As someone who has been known to let piles of dirty clothes grow to epic proportions, I'm always wondering if there is a way to make doing laundry a little less awful. When you think about it, it is quite the process — sorting, washing, drying, folding. It's no wonder many people put off doing laundry for days, or even weeks, on end.
I'm always so proud of myself when my closet is fully stocked with freshly laundered clothes. But more often than not there's a pile of dirty shirts and jeans creeping its way across my room. Sure, sometimes this happens because I'm lazy and prefer the plush look of a floor littered with cottons and wools. Other times I'm simply too busy, and I end up wearing a bikini bottom as underwear. (We've all been there.)
Laundry isn't rocket science — it's simply time consuming. So it's nice to remember all the perks of finally heading down to the laundromat. Think about your freshly scented sheets, your crisp shirts, and so many pairs of underwear it'll make your head spin. It's enough to make you grab the detergent and get to work.
Below are some tips for staying on top or your laundry, and some ways to make the whole process a little more streamlined. Here's to hoping that laundry day is a quick and painless process.
1. Sort Clothes As You Go With Two Hampers
Sorting clothes is one of the greatest time sucks on laundry day. Over the weeks your pile of dirty laundry becomes a tangle of darks and lights, reds and whites. It can turn into quite the chore separating them all. And, all it takes is one false move while throwing things in to wash, and you end up with a pink tinge on all your beloved sweaters. Not good. So, instead of giving in to laziness or accidentally staining everything you own, take the time to sort your clothes as soon as you're done wearing them. As noted by Whitson Gordon on Lifehacker, "One of the best tricks I ever put into practice was putting two laundry baskets in my closet: one for whites, and one for colors. That way, when you take off your clothes before bed, you can sort them with almost zero effort, instead of having to rifle through everything later on." It's a little bit of effort each day that will noticeably save time later on.
2. Wash Your Clothes Less Often (Yay!)
Many of us feel like we can only wear an outfit once before it needs to be washed. But unless something has a giant stain, it's OK to let clothes hang out in the hamper for a while, or even (gasp) wear them more than once. According Gordon, "Not every item of clothing needs to be washed right away; in fact, you could probably wear lots of clothes more than once before you wash. Shirts can survive multiple wears if worn with an undershirt, and many people don't even wash their jeans at all ..." If day-old shirts and slightly greasy jeans sound like something you can tolerate, then take the liberty of washing far less often.
3. Follow Through With You A Regular Washing Schedule
OK, so you're washing less often, but that doesn't mean you should be like me and let things get out of hand for weeks on end. If you stick to a regular laundry schedule (maybe every other Friday?), you'll help keep things under control, but also give yourself a break from the boringness of it all. Just be sure that once the process is started, you follow through until everything is dried and put away. Wet clothes left in a washing machine can grow mildew, and freshly dried clothes abandoned in the dryer can get all wrinkly, according to an article on the topic from HGTV.com. Don't let things remain half done, or else you're ultimately giving yourself more work. So follow through until the bitter end.
4. Keep All Your Laundry Stuff Confined To One Spot
Maybe you're lucky enough to have a sprawling, highly organized laundry room all to yourself. Or maybe you're like me and have to tote your clothes to and fro a laundromat that's often pure chaos. If that's the case, you're going to want to keep all of your supplies in one spot so nothing gets left behind. I like to keep my detergent, stain stick, and a bag of quarters in the bottom of my hamper. (If you have to walk several blocks, I highly suggest one of these sweet roller bags.)
5. Learn To Let Go Of Lost Socks
You can waste an entire afternoon hunting down lost socks (where on earth do they end up?), or you can practice the art of non-attachment and let them go. Sure, it's nice to have a match for all your pairs, but this can wind up being impossible — especially if you're toting all your stuff to far away laundry facilities. According to LIfehacker's Gordon, "If you're tired of sorting socks, it may be time to declare sock 'bankruptcy' and buy a whole new set of socks. Buy only a few colors, all from the same brand, in large quantities. You'll never have to fold or sort them again."
6. Fold Your Clothes And Put Them Away
You've washed your clothes, and now can dump them on the floor and pick out what you need throughout the week, right? Wrong. It'll make your life so much easier, and save you time in the long run, if you take a few extra minutes to fold your things and put them away where they belong. But if you truly hate folding, you can simply hang everything up in your closet. As noted by Sarah Lipoff on PopSugar.com, "Invest in tons of hangers and keep them in a basket right next to your dryer. As every shirt gets pulled out, fit it on a hanger. This also works if you don't feel like waiting for clothes in the dryer. Just hang clothes as they come out of the washer, and let them air-dry, making sure to leave a few inches between each item so they can breath. And it's a great way to use less electricity!"
Washing your clothes can be a long and arduous process. But if you take the time to organize yourself, and stick to a regular schedule, you'll be able to make laundry day a little less horrible.
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