How to keep on top of the laundry
Short of paying someone else to do it – or putting laundry tasks on your kids’ chore list – there are a few clever ideas to help you get on top of your laundry pile.
The Essential Baby forum members have shared some great advice over the years. Here’s our pick of their best laundry tips:
1. Use a system with different coloured baskets at the dirty clothes drop-off point, with a darker-coloured basket or hamper for dark clothes, a white basket for whites, and a mid-colour for the remaining items. Because it’s colour coded, it’s easier for everyone to use, and it will help you save time sorting on laundry day.
2. Once items are washed, hang them straight onto coat hangers and out on the line. It’s easy to bring it all in if it starts to rain, it means there’s no need to fold or iron most things, and many items can then hang straight in the wardrobe.
3. Make your laundry room a pleasant place to be – or at least good enough so that you don’t feel a sense of dread every time you step in it. Clearing some bench space, setting up a tidy storage system and making it smell nice can really help! If space is an issue, consider putting some simple shelves in.
4. Invest in a few small hangers with built-in pegs for all the little socks and undies. Again, it saves time if it starts to rain, and you don’t need to scramble around looking for pegs.
5. Keep a few containers close to hand in the laundry: one for the receipts and coins found in adults’ pockets (and the random toys, rocks and sticks found in kids’ pockets!), another for lost socks so they can eventually make their way back to their partner, and a bin for rubbish.
6. Try to fold and sort straight from the line into your basket, to save you having to go back and sort it all out later.
7. If your washing machine has a delay timer, put a load on overnight so it starts early in the morning. When you wake up, do another load – that way, you’ll have two loads ready to hang out after breakfast.
8. If you’ve got younger children, give them a handful of pegs and some bibs or socks to “help” hang out while you’re doing out the rest – it can keep them occupied and make them feel very helpful. You can also get your toddler involved with a sorting game.
9. Give the washing machine and dryer a deep clean every now and then – it will mean they run better and will help them last longer. (Not sure how to do it? Here’s how to clean your washing machine and dryer.)