Seems like laundry never stops. According to the American Time Use Survey conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, on average, 2.8 hours of a woman’s day and 2.1 hours of a man’s day is spent on household activities, which include laundry. No matter who is doing the laundry, it has to get done. So, unless you enjoy doing laundry, try to spend as little time as possible doing it. This requires thought and planning. Here is how to organize your laundry cycle from beginning to end:
1. Take off dirty clothes. This is the first place to look to save time. Keep an appropriate sized clothes hamper in each family member’s bedroom, bathroom, closet, or wherever they take off their clothes. If that isn’t practical, then place one on each floor in a central location. Ideally, the hampers should have these sections: “cold, warm, hot” or “whites, colors, darks”. Label the hamper bins. This way sorting starts before the laundry comes into the laundry room. Now, everyone is helping with the laundry, and children are preparing for independence. Hamper example
2. Get hampers to the area where laundry is done. Again, ask family members to help by bringing their hampers to the laundry room. Even if you do laundry outside of your home, everyone can get the laundry to a central place so that it’s ready to go out the door. Depending on the amount of clothing to be washed, several large hampers might be necessary (one for each temperature cycle). Ask family members to transfer their clothes to the larger hampers and take their hamper back in their room. The key is to keep the clothes from getting out of control. You don’t want them to get mixed up all over the floor.
3. Sort and wash clothes. If not already done, finish sorting clothes between whites, colors, darks, and delicates. Then wash and dry the clothes. How to wash laundry
4. Separate clothes by room and put away. A large work space is helpful for this step. A large bed will work fine. Separate clothes by person or the room were stored. Folding, ironing, and hanging can happen at this point, or even better, get the stacks of clothing into the appropriate room and ask the owner to manage them. If you have a laundry room, consider how to best use the space. Use vertical and horizontal space. For example, have a bar for hanging clothes that come out of the dryer to minimize ironing. Other tips include: stay on a schedule, put dry cleaning in a specific place, use the capacity of the washer and right type of detergent to minimize loads, follow the directions on clothes label to prolong the life of your clothes, and, if time is critical, hire someone to do your laundry for you. The fewer clothes you have the more time you have to wash them; then again, the more clothes you have, the more laundry you have to do. It’s your preference.
Spend time organizing your laundry cycle, make it more efficient, it is worth your time.