5 Tips for Getting a Handle on Your Family’s Laundry

Laundry, it’s one of those chores that feels more like a never-ending curse, starting all over again the second you think you’re done. While it may feel continually infinite, here are some ideas to make it a bit more bearable.

1. Pair laundry with something fun

Choose a show or podcast that you love and decide that you will only listen or watch while doing laundry. Not only does this give you an incentive to do laundry, you’ll also start to find that time flies by and before long you can’t wait to tackle that smelly pile (or at least not mind it quite as much). You can laugh along with great stories while you sort darks from lights, and the suspense of a great thriller will make the drudgery of folding endless undies feel way more exciting than it really is.

2. Schedule a day

Choose one day a week and make it your designated laundry day. Choose a day where you’ll have an uninterrupted chunk of time so you can knock it out with no distractions. Mark it on your calendar and don’t be afraid to tell family members that other things might have to wait, no need to feel guilty about this either since they benefit directly from having clean items in their closet.

3. Recruit some help

Assign your kids to be laundry helpers. Make it their job to help you sort, wash and fold laundry. It can be a good opportunity for bonding time, as you can discuss all the funny stains on each other’s shirts, or why one person always gets holes in the same spot. Not only will you be spending time together, but you will also be teaching them a valuable life skill, and hopefully reducing the future panicked phone calls when they’ve turned a load of whites completely pink.

4. Reduce Your Stuff

If you find yourself truly overwhelmed by the laundry you face each week, and no matter what you do you can’t seem to get ahead, consider doing a family closet clean-out. Excessive laundry could be a sign that everyone just has too much stuff. Encourage the family to clean out the things they don’t love, or get rid of items that are raggedy. An added benefit is that reducing stuff has the inherent value of reducing the amount of time spent maintaining it all, leaving more time for enjoyable family activities.

5. Two Sets of Clothes

This might seem counter intuitive at first, but having different sets of clothes for different activities can reduce laundry in the long run. Just like a mechanic has a jump suit for working under a greasy car, having clothes for specific purposes can ease stress. If you have a specific set of gardening clothes you’re less likely to wash them as frequently as a nice shirt you happened to garden in. The gardening shirt can stay dirty for longer, since it’s only used in the garden, and your nice shirt can stay clean to live another day out of the laundry basket.

by Maggie Bradshaw