Laundry. The bane of our adult existence- especially once we have kids. I never really understood why adults or parents were complaining about laundry all the time. When I was a young female out on my own, it seemed like such an easy and simple thing to do. It never got under my skin. However, I completely understand now why my mom and her friends used to joke about wanting a new washer and dryer for Christmas over any other gift. I used to think that was depressing, but a husband and two kids later, I couldn’t agree more. If you’re dealing with more than one person’s laundry, it can feel like the worst chore that never ends.
So, what do we do about this time-consuming, never-ending, joy-sucking task that’s a necessity of life? We delegate as much of it as possible of course. Now this will mean different things for different people, and a lot of it will have to do with what you’re willing to spend or how much you want to give-up doing yourself.
That leads me to my first suggestion: Hire it out. If you can afford it, the easiest way to make laundry easier for yourself is not to do it at all of course. After asking many friends about this, the going rate these days to pay someone to do your laundry in your home is $25 per hour. If you already have a house-keeper who’s willing to do your laundry in addition to cleaning your house, then that’s great. However, I’ve personally found that laundry takes up a lot of time that I’d rather my house-cleaner spend picking up and deep-cleaning the rest of my home. I do ask my house-keeper to wash and dry all bedding, which she is able to do while she is here without it taking up too much time, but I don’t have her take care of the clothes.
Laundry also takes some thought, and if you don’t want your clothes ruined by shrinkage, bleeding, etc., then sometimes you need someone who is laundry-savvy to handle it. I’ve made this mistake before, and it’s not worth asking a babysitter or house-keeper, who is hired to do other things in your home to also help with the laundry if they aren’t going to do it properly or ruin your clothes altogether.
Here are a few services you can use to help find someone who will come to your home once or twice a week to do your laundry (again, most cost $25 per hour):
There is also the option to hire a service that will pick up, wash, fold, iron (if requested) and deliver your dirty clothes for a price. They all charge a bit differently, but this is totally outsourcing your laundry, so it doesn’t get much easier than this. Here are a couple I’ve found that serve Nashville along with several other cities across the country:
For my next few suggestions, I’m going to use some sage advice from none-other than the woman who knows just about everything, Oprah. She recently shared an article on how to do laundry faster by Marla Cilley who is the author of “The Chaos Cure: Clean Your House and Calm Your Soul in 15 Minutes.” Now, who doesn’t want that?!?
- Sort your laundry by dark colors and light colors when they’re dirty as you put them into the hamper(s). If you sort everything as you go, which will mean having two hampers/baskets, then when they get full, you just simply dump each load directly in the wash, saving you time from sorting things later. Here are some double hampers I found online if you don’t want to go on the hunt for them in person:
- Sort your socks prior to washing. This seems like it might make one of the biggest differences in my opinion. I also think you could do this with underwear too, which would cut-out a lot of post-wash sorting. There are two ways to do this, but I personally prefer one over the other, since children can participate in one of these methods. You can use oversized safety pins to pin pairs of socks together once they’re removed from your feet and turned right-side out (some clothes should be washed inside out, but not socks apparently, so this also saves a step post-drying if you do it before even washing). Here are some oversized safety pins that are rust-resistant so they can be used in the wash:
The other method to sock/underwear sorting requires the use of a mesh bag that you can wash and dry along with the clothes inside of it. I think this is great because your kids can even put their own dirty socks and underwear in the bags, and then put them in the laundry hamper. Then once everything is dry, you don’t have to sort through it all, but simply return the mesh bags to their proper owners. One option of this in various sizes can be found here:
- Speed up the drying process. Apparently, dryer balls such as these wool dryer balls really do help speed up drying wet clothes in the dryer. It is said that wool dryer balls work better than fabric sheets, and the more of the wool balls you use, the faster your laundry will dry. You also want to be sure not to cram the dryer with too many items, which minimizes air flow to each item. Half-full to three-quarters full is ideal, and more than that will result in having to run the dryer for longer periods of time.
Last, but certainly not least, FOLDING:
Okay y’all, this tip is from me, as I didn’t believe in it at first myself, but after finally trying it out, I can’t imagine life another way. I’m sure you’ve all heard of the KonMari Method, founded by Marie Kondo by now, and if you haven’t then “you’re welcome.” I’m not going to get into all the details about the practice as a whole, but specifically speak to her clothes-folding method. I encourage you to read, “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up,” but I also strongly suggest you watch the Netflix show about it, since you can see her actually fold clothes (you can also just go to “youtube.com” and type in “Marie Kondo folding shirts” and see a live demonstration (you can do the same for pants, undergarments, etc).
The way Marie folds clothes is a GAME CHANGER. I didn’t buy into it at first and was completely overwhelmed at the thought of unfolding all of my clothes and the kids’ clothes just to re-fold them the KonMari way. However, I speak from personal experience when I tell you that you need to at least try this. It takes very little practice, but you can actually SEE your clothes in your drawers, and it also saves a ton of space in your drawers. It has made finding clothes much easier for the kids as well as for myself and my husband. It saves us so much time when getting ready and also when packing for trips (we just transfer the clothes into our bags this way as well and can actually fit more in our suitcases now). It reduces wrinkles and creates a more organized, less-cluttered look to our drawers, which honestly just makes you feel better too.
I hope you all try this method of folding clothes, as it’s made doing laundry a way more pleasant experience that everyone can contribute to. Paul refers to it as the “origami method,” and I think it’s so great, I’ve yet to correct him.
Happy laundering y’all!