How to Create an Efficient Laundry Routine

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How to Create an Efficient Laundry Routine

Staff Writer · Feb 17, 2010

Creating an efficient laundry routine can reduce the time spent on doing laundry and thereby decrease resentment of the task. As washing and drying clothing and linens takes time and energy away from doing other, more enjoyable things, it is rare to find someone who enjoys doing the task. In cases of a large family or a newborn infant, doing laundry can become a daunting, never ending task. Planning ahead, organizing and sharing responsibility for the chore can save significant time.

Organize Your Space

Look at the area in which you do laundry and check if it is set up to properly handle your wash. Detergent, stain fighting sprays, dryer sheets and any other items you use on your laundry should be within easy reach and organized. A simple shelf over the washer and dryer will provide the space you need to organize. Put detergent and other washing supplies over the washer, and dryer sheets and other drying supplies above the dryer. If your detergent comes with an easy pour spout, place the canister so that you are able to pour the detergent directly into the machine, skipping the need to measure. New softener products will stick inside the machine, eliminating the need for you to remember an individual dryer sheet for each new load.

Make a Schedule and Plan Ahead

The first step in developing a system for laundry is identifying the best day to do laundry. If you are doing laundry for a family, a weekday while the children are in school or daycare might be the best option because there will be less interruptions. If you are unable to do laundry on a weekday, check whether there is a consistent time on the weekends when you will be able to do laundry. For example, if you are too tired to go out on Friday nights or typically leave them unscheduled, that might be the best time.

After choosing the day on which you will do laundry, make the day known to family members and also inform them that laundry will only be done on other days on an emergency-only basis. In doing so you are sharing the responsibilities of preparing laundry meaning less stress on yourself. Of course you will still be responsible for infants and young children’s laundry, but this will not be overwhelming if you properly organize dirty clothing.

Organize Your Laundry Prior to Washing Day

Create a system for you and your family to separate dirty laundry as it is shed. While storage and other stores sell laundry baskets with multiple dividers for this task, two separate laundry baskets will provide the same result. One basket should be dedicated to whites and lights and the other for darks. Additional baskets can be dedicated for delicates, jeans, or other special items. Implement the rule that anything placed in the basket should already be turned right-side out. Make sure you are able to lift whatever dividing system you implement. This way all you will need to do is dump the contents of the basket directly into the washing machine.

Consider Washing and Drying Time

Certain items take longer than others to wash and dry. Before you start your laundry check what you are washing and put the loads in order according to your schedule, washing and drying time and desired finish. Jeans and other heavy clothing, and towels and other thick items take longer to dry, and so should be left until last as that way no wet clothing will be left waiting in the washing machine. It does not matter if towels and sheets become wrinkled, and so these items can dry overnight or while you are out of the house.

Ironing

Unfortunately, ironing is part of doing laundry. Similar to laundry day, schedule a specific time for ironing, which may be immediately as the items come out of the dryer. Save ironing time by shaking out items needing ironing immediately after taking out of the dryer and laying them flat. Using a starch spray will significantly cut down on the time needed to properly iron each item.

Laundry can seem a never-ending task, but by scheduling a time and setting some rules to make doing the wash easier, you will save significant amounts of time. While difficult to think of doing laundry as anything other than a chore, it may become a more enjoyable one if performed with forethought and planning.

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