Simplify the Laundry Routine and Get Organized to Save Time
Laundry is a never-ending chore in all households, so don’t despair. Almost every house lets dirty clothes pile up at some point. As long as the washer and dryer keep running, laundry will get caught up by the time the children move out of the house. Just follow the Keep It Simple Stupid (KISS) rule of thumb, and organize a new time-saving routine.
How Much Time Do People Spend Doing Laundry?
Here are some statistics to put the laundry-room blahs into perspective. In 2008, the Bureau of Labor Statistics conducted an American Time Use Survey which concluded that 50 percent of women and 20 percent of men spend at least some time each day cleaning and doing laundry. Women spend an average of 2.6 hours on laundry and cleaning each day, and men spend an average of 2.0 daily hours on these chores.
Time-Saving Laundry Tips
Here are some tips from a seasoned mother of four to help avoid the laundry-room blues:
- Laundry is not just for moms! Husbands and wives should agree on how to share this chore. Children should be trained in the art of laundry from a very young age.
- Children as young as two can place socks and underwear in approriate baskets or fold washcloths.
- Children over eight can fold and put away their own laundry. Children over ten can learn how to use the washer and dryer.
- Teenagers should be assigned a laundry day and expected to care for their own clothes.
- Avoid transporting clothes to different rooms when possible. Consider changing diapers and dressing young children in the laundry room. If baby clothes are stored in this room, the clean clothes can be put away straight out of the dryer. Dirty clothes can be placed in a hamper or directly into the washing machine.
- If the laundry room is on the same floor as the bedrooms, dirty clothes should immediately be placed in a hamper near the washer. If the laundry room is on a separate floor, place a basket near the top of the stairs for collecting dirty clothes. The basket can be carried to the laundry room once a day. This way, dirty clothes do not pile up in the bedrooms.
- Clothes should be folded as they come out of the dryer. Place clothes for each room of the house in separate baskets. Do not carry unfolded laundry into the living room for folding. This inevitably leads to a messy pile of laundry all over the living room floor.
- Keep laundry in mind when shopping for clothes. If possible, avoid purchasing clothing that requires special care, such as hand washing and ironing.
- Children’s play clothes inevitably end up stained. Pre-treating them is a waste of time. Consider purchasing these clothes at garage sales or consignment stores. This saves money and relaxes the need to treat clothes with special care.
- Save time by sorting clothes as little as possible. Socks and underwear should be washed on warm. Heavily soiled work or play clothes may need to be washed in a special load. A very few dark-colored items may need to be washed separately. Everything else can be washed together on cold.
- Dressy work clothes and school clothes can be washed together. Keep a hanging rod and hangers in the laundry room and hang these items immediately to avoid wrinkles.
- School-aged children should have a designated peg to hang school clothes immediately when they come home. These clothes can usually be worn for around three days before laundering is required.
Following these tips should help the laundry run smoothly. Just remember to relax and KISS. The laundry will get caught up someday.