Laundry. Do you hate this word as much as I do? I’m guessing you might because I haven had plenty of people tell me this over the years. But, this may leave you wondering, can laundry really be painless?! I say, if you have a few hacks it can!
With having eight children, I consider myself a laundry expert by default. By the way, I am a stain expert, and you can read my amazing system for tackling laundry stains by clicking on this link right here.
In all honesty, I don’t really hate the washing part of laundry as much as I hate the folding it. Yet the worst part of it is the putting it away. I HATE putting the laundry away!
I will say that my kids help out with laundry from the time they are very young to varying degrees, but as they get older my problem becomes that they are involved in so many things that take them away from the home. This leaves me having to help with their laundry more than I have in years.
For this reason, I have had to revisit my laundry practices this past year and have come up with a few more tricks on how to make doing laundry as painless as possible.
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Each person has a different laundry day
I have discovered with so many kids, as they get older and their clothes become basically the same size it is impossible to return the clothes to the right person. While I might be willing to actually wash my older kids’ clothes, I will not put them away. That means that I need to know whose clothes are whose in order to put the laundry basket of clean laundry in the correct person’s room.
If I wash clothes belonging to my two teen girls on the same day, I am in trouble. For this reason, I only wash one person’s clothes each day. I may do towels, socks, or sheets in addition, but only one person’s clothes per day.
Set a laundry schedule and stick to it
Expanding on the first point, once you have plugged in everything that needs to be laundered in a week in the way that makes the most sense, write it in blood. Well not really, but you know what I mean. This concept is the reason why I will end up washing clothes for my kids who simply aren’t home to do it on their day…because if their laundry waits until the following day, it messes with the schedule. It sets everything off, and makes the flow of things not work in an effective way.
Always start a load the night before
There is just something about starting laundry in the morning only to find that you technically already started it. The time you take the night before will be such a nice surprise in the morning. Technically it’s not a surprise since you know it’s there, but it is certainly a treat.
Have a sock day
I also know based on my Periscope community that I am not the only one who HATES socks. They get stuck in the washer, their pairs are forever missing in action, and how my mismatch sock box reaches epic proportions I have no idea. Only having to deal with socks one day a week rather than intertwined with each person’s laundry makes them just a bit easier.
Use a garment or lingerie bag for socks…for each person
This is perhaps the best tip I have here. Each person gets their own garment bag and they are kept in their sock drawer. This his how socks get washed on sock day in our ideal home. Ten garment bags all go in the washer and then in the dryer, and then each person is given their garment bag back to deal with at the end. As bags get ratty and are no longer usable, we sometimes do socks without them…and I kick myself because I know better.
A quality laundry basket that fits the intended space as close to perfect as possible is with the price
You really do get what you pay for. Cheap laundry baskets are thin, which makes them floppy and easily breakable. Decide where you will keep the laundry basket while it collects dirty laundry, measure that space, buy the size and style that fits that space best, and buy the best quality one you can find. They can last for years and years.
Each person should have their own laundry basket
Each person needs their own, and clothes should never be mixed. Sometimes I have had kids use the same laundry basket when they share the same room. This always creates a nightmare, which usually results in me washing laundry that is clean since things don’t get put away. Even if they are a little person, each person needs their own.
Pack a smart laundry basket
Take the time to put laundry in the laundry basket with like items. Pajamas all go together, for instance. From there, clean and folded laundry should be put in the laundry basket in the way you put it away.
For instance, my son’s socks, underwear, and pajamas go in the same drawer. For this reason, these things will all be put next to each other in the laundry basket. His shirts go in the drawer below that in his dresser, so his shirts will all go together directly underneath his socks, underwear, and pajamas. Put your clean laundry in the laundry basket in the way it gets put away whether in a dresser, closet, or someplace else.
Put clean laundry away a little at a time
This could be just a preference for me, but because I loathe putting it away so much I can only do it a little at a time. I confess that if I have to put an entire huge laundry basket of laundry away at a time, I will procrastinate with it simply because I don’t want to do it. I find I can manage if I am only putting it away a little at a time.
Actually, think the only thing that would make laundry completely painless is not doing it. However, these nine tips are the best ones that I have found to make it just a bit easier to swallow if that is not your reality – since it certainly isn’t mine!