As two-time mamas, we’ve learned that laundry can quickly get out of hand if left unchecked. If you’re neck-deep in laundry, it’s hard to think about spending time preparing healthy food for your family or giving back to yourself by filling your personal cup of joy.
The good news is, laundry doesn’t have to be overwhelming! These quick tips will help you streamline the never-ending process of doing laundry by creating a simplified routine so you never feel defeated, frustrated and overwhelmed by such a complicated task again!
Hang a mesh wash bag inside your laundry bin for easy-to-lose pieces like socks and delicate undergarments such as bras.
Then, close it and throw it in the washer and/or dryer with your other laundry.
Mesh bags offer amazing protection for delicate items like swimsuits, silk panties and even sweaters that can get snagged and ruined when washed with other items. They also help keep socks together so you don’t have to spend time sifting through a heaping pile of laundry trying to re-pair them.
Don’t worry, your laundry will still end up just as clean, even when washed in a mesh bag. It’s no different than the washing machine itself, so don’t overstuff the bag. Make sure there’s ample room for the items to move around inside so they’re washed thoroughly.
Always wash towels separately from other laundry.
Because towels should be washed on a longer, hot cycle and require more space in the washer to be properly cleaned, they should be washed on their own. Damp towels also take MUCH longer to dry than most lightweight clothing, so drying them with other items can really slow the process for both materials.
Make laundry a multitasking event.
Unlike most household chores, laundry is mostly passive in nature—you toss it in, press go and you’re able to walk away for an hour. During the hour or so that the washer and dryer are running ask yourself, “What do I want to do with this time?”
You can challenge yourself to get other things done around the house, or do something you enjoy. A few ideas: Listen to a podcast while food prepping, play a game with your kids, put on fun music and wash the dishes, or pour a glass of wine, plop down on the couch and spend some quality time catching up with your spouse.
ALWAYS use a timer to stay on track and maximize efficiency.
When you have a zillion other things going on, it’s easy to forget about wet laundry in the washer or freshly dried, not yet wrinkled, laundry in the dryer.
When you start your washer and dryer, look to see how much time it estimates the load will take and set a timer on your phone for 3 minutes past that time. When the timer goes off, quickly pause what you’re doing and switch over the wet load or remove dry items from the dyer.
Do laundry when you know you have the time to fold it THAT DAY.
When doing laundry, the only real time that’s necessary to block out in your schedule is the 20 minutes or so that it takes to fold and put everything away. Setting aside time to do this is AS important as the clean laundry itself. As soon as the dryer stops running, pull out your laundry and get folding!
In the rare event you have to run out the door immediately after you remove the items from the dryer, at least pull them out and lay any items that wrinkle (shirts, shorts, etc.) flat. This helps save time in the long run because it eliminates the need to iron super wrinkly clothes that otherwise wouldn’t have needed it. Then, be sure to fold and put everything away by the end of the day.
Use a wrinkle releaser spray on clothes that you’d ordinarily iron.
If you typically iron shirts or dresses, pull them out of the dryer immediately, hang them on a hanger and spray them with a wrinkle releaser. Use your hand to smooth the wrinkles—you’ll never have to iron again!
Learn how to fold clothes faster.
If your biggest gripe about laundry is folding, take some time to learn folding techniques to speed up the process. Some people even prefer to invest in a clothes folder to help simplify and create symmetry.
P.S. If you have kids, teach them to fold their own laundry and put it away at the same time you do, as a team. This is a simple step you can take to raise an independent and confident child.
Multitask or incorporate some entertainment into your folding.
Listen to music, call a friend and catch up, put on a podcast, or for those of you with small kids, fold your laundry on the carpet or a table in their playroom while they play. If you can speed up the process and/or find some simple pleasure in the mundane tasks in life, then you’re way ahead of the game.
Rather than drawers, hang as much as possible.
If you have the wardrobe space, try hanging most of your clothes rather than folding them and keeping them in a dresser. This not only saves time, but can save space and the frustration of having to sift through messy drawers.