Why can’t laundry be simple? Seriously. Like you, I’m always looking for the absolute best laundry tips to make life a little bit easier.
Real life laundry tips
We have a “laundry couch”. It’s an actual couch in our basement that is used for laundry more often than it is used for sitting on. Sound familiar?
The laundry couch is that one piece of furniture that gets loads of laundry dumped on it when we get behind on washing and folding. It collects load after load, and then, doing laundry seems like an impossible task.
Admit it, you have a piece of furniture that is currently holding at least one load of laundry, right? I’m not alone here. Anyone?…
To make matters even crazier, my daughters take everything off inside-out, and my husband often thinks his side of the bed is the laundry hamper.
Even though laundry is one of those chores that seems to never go away, we ignore it like it just might.
Over the years, I’ve found a few laundry tips that simplify our laundry routine. The solutions seem simple, but I promise you, they work (when you use them)!
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Brilliant laundry tips you should be using now:
1 – Put a hamper in every bedroom
I’ve tried the cute hampers in the laundry room or the shared hamper in the big closet. They don’t work. Put a functional hamper in each person’s closet.
When everyone has their own hamper, you start teaching responsibility for their own clothes. Yes, you can start this practice even with very young children.
Before my children were old enough to help with laundry, they were asked to drag their hamper to the hallway to signal their clothes were ready to be washed once it reached a certain level. If they forgot, they often wore dirty jeans for the day.
My husband and I have two hampers, darks and whites. Honestly, I wash all colors together. Gasp, I know. However, he likes to bleach his whites for work, so we keep those separated.
When I was working in the office full time, I also kept a third hamper behind the darks and lights. I kept my delicates in it. I didn’t wash it as often, so tucking it behind the other hampers worked.
If you are looking for an easy, functional hamper that works well in tight spaces, here is my favorite kind of hamper. It stashes neatly into a closet and other small spaces.
2 – Wash a single person’s laundry at a time
Another benefit to everyone having their own hamper is it allows you to wash clothes by person, rather than in one large mixed load. (This is probably my favorite laundry tip for saving time in the folding department!)
I have two little girls. Their sizes are very similar. When we would fold their laundry washed together, it became very difficult to distinguish whose clothes belonged to who without having to take a moment to pause and look at the tag for the size. What a waste of time!
Now, if we mix loads, I try to mix one child’s clothes with an adult’s clothes, so it becomes easy to know what clothes belong to which person.
If your kiddos are older, they can start washing their own clothes. My seven-year-old learned how to do laundry when I had knee surgery. If you are unsure if they can handle the task, challenge them.
Yes, you may have to let go of some expectations on what gets washed and what gets dried, or how it’s folded, but I promise you, they can handle it.
Ultimately, no matter who does the laundry, washing clothes by person will save you time in the long run. Use this laundry tip, even if you ignore the rest!
Related post: Get help with the chores at home!
3 – Wash on the cold cycle
Simplify your laundry routine and wash on the cold cycle. When you wash on cold, it eliminates the need for separating your colors.
I wash my girls’ pink pants with white shirts without a second thought. It took me a while to get here, but it really does simplify everything.
Yes, your clothes will get clean without warm water. In fact, washing on cold will even help preserve the life of many of your clothes.
I still wash sheets and towels on warm, or if someone is sick, I’ll use warm water. Overall though, cold wins, which makes doing laundry super easy.
This is my favorite money-saving laundry tip! Washing on cold will save you money, as you won’t be running your hot water heater as often.
4 – Don’t buy dry-clean only clothes
Want to save money and time on laundry? Wear nice clothes that never require dry-cleaning.
Dry-cleaning is a guaranteed way to increase your laundry routine frustrations.
When shopping, instead of buying dry-clean only items, look for items that can be washed on delicate and maybe hung to dry.
My mother would have a fit, but I often buy sweaters, wash them with my regular clothes AND then throw them in the dryer! I know, terrible, but they survived. I’ve got more important things to do with my time.
If you have clothes that need to be hung dry, you can invest in a small clothes drying rack to make the task easy.
