Pre-child, I used to love doing the laundry, but these days, all I see are piles, and piles, and endless piles of washing.
And why is it that we spend so much time in the laundry, it's one of the hardest working rooms in the house, yet it's always the smallest, pokiest little room?
Anyway, my laundry's been crazy annoying for ages now (read: I just close my eyes, shut the door and try to forget it exists).
But I've finally got it sorted out, and today I thought I'd share what's worked for me.
1. FIGURE OUT ALL THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF 'LOADS' YOU DO
I seriously hope you're beyond just 'whites' and 'darks...
My husband never quite grasped this concept, and was banned from the laundry c.2005 after combining a good wool jumper, a white towel, two of my silk scarves, an expensive bra, and several pairs of jeans... I’m sure you’re much savvier than he is though!
So my regular loads are:
o business shirts
o Missy's clothes
o heavy knits
o light knits
2. GET A SEPARATE RECEPTACLE FOR EACH LOAD
Once I figured out how many major loads I do, it was simple enough to get a receptacle for each.
Storage can often be a bit of a problem in the laundry, so you may need to get a little bit creative.
Check out these amazing pinterest boards here, here and here if you need inspiration.
In my case, I already had three laundry hampers, so I just bought and stacked up some washing baskets for the rest. If you are intending to buy new baskets or bins, try to get ‘load sized’ ones so everything in them will fit in your machine.
3. GET SORTED!
I like to collect all the dirty washing from around the house and sort it into my hampers and baskets before putting a load on.
If I don’t, I end up opening the machine to add just one more thing – generally six or seven times… lol.
This also gives me a great overview of what needs to be washed.
4. FIGURE OUT HOW MANY LOADS YOU NEED TO DO EVERY DAY
I need to do two loads a day to keep on top. I always start with the fullest hamper/basket, and I try to fold and put things away as soon as they’re dry so there are less wrinkles.
If the stars align and by some miracle I have no washing to do, I’ll try to do a few unusual things that don’t get washed all the time – like cushions from the couch, freshening and airing winter blankets, that type of thing.
If you thrive on routines, by all means schedule yourself to do loads at specific times of the day, but if not, just pop one on whenever – the most important thing is to know yourself, and do what suits you and your family.
5. LINE DRY WHAT YOU CAN, AND SAVE THE DRYER FOR THINGS THAT REALLY NEED IT
Save using your dryer for things that really need it, and you’ll save heaps on your electricity bill.
I find towels, sheets, shirts and knits are actually better dried on the line. Whereas socks, tees, yoga pants, tights and anything with a bit of stretch do better in the dryer.
Of my two loads a day, I try to do one I can hang out first, then one for the dryer. It’s more time efficient as clothes take much longer to dry than to wash.
6. LOVE YOUR LAUNDROMAT
These days, I dry all our big winter blankets, doona's, underlays and pillows at the laundromat.
Even though you have to pay to use them, the big commercial dryers are fast, and it eliminates the headache of trying to do it at home in the middle of winter.
Also, we have feather doonas and pillows, and this way I know they're REALLY dry – I don’t have to worry about damp or mildew forming.
So, you can easily knock over some of those big loads by just taking them down to the laundromat.
7. KEEP AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE IN CUPBOARDS
Laundries are so dusty, especially if your dryer isn’t ducted (I am so jealous of those of you with ducted dryers!). The tidier you can keep your laundry, the less stuff will get dusty and covered in lint, and the less cleaning you’ll have to do later.
I like to keep mine as minimal as possible – the only things not put away in cupboards are my laundry hampers and the actual machines.