As a full-time worker and blogger, with a busy social life you can imagine how much time I have left for chores like laundry. Not much. And frankly there are a million other things I would rather be doing with my time than washing! I have made it a goal of mine to get my weekly laundry done as quickly and efficiently as possible over the years. The less I spend washing, folding and the like the more time I have for more important things.
Here are 6 Laundry Hacks to Save You Time that I have implemented in my household in order to simplify our weekly washing routine and claw back hours of our lives.
- Sort your laundry with separate hampers.
Purchasing a multiple compartment hamper on wheels has been the greatest $30 I have possible ever spent. I used to dread coming home on a Friday night to start my weekend off with a pile of laundry to sort and disliked lugging the heavy baskets across the house even more. I realised how silly it was to spend precious minutes sorting something when it would be so much easier to just sort our clothing from the get go.
I purchased a three compartment laundry hamper (I got mine from Kmart but as they no longer stock them check out this hamper for an idea. Anything similar will do. We use ours for two separate dark loads (we wear a lot of black :P) and the one in the middle is for whites. This is kept in our bathroom, keep yours where your family gets dressed most frequently.
As we only have two in our household the three compartments are plenty for us. If you have 3 or more in your household, having a hamper or twin compartment hamper for lights and darks in each bedroom can work just as well. Simply coach your family on what to put in what compartment of the hamper, add signs to the baskets if necessary, and soon enough you’ll have your whole family sorting their own laundry!
Wasting 15 or more minutes each weekend sorting through our clothes baskets is now a thing of the past. I simply grab one of the bags which is already sorted into darks, whites or towels, put its contents into the washing machine and return the empty bag to the hamper rack. If you don’t want to lug the hamper around you can just roll it to where ever you need. Seriously the best organisational tool in our home!
2. Downsize your wardrobe.
By having a large, overflowing wardrobe you can guarantee you will have a substantial amount of washing to do. This usually means you (or your family that doesn’t have to do the laundry) will end up wearing a significant number of clothes before you get around to your washing pile. Of course by then your laundry pile will most likely be a mountain high.
If you are not one to wash and fold regularly, that pile is going to get out of hand, fast! If you limit your wardrobe to a reasonable number of clothes, you can have a direct reduction in your laundry. Since implementing my own capsule wardrobe I have found it much easier to stay on top of washing. Check out How to build a Capsule Wardrobe: A Beginners Guide for ideas on how you can reduce your wardrobe. When you have less to wear you have less to wash and can go back to having more free time and less time spend in the laundry!
3. Think ahead with your washing to reduce the need for ironing
Have I mentioned I hate ironing and avoid it at all costs? Seriously – who has time for ironing? If I had to fit ironing into my schedule I would probably start binning a lot of clothes fast! Due to my lack of joy for this task I have found ways to work around it. My tricks are these:
- Where possible avoid buying clothes that need ironing. I’ve been doing this for years and don’t miss my buttoned blouses that never seemed to get worn because I never seemed to have the time to iron them regularly. I am lucky that I work in an office with a smart casual clothing policy and we are free to wear more casual clothes like office polos. If your workplace is more strict, this won’t work for you but wherever possible, if you can get away with not wearing business shirts and the like this will cut your laundry time down.
- Hang your clothes out on the line or a coat hanger as soon as the wash load or dryer is finished to help reduce any clothes from getting wrinkled whilst sitting there.
- When you take your clothes off the line, ask yourself am I going to put these away right now or are they going to sit around for the next days or so until I can get to them? If you can’t do them straight away no biggie, this is my trick. I put all the socks and underwear in first along with PJs. Anything that can get wrinkled without it being a big deal. Then with the other clothing items like shirts and pants I loosely fold them so they lay in the basket neatly, rather than screwed up slowly getting to the point of needing ironing. The folding takes a second or two per item and saves you having to iron them.
- If you are really stuck or in a rush to get something ironed, chucking your clothes in the dryer for 10 or so minutes can help remove any wrinkles in your clothes. Leaving your clothes in a bathroom with stream can also help remove wrinkles.
For those items that do need to be ironed at least you have managed to reduce the time you will need to spend ironing them and other items by carrying out the above. Hopefully this will help reduce the final pile!
>>You may also like 12 Simple Bedroom Organisation Tips for tips on how to Keep your bedroom tidy without much effort.
4. Identify your clean, dirty and re-wearable clothing.
Identify an area in your home for each family member to store worn but re-wearable clothing. Pants and jackets and other outerwear can be worn more than once if they are clean. Allocate a spare drawer to these items in each bedroom or a hook in the bathroom. Even laying them out on a chair can do the trick.
This will help reduce your laundry load as you will now know what you can wear again and reduce washing clothing that can be re-worn. This is particularly handy for kids that like to change their clothes multiple times a day and create excess washing for you. It’s an easy way to keep the clean, re-wearable clothing items from getting mixed in the hamper with the dirty items. Check out this amusing blog from Melanie Dale on Rules for Re-Wearing Clothes.
Don’t forget the towels! Whilst you are there request that they each hang up their towel after use to dry so they can reuse it. You don’t need to use a fresh towel every time you shower. This could help half the number of towels you are washing each week.
5. Ask for help and Delegate.
Get your family to help with washing with age appropriate chores. Kids from age 3 can do small tasks to help with laundry. Make sure everyone at least is putting their dirty clothes in the correct washing hamper compartment. On wash day they can carry their basket to the laundry as well as folding and putting away clothes. If your kids are tall enough or you’ve got an adjustable clothes line they can also help hang out clothes and take them off the line. Get your partner and kids to help out on a regular basis. If they don’t know how to do the laundry, or how they can help, take the time to explain the process to them. Give them a few weeks and soon enough you’ll have a lot more help and a lot less time trying to keep up with a households laundry needs on your own. So many parents wait until kids move out of home to teach them basic skills that should be esta
6. Do washing loads by person.
Consider washing a load for each person rather than mixing the washing all together only to have to work out when folding what socks and the like belong to whom. The less time spent sorting and matching the quicker you can get back to more important tasks. Washing one full load of one kids clothing means that they, if they are old enough, can then be responsible for folding or putting away their own items. To make this easier, use a laundry bag to keep socks together and help avoid the mysterious lost sock dilemma. If there is not enough for a full load for one family members washing, add two together and use the laundry bags to separate the socks and undies to avoid sorting confusion when it comes to folding them.
What laundry tips to you have to save time in your home? Please comment below with your hacks 🙂