When you’ve got tiny tots underfoot all day, or you’re schlepping your kids to and from school and activities, in addition to holding a job and managing the household, your time is at a premium. So anything you can do to make your chores quicker and easier is sure to be a godsend. And when it comes to the often time-consuming task of sorting, washing, drying, folding, and hanging laundry, you need all the help you can get.
Here are just a few helpful hacks that will ensure your laundry duties are less demanding.
- Use color-coded hampers. It’s probably a lot quicker and easier to sort your laundry into color-coded loads as you throw it in the hamper, rather than when you’ve got an overwhelming pile of clothing to deal with. Instead of keeping a single hamper for dirty clothes, use one for whites, one for darks, and one for colors. This will make dumping load after load into the washer a lot more efficient.
- Use lingerie bags for small items. They may be designed to keep your delicates from being torn to shreds, but lingerie bags can make sorting your laundry a lot easier after the fact when you use them to wash small items like underwear and socks. Simply put your small items into bags that are sorted by item and color (whites versus darks) as you are done wearing them. Then all you have to do is close up the bags and toss them in with the rest of your garments on laundry day. They’ll come out clean, and you won’t have to sift through piles of shirts and pants in search of that missing sock or the underwear that you know is bound to fall out of your pant leg at the most inopportune moment because you didn’t realize it was stuck there with static cling.
- Keep some baking soda handy. Many moms are not keen to use harsh chemicals like bleach on children’s clothing, but neither do you want to spend your valuable time scrubbing at stains to keep their whites bright. Instead, add 1½ to 1 cup of baking soda to your white load (depending on size) to remove stains and odors clinging to clothing.
- Teach kids how to help. This is perhaps the best of all laundry hacks – getting others to pitch in. And even young kids can participate. You can start by setting them up with color-coded hampers of their own to place their clothing in at the end of the day. And they can also help when it comes to putting their clothing away. Eventually, they’ll be able to fold and hang clothing on their own (with practice). But to start, you can place stickers on their drawers cut into the shapes of the clothing that goes in each drawer (socks, underwear, shirts, skirts, pants, etc.) so they can, at least, put their own folded laundry away.
- Use a laundry service. When it comes to doing laundry, you’ll likely do most of it on your own at home, perhaps with the occasional trip to the dry cleaners or local Spot Laundromats to clean large items like comforters. But if you’re overwhelmed, you might want to consider using a laundry service that offers pick-up and drop-off, as well as fluff-and-fold and dry cleaning options.