We are kicking off the ‘Keep It Simple’ series with my most loathed household task… laundry!
I’ve been collecting tips from far and wide, trying out a few new ideas, and thinking about what I could possibly do to make laundry a little simpler and a whole lot easier. I’ve come up with a list of simple tips and tricks for keeping on top on the laundry.
Simple Laundry Tips.
Find a system that works for you.
I’ve read a zillion blog posts and heard from lots of people about ‘the best’ or ‘the easiest’ laundry system, and I will admit that they all sound great, in theory, but not all of them work for my personal situation. If you are like me and have a large-ish family, and no dryer, than doing all the washing on one day just isn’t going to work, but if you live somewhere where you can’t hang out your washing them a system that includes line drying won’t be a winner for you. So your best bet is to read all those posts, and all the following tips and come up with a system that works for you.
General Laundry Tips
- Organise your laundry room – if you are like me your laundry becomes a bit of a dumping ground, but tidying up and getting rid of junk means I have more room to move and can get the job done without falling over crap!
- Get rid of excess clothing – really think hard about how much clothing you and your kids need, pack away seasonal clothes and get rid of anything you don’t wear. Having less clothes to wash and especially less to store makes things so much easier!
- Same goes for linen – how many towels do you really need? Do you need more than two sets of sheets for each bed? Get rid of or store the excess!
- Have a dirty wash basket/hamper in each bedroom and in the bathroom – dirty clothes are much more likely to end up in the right spot if you don’t have to walk far to get there.
- Always, ALWAYS, check pockets for tissues, it may take some extra time, but it’ll save you from disaster!
- Don’t separate whites and colours unless it is something precious, or something you know will run, just wash everything in cold water, add a half cup of vinegar to help set colours if you like
- Find a laundry detergent that works for all your clothing, something that gets everything clean without needing added extras in the wash or lots of pre-treating.
- Wash an entire load of one person’s clothes. We wash our girls clothes on their own in one load, and then the boys, then mine, then my husbands. It makes it much easier when it comes to sorting at the other end.
- If you line dry invest in some good clothes airers/drying racks that you can move around; outside when the weather is good, inside when it is wet or at night to finish drying
- Give each piece of clothing a good shake before you hang them or put them in the drier, it reduces wrinkles and makes sure nothing is folded back on itself so it doesn’t dry well.
Putting Away Tips
- Have several wash baskets – one for wet washing, and one for each member of the family. Dry clothes are sorted into baskets as you take washing off the line or out of the dryer.
- Fold clothes as you take them out of the drier or off the line, or … don’t fold at all!
- Don’t fold unless you have to – if something will crease badly then go ahead and fold or hang, but many clothes (especially kids clothes) are just fine without folding. They’ll take up a little more space unfolded, but it works great if you use boxes or baskets and it’s perfect for things like socks, undies and PJs if nothing else.
- Everyone puts away their own washing – this is where the basket for each family member works a treat, hand over the basket and let them deal with it.
- Don’t pair socks – I sort socks by person and then just dump them in a basket and they can pair their own if they care.
- Label drawers with this lovely free printable from Modern Parents Messy Kids to make it easier for even little kids to put their own clothes away.
- You might notice I haven’t put any ironing tips here, that’s because I don’t iron! This fun free printable post from in my studio sums it up nicely.
- And I’m going to put this free printable poster from I Think We Could Be Friends up in my laundry because it makes me smile and anything that makes me smile while doing laundry is a good thing!
So, these are the best, SIMPLE laundry tips and tricks that I’ve found so far.
I’ll add to the list if I discover some other great ideas, and I’d love to hear from you.
What would you add to this list of simple laundry tips?
If you are looking for more simple cleaning and organising ideas you can check out the Keep It Simple series where we share our best simple tips for everything from laundry, cleaning, meals, kids and parenting.
And check out my ‘Clean and Organise Everything’ board on pinterest too.
Read the comments or scroll down to add your own:
I try not to do more laundry than I can fold in one day. I am not a high energy person, so doing two loads of laundry a few days a week is much preferable to dealing with a mountain to sort and fold.
Deb @ Bright and Precious says
Don’t pair socks?! But it’s oh so satisfying!
Bek @ Just For Daisy says
The close proximity to washing basket doesn’t work with my hubby. It’s literally next to his bed and still his clothes usually go straight to the floordrobe!
There were 4 children in my family growing up and we all had our own dirty wash in our rooms, and our own small washing basket for clean washing. Mum (or often one of us) would sort washing into people’s basket then we were always responsible for putting away our own clothes :)
I like the don’t pair socks idea – my 4 year old LOVES this job!! Like a treasure hunt!
I.. ahem… have to admit I am a bit like your hubby! LOL
I feel rather inspired, which is a funny way to feel about laundry!! Hahaha. But I am going to get a basket for each of us, wash for each person, and then not fold and see if this turns my laundry headache around! And not folding socks!!! I had never even contemplated that!!!
The whole sock thing was a revelation to me! I am still fighting my urge to fold everything else, so for now I am just doing the kid’s tops and bottoms, but I am warming to the idea..
I have three laundry baskets, labelled whites, colours and darks. All our dirty laundry goes into these 3 baskets. Once a basket is full, I know I have a full load of washing, so in it goes! It’s great. I turn all the clothes the right way out and empty all pockets before the clothes go in these baskets so anyone (hmm hmm, hubby) can pop a load in the washer once a basket is full. I got so sick of hubby washing whites with colours and darks and ruining clothes but really wanted him to help as I appreciated his efforts. This was our solution and it works for us.
My boys are also starting to realise that they need to help with the laundry, and will put their pyjamas away each morning and take their dirty clothes to the laundry each night. Every little bit helps!