If you ask most people what their favorite thing to do around the house is, laundry would not be the answer. That's why we've created these ten tips to save you time when doing laundry!
1. Don't let it pile up - When there's a chore you don't like to do, the temptation is to put it off. Unfortunately, that is self-defeating because by putting off the laundry/ironing/clothing repairs/trips to the dry cleaner, the task can become overwhelming or intimidating, making you less likely to tackle the chore. In addition, having smaller piles of clothes that need to be washed will take less time.
2. Create a schedule - Having a plan for doing your laundry will keep you and your family on track for getting laundry done consistently, without it piling up. This will also prevent an "uh-oh" moment when you realize the shirt you need is still in the hamper. For the average family of four, doing one load per day can prevent pileups. The schedule should be designed to meet your needs. You may find it easiest to do all the wash on Mondays or maybe you prefer to wash bedding on Sundays, towels on Mondays, children's clothes on Tuesdays, etc..
3. Wash less - Having fewer things to wash translates into spending less time on laundry. Not all pieces of clothing need to be washed each time they're worn (e.g., shirts worn with an undershirt, jeans). Sometimes a simple airing on an outdoor line for a few hours is enough. This also applies to comforters and duvets.
4. Presort - So you don't waste time digging through your hamper when you get to the washing machine trying to decide what should go in each load, presort your laundry. There are a lot of three and four section hampers with hanging and removable bags, some include an ironing board. These can be really useful for presorting into the categories that are most important to you (e.g., darks, lights, brights, whites, linens, hand wash). When you see that a hamper section is full, you know it's time to run a load of laundry.
5. Treat stains immediately - To spend less time on laundry day and to reduce the risk of permanent staining, treat spots immediately. Treating stains right away means that you won't have to go hunting for spots before throwing clothes in the washer.
6. Take hangers to the laundry room - When you take your clothes to the laundry room, also take the hangers that belong to your hanging garments. When you remove the clothes from the dryer, immediately hang them up to prevent wrinkles, and then easily place them back in your closet.
7. Have supplies available and handy - As with any job, you can't succeed if you don't have the right tools. You'll want to keep all the supplies you need for doing laundry nearby and handy. To gain the most efficiency, keep like products together (i.e., all stain removers) and store your products in the order that you use them (i.e., detergent first, not dryer sheets). Well-stocked laundry rooms may include detergents, stain removers, fabric softener, mending kits, laundry baskets, hangers, a drying rack, and an ironing board.
8. Reduce drying time - You can reduce the time it takes to dry your clothes by running the spin cycle on your washing machine twice to eliminate excess water. You should always clean out the dryer's lint filter before doing a load for more efficient heating, and to reduce the fire risk.
9. Fold clothes immediately after drying - To prevent the need for ironing, fold clothes immediately after they come out of the dryer. Running smaller loads of clothes in the dryer also helps prevent wrinkles. For tips on efficient ways to fold clothes, check out this Marie Kondo video.
10. Delegate - Get the whole family involved in the laundry process! Children (and significant others) can be taught to do the laundry with age appropriate tasks. Based on their age, teach your kids to sort their clothes in the hamper, fold their clothes and put them away, or be fully responsible for washing their clothes.
If you have questions or suggestions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or (804) 263-3186.