What makes me qualified to share laundry tips you might wonder? I am going to get really personal here and talk about one of the dirtiest subjects I know and that I have struggled with for years and years. Yes, I'm talking about laundry. The laundry tips i'm going to share have not come without a tremendous struggle.
I used to dread the "L" word and have been known to ignore and deny my problems with it in the past. I may have even covered my ears and hummed a song if someone tried to mention that word to me. All kidding aside, I think that because I have struggled with laundry for so many years that it's important to share these laundry tips with people who feel like I did for so many years. Believe me, I've been there.
I began doing my own laundry when I was 6 years old. That year my mom got a double case of pnuemonia. She was really sick for most of the winter. As a result, I had to step up and do a lot of things for myself, including learning how to use the laundry machine.
I wish that I could say that over the years I have learned to enjoy laundry more as I have done it over and over and over and over and over again. Sadly, that isn't the case. I have however found a few laundry tips that help me get the dirty deed done in a more efficient manner. Today I am going to share some of these tips (that I won't go so far to say makes laundry enjoyable but perhaps manageable?) with you.
I hope these ideas will get your wheels turning and help you come up with a system that makes you dread laundry just a little bit less. Then feel free to do a little celebration dance for having the fortitude to tackle stinky, never ending piles of laundry day in and day out. Oh, and if you like these laundry tips, please share them with all your friends, neighbors and random strangers who might need some help figuring out the laundry conundrum. No one should suffer and struggle with laundry as long as I did.
My Tried and True Laundry Tips
Tip 1: Do Your Laundry Daily
I know that everyone has their own system for doing laundry. Some people I know actually get by doing laundry only once a week. That method has NEVER worked for me. In the past I struggled with piles. I either had piles and piles of dirty laundry or piles of clean laundry. Either way, the end result was frustrating because everyone was scrambling to find clothes to wear All. The. Time. Fast forward to today and you know what, I don't have piles of laundry all over and everyone has clothes to wear. A BIG part of what makes that possible is doing laundry every day.
Part of my morning routine is to throw in a load of laundry every morning. With six people living in our house, we accumulate more than one loads worth a day. I find that it is a lot more manageable for me when I tackle it in small doses.
Before lunch I go change over the laundry and then I try to fold it during nap time. By doing my laundry every day I end up only spending about thirty minutes, spread throughout the day, working on laundry. It is less overwhelming and something I don't dread doing so it actually gets done. Also, when I do the laundry every week day, I find that I can take off a day here or there and it doesn't get backed up.
Of all the laundry tips that I'm sharing, this has made the biggest difference in helping me to keep up on laundry. I'd also like to note that it's easier for my kids to help in smaller bursts like this. I really only have one kid who is able to complete the whole process on her own and often she waits until she's down to pajamas before she thinks to bring all her dirty clothes to the laundry room. So, by doing loads every day, I can ask the kids to move loads over or to take their clothes and put them away and I don't have to do it all myself OR nag my kids to get their laundry done. Either way, it's less work for me!
Tip 2: Fold Laundry The Same Day
This next tip has also been a game changer for me. My sister told me that she sets the load from the dryer on top of it and puts it all away immediately. I was intrigued by the idea and decided to try it. Previous to trying this tip I was washing all the laundry when it had piled up, but then I made a big pile of clean clothes. Honestly, I never wanted to sort through and put away the mountainous pile of clean clothes. So, it would just end up in piles in my bedroom with everyone running around frantically looking for clothes each morning.
I figured it was worth a try. I set my first load on top of the dryer and started sorting and folding. I don't always do it all at once or even immediately after I take it out of the dryer, but I do work on it throughout the day and make sure it is done by the end of the day. That way I have a clean slate for the next day.
It really has made all the difference for me. I was able to take the task of folding and sorting and break it down into a small and manageable method that works for me. I have been doing my laundry like this for about eight months and I am not looking back. Is it strange that I get so happy and sentimental talking about a laundry method that works for me? Anyway moving on.
Tip 3: Replace Dryer Sheets with Dryer Balls
I had been eyeing some dryer balls for a while, and then one of my friends mentioned that she was using them and loved them. I finally took the plunge and bought a bag of them to try. I thought that they would be nice, but I didn't realize just how nice they would be!
Using dryer balls when you are drying your clothes cuts down on the time it takes to dry them! Having that extra movement and the resulting flow of air really cuts down on the time it takes for clothes to get completely dry.
Another surprising result for me was that my clothes didn't get as wrinkly. That was a huge bonus for me because I don't iron clothes.
