Cut down on your laundry
Sounds almost ridiculous, doesn’t it? Well, there are ways to cut back on the number of weekly loads you’re doing.
Wear clothes more than once. No, we don’t mean underwear, socks, or even shirts. You should wash those items after each wearing. We’re talking about pants (especially jeans), sweaters, and jackets. Hang them to air out between wearings and you can wear them several times before they need to hit the washer. According to the Unclutterer blog, a family of four uses eight towels each week. By using your bath towels for a week before washing them, you’ve just cut that portion of your laundry in half! Make sorting easier
Kimberly at Stuffed Suitcase suggests hanging a mesh laundry bag in each person’s room. Everyone is responsible for putting their dirty socks and underwear in the bag as soon as they take them off. On wash day, just throw the bags into the washer. Once they’re dried, each person collects their bag & puts away the clothes inside. No more missing socks or wondering which is who’s. Having a different colored bag for each person makes it even easier!
Take this idea a step further and provide each person with two mesh bags: the colorful bag and another one in white. Add a coordinating felt tag to the white bag so everyone gets their own back. Now everybody can help with the laundry sorting by putting their dirty clothes in the appropriately colored bag!
Organize your laundry supplies
If your laundry room has cupboards above the machines, use them for storing your laundry supplies. A shelf behind the machines works great, too. Keep the stain pretreatment, detergent, bleach, and liquid fabric softener above the washer. The dryer balls, dryer sheets, lint brush, and ironing supplies go above the dryer.
Having the items as near as possible to where they’re used will probably only save you a few seconds per load. However, those seconds add up: 8 loads per week x 3 seconds per load = over 20 minutes a year. It may not sound like much but that’s 20 minutes that you’re not doing laundry.
There are lots of new products to help you organize even a tiny laundry room. Waiting for the dryer to finish is the perfect time to get some great ideas for organizing your laundry supplies!
Make hanging or folding clothes easier If you have front-loading machines, install a countertop across them to use as a folding station. You can often find inexpensive laminate off-cuts at building supply centers. Not everything needs to be folded. Keep towels and washcloths in a pretty basket instead of neatly folded in a cupboard. The same goes for kitchen linens (except for tablecloths and other table linens). Install a rod above your machines and keep empty hangers on it. That way you can hang clothes directly from the dryer and they won’t have a chance to get wrinkled. If you can’t install a rod, use a folding rack or retractable clothesline instead. Make this cute lost sock sign to keep track of those inevitable loners until their ‘sole’ mates show up. Make folding and hanging clothes go faster by listening to music or a podcast while you’re doing it. You’ll be surprised at how soon you’re finished!
Remember this: Not every piece of laundry needs to be neatly folded! We know – that isn’t how you were taught to do laundry. There more important things in your life than neatly folded PJs and dish towels!
Procrastinating won’t make the laundry go away – no matter how hard you wish it would! It could cause you more work, however.
Stains that are allowed to sit are harder to get out. Clothes left sitting in the washer can mildew and require washing all over again. Leave your laundry sitting in the dryer and it “settles back into rumpled comfort“. Clothes that are hung up promptly require less ironing or even ‘fluffing’ in the dryer. Pawing through a laundry basket looking for a matching pair of socks takes longer than pulling a matched pair of a drawer. Eventually, procrastination will catch up with you, as this funny laundry sign points out.
Now that your laundry room is organized, isn’t it time to do some laundry? For more tips, the Unclutterer blog has some fascinating laundry statistics and a suggested schedule for dealing with those weekly laundry chores. Plus get ideas for decorating your laundry room so it brings a smile to your face!
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