It is not aways easy to keep up with the laundry. There are already 100 other things that you need to do in the day so adding in another chore that is never ending can be frustrating and overwhelming. I certainly am not perfect at staying on top of the laundry at all times, there are weeks where I feel like I’m Queen of the Laundry Room and I can tackle any stain and get through any pile of clothes with ease. Then there are some weeks where I feel like I’m swimming in dirty clothes and I’m praying that the dryer will hurry so my kids can have clean underwear for school. These are the things that have worked for me. I’m still not perfect and I’m still working on it, so I suppose these tips are for me too.
15 ways to stay on top of the laundry
Do laundry multiple times per week
A few years ago I had a strange desire to know how many loads of laundry I did in one year. So I seriously bought a clicker counter to keep track. I was very diligent in tracking every single load of laundry I started in my washing machine. At the end of the year I discovered that I did 408 loads of laundry. I was kind of shocked that the number wasn’t higher, I swear I do more laundry than that! But 408 loads of laundry means we are producing more than a load of laundry every single day. Ugh.
I simply do not have the time to do 7 loads of laundry on one day of the week. To save my sanity I have to do a few loads of laundry every few days. It keeps things manageable and I’m never overwhelmed by the amount of laundry I need to finish.
Start a load of laundry before leaving the house
If I’m leaving to run errands or I know I’ll be gone for a few hours I start a load of laundry before heading out the door. There is something so awesome about feeling like your house is cleaning for you while you’re away. When you get home move the items to the dryer. You’ll never be waiting for the washing machine to finish if you have it working while you’re not around. Plus, my washing machine is loud, so it’s nice to not be around for that nonsense. 😉
Set reminders on your phone
There is nothing worse than forgetting about laundry in the washing machine and then having to restart it because it smells. Save water and money on extra detergent by setting a timer/reminder in your phone.
Teach kids to do laundry
I remember learning how to use the washing machine when I was in 4th grade. I started doing my own laundry and learned how to be responsible for my own clothing. If I didn’t do laundry, I didn’t have clean clothes. I learned fast to not leave clothes on the floor, as clean clothes would get dirty that way. I learned skills that were so important when I moved out after graduation, but I never really thought how much of a relief it must have been for my parents! Looking back I don’t ever remember there being more than one basket of dirty laundry in our laundry room at any given time and usually it had nothing in it. That’s because we ALL did laundry. The kids took care of their own laundry and my parents took turns doing the rest. Your kids can do laundry! Teach them how to sort clothes, how to spot treat their stains, how to work the washing machine and dryer and let them do it. You may need to have them watch you for a while and then have them do it while you watch them, and then after that let them try it on their own. You can start with baby steps and move on up, but teach them!
Have kids fold and put clothes away
One great baby step for teaching your kids to do their own laundry is teaching them to fold clothes and put them away in their drawers. They will not look perfect and it’s something you might have to learn to live with. Sometimes teaching your kids important life skills is far more important than perfection. They will get better the more they do it and as they get older. This is the first step for them having laundry independence and it will save you so much time later on if they learn this at a young age.
Fold clothes straight from the dryer
I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve moved laundry to a laundry basket to then just have it sit there for days…and days. Then everything gets so wrinkled and that creates more work. Fold your clothes straight from the dryer, while they are still warm. I’ve actually gotten rid of laundry baskets and I fold everything in my laundry room. This has also saved my lower back as folding everything while standing up (rather than on the floor like I used to) is way better for my posture and my back loves me for that. I turn a Netflix show on my phone and prop it on the dryer and get to it. It doesn’t seem to take as long or to be such a chore if I just get it folded right there.
Immediately hang blouses and button-up shirts
Another reason I like to fold clothes straight out of the dryer is that I can immediately hang clothes that need to be hung. Get them to your closet immediately.
Get an over the door hanging bar
I love this over the door hanging bar for hang dry only clothes! I can keep it on the door in my laundry room which makes it within arm’s reach and easy to immediately get clothes out of the washer and hanging to dry. You can also hang the longest dresses or pants because it’s so high off the ground.
