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My Laundry Dilemma
For me there are so many satisfying things about doing laundry, it’s mindless, it takes very little time and it feels so good when it’s done! Oh, and I have a very cute little helper as you can see in the picture below! But I have terrible laundry habits. I will wait to put laundry in until it’s absolutely necessary, like, someone’s out of underwear kind of necessary! My husband will be getting ready for work in the morning and he’ll ask “Where are all my socks?!” Luckily I have a sweet husband who is rarely unkind to me about his lack of clean laundry! This month I’m working towards being more disciplined, and laundry is an area I need to change!
Are you making any of these laundry day mistakes? If you are, here’s why you need to change them!
Waiting until you need something to wash laundry
Dirty laundry is prime breeding ground for bacteria, mold and mildew and any stains will set when you wait too long. Ick! Laundry should be washed regularly, don’t wait until you are out of clothes! Pros of having a regular laundry day is that you won’t have to stress about finding something clean to wear.
Not stain treating your clothes.
If you want your clothing to last longer stain treat them as soon as possible. Take a stain stick with you in your purse or diaper bag, or treat the stain immediately when you get home. The longer a stain sits the harder it is to remove. A stain removing option that I use with great results is Norwex Ultra Power Plus Laundry detergent, read a great review here and purchase your own here. They also have a stain remover specifically formulated for treating stains. If you want to minimize the cleaners in your household, read this post on minimalist cleaning.
Not sorting your clothes before washing them.
Do you wash your whites and darks together? If so, shame on you! Okay, so I might do this too… *gasp* …sometimes. Laundry can be sorted into lights, whites, darks, and towels, you should at least wash your whites and colors separately. Water temperatures recommended for lights and darks are different and if you happen to have a dark pair of jeans or something red, your white clothing might come out colored! It’s super easy to wash darks and whites seperately if you have designated baskets. Try having a dark one and a white one to remind yourself, then wash one basket at a time. Or use one like this that’s divided into Dark, Light and Color for you! If you have limited space, try gorgeous laundry bags like these from the Pioneer Woman.
Not reading the garment care instructions.
One of the keys to making your clothing last a long time is washing it correctly. Each garment should have a tag with care instructions, check the tag and wash and dry accordingly. Turning your jeans inside out and zipping/buttoning them will keep them from catching, rubbing and wearing on anything with them, as well as preventing them from fading. Washing whites in hot water helps them to come out brighter, washing colors in cold water prevents them from bleeding and fading and so on.
Heaping clean laundry in a basket or on your bed until it gets used.
Not only will your laundry get terribly wrinkled, it also often gets pawed through and clean clothes get mixed with dirty, causing you more laundry that isn’t necessary! Folding your laundry right out of the dryer and immediately putting it away will prevent your clothing from getting wrinkled, scattered and mixed back into the dirty clothes. It also creates clean space when it is not cluttered by laundry, and a peaceful and orderly atmosphere.
Folding the laundry without putting it away.
Ugh! I’m bad with this one! I will fold the clothes and put them on the bed or in a basket without taking time to put them away. I always end up folding them twice this way. Resist the urge to just put them in a basket and put the laundry away the first time! This will prevent so much work in the long run and save you a lot of time.
Not hanging your clothes.
Due to limited space, I hang all of our clothes except underwear, pajamas and jeans. Often times I will lay them out in a stack and they are the last thing to be put away. Sometimes I forget and they get really wrinkled. If this happens you can always use a wrinkle release spray (this is what I use.) or iron them. You will save a lot of time and last minute frustration with wrinkled clothing if you hang your clothes in your closet immediately upon removing them from the dryer.
Using Dryer Sheets
Did you know dryer sheets have 19 know carcinogens and are full of fragrance that will coat your clothing in chemicals? I love my 100% wool dryer balls, I get them here , with a 2 year warranty and at least 1000 loads guaranteed. Dryer balls soften your clothes and reduce dry time, wrinkles and static and can be used with essential oils to make your laundry smell so fresh! Plastic dryer balls can also be used though they can’t be used with oils and they don’t work quite as well. Find a less expensive version of wool dryer balls here and plastic here with good reviews though I can’t personally speak of their quality. I had Plastic dryer balls I found at TJMaxx previously but didn’t notice a difference in my laundry, they were also about half the size of the dryer balls I use now.
Tips for creating a laundry routine that works
Having a laundry routine can help you to create good laundry habits that will prevent the mistakes above and prolong the life of your clothing. A few tips to create a laundry routine that works with your life and schedule;
- Put dirty clothes in the washer as you use them and then start the washer when it’s full.
- Set a laundry day every week to do whatever laundry has built up.
- Do one load of laundry every day (or every other, depending on how much laundry you go through).
- Wash socks and underwear separately from other clothes in hot water.
- Fold laundry straight out of the dryer.
- Put laundry away immediately after folding.
- Wear the same outfit 2–3 times before washing (minus your underwear of course!)
Oddly satisfying things about laundry
My favorite things about doing laundry are
- The smell and feel of fresh warm laundry right out of the dryer!
- Watching the pile of clothing dwindle as I fold.
- Folding towels and hanging clothes (it makes the laundry pile go so quickly)
- That 10 seconds when the laundry basket is empty after all the laundry is folded and put away!
- Stain treat clothing immediately
- Wash regularly
- Follow proper care instructions
- Fold laundry as soon as it is dry
- Put away laundry as soon as it’s folded
- Use dryer balls to replace dryer sheets!
Shop my laundry favorites!
What are your best laundry tips? I’d love to hear them below!