Laundry tips please!!!!(25 Posts)
There's me and 4 dcs, I'm kind of on top of everything except the bloody laundry! It seems to multiply quicker than bacteria
What do you all do to keep on top of it?
Do it more often, buy a bigger machine or have two machines.
Wash things less often, do more washings, buy more clothes!
However many loads a day you're doing, add one.
Once the to do pile is manageable get smart.
3 baskets for whites, colours, darks. Cuts sorting time.
Tumble dryer is a god send for towels and bedding.
Get kids involved. My DS is 10 and can whack a load on to wash. Unless it's filthy, use quick wash setting.
Use the quickest setting possible. 60C for linens/nappies, 40C everything else.
If you tumble, have a separate dryer so you can throw stuff in straight away and do another wash.
If air drying (especially if no outside space), finish a wash in the evening and put clothes on airers/hangers/radiators. At least some stuff will be completely dry by morning, if not most, so it's not in your way so much and can be put away quickly. If you have a heated towel radiator in the bathroom then use it for overnight drying too.
Clothes dried on hangers usually have no creases and are ready for the wardrobe. If you don't have much space to hang them, you can get hooks that hold up to 10 hangers from Lakeland for about £3/pair, they go on doors.
Have more than one airer (never ceases to surprise me when I see a family of 5 with the one concertina!).
Don't just keep using clean clothes until they run out. Have a washing basket that can hold roughly the size of your washing machine load and when it's full, run it. I don't bother separating colours <gasp> but if you do, then have two like that: one for whites & lights, one for darks & colours. Pastels, brights, greys etc do not need separate washes.
Sometimes, DC like to throw things in the washing basket that don't need washing...
Put the washing away as soon as its dry. That's where I fall down as I can't face putting stuff away (no room in the drawers for it to go!) so can't do another wash as the airer isn't free!
Really try not to wash clothes too often. Jeans can have a few wears, same with jumpers. Bedding only once a week.
Get children to sort the dry clothes. Even my 2.5 yr
old knows whose clothes are whose to put into piles!
Only iron things that really need it. Not towels, pants and socks like MIL does!
I have the 3 baskets too. The kids put them In the right baskets. I load the fullest one every morning.
Plus of course, only wash stuff that needs it !
Sounds obvious I know, but it's amazing what you read on MN about people washing stuff that's only been worn once, when it still looks clean, and smells clean, or washing towels after every use - I mean... why ?
I've revolutionised our laundry by only washing on one day (Monday-and look, I even have time to MN!).
We're 2 adults, three children (two school age and a toddler), so have football kit/weekend clothes/uniform for kids, grobags etc for toddler, clean shirt everyday for DH, aswell as clean undies everyday and my clothes.
How I do it is this:
- bought towelling robes for everyone, so when we get out of bath/shower we put these on. So on Sunday night I change the bath mat/hand towel/my hair towel. That's all, no other towels hanging around to make the house damp.
- boys take uniform off before dinner, they have a packed lunch so their uniform stays clean all week (they're 6 & 5 so too young for being smelly, so only a paint incident s school requires new uniform).
- pj's do two nights for the kids, unless they spill brekkie the next morning (another way uniform is kept clean-breakfast and teeth before uniform).
- on Mondays I wash (if I'm not out I start doing machine loads on Sunday eve) I put non-tumble dryer stuff on airer, and then spend the day doing 2 or 3 loads in dryer. I iron the stuff we need for the week, then on tues take stuff off airer/radiators and put away.
I've been doing this for 5 weeks now and so far I can't find a flaw in the plan (my daughter leaked into her grobag one night so I did a midweek load one week, as we can't risk a vomiting/weeing incident leaving us without a spare, so I'm fairly flexible if need be).
Previously we were always hunting in baskets to find clean pants and socks-now it's all in the drawers. Me or DH had to iron stuff the night before for the next day. Now the shirts etc we 'need' are in the wardrobe. There's still an ironing mountain but it's nothing essential. And we no longer have damp washing on airers/radiators all the time, which has to be re-homed if anyone comes as it's unsightly in the lounge. By tues any sign of laundry is gone; airer, wet washing, piles if ironing, dry washing, dirty washing.
I guess this only works if you have enough clothes and underwear. I had to buy an extra packet of grey school socks, but other than that we've enough to fully function with only washing once a week. And we're lucky enough to have a utility, so dirty clothes get put in one big basket in there and sorted on sun/mon.
Sorry for the epic post-if you're home situation and clothing would facilitate it I heartily recommend giving it a try. I still struggle to see the washing piling up, and the empty machine (turned off at the wall-seems ridiculous for a family of five!) and nit get nervous, but if you can get over the habit if doing washing every day it might just change your life!
Oh, and bedding done fortnightly-we all bath/shower before bed!
I couldnt fit the amount of washing we need to do into 1 day (I did 3 loads on Saturday and that didnt put a dent in the pile and thats with doing at least one load each day, if not more) - dh has the gym 4 days a week and plays football twice a week plus has his work shirts, etc. I go to fitness classes 4 days a week so have that stuff to do plus the clothes I change into afterwards. DS plays football and rugby at the weekend and both kids have swimming.
I dont use a drier so everything is hung up to dry in a spare room upstairs.
I think my laziness helps-of an evening I sit around in my dressing gown (I bath when kids in bed, then don't get dressed afterwards unless I'm going out), and if we're not going out on a weekend day we're very likely to sit around in our pj's all day! When DH gets in from work he changes into gym clothes/squash kit or lounge pants/t-shirt type things. I don't work so only have one outfit per day (which is SAHM staple of jeans/uggs/jumper/vest top, so usually only the undies and vest need changing-I'm good at eking more than one wear out of things!)
