Thursday, January 19, 2017

Laundry Hacks that Help me Save Time

For some reason I thought I'd have more time for laundry and household chores when I quit working to stay home and homeschool my boys.

Silly, I know, since homeschooling became my full time job... then I stumbled into blogging and any extra time in my day vanished.  We had to learn learn new routines and find our new rhythm in everything.



I fully admit that laundry is one of those things that I've always been pretty good at keeping up with.  The actual washing and drying of the clothes was not the problem-- basically we run our washer and dryer for several loads a day most days and I can easily run up and switch the clothes around.

It took a bit of trial and error to find something that worked for getting all the laundry folded and put away, though.


We have a few laundry hacks we use to keep our house looking neat, organized, and clean. 

Notice I did not say that all the laundry is always washed, folded and put away! I learned that with 5 people in the house there is no way to ever have all the laundry cleaned at the same time.



1.  Sort Your Laundry!  And I Don't Mean the Colors and the Whites-- I know many families have a hamper or a laundry pile.  They all put their clothes in the same pile and that pile gets large FAST.  We don't do that.  Each of my boys has his own hamper in his own room.  He puts his own laundry in it and it takes almost a week for them to fill up their own hamper; depending on the season and bulk of the clothes.  That means if I fall behind and don't get around to doing a load of laundry for a day or two we still don't have any large piles of dirty clothes anywhere that anyone can see!  They look neat all contained in our hampers and since most of the hampers are stored inside our closets they're out of sight anyway.

2.  Keep it sorted!- With three boys all born within 3.5 years of one another my boys are often in overlapping sizes with similar interests they often had the same t-shirts or pajamas (just in different sizes)... This made it a nightmare to fold clothes and figure out which clothes belonged to which boy.  Now I wait until one person's hamper is full and I wash, dry and fold that one person's clothes. The whole chore goes so much easier when I don't have to stop and think about which pile to put each shirt, sock, and pair of pants in!

3.  Have Enough Supplies-- I'm not just talking about making sure you have enough laundry detergent here but in making sure each of my boys have their own hamper we also went out and made sure each person had their own laundry basket.  Now I don't color code them or assign them each their own basket or anything but I did make sure we had one basket for each person in the house.  If they're all empty at the same time they stack up nicely and take up no more room than one basket but if I'm washing multiple loads in a day I can keep them sorted and it makes it so much easier to carry into each person's room. I can also leave the clothes in the basket (since I have one for each person) and give the boys a day or two to put their clean clothes away-- which leads me to my next time saver...

4. Delegate-- This is my biggest time saver... because the truth is don't do all of the laundry in a week!  From the time my boys were in preschool they were responsible for helping with laundry.  Starting at age 4 & 5 (and really even younger than that!) I had them put all their dirty clothes in their hamper.  I taught them to sit with me and sort the clean, folded, clothes and put them in their drawers so by the time they were 6 or 7 they were in charge of putting their own laundry away.  As soon as they were tall enough to reach all the buttons on the washing machine and to reach the laundry soap I taught them how to use the washer and dryer.  I put stickers on the washer and dryer so my boys would know what to setting to turn the knob to and drew lines on the fill cup (or used laundry tablets) so they would know how much soap to use.  Once they were taught how to use the machine they were responsible for their own laundry.  Though I will help out and wash, dry, or even fold their clothes the point is I don't HAVE to.

5.  Don't Wash What You Don't Have To!-  My boys used to throw their towels in their hamper each time they took a bath or a shower.  Since they are using a clean towel to wipe off clean water (and maybe a little soap residue) this seemed a bit silly.  So I installed hooks and towel bars in the bathrooms making sure we had enough spaces for each person to hand up their own towel.  Now I only have to wash towels once or twice a week. This also helps me keep them separate from all the clothes and make a real quick load to fold and put away.

6.  Develop a Routine-- like all household chores laundry goes much more smoothly if you have a routine.  Folding laundry was always my downfall.  As each load of clothes came out of the dryer, Id' put it in a laundry basket and cart it all to my bedroom.  After a few baskets were piled up my husband or myself would sit and watch TV one night while folding and then we'd cart the baskets of folded clothes to each child's room for them to put away the next day.  The only change in our routine is that I/we now make an effort to sit down each afternoon or evening and fold the laundry. With the laundry staying sorted it takes me a maximum of 5 minutes to fold one load of clothes which means I can have 3 laundry baskets folded in no time.   Maybe you are the type of person who just needs to spend that 3-5 minutes after each load and fold the laundry right away.  Maybe you need to set a timer and just fold as much as you can for 5 minutes.  The point is whatever you choose to do be consistent.

7.  Have Grace with Yourself-- despite all your best intentions there are times when the laundry you swore you'd never let get out of hand again will.  When someone in our house is sick or when we come home from a week long vacation all laundry rules go out the window and we're left floundering for a few weeks or a few days until we can get back to some semblance of normal.

Do you have any helpful laundry tips?

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10 comments :

  1. Oh my gosh! I can't imagine putting all of our clothes in ONE hamper! There are only 4 of us, but no way! We have separate hampers for towels/rags, mine and hubby's clothes, and one for the girls' clothes. Makes things much more manageable! Stopping by from the This is How We Roll link up. :)

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    1. Right?! Though I have to admit growing up in my family (with 6 of us!) we only had one hamper. It was always full. Always.

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  2. Oh, yes ~ always looking for ways to better handle the laundry monster! ;) Each of my girls do have a hamper in their own room, and that system works well for us, too. I do need to get back to more of a laundry routine, since I've gotten out of that habit.

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    1. It's so easy to do fall out of that routine!

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  3. I am working on conquering our laundry this week! It seems like that if I get behind it takes me a while to catch up. Thank you for sharing what has worked for you. I especially like the idea of training the kids to help!

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    1. OH yes, training the kids is a biggie!

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  4. I need to work on more of 1, 5, 4, and of course 7. I have a darks hamper and a whites hamper. My oldest does his own laundry, but I need to get a separate hamper for my two little ones!

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    1. Hanging up the towels seemed to save a lot of time; I was surprised!

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  5. Im impressed you had time before you started blogging :) Thanks so much for linking up at #familyfriday we appreciate it! We hope you come back next week.

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