warm to avoid any major wrinkles. And if I miss the dryer going off and the clothes are wrinkled? I either run the dryer again for a short spell or I useDowny Wrinkle Releaser which smooths out wrinkles quickly. Now I can’t even remember the last time I had to haul out the ironing board!
4. Be organized!
Laundry becomes much less efficient if your laundry room is cluttered with various detergents, products, and items retrieved from pockets. Take time to go through your laundry room and organize it.
Keep detergents you use on a regular basis within reach of the machine and put others away (or toss them!). Have rods put up so you can hang delicates or clothes that can’t go into the dryer. Have a small bin on the machine to place coins, barrettes, or small toys that you find. Place a wastebasket close by so you can toss papers and lint away. You’d be surprised how far a little organization will go!
5. Get more use out of your clothes.
Confess. Do you or your family wear something once and then toss it into the hamper? There’s no reason why you can’t wear clothes more than once before washing them. Do a sniff check if you like, but you can probably get another wear or two out of your jeans, shirts, and sweaters. Socks and underwear, however, don’t get second chances!