You know that feeling you have when there’s so much dirty laundry waiting you know that getting it done will take an entire day—or more? It’s not uplifting. Neither is having the added stress of family members searching for clean socks or a shirt for work or school in the morning rush.
The key to keeping laundry under control is to work steady and work smart. Here are our favorite tips to lighten your laundry time:
1. One load per day. Period. Make it your routine to wash, dry, iron/fold and put away one full load every day. If you do this, it’s almost impossible for things to get too backed up, or for the kids to be without what they need clean for the day. It also solves that “oh no I forgot a load in the washer for two days and they soured” problem.
2. Teach the kids to pre-sort. One of the fundamentals of laundry is sorting similar fabrics and colors to be laundered together. Teach your children to deposit their dirty things into separate bins in the laundry room every couple of days. That way, when you go to throw in the daily load, you can quickly grab from one of the bins/baskets and toss it in.
3. Pre-treat stains. If you can train the kids to tell you when they have a major stain (tomato sauce, grass, etc.), you can treat it with an appropriate solution and keep the stain from locking hopelessly into the fibers. The sooner these things are laundered, the better your chances of wiping out the stain completely. Check out home keeping expert Martha Stewart’s guide for handling the toughest stains. Print a copy to tape to the inside of your laundry room cabinet for quick reference!
4. Create a delivery system. If space allows, create a shelf or basket for each family member and place clean, folded laundry in there. Then it’s the responsibility of each person to check his/her basket and put away the clean things. Check here for DIY instructions for making your own, or purchase one.