Time-Saving Tuesday: Laundry Tips

Since I spend way more time than I’d like to doing laundry for my family, and since organizing is in my blood (I used to be a professional organizer), I developed a few tricks for minimizing the laundry timesink.

1. I got rid of all of the laundry baskets in individual bedrooms and bathrooms. Instead, I set up three cloth hampers in the laundry room and labeled them: darks, lights, and whites. It took a little training, but now, all members of the family, even the smallest, deposit their clothes straight into the hampers and I no longer have to hunt down all of the dirty clothes. If you don’t have a laundry room, try to find another space where this will work.

2. In order to dramatically decrease the amount of time it takes to fold the whites, especially to match up all of the tiny little socks, I bought a white mesh laundry bag for each family member and color-coded each one by attaching a different color ribbon to the top of each bag. Now, everyone puts their socks—and underwear depending on color—in their personal laundry bag. I wash all of the bags together, dry them together, and then give the bags to each person to put away—except for the youngest, I put hers away.

3. I try to minimize wrinkling by following the FlyLady’s advice and taking clothes from the washer as soon as they’re done, drying them, and immediately removing them. Still, some clothes become wrinkled, and since I’m not a huge fan of ironing, I found this solution a few years ago: homemade spray de-wrinkler. Using an empty spray bottle, like the ones used for Windex, etc., add one capful of liquid fabric softener, then fill the bottle the rest of the way with water. Then, after you remove clothing from the dryer and they’re still wrinkled, just spray with this solution and let them hang for a little while. It works and is much cheaper than the commercial sprays. I’ve been using the same bottle of generic fabric softener for years.

4. I mention the FlyLady again, because before her, I was not as committed to keeping up with the laundry. However, with her method of doing one load a day—and following through with all of the steps of washing, drying, folding, AND putting away—our house is much tidier, and I’m not nearly as stressed by loads of laundry piled up in the laundry room, wrinkling in the dryer, etc. So, since putting all of the laundry away was a challenge, as my kids have gotten older, I’ve added putting their laundry away to their daily list. My husband or I still help my youngest, but the rest of us put our own laundry away.

So, if all of that was too much to read, here’s the gist:
1. Put clothes directly into labeled bins, as close to the washing machine as possible.
2. Use mesh bags to keep small items separate.
3. Use wrinkle removal spray instead of ironing when possible.
4. Have each family member put away their own clothes.


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About LivingLaVidaMama

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Formerly, I've worked in publishing and been a medical student. Currently, I'm a freelance writer and copy editor, and full-time mom with two exceptional daughters. LivingLaVidaMama focuses on intentional frugality and the Specific Carbohydrate Diet that has dramatically improved my younger daughter's autistic-like symptoms. Contact me at MadForWriting at windstream.net