5 – Buy wrinkle-free type clothes
I HATE using the iron. I don’t know why. Maybe I’m not good at it.
In my 15 years working in the corporate world, I only ironed a handful of times. This was not by accident.
No, I didn’t go to work covered up in wrinkles.
When shopping for clothes, look for items that don’t wrinkle easily.
You know that cute cotton, button-down shirt that looks great under a blazer? Yeah, I don’t buy those if you want to simplify laundry. Those types of tops scream for an iron if you sit wrong, let alone after every single wash.
Make laundry easy and buy clothes that don’t wrinkle.
I often bought nice polyester blouses that could be dried and immediately hung, and no iron was ever needed.
The same goes for pants. Buy pants that can be dried and immediately hung up to avoid having to iron them every single wear. You will save so much time for yourself and still look really nice.
6 – Use dryer balls
This is an eco-friendly laundry tip most can get on board with trying!
Buy dryer balls and start using them today with your laundry. You will never have to buy fabric softener or dryer sheets again, as they do the work for you!
Bonus, wool dryer balls cut down on the drying time for you. Less time doing laundry is a win in my book!
These cool little balls are also chemical-free, soften your fabrics naturally, and help eliminate static.
7 – Do a single load of laundry a day (start in the morning)
Doing more than one load of laundry a day can feel overwhelming. Instead of looking at a chore that should take 10-20 minutes, you are looking at day of washing, folding, ironing and putting away for hours. No fun!
If you want to eliminate the piece of furniture holding your laundry for good, start a load of laundry every day, in the morning.
I’ve tried to make a habit of putting a load in the wash nearly every morning… yes, even before caffeine.
Every time I get into this practice, I stay on top of the laundry. This laundry tip simply works, as you are making sure you are hitting your goal before the day even gets started.
Then, as soon as you get home from work or finish up your other tasks for the day, quickly pop the laundry into the dryer.
Keep your dryer buzzer on, so you can fold clothes before they make it to the laundry furniture to sit for days at a time and get all wrinkled.
One load a day should be sufficient for the average size household. If you have a larger family, maybe consider doing two loads per day.
8 – Always fold before drying a new load
Never ever start drying a new load of laundry until the first load is folded. Ever.
If you follow this simple rule, you will never have piles of laundry to manage. Sometimes I need simple rules to follow. This rule may be silly, but I promise you, it works.
If you have a load of clothes in the dryer and a load in the washer, you are now doing two loads in a day (see tip #7, one load a day is always easier). Don’t make the day harder on yourself by piling up the clothes to all be folded at once and increasing the wrinkles.
Commit to folding that load in the dryer FIRST, before moving the clothes in the washer over. If you do this, you will avoid the pile up, and it will save you time and energy in the long run. I promise.
9 – Create a folding station
If you want to simplify your laundry routine, you need a folding station. It doesn’t have to be fancy. I use the top of my washer as a folding station. Sometimes, I use the couch.
If you have a front-loading washer and dryer, you can use the tops of your appliances. You can even install a nice counter on top of them to make things real easy.
Try your best to keep your folding station close to the laundry room. It seems once the clothes hit the laundry basket or the piece of furniture that holds clean laundry, it is doomed to sit there for days without getting addressed. Don’t do this to yourself!
For clothes that need to be hung up, try installing some sort of rod system. Again, it doesn’t have to be fancy. It can be a wire shelf over your appliances, or a closet rod hung low on the wall under any shelves or cabinets.
If you have a small laundry closet, you can hang a closet rod from one wall to the other, just inside the doors, over the appliances.
Whatever you do, make it easy to fold your clothes so they are easy to put away.
Related post: Small Changes to Organize Your Laundry Room
Laundry tips to make life easier
You deserve an easy laundry routine. Get your family involved and cut corners where you can with these brilliant laundry tips.
Some of these laundry tips may go against the norm. (My mother would have a fit if she knew I washed pink with white or dried my jeans with my t-shirts.)
Sometimes, though, you got to do what works best for you and whatever keeps your ship running smoothly. Laundry tips for an easier, simpler life!