I guess it's not for everyone, it depends on work/lifestyle, but maybe a modified version might be; say, limit yourself to two/three days when you wash. At least then you'd feel the benefit of the break from laundry.
Wash every day, more than once a day if necessary. There are four if us , I put the machine on every morning, if I have gathered a few more items by mid afternoon, I'll do another quick wash. Tumble dry it, don't iron, put away immediately.
Sibling-that sounds great-think I'll try it as never get round to the putting away & hate seeing it all the time in piles on sofa.
I was thinking of getting one of those net bags for underwear & socks-anyone know if they work ok & stuff still gets clean enough? Can you put them in the tumble drier?
I don't iron either. Are there any truly non iron kids shirts for school though? Ds starts in Sep & not sure how I'll cope with the shirts issue!
Think I just need there to be more room for stuff too -everyone has too many clothes so never clear room to put stuff away.
My issue ATM is when there's baby poo on anything. It's a bugger to get rid of unless immediately washed, unless I'm missing a trick?
Get three of these. Three dozen pairs of socks or 30 odd pairs off pants in a space the size of a shoe box and get the dc's to bloody match/hang them up.
I have a very loose routine for washing - I hardly ever stick to it exactly but it helps me feel on top of it all:
Mon - clothes (split into darks/whites/colours)
Tue - bedding (1 week I change our bed, 2nd week dcs' beds)
Wed - towels
Thu - delicates and any random stuff that needs doing (eg guest bedding)
Fri - school uniform
So apart from Monday that's basically 1 load per day in the week. If I can I try to get it on first thing and then hang it up when I get back from doing the school run. I hardly iron anything and I make sure shirts get hung up on hangers. Have 2 airers on the go in winter, in summer dry everything outside. In winter I tumble dry bedding, towels, undies, socks and PJs.
I also make a point of putting away whatever's dry whenever I put the next load on. This was a revelation!
Putting away what's dry before the next load sounds like another winner rule. Whilst I think those hangymikea things are good I'd find radiator or airer less hassle-although in summer I suppose I could make ds attach them to this before hanging on the line. <really want a maid>
I do this:
Monday - 2 loads : 1x whites 1x coloureds
Thursday - 2 loads as above plus 1 swimming / gym kit wash
Friday - Towels (1 load) and Bedding (1 load)
I change the beds fortnightly, so alternate between our bed and DS bed being changed each week.
DS has a new polo each day, but trousers and sweatshirt usually last most of the week.
I am on my 3rd load today - 1 kids dark stuff, 1 mid-week school wear wash along with swimming stuff from last night, 1 dark wash for me/dh. The kids laundry baskets arent too bad but mine/dh's is still quite full and dh will still have his gym kit and work stuff to put in it when he gets home.
p.s. I didnt do any yesterday as i washed my bedding on Tuesday night and it took up space hanging on the airers until it was dry.
family of 5. I have 3 laundry bins in the hall upstairs. Blacks, Whites, Colours. Most evenings I will select one, grab a basket from the hall cupboard after putting kids to bed and take it downstairs to wash it. Usually finish as am going into kitchen to clear plates etc, shove it into the drier as I am going past utility room. Take it up with me when I go up to bed and, if can be bothered, sort it into more baskets - one for each kid. Chuck DPs stuff on his pillow for him to put away, do mine. Chuck anything that needs ironed over the bannister. Put it in yet another basket in the utility room the next morning.
At weekends puts stuff away from the baskets. Iron the stuff in the ironing basket.
This is the only way I can manage it - do it almost constantly, in small chunks. I can't cope when massive piles of laundry and ironing build up.
I have also dramatically cut down on what I iron - because am taking stuff out of the drier now almost straight away I hang kids shirts up on the door overnight and then add them onto the top of their put away baskets without ironing.They all have baskets in the bottom of their wardrobes where I have trained them to put "on the go" stuff - i.e things worn once but don't need washing.
Towels and sheets washed at the weekends, we shower/bath before bedtime as well.
All works very well nowadays until something happens like I am ill, away, Christmas etc when it can get scarily out of control again.
My top tips (from MN) are - just do one coloureds wash with a colour catcher, have 3 separate laundry bins and do a little bit most days. And don't bother ironing school shirts - pointless.
Only wash what you have to. Don't let DC wear clothes for 5 minutes then throw them in the wash basket. I make my DC wear stuff over again if it isn't dirty.
Monday: 2 loads, one dark/colours and one lights
Friday: lights and then as many loads of darks/colours as it takes to do the towels/bedding/bath mats/clothes.
I change the beds on a Friday, but probably not every week, more likely every other. Towels and bath mats get washed once a week.
I can keep up with the washing it's the putting away I struggle to keep up with. If I try to get the kids to help, it often ends up screwed up in drawers (they are 7,5,3), I do feel really good on a Friday when it is all put away and the washing baskets are empty.
I wash everyday, one day whites, one day coloured, one day dark. I do more than one load I'd the laundry basket is quite full. I then dry it in airing cupboard or hang shirts around the house on hangers. I then put away straight away so don't ever have to iron. In the summer I dry everything outside. I tumble dry bedding and then fold it and put it away. Like others have said it's best to wash everyday to keep on top of it.
I finally have an (almost) empty laundry basket! Think I ironed every stitch of clothing we own :D Had a mass cull of clothes we don't wear and its off to the charity shop, Tuesday is now my washing and ironing day. Will deffo pick up some of the sock thingies, I loath pairing them up haha.
Thanks for all the tips.
Join the discussion
Please login first.