Doing laundry is a never-ending reality of life, so why not make it as simple and enjoyable as possible? These laundry tips and tools will help you trick your family into thinking laundry is easy and fun.
This laundry tip might be a new way of looking at things, but if you are doing laundry for the whole family, sorting actually happens at two stages of the game: before you wash and after the clean load comes out of the dryer. Before I had this revelation, I had only thought of sorting in terms of dirty clothes, not clean clothes.
The sorting that happens when we separate the clothes into distinct loads can occur in a variety of ways. It can be into a single hamper for everyone, separate hampers for each room, or even sorting hampers.
As you choose a hamper to sort your laundry, tips as you make your choice would be to consider:
- Open top or closed top? Lids might make things look neat, but only if they are used. Lids also make it harder to use something. When it comes to encouraging our kids to keep dirty clothes in the hamper, open topped is often a better choice.
- Removable sections, yay or nay? If you choose a sorting hamper, I recommend one where each individual section can be removed. It doesn’t seem like a big deal, but trust me, it will be. The option to just grab a section and dump it directly into the washing machine is a significantly time saving option.
- Mobile or stationary? Many hamper styles come with wheels or handles so you can move them around. Think about your laundry process and this may make a difference. Two of our hampers stay put during laundry while another one is rolled out of the room where it lives. Wheels may be an important choice.
Hampers could live in closets if the closet door doesn’t become a hinderance to it being used or accessed, but in general I encourage you to invest in something that is sturdy and aesthetically pleasing.
Here are some of my favorite options:
Traditional laundry baskets are a great way to sort the clean clothes for easy distribution to the various family members or rooms where they belong. But where do you store them? This can become especially challenging if you have limited space to work with. Nesting the empty laundry baskets on top of the dryer is one simple solution. You can quickly see who put away their laundry and who didn’t based on the number of baskets stacked. Or you can go the collapsible route. Bonus: we found that the collapsible basket stores nicely underneath the laundry hamper, so it doesn’t take up any extra space at all.
This laundry tip for folding your clothes might even get your toddlers excited to help. For many, many years my absolute favorite laundry tool has been a flip ‘n fold.
There are several variations of this on the market, but what this tool offers is consistency and speed. I primarily use it on shirts and tops, and they come out uniform and neat in no time at all. It’s so fun that each of our kids at various times have begged to fold the shirts. It even comes in a kids size, if you want your kiddos to have their own.
Recently I have started using the KonMari method of folding clothes for some of our drawers. It is very similar in principle to the Flip ‘n Fold. I have had to tweak the folding based on the depth of the drawer that holds each item. The benefit to this method has been how easy it is to match up clothing and find items without disheveling the rest of the drawer. You could adapt the the KonMari folding method to utilize the flip ‘n fold for the beginning steps.
Do you hang your clothes instead of putting them in drawers? This works well, but the right hanger makes all the difference!
Over the years I have moved several times and as my closet space has increased or decreased it has determined how many items I hang. I started out with wire hangers but my shirt ended up with puckers on the shoulders – stretched out spots that made it look like I was wearing a shirt that had been on a hanger. Not good! So I switched
to the thick, plastic hangers and discovered that not only did they take up a lot of space, but often my clothes slipped right off of them. And then I landed on the velvet hangers. It has truly been a perfect solution. No more shoulders puckers, no more clothes falling off, and they are thin and compact.
If you are hanging kids clothing, be sure to use smaller kids hangers. You can even get these in the velvet hanger style now as well.
My husband has skin sensitivities so we had to stop using dryer sheets years ago. But we didn’t like how the clothes dried without them…until we discovered dryer balls. They add the fluff back to the clothes and help reduce the time needed to dry clothes. And if you want a scent, just add a drop or two of your favorite essential oil.
Make your own detergent
This is an interesting laundry tip that can really save you a lot of money and be better for your family. Google “homemade laundry detergent” and you’ll find lots of options. My favorite is a solid detergent from Budget 101. This recipe does require a blender to make it (I found one at a garage sale that I use exclusively for this) and to make this even easier, I pre-measured the ingredients into Ziploc baggies so that making a new batch was almost effortless.
There are powder options as well, but I haven’t personally used any of those, so can’t speak to their cost or effectiveness.
No, not the one for your clothes, the one for your dryer. My kids argue over who gets to use it, it’s apparently just that fun!
There are certain occasions when something just must be ironed, but frankly, keeping an ironing board around the house just isn’t practical. This caught my eye as something that might make that ironing task a bit easier than wrestling with an ironing board.
At the end of your laundry day, you just want your family to have the clean clothes they need, so you may as well make it as simple as possible!