Laundry is my arch nemesis. We don't get along very well. I'll blame it on the fact that I am not a huge fan of doing the same thing twice. I tweak recipes every time I make them. I plan an alternate route for the way home on a road trip. I'm creative. Laundry is not.
Beyond the mundane, I can make laundry even worse by my lazy habits, or my faulty thinking. My mother-in-law was so helpful in sharing her house cleaning tips, I asked her to share her tricks for keeping up with the laundry. Every time I visit, we return home with clean clothes. It's incredible. She was more than willing to share! Here's her top 10 tricks to help cure your loathing of laundry.
10 Laundry Hacks from a Former Laundry Loather
No. 1 - Wear Clothes Multiple Times Before Washing
Seriously! Washing is hard on material. If you didn't spill ketchup on it, hang it up. Wear it again.
No. 2 - Don't save up for a full load.
Baby laundry or sports kids need a load done every day!. Besides, smaller loads lead to quicker folding! Don't delay starting a load because you feel like there will be more tomorrow. A full load isn't better.
No. 3 - Cold Water Works for All
Just use cold water wash and rinse. Cold doesn't cause colors to bleed. If it's seriously dirty, good detergent like Tide alone or cheap stuff + Oxiclean powder does the work in cold water.
No. 4 - Check the Label
Read the label of that beautiful garment before you buy. Is it washer friendly? Does it need special laundering care? If you're not willing to accommodate the finicky fabric, don't buy it! Hint: if you do buy it, wear it multiple times - until it is noticeably dirty or smelly. Or if you are brave like me- throw it in the machine anyway. (I have very few that don't make it! ????)
No. 5 - Towels are not One Use Items
Towels dry off clean people! A towel isn't dirty until it fails the sniff test! Towels take too much room in the washer and way too long to dry. So hang them up after you dry off! They are good to go for the next time! Hint: everyone should have claim to their own towel. This helps in big families. This goes for babies too!
No. 6 - Put Clothes Away, Not in the Hamper
Throwing clothes in the laundry because you didn't feel like hanging it up two days ago does not mean it is dirty! When in doubt...assume it is clean enough! Put it away (Kids do this all the time and make MORE work for the parent or maybe even themselves! Then we ALL grow up and do this ourselves! )
Uh...don't like hanging or folding? Add LOTS of hooks in closets..or everywhere!!
No. 7 - Long Wash Cycles are Unnecessary
Don't waste your time waiting for the super long wash cycle. Clothes get clean on the short cycle.
No. 8 - Overloading Your Washer = Overwhelming
When you pack clothes in your washer, your clothes end up not as clean and wrinkled. Laundry loads like this take forever to dry and forever to fold! Overwhelming! It ends up in a heap of "clean clothes pile" that everyone picks thru to have something to wear!! Better to wash three things than a more than full load! (And no - water bill doesn't go up!)
No. 9 - Laundry Days are for the Birds
Ugh! Who wants to do laundry all day?! Everyone throws stuff in the washer every day all day long. I run it whenever I feel like it each day. Sometimes I dry that day or the next morning. Each to his own. This way the job doesn't mount up throughout the week, and everyone always has what they need.
No. 10 - Folding an entire load at once.
You know the drill. Pull everything out and throw it on the sofa (or bed) and fold. Nope. One item is better than nothing. When you pass that way again. Fold or hang another. Most driers have a refluff - use it! It all will get done eventually!
So how do you do it?
What tricks do you have up your sleeve to help keep the laundry from taking over your life?
Betsy Strauss is an unexpected homeschooler, mother of three, who is in a relationship with a sweet man for life. She loves reading books, drinking coffee, and learning anything with her kids.