Tips and Tricks for Getting Your Laundry Under Control
I’m going to be blunt and tell you that there is really no purpose to each member of the family having 20 t-shirts and 20 pairs of pants and 10 sweaters etc. If you have that many clothes, especially for children, you will absolutely do more laundry. Go through the closets and limit your clothing piles to about 5-10 of each item. For our family this means each of the kids get 5 play t-shirts and 5 town t-shirts; 5 play pants and 5 town pants etc. Do the same for yourself. If you are really attached to the clothes, put them in a bin and pull them out in six months to experience a whole new wardrobe. My oldest boy has a skill of wearing through his play pants so I chose to put any extras into a storage bin to pull out as needed to replenish his closet.
Wear Dirty Clothes
We wear (often dirty) play clothes at home and only change into town clothes if we are going to town or to a friend’s house. When you drop in at my house during the day, you’ll find my boys in dirt covered, food covered, stain covered play clothes. If you come by the next day, they will likely be wearing the same clothes they wore yesterday. So will I. The clothes are dirtier when they go in the machine but there is significantly less laundry at the end of my week. When you get home from town, change back into the play clothes and put the (hopefully still clean) town clothes back into the closet.
The theory is to have a bin for whites, colors, and darks, so you’ll quickly see when you have a load to do. My children do not sort laundry. Neither does my husband. And *cough* neither do I *cough.* I’ll be honest with you: our laundry ends up getting dropped on the floor, shoved under beds, and stuffed into couch cracks and toy bins. On Monday mornings we (the little ones and I) go through the house and pick up all the scattered clothes. Most of them are in the bedrooms so I set different baskets outside the bedroom doors and we throw them into the correct basket. Then I bring the baskets downstairs to the laundry area and send the boys off with smaller bins to gather the clothes (usually jammies and socks) that have ended up on the main floor while I get the first load going. Even if I only do one load on Monday, all the laundry is sorted, which makes the rest of the loads go much easier.
Tackling Towels And Sheets
Hang Bath towels to dry and be used all week (or longer if you don’t shower every day). Sheets do not need to be washed weekly (eek!). Unless you have a bed wetter or a teenager who sweats a lot (at which point they can be responsible for washing their own sheets), you can get away with washing them once a month. If you have a nursling in bed with you, put a towel or receiving blanket underneath to catch any leakage (throw them in with your weekly towel load).
Depending on your personality you may work best by washing and drying it all and then fold it all in one large mass. Or you will find it easier to only fold one load at a time and put it away before pulling the next load out of the dryer.
Most cloths just don’t need ironing. If you have business attire that must be wrinkle free, pull them out of the dryer as soon as it’s finished. Any wrinkles that are on it at that point will either be noticeable only to you or come back as creases when you wear it.