Has laundry become a dreaded chore in your household? Does it seem like there’s a never-ending mountain of dirty clothing and linens waiting to be washed and put away? Here are a few tips that might help a number of situations:
I know this might be a controversial topic for some people, and they would never dream of doing so, but I’ve been mixing colors in the wash since I was responsible for my own laundry (let’s say its been more than two decades). Through my own experience, I’ve learned to wash new colorful items separately - like a pair of dark jeans, red pieces, etc. Other than a couple little incidents where I overlooked an item, I haven’t had a problem with my clothes. While I haven’t personally used them, I’ve heard from others that color catcher sheets might be helpful and useful if you're concerned about dye stains.
Pare Down Products
Do you feel like your laundry area houses as many products as the shelves at the store? Don’t sweat it - many of us can relate! Through experience, I’ve come to realize we don’t really need ALL of those products. If you want to seriously pare down and reduce digging through products, consider just detergent and a spot stain remover. Fabric softener and dryer sheets contain oils and wax that coat the fibers of fabric, and reduce the absorbency of towels. To add fluff, try a few clean tennis balls in the dryer. Concerned about static? A ball of tin foil is a simple, effective way to keep your clothes from clinging.
Remove Clothes From the Dryer and Put Away ASAP
I suggest incorporating this habit for one main reason: to reduce the wrinkles in your clothing. I don’t know about you, but I very rarely, almost never, iron - and I know I’m not alone! As they say these days, “ain’t nobody got time for that.” Striving to get that clothes out of the dryer and put away while it’s still warm helps keep the wrinkles out. I’ve admitted before that I don’t particularly enjoy house chores, and so I adopt a “get it over with” attitude with tasks that need to be done. Putting clothes away immediately crosses this chore off the to-do list so that we can hopefully move on to something a bit more enjoyable.
Designate Containers to Gather Dirty Laundry
In some households, laundry feels like it's taken over parts of the house. Consider a basket or hamper for each member of your family, and place it in the easiest spot for them to gather their clothes. Where do you typically get dressed? Maybe the most logical place for you is near your closet. Does it make sense to keep the basket in the bathroom where you shower? I like to suggest a place that will make it simple for each person to maintain this habit and keep the clothing from spreading.
Believe it or not, kids can help with laundry - even pre-school aged children can get involved! A 3-year old (and older) will tend to feel included, like they’re really helping their family when they get to do “adult” things, and therefore, motivated to continue. Tasks like sorting clothing into categories, matching socks, folding small towels, and putting their own clothes in appropriate drawers might be good places to start. Increase responsibility, like putting shirts on a hanger, as your children develop more dexterity or show interest.
What’s the most frustrating part about your laundry routine? Or, have you mastered laundry in your household? I’d love to hear about ways that you make it work!