With my family of four, laundry can feel like a never-ending battle. Just when I think I have everything cleaned and put away, here comes my family wearing and dirtying more clothes. Over the years, though, I’ve found a few ways to make the battle a little easier (like having my kiddos help with chores). Here are my tips to you!
Pick one day a week to do all things laundry related. I found that doing it all in one day makes it seem like less work and helps me ensure I fold and put it all away in the same day.
Fold one load while the next one dries. When the first load is drying I typically find another room in the house that needs cleaning and do that. After that, I take the clothes out of the dryer to fold, put the load from the washer into the dryer, put the next load in the washer, fold the clothes, and repeat.
Wash by Clothing Type
Pre-washing, divide clothes into groups based on color and material. This makes clothes last longer by holding their color and shape better. I wash in this order: athletic wear, kids clothes, denim, underwear & bras, darks, whites, towels, and finally bedding.
The reason I wash clothes in that order is for time management reasons. Most athletic wear has to air dry, so while it’s washing and then drying on the rack (and while the next load is washing), I clean around the house. After that, I go by load size and time it takes to fold. For example, my kid’s clothes are usually a medium size load but take forever to fold. So I wash kids clothes second, followed by denim because while it is heavier, it’s easy and quick to fold (so I make up for time), and so on. Experiment with the order and find what you like!
Whites :: I’m talking all white clothes with no color to them. These will typically be socks, undershirts, or button-downs. Typically these need to be washed in hot water with no softener. You could add a little bleach to your detergent to keep them white or use Persil ProClean laundry detergent. That stuff works miracles. OxiClean and Woolite are also good choices.
Darks :: This will consist of colored t-shirts, socks, and sleep wear. Pretty much everything besides denim, underwear, and whites. Wash in cold water with a measured amount of detergent. Check your detergent for recommended amount. I always add a load size bigger on the softener than is recommended because I love for my clothes to smell amazing. Ensure that graphic tees are turned inside out to help preserve the design.
Kids clothes :: Wash kids clothes the same way as described above. I wash them separate to keep things organized. However, if your baby is younger than six months of age, use Dreft or another soap formulated for babies. I also use half of the amount recommended “adult” detergent because my kids didn’t react well to them (don’t use laundry softener). Newborns’ skin is sensitive and can’t handle the amount of soap and perfumes.
Denim :: This will include any and all denim in the house. These typically need to be washed on warm or hot, depending on how dirty they are. Wash with the recommended amount of detergent for the load size, and don’t use softener. Adding softener to denim makes it wear quicker and changes the structure.
Undergarments :: Wash in hot water with recommended amount of detergent for load size. NO SOFTENER, especially for the ladies as it can cause reactions and throw off your pH balance. Place washer on low or moderate agitation.
Towels :: These get washed in hot water. I usually add one load size more detergent than is recommended as our towels get used a lot during the week. NO SOFTENER as it makes the towels not-so-absorbent and makes them wear quicker.
Bedding :: This gets washed in hot water with recommended amount of detergent and one load size more than the amount recommended for the softener.
Athletic wear :: This consists of jerseys, shirts, trainers, etc. I wash them in cold water and on gentle or low agitation. Ensure all jerseys, especially those with lettering, are turned inside out. Do not use softener as it clogs the moisture-wicking materials and makes lettering peel. Jerseys must be air dried, however, shirts without lettering, shorts, and pants can be put in the dryer on low heat.
If you aren’t able to do all the laundry in one day, try doing one or two specific loads every day, keeping a schedule. If your kids are old enough, have them help out! My daughter is two, and while she can’t fold the clothes yet, she loves helping me sort the clothes and put them in the washer and dryer.
I hope this helps! Best of luck, mamas!