I’m sure you’d rather be doing a lot of other things beside laundry this weekend. But while you have some “spare” time, catching up on piles of laundry may be a great idea to save you time next week.
The goal is to get to the point that you are able to do one load of laundry every day on week days and to take the weekends off–or, if you prefer, to have as few loads of laundry to do on a weekend.
How to go about tackling the laundry? Here are some tips.
- Sort your clothing and linens as you go.
- Set aside clothing that needs to be stain-treated. (Note: I use Dawn and a bit of hydrogen peroxide to pre-treat stains, and I’ve lost very few articles of clothing to stains–and I always have these ingredients on hand anyway.)
- Do a load of laundry every week day or work day. If you don’t have a full load of laundry, consider washing sheets, quilts or comforters, pillows, shower curtains and liners, bath mats, jackets, shoes, or fabric shopping bags–things you don’t wash very often, but should wash at least on occasion.
- Set up the washing machine while you are preparing to do something else–maybe in the morning before you prepare breakfast or just before dinner in the evenings, depending on your work situation. Then set a timer on your phone to remind you to take the clean clothes out of the dishwasher to dry.
- Use the right amount of detergent to save money and perhaps even wear on your machine. I can never tell just where line #3 (or whatever) is on the caps of my laundry detergent. So I’ve quit trying. I bought a measuring cup from Walmart for less than a dollar, and I use it to measure just how much detergent I’m adding. For example, one of the larger bottles of Woolite is 100 oz. and supposedly 50 loads. I measure two ounces of detergent, more if I am washing a larger load of laundry or a particularly dirty clothes. You could also use a pod to make the process easier and quicker.
- If you have a setting on your washer for “light” and “heavy” (soiled) loads, consider which one you should use. I rarely use the heaviest setting on my washing machine with my husband’s work clothes since he works a desk job. On the other hand, my preschooler’s clothes get a little more agitation and soaking, and sometimes mine do, too, if I’ve been gardening in the July heat!
- Consider putting up a clothesline. Mine saves me tens of dollars each month in electricity, and the associated cost has been negligible: I bought my clothespin basket and my clothespins at Dollar Tree. I’ve also found two added benefits: 1) The sun tends to remove stains and keep my whites super bright, and 2) My clothes don’t wear out as quickly with line drying as they do in the dryer. I use my dryer mainly when we have inclement weather. I do put some items–specifically sheets and towels–in my dryer with wool balls for less than 10 minutes to get the stiffness out of them.
- Fold and put away laundry as soon as it’s off the line or out of the dryer–and don’t keep extending the dryer time as a procrastination tactic. Sometimes the most dreaded tasks just need to be done and over with, and laundry is a great example.
- Have your children help you sort and fold dried laundry. Matching socks is a great activity for preschoolers!
- If they are able, have your children put away their own clothes. I’ve seen online that some people have separate bins for each of their children and simply put each child’s bin on his or her bed. What a great idea!
- Do an extra load of laundry when you need to in order to keep things from piling up.
What Do You Do?
How do you prefer to do laundry: one load each work day or one solid day of laundry on your days “off”? Did any of these tips help you? Do you have any tips to share? Let me hear from you in the comments!