Laundry. It never ends.
I’ll take any way to make laundry easier. Thankfully, having three children has given me lots and lots of practice. I’ve found a few strategies that really work to save time and stress.
Before You Wash
Have a system for dirty clothes. Does everyone know where they go (and it’s not the floor)? Whether you use one hamper for the whole family or one in each bedroom, expect the kids to use it to keep the laundry regimen in motion. Part of our system includes wearing pajamas twice before they’re washed, and wearing jeans twice unless they’re dirty from outside. This saves wear & tear on the clothes as well as reducing the amount of laundry.
All white socks. Boring, maybe. But over the years, it has saved so much time and trouble. There’s no matching needed, and if a sock is lost or gets a hole, there are plenty of others to make a pair. Yes, we do this with the girls too, not just the boys.
Have less clothes. I know not everyone will like this one, but if you’re truly feeling overwhelmed with laundry piling up and drawers overflowing, I hope you’ll consider it. I came to this realization when the twins were 1 and my son was 3. We’d received tons of wonderful hand-me-downs and gifts, but I couldn’t keep up. Now that they’re older, everyone has enough clothes to get through 8-10 days, and it works with a weekly laundry cycle.
While Washing & Drying
Do laundry every day (or almost every day). When all three kids were babies at the same time, we did laundry twice a week (my dad had to help, because it was 15+ loads a week). Now, we’re down to 5-6 loads plus towels and sheets, so it works to just do one load a day. It feels better–and you don’t lose a whole day (or weekend) to the chore. It’s also easier to get everyone to pitch in and help when it’s just a little each day.
Use one detergent for the whole family. I’ve used all free clear for over 10 years now. I started when my son was a baby and had terrible excema. He still has sensitive skin (as do I), and between everyone’s allergies, it’s just easier to stick with one laundry detergent that works for everyone. all free clear is the #1 recommended detergent brand by Dermatologists, Allergists, and Pediatricians for sensitive skin. It’s also 100% hypoallergenic.
Folding & Putting Laundry Away
Have the kids help. Starting from age 2, kids can help sort types of clothing (shirts, socks, etc.) and help put their own things away. Laundry is a family necessity, so teaching kids to help out is part of teaching respect and cooperation.
Use bins and drawers, and skip folding. We started this when the kids were toddlers, but it’s still working so I’m sticking with it. They throw (that’s the fun part) their socks and underwear into bins or drawers. No folding needed! Now that they’re older, they hang shirts and pants in the closet or even lay pairs of shorts on the closet shelf. Easy peasy.
Laundry isn’t going away, so figure out how to make it work for you.
How do you make laundry easier?