How to do Laundry


Secrets to Laundry Success:

The biggest time vacuum of my life is laundry. Back when I only had one child I could easily wash, dry, fold and iron all the clothes in one day. As my family has grown I realized there was no way I could wash everything and have it dry in time to fold and iron it all on Monday.  I have heard of people who complete one or two loads of laundry per day. This sounds horrible to me! I hate the idea of dragging laundry out all week. Laundry is a never ending task as it is, I need a break!  Knowing I had more important things to do with my life than laundry I began considering ways to accomplish this task FAST. I have noticed that I have to get out more toys and games for my kids on Mondays so they will be entertained while I'm doing laundry, this is OKAY, there will be plenty of time to clean it up on Tuesday! The first priority is LAUNDRY!
Here is Laundry Plan In Excellence.
Laundry Collection: Every person in the family should have their OWN laundry hamper in their room or in the laundry room (which ever you have space for). This basket should be large enough to hold 7 days worth of clothing. Each family member is responsible for putting their own clothes in their own basket every morning and every evening. When dirty clothes are found seeping into all reaches of the house laundry feels overwhelming ALL WEEK LONG. My kids aren’t allowed to go to school or play with friends until their dirty clothes are in a basket and out of site.
Choose a washing day: I like to wash all of the clothes on Sunday. We are almost always at home Sunday afternoons so it is easy to keep the washing machine going. Each of my kids is responsible for washing their own laundry. They empty their baskets, fill the washer, add the soap and push start. When the washer is complete they put their wet clothes in the dryer and then the dry clothes go into a clean laundry basket. I sort the adult clothes by color; darks, lights, whites, jeans. I wash the darks and the lights along with the kids clothes on Sunday because most of them need to air dry. By Sunday night 80% of the laundry is washed and dried. (Sometimes I can even talk my husband into folding clothes with me while watching TV after the kids go to bed!)
Choose a Completion Day: Monday is laundry day, always. From the moment I get the kids off to school I do nothing that doesn’t involve getting the laundry done. Since I had a head start with the washing on Sunday I start Monday by folding the kids clothes and putting them away (during the summer they help, during the school year I just do it for them). I wash, dry and fold whites, jeans, rags and towels while I am folding and ironing the wash that was done on Sunday.  This typically takes me about 3 and a half hours (I iron A LOT!). By 12:30 my laundry is all done and I don’t have to even think about it again for 5 more days. I now have the rest of Monday to work on menu planning, grocery shopping and cooking dinner.
Knowing How to Do Laundry and doing it all at the same time will free up your week more than you can imagine. Don't get trapped into spreading it out a little each day or you will never experience a break. Get it ALL DONE BY MONDAY NIGHT!! and have the rest of the week to live your life.
Laundry tips to remember:
  • Choose a laundry day and stick with it! Don’t make plans for anything else that day until the laundry is complete. Complete means everything is folded, ironed, and put away where it belongs (not stacked on the counter WAITING to be put away). If a visitor were to drop by on this day they would think you never owned an article of dirty clothing.
  • Spot check your laundry BEFORE it goes into the dryer. This will give you the opportunity to remove spots before they are permanently ‘heated’ into the fabric fibers. (Rubbing alcohol removes ink, Hydrogen peroxide removes blood, Baking Soda eliminates odor.)
  • Only wash towels with other towels to avoid getting excess lint on your clothes.
  • Empty pockets before loading the washer; chap stick, gum, and even paper can ruin an entire load of laundry. Water isn’t very nice to wallets and pocket knives either.
  • If an article of clothing bleeds onto the other clothes wash them again immediately! Do NOT dry first.
  • To ease your ironing burden smooth out clothes before putting them in the WASHER and again before hanging them to dry (don’t overfill your washer or your dryer). Remove items from the dryer when they are still hot and press out as many wrinkles as you can with your hand.
  • Clothes dry much faster if they aren’t touching anything so hang them as far apart as possible.
  • Add a clean dry towel to the dryer when drying heavy items like jeans and rugs. This will reduce your drying time and save energy.
  • Avoid over drying. By removing clothes from the dryer while still a bit moist you will reduce static and lint (remember, the less lint you have the longer your clothes will last).
  • Spraying a mixture of 1 part fabric softener 5 parts water to your clothes while ironing will help remove wrinkles and make your clothes smell nice.
  • Turn your jeans inside out to prevent fading.
  • To remove the yucky mildew smell from your towels wash in HOT water with 2 cups of white vinegar (nothing else! No detergent, no fabric softener). After the cycle is complete keep the towels in the washer and wash again with detergent and HOT water. If your washer has a prewash and an extra rinse use them. Remove from washer immediately and place in the dryer with a dryer sheet.  
  • Avoid lost socks. Train your family members to fold their socks together every time they take them off. Unfold them when you place them in the washer to ensure they get clean. Socks that make it into the same wash load are much more likely to find their partner during the folding stage.


