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8 Tips to an Easier Laundry Day

Laundry. It never ends. It really doesn’t.

With six kids underfoot, sometimes I feel like I am wading in a never-ending sea of laundry piles. Flailing my arms, as if I am treading water, pushing and pulling over my head, reaching through socks, underwear, and dirty towels to quickly suck in a breath of somewhat fresh air. I swear, there has to be a shark in here somewhere!

I wonder how our parents did it with many of us wearing cloth diapers as babies… thank heavens for disposable diapers! I guess we should count our blessings that we have automatic washers and dryers that ding to tell us when they are done. I would not want to go back to my grandparent’s childhood when laundry was way more labor intensive, despite the simple wardrobes.

Almost always, without fail, after the children have brought in their own laundry on Friday mornings, I end up finding half as much still hidden in nooks and crannies throughout their rooms. I have not found a solution for this. The old joke of “flip the underwear inside out for another day’s use” would never cut it in my house! Worse yet, plenty of what I find in the laundry pile are clothes that I consider ‘not dirty’, or still folded on the bottom of the laundry basket from last week’s wash. My question is, “Did you even change your underwear this week?” Am I alone on this one?

Okay, so I might be slightly exaggerating, but every mother knows that it can oftentimes feel like our lives were created to laundry surf, spot stains, bleach whites, and match socks {if you can ever find a match in the first place}. And yet, as we do this… the mound of musty textile neglect never seems to get smaller!

Therefore, in order to make this endless chore a tiny bit easier, here are eight ideas I came up with to help save you time and make your laundry day easier:

  • Click through to see my laundry tips… 1 of 9
    8LaundryTipsThumb
  • Have the Kids Sort… 2 of 9
    LaundryBaskets

    Begin by buying several laundry bins, which you can find at your local Walmart or Target. Label them: Darks, Whites, Lights, Stained, and keep them in your laundry room. Begin teaching your children while they are young the difference between lights and darks.  It can even be helpful in learning colors for those little preschoolers and kindergartners!  At the end of the week, as they bring in their dirty laundry, have your kids sort it into the appropriate bin. Hey, this makes your job a little easier and gives them responsibility!   It even makes it a little nicer when they drop that spaghetti onto their shirt… you can simply laugh and say, "Drop it into the Stained bin!"

  • Do a Daily Spot… 3 of 9
    StainTreat

    Make your spotting a daily task.  Just before bedtime, after all the day's stained clothes have been dropped in the stain bin, pull them out and do your magic.  Spray some stain remover on them, and leave them to soak overnight.  This makes laundry day a whole lot easier.

  • Fold as Soon as the Dryer Beeps… 4 of 9
    ClothesBasket

    If you want to get those wrinkly clothes wrinkle free, plan to do laundry on a day when you're home, and listen for that beeping dryer.  Do not simply tune it out. Run up and fold that load right then and there… you can even leave the pile of folded laundry in the basket, but at least they are not wrinkled anymore.  If you absolutely miss the beep, simply throw a wet washcloth into the dryer with all those dry wrinkly clothes, and flip it on for another 10 minutes.  This will take those wrinkles right out again!

  • Add Some Hydrogen Peroxide… 5 of 9
    Peroxide

    If you want your towels to smell fresh for a lot longer than 2-3 days, simply add ½ cup of hydrogen peroxide to the towel load once a month.  This will kill any bacteria and keep those towels smelling fresh longer, and you know what that means... hopefully, less laundry!

  • Air Dry Those Beach Towels… 6 of 9
    TowelsDrying

    It is a HUGE pet peeve of mine when I take my kids swimming and the next thing I know… I have a massive pile of laundry waiting for me in the laundry room.  I have taught my kids to hang those beach towels over the stair railing or outside, and let them air dry in the sun.  Then, refold, and SHAZAM… no need to wash an unnecessary load of laundry!  {We rewash swim towels after every second use.}

  • Sort as You Fold… 7 of 9
    IMG_0827

    I have one laundry basket per child {that they keep in their rooms}, and as I fold their laundry, it goes right into their basket.  Then, the responsibility is theirs to take that basket on up to their room, and unload it into their drawers and closets.  This way I do not have stacks of folded laundry sitting all over the house, or even worse… kids rummaging through nicely folded laundry in search of that one pair of socks they want to wear.

  • Pay a Child to Match Those "Missing-a-Match" Socks… 8 of 9
    IMG_0813

    I heard of this tip from a friend a long time ago, and it works great. I despise "missing-a-match" socks, therefore I pay my kids $0.25 per pair to find the matching socks. This can be very motivating for them when they hear the ice cream truck outside… they grab the sock bin, and start matching!  Keep a small sock bin on top of the dryer and all missing-a-match socks go in there. Over time, eventually, most of those missing socks show up.

  • Teach Them to Do Their Own… 9 of 9
    IMG_40501

    This is, hands down, my favorite tip of them all! Once my children get to a certain age, I begin teaching them how to do their own laundry! The bins change from "Darks, Whites, Lights, and Stained" to "Brooklyn, Bailey, etc." and then, each child has their own laundry bin {and day on which to do laundry}.  I know this can be scary for parents.  They think, "If she ruins something, I have to replace it!"  But I make sure they understand, if something does get bleached, stained, shrunk, or ruined… no replacement.  They are more careful when it is their own clothing.  Of course, I am on standby if they need any help or have questions, but this is an important life task that they will need to learn. Although this may be the hardest tip to follow it does eliminate a whole chore for me and, again, teaches my kids responsibility.

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