I know it might seem slightly over-dramatic to imply that I have “life-changing” laundry tips to share, but I honestly think it’s possible based on the number of conversations I’ve had (in-person and online) with people who hate doing the laundry with every fiber of their being.
People feel so overwhelmed with this task, and there is so much procrastination and dread associated with this necessary household chore. It often makes me wonder if I’m doing something wrong because I DON’T have these same feelings!
If doing laundry is one of your least favorite chores, today’s life-changing laundry tips are for YOU!
My 10 Life-Changing Laundry Tips
1. Buy & Wash Less Clothing!
The more clothing you have, the more clothing you will need to wash, dry, fold, hang, put away, and store.
If you have less clothing, you will have less chance of the laundry piling up because you’ll need to wash in order to have enough clean clothes. This is one of the reasons I truly only have 10 pairs of socks and underwear!
Also, Dave and I usually wear our clothing more than one time before washing it — which majorly cuts down on the volume of laundry we accumulate each week. Here’s how we handle our “half dirty clothing“.
This might seems like an overly-simple or maybe even impractical solution to your laundry woes, but I know from experience that it works!
2. Purge High-Maintenance Clothing
I realize some jobs require more high-maintenance clothing… but if at all possible, stick to low-maintenance clothing that doesn’t require special washing cycles, lots of ironing, or (worse) dry cleaning!
Obviously, with no special instructions, you can more quickly and easily plow through your piles of laundry. With more forgiving fabrics, your clothing will stay looking nicer with less work.
3. Establish a Laundry Routine
Laundry is one of those things that quite literally is NEVER completely finished. Because of this, it’s easy to get sucked into “continual laundry mode” as I call it — always and forever starting another load of laundry (even if it’s not a full load).
My advice would be to pick 2 or 3 times each week when you will do laundry, and then forbid yourself from thinking about laundry any other times throughout the week (outside of an emergency).
It’s there, it’s dirty, you’ll get to it on your laundry day!
For me, it works well to do laundry on Tuesday mornings and Friday evenings. I’ve been utilizing this system for a few years now already and am still happy with it.
4. Sort Smarter
I know, I know — you all think I’m crazy, but I haven’t sorted our laundry in 10+ years… at least not by color!
I DO, however, sort our laundry by area of our home.
- I wash all the “upstairs laundry” at one time — and then bring it all upstairs to fold and put away
- I wash all the “main floor laundry” at one time — and fold and put it away
- I wash all the kitchen and bathroom linens at one time — using a little bleach since they are all white
This smarter method of sorting our laundry greatly expedites the time it takes for me to fold and put the laundry away. For some reason, this seems to be the most stressful and time-consuming part for so many people I talk to.
5. Create Designated Areas for Dirty Clothing
If you’re the parent who bemoans the fact that dirty laundry is scattered throughout the bathrooms and bedrooms, stop and first consider if there is actually a designated spot for the dirty laundry in your home.
This does NOT need to be a fancy hamper; you do NOT need space in every room of your house. You DO need a space that is convenient for the other people in your home — otherwise, they won’t use it!
We have 3 areas for dirty items in our house:
- a wicker hamper in our bedroom (for Dave’s and my clothing)
- a cloth hamper with a removable bag in the kid’s bathroom upstairs (they change out of their clothing right before baths, so this works well)
- a small plastic clothes basket in our laundry room (for kitchen and bath hand towels and washcloths)
I understand that having a place for the dirty items does NOT guarantee dirty items will magically end up in that space — but it’s a start!
We have “trained” our kids where to put their dirty clothing, how to pull the legs out of their pants and the arms out of their shirts, where to put their socks, etc. etc. It saves me TONS of time on laundry days — both gathering up the laundry and folding it later.
6. Eliminate Lone Socks with a Mesh Bag
I’ve shared this tip before — but it saves me SO much time doing laundry that I need to mention it again…
I keep a mesh bag pinned to the kid’s laundry basket (see photo above). They put their socks in here for easy sorting and it assures none of our socks get lost, or worse, “stuck” in the washing machine.
7. Put Clean Laundry Away Immediately
Again, this sounds overly simple, but the majority of people I talk with admit to leaving the laundry sit in the basket
I once spoke for a women’s group on the topic of laundry — a full hour dedicated to the never-ending task. So many of the women were completely floored that I actually washed, dried, folded, hung, AND put away my laundry in the same time period.
I promise, I do not have superpowers, and I don’t have a magical washer and dryer. I just stick with it until the job is fully finished because it feels easier and less overwhelming for me that way.
I can fold one load of laundry in 5-7 minutes and have it all put away within another few minutes. However, if I wait until the end of the day and have 4-8 loads waiting to be folded, THAT feels super overwhelming… not to mention how wrinkly and smashed the clothes will be after sitting in a pile all day.
8. Don’t Fold 🙂
Outside of pants, we hang almost all our clothing. This seems to save time AND keep our closets looking nicer. Plus, it’s easier for the kids to hang than to fold — so they can do some of it themselves!
We also don’t fold things like PJ’s, underwear, leggings, tights, etc. etc. We just dump them in bins or drawers and move on.
9. Use Laundry Balls In Place of Detergent and Fabric Softener
I’ve been using wool dryer balls for YEARS and YEARS in lieu of traditional fabric softener (I’ve used the same exact balls the entire time).
I also started using these laundry balls in place of laundry detergent almost 2 years ago (read all about my no-detergent laundry routine in this post).
I’m certain I have saved hundreds of dollars, reduced our chemical use, and never have to worry about running out of detergent on laundry day!
Laundry is definitely a job children (and spouses) can easily help with — or even take over completely!
Our boys can match up socks, Nora hangs the shirts, and Dave is my designated folder on Friday nights — usually while watching some sort of sporting event. 🙂
It honestly is a huge help for me to have the others in our house pitching in with the laundry efforts. If you play your cards right, you might be able to completely hand off the laundry responsibilities to your children!
Like I mentioned above, I know my use of the words “life-changing” are slightly dramatic. However, I know so many people who are completely stressed out by their laundry situation that I believe their lives would be completely changed if they adopted many of my tips above.
It won’t happen overnight, but I’m confident this never-ending chore will feel significantly less overwhelming by implementing these 10 life-changing laundry tips!
What are YOUR best tips to make laundry a little less overwhelming?