Laundry. He’s friends with dinner, housework, homework, and all those other overwhelming inhabitants of our homes.
Over the years I have tried everything I can think of to master Laundry. You can find endless ideas online to help with “Perfect Laundry”, stain removal, etc. Some ideas have worked for a time but nothing ever really worked long term. I am doing laundry for 7 busy people. I don’t have time for “Perfect Laundry”. I just want to get it done and I want my family to look and smell clean.
A few months ago I had a laundry epiphany. I stopped folding Laundry!
Here’s how I did it:
- Gather every scrap of laundry from every corner of your house. Make a giant pile on the floor in front of the washing machine. I like to stack it nice and high!
- Sort right into the machine. Choose one type of laundry (whites, towels, jeans, etc.), pull it out of your giant pile, and toss the items right into the washing machine.
- Set a timer. Start the wash cycle and set a timer. There is nothing worse than wasting valuable time on laundry day because you don’t know the machine has shut off.
- Set up your “Distribution Station”. Find a laundry basket for each family member and line them up to use after the laundry is dry. Set up a drying area for items that you will hang dry.
- Switch the loads. When your awesome timer goes off, run back to the laundry room to move the first load into the dryer and sort another load into the washer. Be sure to hang dry anything that needs it. Reset your timer for when the dryer will be done.
- Distribute the clothes. This is where the magic happens! Don’t fold anything!
As you sort through the freshly dried clothes, pull out anything you don’t want to get wrinkled. Give these “no wrinkle items” a quick whip to straighten them and then place them over the side of the designated laundry basket for the person the item belongs to. In my house the “whip” items include shirts, pants, undershirts, skirts, dresses, and hoodies. With the exception of the undershirts, all of these items will be hung in a closet later. All of the “non-hang up items” get tossed into the basket. For me, this includes underwear, socks, pajamas, and athletic clothes. Basically anything that either doesn’t wrinkle or no one sees gets thrown into the basket.
This step literally takes less than 5 minutes per load.
- Repeat steps 2, 3, 5 and 6 as many times as needed.
- Each family member is then responsible to hang up items, match socks, and fold and put away the items in the center of their basket. I have to give my kids a deadline to get this done or it never will. This step is fast and easy as long as every item has a place it belongs.
That’s it! No folding, no wrinkles, and no more nagging from Mr. Laundry!
Other laundry tips:
Drape items over two sides of the basket to balance the weight and keep the basket from tipping over.
I use Tide pods, they are fast, clean and easy.
My favorite stain remover/whitener is Oxy Clean powder.
I use Shout stain stick for the neck and cuffs of white dress shirts, it works great.
I love fresh smelling laundry so I use Snuggle fabric softner.
Less is so much more when it comes to towels, sheets, cleaning cloths, etc. We have one set of sheets per bed and 3-4 towels per person.
Each family member has a designated towel color. Their towels get tossed in the basket with their other clean laundry.