I find it saves me a lot of time to keep 2 dirty clothes hampers in my for whites, one for colors. I can easily tell when I have enough for a load and never have to waste time separating.

By Deb (not verified)

Yes!! That is a fabulous idea!

By jayme

Doing laundry once a week is a nice idea ,but if you have water limits it can be unreallist to do all in one day. I have five members in my house and we do laundry two afternoons aweek on Tuesdays and Thursdays, for the kids also on sundays because of school on Monday. It does feel like I do laundry all week but I don't know how I can get around it, unless I where to go to the laundrymat and that is a nightmare. I spent all least an hour wiping out all the machines I use before I put in laundry, and we have few options, the dirty laundrymat or the really dirty laundry mat.

By laura (not verified)

Yes, having water limits would make things more difficult. One thing you could try is to wash throughout the week (changing laundry isn't too time consuming) and pick one day to do all of the folding, ironing and putting away. Good luck!

By jayme

Doing laundry is a nice thing at least two times a week. You've presented here much fabulous ideas..Thanks.

I LOATHE laundry. Especially folding. If I had to sit and fold ALL of our clothes in one day, I would go crazy!

What works best for me is to have each family member have their own laundry day. That keeps it to 1-2 loads/day. I do not iron clothes, until there is a need to iron it the day it is to be worn.

Here is my weekly laundry list:

Monday: My Clothes
Tuesday: Sheets/Towels
Wednesday: son
Thursday: daughter
Friday: husband

This way I have Saturday and Sunday free of laundry...those days are my "break". I don't really feel like I need a break though as I really only spend less than 30min a day doing laundry (throw in the washer, throw in the dryer, fold/put away) The only time I'm really spending on laundry is the 5min it takes to load the wash and then the 20 minutes to fold/put away the clothes.

By Liz (not verified)

We wash everyone's clothes in their own separate load, and also mix whites and colors in one load. No sorting. (The kids and hubby each do their own load.) We use the setting in between cold and warm, and never have any bleeding. (If I have a brand new super bright shirt, I'd wash it with darks only just to be sure.) Then I try to make sure we put our loads away the minute they come out of the drier, before they get wrinkled. And for some reason the kids really love the warm fluffy feeling.

My friend has a system that seems awesome. She has her kids drop their dirty clothes directly into the washer every night as part of their bedtime routine. She and her husband do the same, then she has time to wash and turn the load over before bed. When she gets up the next morning, the load is dry, she folds each outfit, puts each one on a different step, and the kids put the clothes in the drawer before breakfast. They never have dirty laundry!! They wear the same pjs for a few nights in a row, then drop them in the washer a couple nights a week. I'm not sure how she handles linens, but to me that's the easy part anyway!

By Dena (not verified)

Thank you for the thoughts. I have considered washing laundry as your friend does but haven't actually tried it. You have inspired me.... I may give it a whirl one day!

By jayme

Add new comment

Reader Comments