I am not a huge fan of laundry, as it is one of those household tasks that never really seems to end. However, creating a bit of a system and a plan to get things done can ease the load a huge amount (excuse the pun!) – and that’s where my list of helpful laundry tips comes in.
If you want to start taking control of your laundry, and make things go more smoothly, then why not try a few of the ideas below:-
#1 – CREATE A ROUTINE
First things first, and that’s creating a routine that will work for you and your home.
There are lots of ways to choose to do your washing, here are a few to look at and decide which will work for you (and if you have any others please leave a comment below as I’d love to hear your tips too!)
- Assign a day(s) each week for different types of items (bedding on Mondays, towels on Tuesdays, whites on Wednesdays etc…)
- Assign a day(s) each week for each person in the house
- Simply say you will do a load of washing from start to finish each day (wash, dry, fold, put away). You could create habits that become second nature during the day as well i.e. wake up – put a load of washing on, before morning coffee put it out to dry, after tea fold it up and either add to ironing or put away.
- Do all your washing on one day, allow to dry, all your folding and putting away on another, and ironing on another.
#2 – HAVE SOMEWHERE FOR EACH TASK
Finding a place that works for each part of your laundry cycle (wash, dry, fold, put away, iron) can make the job a whole lot easier.
For example – if you find it hard to dry a lot of clothes in the space you have, then you will start to get a backlog, and resent having to do the laundry in the end.
Here are some tips to make your system flow really well:-
- Invest in a decent clothes dryer that holds a lot of clothes – I like this one, but you can get a whole range so shop around for something that specifically works in the space you have. Maybe have it ceiling mounted**, or wall mounted** etc… to save space.
- Store the iron and ironing board within easy reach** so that you can grab it as and when needed and it’s not a struggle.
- Have space for a basket(s) so that you can quickly fold clothes and place in them to make putting them away much easier (if you have space, have a basket per family member so that they can take their own washing and put it away themselves).
- Have a place for each family member to put their dirty washing either in a main wash basket in a communal place, or smaller ones in each bedroom.
#3 – SAVE TIME SORTING WASHING
Invest in a washing basket with compartments** for different items i.e. whites, colours, bedding and towels – that way everything is sorted which saves you a step – and time!
You could also stop sorting quite as much, by doing a load of washing per person – so that once it’s dry and folded, you know that it’s all going in a particular persons room at the end – works really well!
#4 – USE A LAUNDRY MARKER**
If you have items that are special care (dry cleaning, hand wash etc..) then you may want to mark them in some easy to spot way so that you can quickly scan through the clothes before you wash something that really shouldn’t be washed (I learnt this the hard way!)
#5 – CHECK CARE LABELS
If you don’t want to mark your clothes (as with the previous tip) then you need to get into the habit of checking care labels – and I am always forgetting what means what – so I have a lovely piece of art** in my utility room that tells me! (useful AND pretty!)
#6 – JAR BY THE WASHING MACHINE
Have a jar or small tray by the washing machine so that if you find anything (loose change, paper etc…) in pockets prior to washing, you have somewhere to put them. Then the family can reclaim what’s theirs.
#7 – ADD A TOWEL
When drying wet towels, add a dry towel to the load as it will take less time to dry everything
#8 – WASH MINIMAL AMOUNTS
This is one of my favourite laundry tips! – as it makes the most amount of difference in an easy way.
Get everyone in the habit of only washing things when they really have to.
It’s all too easy to bung stuff into the washing basket rather than put the clothes away after wearing, and sometimes we can find that we are actually washing more than we really need to.
TIP – If this is hard to get your family to do – as they get older get them to do their own washing – it’s amazing how much less they will wash when they have to do it!
and with that in mind…
#9 – GET EVERYONE TO HELP
Everything will go more smoothly if you get a system where everyone can help – if people know that they have a job to do i.e. hanging washing on the line, putting their clean clothes away, doing a load on a specific day – then it will take some of the burden off you.
This may take time to implement, and will be dependent on the age of the people you are getting to help – but it’s definitely one to consider! It also teaches kids about responsibility and ownership which are great life skills.
Whatever system you choose for your laundry it’s so important to ensure that it really works for you, your family and your home.
Work with the space, time and energy that you have available – and above all make things as uncomplicated as possible – and you’ll start to enjoy laundry again (well, maybe!)