I do own an ironing board and an iron, but they are used exclusively for my sewing projects. I think that the combination of using the dryer balls and folding clothes immediately has really made a huge impact on my family having wrinkle free clothes. I know my husband has really appreciated the fact that he doesn't have to go to work in wrinkly shirts anymore.
I also like to put a drop of Thieves or Purification essential oils on the dryer balls to give an added health benefit and nice smell to our laundry. If you are interested in buying your own essential oils, you can click here.
Tip 4: Keep Stain Remover Handy and Use It Immediately
This tip is something that I actually used when I had my first baby and then stopped doing for many years and only recently implemented again. In our first apartment our laundry machine was in our bathroom. So, when I had stained baby clothes it made sense to fill the sink with water and to soak the clothes with a stain remover. Those clothes came out nice and clean every time.
Fast forward to many different layouts later and I just got out of the habit because I didn't have a sink near the washing machine. With 4 kids and every day life, I needed a way to get stains out of everyone's clothes.
So, I got a water bottle and some powdered stain remover. If someone gets a big stain I have them immediately take off that item and put the stain remover on it. I also keep an old toothbrush handy to scrub the paste on the stain.
For small stains I have a roller of liquid stain remover. This is the best stain remover I have ever used. I will often just roll it right on the stain and watch as it disappears right before my eyes. Then I let the kids continue to wear the clothes. This is one of those instances where if you do a little work now and act immediately, you save yourself from having a lot of work later.
Keeping all the stain remover tools together and in easy reach helps me to address the stains in a timely manner so that they don't set in. I have also found that if I let them sit for longer than a day, I can usually get the stain out by running it through two or three wash cycles with a stain specific detergent. It's more efficient and cost effective to just soak it right away and then to wash it only once though, so that's what I aim to do.
Tip 5: Keep the Laundry Room Floor Clear
Maybe this tip is intuitive for a lot of people, but it took me a long time to figure out. I realized that when there are piles and piles of dirty laundry all over the floor, I am not very inspired to go in and wash clothes. When that happens, I avoid the laundry room as much as possible. You may have noticed a theme here. Any time the task looks overwhelming, my solution is just to ignore it.
Sadly ignoring the situation doesn't make it go away. So, this tip is what I always do when I feel like my laundry is on the verge of getting out of control. My laundry room is accessed by going through the main floor half bathroom. It is a long and narrow passageway. It doesn't take very many things in that space for it to feel overcrowded and difficult to navigate.
When that starts to happen, I clear a pathway and stack up the laundry baskets. I also pick up any garbage or other random things that have accumulated on the floor. It's a simple thing, but somehow having a clean, uncluttered floor makes me much more inclined to actually make my way into the laundry room to DO the laundry. It's the small things in life, isn't it?
Tip 6: Make the Laundry Room Appealing
Ok this tip may be seem to be purely about aesthetics, but of all the laundry tips, I would say this is the second most important. I am a visual creature. I like to see beautiful things around me. Laundry rooms usually don't have many beautiful views. In my laundry room if you look one direction you see a bathroom. The other direction shows a small window that looks out onto our air condition unit and garbage cans. If I am going to spend time in here every day, I might as well make it as enjoyable as possible, right?
A long time ago I put a cute picture on the wall behind my washing machine, then one day I had an epiphany. I realized that I never see that picture because I am always facing the other way. In a small way, I had tried to bring in some beauty but because of its location I couldn't even see it. That's when I had my light bulb moment. I decided it was time to put some motivating quotes and cute things on the shelf above the washer and dryer. That is the area I am always looking at as I change laundry and then take it out to sort and fold.
The dollar section at Target really came through for me. They had some cute glass jars with color coordinated tags. They also had a few cute laundry sayings and wall decor. So for a little less than $20 I was able to put together a look that really brightens up the laundry room and gives me something pretty to look at. I felt a little bit extravagant spending that much money on something as trivial as laundry decorations, but you know, they have made me actually feel something akin to excitement when I go in the laundry room.
If you spend time in a space every single day, why not get something you love for that space? It has made my laundry experience that much more enjoyable and I will take it. I need all the extra motivation I can get to do laundry, that not so dreaded "L" word now that I use all these laundry tips.
These laundry tips really have made laundry so much easier for me to handle. Even when I get sick and get behind a little bit, I don't dread jumping back in because once I start following all these tips again I quickly get back on track and keep laundry loads in a manageable place.
What are your favorite laundry tips for making laundry more manageable? Do you think it's important to have a nice space for doing laundry? I would love to see pictures of your laundry room. Share your pictures on Instagram with the hashtag #peachtreedr. I would also love to have you share your best laundry tips below.