Monday, September 6, 2010

Tips for Tackling the Laundry

This is sponsored content by BlogHer and Samsung.

It's funny, laundry is often a chore that people dread. I actually don't mind doing the laundry, it's putting it all away that's the real chore. I have 4 kids, so with hubby and I, that's 6 people to do laundry for. I've learned a few shortcuts over the years, but the best thing I ever did was to teach my kids how to do their own laundry!

Where one thing might work for me, it might not work for you. I work from home, so I have access to my laundry room all day long. When I worked outside of the home, I didn't have that luxury and had to do laundry on the weekends or at night. There is no such thing as ONE system that will work for everyone. However, I have included some ideas here that might be helpful to you.

  • Designate a certain day(s) of the week to do laundry (e.i. Saturdays, every other Wednesday, the 1st and 15th of each month, etc) and log it into your planner or family calendar.
  • Go through the house and collect the dirty laundry everyday and put it a centrally located hamper.
  • Have a designated spot for all dirty clothes so that each family member can help.
  • Put a basket for collecting dirty clothes in each person's bedroom, color code them to make it easier to identify.
  • Plan & utilize your time well while clothes are washing and/or drying.
  • Mark labels of clothes with initials of children who wear similar sizes or outfits.

  • Install or utilize existing shelving for your detergent, bleach, and fabric softeners.
  • Use an over-the-sink basket to hold detergents.
  • Premeasure your laundry soaps, powders, and softeners to use in a snap.
  • If you travel to the laundromat to wash clothes, keep a tote with your laundry supplies in the trunk of your car, and use film canisters to collect quarters in.
  • Keep a pretreater stick or spray bottle in your dirty clothes baskets in order to pretreat stains right away. 

  • Use plastic milk crates, tall kitchen garbage pails, large buckets, small laundry baskets, or you can purchase a tri-section laundry sorter for sorting dirty laundry.
  • Have a designated basket that is specifically for stained clothing only.
  • Use zipper mesh lingeree bags for each person's socks, these can be washed, dried, and returned to their owner.
  • Safety pin socks together to avoid matching later.
  • Avoid the mounds by following the rule: as soon as a basket fills, wash it.
  • For easy sorting for every family member, post signs above sorters or use color coded containers.
  • Sort clothes according to whites, reds, and darks.
  • Sort delicates and towels separately.

  • Vow to do at least one load per day, more if possible.
  • Arrange it so that the first person to get home starts the washer.
  • You may choose not to sort, but wash all clothes together, then bleach your whites once per month.
  • Keep a basket or two handy for removing clothes from the dryer for folding.
  • Set an egg timer so you don't forget to check on your loads!
  • Keep a small basket or clothespin bag next to your washer or dryer for orphan socks.

  • Fold clothes as soon as you remove them from the dryer.
  • Put the clothes away after folding, or designate certain days each week to put away folded clothes.
  • Make it a game to get the kids involved - sit in a circle with clothes in middle, have everyone fold and put clothes into piles.
  • Fold clothes in front of the TV or while helping kids with their homework.
  • Teach kids to fold their own clothes, start them on towels and dish cloths.
  • Use a table by the dryer to put folded clothes on. When the table is full, put the clothes away.
  • Use small plastic baskets to sort folded clothes into. Have children pick up their baskets and put their folded clothes away.
  • Purchase an inexpensive tension shower rod to hang clothes as they come out of the dryer.

Hopefully some of these tips were helpful. These days I'm lucky, I only wash my husband's and my clothes as all my kids are in charge of their own. My daughter is 16 and has been doing her own laundry (by choice) since she was in 5th grade. She can't stand the thought of someone else folding her underwear! ;) My 18 year old son learned how to do his laundry when he was in 6th grade, though I did it pretty regularly until last year. This summer I taught my 13 year old and 11 year old sons how to do theirs.

It's not a perfect system, but it works for us.

What works for you? What are your best laundry tips?

Read more laundry tips from other great bloggers!


  1. Great .Could use your ideas to make my washing chores easier.
    Like to share this tip :
    When folding bedsheets and pillow cases of the same pattern,tuck them together.So too when doing curtains and matching accessories.You dont have to hunt for them when you need them.
    Indeed,I tuck everything that comes in 2 or 3 pieces together.Fold or roll them together.

  2. We have a sock Morgue at our house, the basket of socks that I stress out over. I do not lkie to match socks, so they end up in the morgue. My husband buys more socks when he can't find a match, and it is never the same as the one's he already has (URG) so about once a month I do sort through those and Purge what doesn't have a match, what a weight off my shoulds for that day. My sister puts the childs first letter of thier name on the bottom of the socks making it easier to match.

    not sure what my URL is so I have to leave this anonymous

  3. I wish I had a dime for every load of laundry I have done these past 38 years and eleven children later. A tip I have is have a pole installed in the laundry room and when pulling clothes out of the dryer hang whatever you can. I have a basket full of hangers and a spray bottle ready for when emptying the dryer. If the shirts are a little wrinkled after hanging them up I give them a light spray and then a good shake and the wrinkles leave. The kids then gather their own clothes from the pole and put away. Things like underwear and towels get folded.


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