Simplify Your Laundry Routine

posted by Andrea | 02/28/2011

Laundry might seem like a never-ending chore — especially if you have a large family. But it doesn’t have to be!

Make this task go more quickly and easily with these simple tips to help you get you out of the laundry room and back to more important things!

1. Stop sorting.

I was always told to separate my laundry by darks, lights, and whites — and I did this religiously for several years.

Then I realized it wasn’t necessary!

Thanks to better washing machines and higher quality fabrics that aren’t as likely to run, I simply shove the laundry into the machine and shut the door. I mix towels with t-shirts and skits with socks. I really don’t care as long as it’s clean!

2. Stop ironing.

I’ve pulled my iron out about 4 times in as many years! I don’t love ironing, so I make a point to only buy wrinkle-free clothing, and I fold or hang our clothes immediately when the dryer stops.

Plus, we don’t cram our closets full so our clothings stays neatly on the hanger until we wear it again.

3. Use vinegar.

Instead of expensive fabric softeners, I’ve switched to vinegar and safety pins as a really quick and inexpensive way to reduce our static cling.

Vinegar is also a great {eco-friendly} way to remove soap build-up from your clothing, which will help them last longer.

4. Streamline your baskets.

It’s OK to have several laundry baskets, but if you streamline and get all the same size and style, they will stack together nicely and take up much less space.

I like the smaller square baskets because they fit inside most closets and can double as a hamper.

5. Delegate.

Don’t feel like you have to put all your family’s clothing away for them. Even young children can be taught to put folded clothing in their drawers.

Also, if you have older children, consider delegating ALL the laundry responsibilities to them. This will free up your time and teach them a valuable lesson. {You son’s wives will thank you some day!}

6. Do a little each day.

Don’t let your laundry pile up until you have no clothes left to wear. Do one load every day and you’ll never be overwhelmed.

I know this sounds simple, but seriously, it works!

7. Get organized.

Laundry becomes much less efficient {and much MORE stressful} if your laundry room is cluttered with various detergents, products, and other items.

Take time to go through your laundry room and clear the clutter. Now!

8. Get more use out of your clothes.

There’s no reason why you can’t wear clothes more than once before washing them.

Unless I spill something or get very sweaty, I will usually wear my clothes at least two times before putting them in the wash. The same goes for our towels and sheets.

Obviously, socks and underwear don’t get second chances, but everything else sure can!

9. De-clutter your closet.

If you don’t have as many clothes to pick from, you won’t have as much laundry to wash. Get rid of anything you don’t love, need, want, or use.

Plus, if your closet is less crammed, your clothes won’t get wrinkly as quick! {see # 2 above}

10. What are YOUR best laundry tip?

Do you have a trick to simplify your laundry routine? Please share :)

With a few tweaks to your laundry routine, you can simplify this dreaded chore and save yourself a bunch of time each week!

{top image credit}

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50 comments

  1. julia

    02/20/2013

    How can you wash all the clothes together without them bleeding and everything coming out a different color??? Would appreciate the help!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    This is just what I’ve always done Julia — and I’ve honestly never had an issue with colors running. I usually wash white separately, but all colors go in together. I will say, the if we have a brand new, bright red/orange/black shirt, I will wash it in cold water with only “like” colors for the first time… but other than that, I never, ever sort!
    Also, I know they make “color catching sheets” that look like dryer sheets. You can get them at most super markets and they go in the wash with your clothes and “catch” any colors that might run. I don’t use them, but I know others who swear by them.
    Hope this helps!

    [Reply]

  2. Dawn

    02/20/2013

    I personally like to sort since I wash different colors in different temperatures. (Whites in hot with bleach, etc. ) but I have found that sorting really isn’t a chore anymore. A few years ago we bought multiple hampers in different colors and each one is for a different color of laundry. White hamper is for whites, dark blue hamper for darks, and light green hamper for lights. Nice and simple! So now when we are putting things into hampers we just toss into the correct hamper and no worries come laundry day of sorting these major piles. When I do a load of laundry I just grab a hamper and I have a manageable amount of laundry to carry to the laundry room with me from the bedroom :)

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Wow Dawn — that’s a great idea! I don’t sort laundry because we’d have to wait a month before we had enough of one color to do a load, but I’ll definitely keep this idea in mind for the future once we have more kids / more laundry! Thanks :)

    [Reply]

  3. Lisa

    02/20/2013

    Along with the no sorting… I have a laundry basket in each of my kids’ rooms that their dirty clothes goes into. I wash only one kids’ clothes at a time (when the basket gets full of dirties). Makes putting it away even easier because it all goes back into the same room it came out of.

    [Reply]

    Davina Sanchez Reply:

    I really like this idea! I think I need to give my kids a basket instead of a hamper and have them wash it when it’s full. It would make MY life so much easier!

    [Reply]

  4. judi veilleux

    02/26/2013

    On the sorting issue … When I had small children … I tried to do a load a day but never had a full load of whites, colors or darks . So I started dressing myself & the kids in like colors . If one was in red we were all in red . Made life easier for me with laundry .

    [Reply]

  5. Shara Bieniek

    04/20/2013

    I am hoping some of you wonderful people will have some great tips on pet hair removal in the dryer. We have 3 Dogs, 2 cats all rescues and wow the hair. I have switched to Ava Anderson Nontoxic laundy tabs and we love them, we use vinegar for the fabric softener and my dear hubby still wants to use the dryer sheets. I would love to get away from using these as they are full of chemicals. Thank you for any suggestions. I will definitely be trying the safety pins and I love the separate basket idea.

    [Reply]

  6. Caitlin Anderson

    08/21/2013

    For all the soap nut lovers, or anyone with sensitive skin… I use a laundry ball that cleans with ceramic beads and recharges in the sun. It works awesome and lasts most families around 18 months. You can check it out at MyH2OAtHome.com/CAnderson. I will definitely be trying the safety pins! I’ve also heard that crumpled up aluminum foil balls work, but haven’t tried them yet. Thank you for all of your wonderful tips Andrea! Your blog is a joy!

    [Reply]

  7. Shannon

    02/26/2014

    I don’t sort my laundry either. One thing that I have found to be a great time saver is I don’t mix everyone’s laundry. One day I do my daughter’s, then the next day I do my son’s, and then my and my hubby’s. I makes folding laundry much simpler….this is great since I HATE FOLDING LAUNDRY!!!!!! :)

    [Reply]

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