Home Ideas: Simplify Doing Laundry

Some simple ideas to cut down on time spent on laundry, including location of room, Sock Pros, delegation, and chutes.

Laundry is one of those chores that many people have a love-hate affair. Who does not love the fresh, clean smell of newly done laundry, or, the feel of crawling into bed on crisp, freshly laundered sheets? The same people who hate the thought of sorting the whites from the colors, transferring wet clothes to a dryer, and sorting out any items that need to be dried flat, and then have to fold, or put on hangars, the same clothes once they are dry, and put them in their respective drawers and closets!

Advantages abound when it comes to doing laundry today then even a few years ago. With the growing market of organizational items and homes being built with complete laundry "˜centers', the word no longer needs to send the majority of us running for the hills.

Simplifying the overall time and labor spent can greatly reduce our dislike of this chore. Start by breaking it down into three stages, before, during, and after the actual washing and drying.



Before

Evaluate where you do your laundry. Are your washer and dryer in a convenient location to incoming and outgoing laundry? Laundry rooms were often grouped together with a kitchen or relegated to the basement, but many of us now realize that a laundry center on the same floor as our bedrooms make much more sense. Is it feasible to move them if they are not in a realistic spot, and if the answer is no, what else can be done to save steps. A laundry chute is an option that can often be added without too much hassle, but I recommend having a contractor come in for such an undertaking. Small things can also help with the task of laundry, such as "˜Sock Pro' sorters that you use to match socks. Even pre-teens can learn to take off their socks and slide them into one of these convenient rings before tossing them into the dirty clothes hamper. A pack of safety pins will also work, and the nice thing about either of these methods is that you will not have to match socks again if you can train all the household members to use them. A laundry basket, sectioned and on wheels, for each family member is a great way to cut down on sorting if used properly. Again, even some of the youngest family members can learn how to separate clothes. The amount of time you use teaching, will be greatly rewarded in the reduced time you will have to use for sorting for many years to come.

During

Again, time spent learning will be rewarded down the line, no pun intended. Learn how different wash cycles work for different types of fabrics, why not every item of clothing can be dried in a dryer, and know what items need to go directly to a drying rack. Be as organized with pre-theaters, laundry soaps, bleach, dryer sheets, etc., as you can be. Stocking up on items is great, but if you have to store them in an area away from where you use them, forgetting that you have them can be an easy thing to do. Shelving for supplies and a table that is at a comfortable height to either stand in front of, or to pull a stool up to for folding, can be the greatest gift you give yourself in a laundry area.

After

One more time, delegation to other family members, is time you spent "˜not' on laundry. Find a system that works and stick with it. If you are more comfortable putting everyone's clean items away, go ahead and do it, but if you can teach others to either pick up laundry at given times directly from the laundry area, or by dropping off their sectioned laundry carts into their rooms, then do it. The main thing is to stick with whatever system works for you. If you do it one way one week, then switch the following week, only to do something else the time after that, you are only creating work.

© High Speed Ventures 2011