Tuesday, January 23, 2007

7 Laundry Tips to Make Doing the Wash a LOT Easier

If you're a regular reader of my site and blog then you'll know that I'm not a huge fan of doing the laundry. In fact, if you were to ask my husband which task it is that I've become most proficient at PROCRASTINATING at, it would absolutely be the laundry. (See, I told you I was the original happy slob! It's more than just a catchy title, you know!)

Right, but I'm determined to get better at tackling the wash, because I'm sick of seeing full laundry baskets just mocking me and my sad laundry ways. So, for you (and for me!) here are some helpful tips to get us going -- and save time and energy while still getting the dirty wash clean.

  1. Keep clothes separated - colors in one basket, whites in the other. Use a dark hamper for the darker clothes to make it obvious even to little children which clothes go into what laundry basket.
  2. Rinse out stains as soon as they happen. It makes it a whole LOT easier later on to cope with the laundry if you don't have day (or week) old stains lingering on the clothing. Remember to use cool water when getting fresh stains out - hot water will only set the stain into the fabric. NOT what you had in mind at all!
  3. Use safety pins or clothespins to pin together matching socks. No more weird, wandering lost partners for your favorite socks! Just keep a little bucket or baggie filled with these and everyone can get into the habit of pinning their socks together before they chuck them in the laundry hamper. Yeah, it might look odd, but it really works.
  4. Pick a Laundry Day (or 5) - If you're a large family, then daily loads of laundry might be a reality for you. For the rest of us, we need to pick a laundry day or two and stick to them. Reward yourself every time you stick to your schedule and actually do some laundry on the day you planned to. What kind of reward? A lingering bubble bath sounds nice to me, as does a little extra spending money.
  5. More about Rewards - I realized that last tip in #4 should be a tip all on its own! Rewarding your good efforts really does teach you to keep up good new habits. So, if you hate laundry as much as I do, reward yourself with something that has meaning to you. For instance, you could decide to 'pay' yourself $2 or $5 (whatever you can afford) whenever you do a task that you really hate. At the end of the week you might have 'earned' $10 extra for some little goodie you wouldn't normally splurge on. This goes for your kids as well - let them know that they can earn stuff they love by helping more around the house. Set a price chart, and possibly a weekly maximum - especially if they're little entrepreneurs!
  6. Fun Fabric Softener Tips - About 1 cup of regular old white vinegar in your wash will act like a fabric softener, keeping clothes soft and fresh and static-free. It's also cheaper than fabric softener and far more natural. Or, try spraying a bit of regular liquid fabric softener on an old washcloth and chucking it in with the load of wash as it dries. It works just like a fabric softener sheet, but for WAY less money, since it only takes a squirt or two of spray at a time!
  7. Set the Timer - A good timer is a Happy Slob's best friend, and it's useful for doing the wash too. Set the timer for exactly when the wash will be done, so that it doesn't linger for longer than necessary. As soon as the timer goes, take the wash out and pop it in the dryer and set the timer again. When it rings, take the clothes RIGHT out of the dryer & start folding and putting away. It's leaving the clothes in the dryer to get ultra wrinkly that will waste more time than anything.

Speaking of wrinkly clothes...this post (along with readers comments) is still one of my favorites on how to NOT ever iron your clothes again! :) Talk about a great time saver.

Have a fabulous Tuesday, everyone!


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