Laundry is easily the least favorite chore of most people. It always takes so long, and there are so many stages: from sorting to folding and putting it back to the wardrobe. And it’s just laundry – there are so many other tasks to do at home. But since it’s something we all have to do at least every week, the least you can do is to try to make it less of a snoozefest by learning how to do laundry faster and more efficiently. These are some tips and tricks that will help:
1. Clean your washing machine.
Before we get to the tips to save your time doing laundry, first take time to clean your washing machine and dryer so it will work more efficiently for you. Cleaning your washing machine every few months can help eliminate the excess dirt, soap gunk, and other things that may invade your machine. Make sure also to clean the dryer so it can dry more effectively in a lesser amount of time. Make sure you always empty the lint trap to prevent damaging the machine.
Besides the washing machine, you may want to keep your laundry space clean and organized. Put everything on its proper place – shelves, cabinets, and containers, so it will be a lot faster to get things done when it’s time to do the laundry.
2. Try changing your laundry habits.
If you ask people about their laundry routine, they will likely be divided on one thing: whether it’s better to do a little laundry every day (or every other day) or a ton of laundry once a week. For some families, doing one load per day makes things easier and not so overwhelming, so that not one day will be dedicated to just doing laundry. But for some people, that strategy can be frustrating, because the laundry never seems to be done.
Here’s another tip: try doing laundry by the person. Assign one day of the week for each person’s laundry. It’s faster and easier to get clean clothes for the right person and place when you only have one person’s laundry to wash for each laundry day.
If the laundry is getting you down, try changing the laundry strategy you are using now.
3. Pre-sort your laundry by the hamper.
Sorting laundry on a laundry day can be a tedious task, so it helps if you have multiple hampers for different sorts of laundry. It’s ideal if you have one basket for whites, one for coloreds, and one for towels. This works well as it can cut down the time spent sorting. Dirty clothes can go straight to the washer and be washed right away.
Here’s how you can sort your laundry:
- Try getting some dividers for your laundry bins, or buy a pre-divided laundry bin.
- Keep smaller baskets to separate lights from darks.
- Skip the bin and put dirty clothes in the machine until it’s ready to go.
4. Sort laundry by weight.
Sorting laundry by color is a traditional method of pre-laundry sorting, but the more efficient way to sort is by weight or by fabric. Unless you’re washing items that come with a color-run warning, you’re going to make your life a lot easier by sorting clothes this way. If you wash on cold water, the color doesn’t matter. Also, if you wash light items with other light items, it won’t get damaged by the heavier ones, and everything will be cleaned evenly. Same-weight items also need the same drying time. It isn’t for everyone, but it can make washing easier.
5. Wash clothes less often.
The most obvious way to reduce laundry is by washing your clothes less often. Not every item of clothing needs to be washed after the first wear. For jeans, a good rule of thumb is to wash them every three to ten wears, or when they start to smell. If you sweat up in your jeans, if you take public transport, and if you do manual work, wash them after three wears. But if you’re working at a desk in an air-conditioned office, and if you take your car, then your jeans can last up to 10 wears. The same goes for jackets and coats, as these heavy clothing does not need washing every time you wear them.
6. Hang mesh bags inside the laundry bin.
By hanging a small mesh bag on the side of your laundry bin, you can easily remove it and put it in the washing machine when it’s full. After tossing it in the dryer, you won’t have to worry about missing socks and spending ages paring them from a massive load of random laundry items.
7. Buy identical pairs of socks.
If you’re not sold on the idea of using mesh bags for keeping socks together, it’s best to buy a huge batch of the same design of socks, so you don’t need to find pairs or sort them out. You can simply put them all into your socks drawer and pair them quickly when you need them.
8. Remove stains right away.
To avoid wasting time scrubbing out stains, always get stains out right away. You can remove nearly all kinds of stains by using simple household items like club soda, baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, lemon juice, vinegar, and more. Sometimes, a quick rinse under the sink will even do.
9. Skip the normal cycle setting.
For your average, everyday laundry, choose the quick wash cycle on the washing machine, rather than the normal cycle setting. Using the normal cycle all the time will cause you to lose more time when your washing machine load is less than half full. The clothes will also come out clean and fresh with a quick wash cycle. Just take note that heavily soiled clothing will need a longer cycle.
10. Fold and hang clothes faster.
Next to sorting, folding is the second biggest complaint when it comes to laundry. Folding is such a mundane task that can make one sleepy. With the right techniques, you can spend less time folding and putting clothes away. There are different methods of folding and hanging clothes, such as the Japanese folding method, instant t-shirt hanging method, a saddle row fold, and more. Check out this video for some genius clothing tricks.