Keep socks in mesh bags
Socks are my nemesis. Seriously. Matching socks might possibly be my least favorite thing to do in the world. That’s because for years I would just throw everything in the washing machine and at the end of the cycle I would have one sock clean, but the mate would still be dirty in the bottom of the hamper. I needed to wait until the other was clean to match them, but by the time that happened I would forget that I cleaned the first so they would both be sitting in the mateless sock pile. Times that by every sock in the house and by the time I matched socks I would have piles. I wasn’t very smart with socks. Now I give every person in my family a mesh zipper bag. All the socks go in the bag and then when it’s time to do laundry we can throw the mesh bag right into the wash to clean all the socks at the same time. Matching up socks is easy when you know the mate is close by. To keep track of each mesh bag you can even add one side of velcro directly to the hamper and the other side of velcro to the mesh bag. The velcro keeps the mesh bag close, but still easy to detach when it’s time to add them to the washing machine. Buy the same brand and color socks for kids
My kids own black socks for church, wool socks for the cold and then the rest of the socks are the same. Same brand, same color, same size. It makes it much easier to match up than colored socks or designed socks. We’ve been able to be a little more lenient with this since starting to use mesh bags, but it still makes things so much easier!
Sort your laundry as it gets dirty
I love this laundry sorter with hanging bar! It’s nice that as clothes get dirty you can add them to the right bin. You’ll also know which load of laundry to throw in the washing machine when you leave the house in the morning (see tip above) because you choose the bin that is the most full. You can find these laundry sorters without the bar, but I like having an extra spot to hang clothes as they come out of the dryer.
Have multiple fitted sheets
For each bed in our house I own at least two fitted sheets. This makes things easier for when it’s time to clean sheets. Remove the old sheets and then add the new. It makes it so you are not in a huge rush to get the dirty ones clean, but you can also fold them straight from the dryer and put them in the linen closet. This is also a sanity saver for the middle of the night accidents. You’ll already have a fresh clean set of sheets ready to throw on the bed.
Don’t wash things more than you need to
There was a time when my kids were tiny and no matter what we put on in the morning it would inevitably be dirty by the end of the day with something sticky or crusty. Now that my children are a little older they don’t get everything they wear dirty every single time they wear them. They can get a few uses out of their jeans, pajamas, hoodies and church clothes before they need to be cleaned. The same thing goes for me. These items can add up to a lot of laundry over time. If they aren’t dirty hang them up and wear them one more time. Of course, wash them if they’re dirty!
Also, let’s talk about sheets and bedding. I used to wash them weekly. Every Saturday was the day I stripped down the beds and washed everything. I started washing sheets every other week and honestly I haven’t noticed a difference, except that I don’t do as much laundry. It has seriously saved my sanity and brought down my weekly stress level. Of course, I wash sheets if something happens in the mean time, but that is rare. Towels are another thing that don’t need to be washed every single time you dry off from the shower. Teach your kids how to hang their towels and use them 2-3 times before washing. I feel good knowing I’m not only doing less laundry, but using less water and saving money on detergent.
Hang towels on hooks
Speaking of towels, I don’t know what it is, but my kids are more likely to hang up their towels if they have hooks. You can mount hooks lower so they are at their level and it’s just so much easier than getting it up and over the towel rack. Keeping towels off the floor means you can use them a few times before having to clean them.
Clean out the closets and dressers regularly
I like to clean out my closet once a year. I get rid of clothes that I haven’t worn for a while or things that don’t fit anymore. (Here are six questions to ask yourself to get your closet into shape.) For my kids I try to go through their clothes twice a year and move out outgrown clothes. Sometimes you may need to do this more often because kids grow so fast. When your closets and drawers are organized, laundry is so much easier to put away, especially for little kids. If they are trying to stuff things in their drawers to fit they are going to get frustrated and so will you. Make sure everything has a space and it’s not getting crowded out with something that doesn’t belong.
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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Niagara®. The opinions and text are all mine.