For many, keeping up with laundry is their Achilles’ heel when it comes to housekeeping. I know that it sure is mine. It seems that whenever I manage to get caught up, there’s a new giant pile lurking somewhere 5 seconds afterwards. So I share with you some of the strategies I’ve picked up over the years to keep the laundry monster at bay. And I know some of our lovely home eccers who don’t have trouble with the laundry will jump in with their own helpful hints.
Make it easy on yourself- limit the amount of clothes you have. This is a hint Heather’s shared with me at least 40 million times. “But I’m a clothes horse,” I tell her. “I can’t help it!” She tells me I’ll always have trouble with the laundry, then. I can dig that. Now, I do take that somewhat to heart- all the ill-fitting, permanently stained, ugly clothing is removed as soon as possible. It’s especially important to deal with kid clothes, since they grow out of things so quickly. If you’re saving clothes for another kid, box them up and put them away somewhere. Maybe these tips on How To Get Clothing Clutter Under Control will help.
Put off season clothes away. Speaking of boxing things up and putting them away, it’s summer. Put your winter clothes away. In the winter, do the opposite. This might not be necessary if you’re living in a house with only adults, but I can tell you, if you have kids, this saves piles of time. It’s June 16th and I live in Tennessee. I just washed a pair of winter gloves. Why? They didn’t get put away and I’m sure one of my kids was playing with them and tossed them in the laundry pile. Arrrgh. There are many different types of storage totes that you can use for off season clothing.
Get a system going for your laundry. Some people like to wash once a week. Some people like to wash every day. Decide what sort of person you are, and stick to the schedule. Right now, I’m a fan of washing once a week. Monday is my laundry day, and that’s what I do all day on Mondays. Come heck or high water. If you’re an every day sort of launderer, then make sure you do at least one load every single day. (More or less, depending on how much laundry you need to do.) Heather has Monday as her laundry day on the weekly chore chart.
Fold and put away immediately when the dryer buzzer goes off. Don’t mess around. Not only will you end up with wrinkly clothes, but also clothes are more likely to sit in your washer if you have a load behind it. Ewww. Smelly clothes. It wastes time and water and energy and, and, and… Just suck it up and deal with the dryer right away.
Go ahead and spend a little more for a laundry detergent scent you love. Of course, if someone in your house is allergic, forget that idea. But if you can, get a scent that you find absolutely wonderful. There are a variety of natural laundry detergents that might work with allergies, and there are many ways to make your own and add the scent you want. It makes laundry just that much better to do. Plus, your clothes will smell fabulous. Bonus!
If you’re behind, make laundry your priority. Whenever I get behind on my laundry, I just plow in and do laundry until it’s all finished. Sure, that new pile will spring up in no time, but being caught up feels soooo good. And by “plow in and do it til it’s all finished,” I mean DAY AND NIGHT. This is a little harder in the summer when it’s miserably hot, but if you let it get behind, you have to pay the price, ha!
Sorting got you down? Shout Color Catcher to the rescue! Man, I hate sorting laundry, so I really just don’t anymore. Instead, I put clothes in (excepting towels, which have to be washed separately due to fabric softener issues and delicates, for obvious reasons) until the washer’s full enough and then toss in a Shout Color Catcher. I’ve not had a single pink sock since starting to use these. I think that’s totally worth the extra cost.
Keep your laundry area clean. Nothing makes you want to do laundry less than a dirty laundry room. My laundry room also happens to be the best place for cat boxes. So before I go in to do laundry, I clean the area well. I keep a push broom in the laundry room to push stray cat litter out of the way throughout laundry day.
OK, now it’s your turn: Tell me, Home Eccers, what are your laundry strategies?
Send your domestic questions to email@example.com.