Make Laundry Day More Bearable: 10 Hacks You’ll Wish You Knew Sooner

Little adjustments to your attitude and routine can help take the wrinkles out of doing the wash

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Considering that 100 years ago, doing the laundry involved some serious arm muscles, I feel pretty lucky to be able to toss clothes into a machine and have them come out clean. That said, keeping a busy household in fresh garments, sheets and towels isn’t always easy. For a smooth laundry day (and no more missing socks!), here are 10 tips and tricks. Try one or try them all. Also: stop making these laundry day mistakes.

streamline laundry day LaundryCaesarstone, original photo on Houzz

1. Do laundry more often. This may be counterintuitive, but if you count laundry among your least favorite chores, it may be time to shake things up. If you’ve been saving up your laundry all week to do in one go, try dividing the task into smaller chunks throughout the week (for example, towels on Monday, sheets on Tuesday, clothes on Wednesday, delicates on Thursday). Learning how to de-stench your clothes without washing can also save you time!

If you feel as though you’re always doing laundry, see if you can get away with cutting back to twice a week. If you have a large household, there may simply be no way of getting around doing tons of laundry. The tips that follow will make the work lighter, but remember that you can also use laundering as an excuse to take some downtime for yourself. Put on a podcast or audiobook, listen to music, or catch up on a favorite show while you wash, dry, and fold. Learn more about your laundry! Remembering these washing symbols will keep your clothes looking new.

2. Do separate loads for each person. One of the more time-consuming parts of doing laundry is sorting out whose clothes are whose when they come out of the dryer. Avoid this issue entirely by giving each person their own laundry basket and only running one person’s clothes at a time. Of course, it won’t always work out this way, but trying to stick with a one-family-member-per-load policy can help cut down on folding frustration.

streamline-laundry-day-Laundry-2Austin and Co. Architecture and Design, original photo on Houzz

3. Use baskets to presort laundry. Who hasn’t experienced the dreaded laundry room floor pileup? This tends to happen while laundry is in progress and the person doing the laundry is attempting to get things sorted out—and it gets worse when the laundry is then left there to “finish later” for some indeterminate period of time. A simple solution is to use a three- or four-bin laundry sorter and toss clothes into the appropriate bin from the get-go.

4. Turn clothes right side out before folding. This is a habit that some people will pick up faster than others, but it can make a big difference in the speed with which you can fold a load of clothing. In a totally unscientific experiment, I found that I was able to fold a load of laundry in nearly half the time when the contents were all right side out to begin with.

streamline-laundry-day-Laundry-3Wise Home + Design, original photo on Houzz

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Originally Published in Reader's Digest