1. Sort as you go
Instead of using up a lot of time before every wash sorting your laundry into whites/colours/delicates/etc, sort as you go with multiple hampers. This will take away that extra step on laundry day. It also allows you to customize your loads of laundry how ever you prefer! If you prefer to wash loads by color or texture, label each hamper that way to avoid any confusion (or label by name if you do a wash per person, or label as you please!). On laundry day, take each hamper one at a time to the laundry room and simply transfer all the clothes from the hamper to the washer. No sorting necessary! Job done.
2. Stain treat as you go
Just like sorting laundry, stain treatment on laundry day can take a ton of time (especially if you have a messy household!). The time and energy it takes look at each piece of clothing from the hamper, one-by-one. Then, treating all the stains beofre you can start the washer is a pain. Instead, treat them as you go by keeping some of your favorite stain treatment near the hamper. Examining one outfit before it goes into the hamper is much more manageable, don’t you think?
3. Separate into less loads
Obviously less loads = less time and hassle, plus, studies show that a full load is cleaned more effectively and efficiently than a load with just a few items. Just be sure you don’t overload the washer or dryer. A good rule of thumb is to fill the machine until it’s ¾ full, so that the items can get equal attention from you detergent and rinse thoroughly. Another easy way to cut down on the number of laundry loads is by using color blocking cloths. Colour catchers or grabbers allow you to mix your whites with coloured and/or dark items in the same load. Imagine the time you’ll save!
4. Use the “Quick Wash” cycle
Does your washing machine have a “quick” cycle? Most these days do. Try it out! It generally takes about ½ the time as the “normal” cycle. You might wonder if the quick cycle actually cleans your clothes as well as the normal cycle. In our experience, the answer is YES! It does exactly what it says on the tin, just as effectively as the default wash setting.
5. Wash less often
Some things need to be washed after every wear. T-shirts, underwear, socks and, obviously stained or soiled items should be washed between wears. BUT, you can generally get more mileage out of a pair of jeans, dress slacks, towels and more. This tip requires a mental shift, but that’s okay! As a habit, most people throw all their clothes from the day into the hamper… it’s part of our usual daily routine. But some clothes can go a little longer from wash to wash. Sometimes, it’s obvious an item needs a good wash before it can be worn again. Those CAN go straight into the hamper! Otherwise, perform a sniff test. Does it still smell good? If so, hang it up to let it “air-out” and wear it again. I like to spray a little febreze or linen spray on lightly worn clothes and then let them air-out. This is great for clothes that may not have been worn all day or that weren’t worn during some sweat inducing activity. You’ll also get to enjoy these items longer since they won’t wear out as quickly.
6. Make the dryer do the ironing
Do you make a habit of taking the clothes out of the dryer when the cycle is complete? If not, you’ve probably noticed the wrinkles that set in as the clothes cool down. Make a habit of taking them out right away. If you’re not quite ready to start folding flat stack the items that tend to get wrinkly so they’ll be ready (and wrinkle-free) when you are. Fold pants right away since they tend to be quick. Then, hang the collared shirts and stack the t-shirts completely flat. Underwear, socks and other small items go into a laundry basket for later. You’ll be able to get the next load drying and keep the laundry momentum going. If you have any items with remaining wrinkles, just toss them into the dryer with a damp washcloth for 10-15 minutes. Voila! You won’t believe how much time you’ll save by avoiding a lot of ironing.
Some people love doing laundry because it’s rhythmic. Maybe you can start a load in the wash, do some exercise for about half an hour then switch the load to the dryer, have a shower, start cooking dinner or any other chore which needs doing. Once the cycle is complete, you can switch the loads and fold the clothes from the dryer. As strange as it sounds, laundry helps manage your time as it’s a set amount of time with set gaps of time where you can manage your other chores. Think about what you can do in 30-40 minutes. Catch up with your favourite tv series, prep dinner, make dinner, workout, read a chapter or two, make some phone calls, run a couple errands? While doing the laundry!
8. Make a schedule
There’s something about a routine that make things go faster. It’s likely the mental preparation we all do subconsciously when following a scheduled pattern, combined with the autopilot that’s engaged once we start a routine. There’s probably more psychology to it than that, but the fact of the matter is, a routine laundry schedule is way easier and less stressful than having no routine and figuring out you need to do laundry when you’re about to leave for some outing and your favorite pair of pants is balled up in the bottom of the hamper. Figure out how long it takes to fill your hamper and then you’ll know how often you need to do laundry. Then, decide what day or days are most convenient and stick to the schedule. Get it into your calendar or day planner so you can plan for it!
9. Get your family to help out
Everyone is able to learn and do the laundry. Well, that *might* be overstating it slightly! But it’s true that learning the basics of laundry day can help kids develop a greater sense of responsibility early on AND, as a bonus, a greater appreciation for the person or people that do their laundry.
To start, have them help you load items into the washer or ask them to bring their hamper to the laundry room. They can also learn over time how to sort and treat stains, as well. Of course, then the part kids love the most is pressing the buttons and watching the first few rotations with glee and satisfaction in a job well done! (Oh, to be a kid again!) Since the machines do the actual grunt work, it’s safe and easy to have them lend their helping little hands as soon as they can walk (or whenever you feel comfortable). Disclaimer: It’s always a good idea to supervise, just in case… and it gives them an opportunity to “show off”! Turn it into a game.
10. Outsource the laundry altogether!
No matter how you slice it, laundry can be one of the more boring tasks around the house. Even the most efficient routine takes time and energy. Consider outsourcing the laundry to a laundry service (such as, *shameless plug* but we can do it!).
If your schedule is too hectic or if your loads are too big to do effectively, we’d be delighted to take the load off you and do it professionally without hesitation with a competitive price. Click the button below to receive a free cost analysis from us here at Inter Sluice.
Thanks to Laundrycare for some of the info above.