Make Laundry a Tril – Tips to Make Laundry Routine Easier
Everyone has their own unique laundry routine based on their physical space (both closet and drawer space as well as access to laundry machines), their needs, their time and their opinion of what ‘clean clothes’ means. Whatever your laundry routine consists of, the important thing is that we each have a routine, so that laundry actually gets done. If you can’t quite ace your laundry situation, below has five (5) laundry practices, hopefully, you can take away some tips on how you can tweak your own laundry routine!
1. Sort as you go
Instead of wasting time sorting clothes into loads on laundry day, sort as you go with multiple hampers. This will take away that extra step on laundry day. It also allows you to customize your loads of laundry how ever you prefer.
If you like to wash each family member’s laundry separately, set your hampers up and label them with each person’s name. If you prefer to wash loads by color or texture, label each hamper that way. On laundry day, take each hamper one at a time to the laundry room and simply transfer all the clothes from the hamper to the washer. No sorting necessary!
2. Stain treat as you go
Just like sorting laundry, stain treatment on laundry day can take a ton of time (especially if you have messy kiddos). The time and energy it takes to look at each piece of clothing from the hamper, one-by-one. Then, treating all the stains BEFORE you can start the washer is a pain.
Instead, treat them as you go by keeping some of your favorite stain treatment near the hamper. Examining one outfit before it goes into the hamper is much more manageable
3. Use zippered mesh bags
Most people refer to them as delicate wash bags or lingerie bags. They are available in a wide variety of sizes and a range or “porousness” (space between the holes in the mesh. It’s a good idea to have a few different options on hand to accommodate all of your clothing items. You can use thicker mesh (smaller holes) for delicate items such as sweaters, blouses or item with lace, special bags with a bit of structure for bras or large, thin bags for other items.
How does this help move things along? You can separate items that need to be air-dried into their own zippered bag, so you don’t have to waste time fishing them out between the washer and the dryer. Additionally, you can eliminate time spent hand washing certain items or separating them into an additional “delicate” cycle load simply by washing them right along with a normal load of clothes. The mesh bag, particularly the thicker ones will protect *most* items from everything else and cushion them during the spin, similar to the gentle cycle.
To make this work best, buy zippered mesh bags with a “hidden” zipper that stays shut firmly during the wash cycle. You can opt to put multiple items inside one mesh bag. Just be sure not to overfill so that soap and water can move freely into the bag and reach each garment entirely.
4. Separate into fewer loads
Mesh bags can also help you cut down on the number of loads you wash. Fewer loads = less time and hassle, plus, studies show that a full load is cleaned more effectively and efficiently than a load with just a few items. Just be sure you don’t overstuff the washer or dryer. A good rule of thumb is to fill the machine until it’s ¾ full so that the items can get equal attention from you detergent and rinse thoroughly.
One way you can use mesh bags on your regular, wash & fold items is by separating each family member’s items into a zippered bag and washing them together. When it’s time to fold, you’ll have the items that go to each person’s room already separated! You can also solve the age-old “sock monster” mystery by putting all the socks in a bag together.
5. Make a schedule
There’s something about a routine that makes even the most mundane tasks go faster. It’s likely the mental preparation we all do subconsciously when following a scheduled pattern, combined with the autopilot that’s engaged once we start a routine.
There’s probably more psychology to it than that, but the fact of the matter is, a routine laundry schedule is way easier and less stressful than having no routine and figuring out you need to do laundry when you’re about to leave for some outing and your favorite pair of pants is balled up in the bottom of the hamper. Figure out how long it takes to fill your hamper and then you’ll know how often you need to do laundry. Then, decide what day or days are most convenient and stick to the schedule. Get in into your calendar or day planner so you can plan for it!