I have a confession to make. I like doing laundry.
I'll wait while you pick yourself up off the floor.
I'm serious, though. I actually enjoy the process of getting everything washed and put away where it goes. As someone who enjoys the whole organizing process, laundry gives me a chance to repeatedly start and finish an organizing project. It puts me in a zen state.
But even if you don't have the same warm-fuzzies about washing your clothes, there are still ways to make it less of a chore.
Here 4 tips for making laundry less agitating. (HA! Agitating... get it?)
1. Keep laundry baskets where you take off the clothes
Whether it's in your bedrooms, bathrooms, or in the laundry room itself, make sure to keep some kind of receptacle in any room where someone will be disrobing. By putting the baskets in those places, you'll minimize the risk of all dirty clothes ending up in piles on the floor. You'll also save your back from all of the bending when you have to pick them all up!
The number, type and size of baskets or hampers you have around may also depend on how you like to sort and how often you're going to be washing the clothes.
2. Sort as you go
If you have room, keep multiple hampers or laundry baskets together for putting dirty clothes in. At the very least have one for whites & light colors and another for dark colors. Personally I like to have light colors, dark colors that get washed in cold water, dark colors that get washed in warm water, and whites all separated out as we go. This technique means a heck of a lot less sorting when it's actually time to get the clothes washed. This saves me a lot of time!
That particular system might not work if you've got small kids or a significant other for which that's just too much thinking. In that case you could try having a white basket for lights and a dark basket for colors. You could also have "master baskets" where you can divvy up the clothes from a kid's single laundry basket. Better yet, have the kids sort into the master baskets with you! They'll learn about organizing and laundry in one fell swoop.
Or only let your family wear clothes in colors that can all be washed together. :-)
3. Have a schedule
I prefer to do all of my laundry on the same day if I can help it. Traditionally Sunday has been set aside as laundry day. I know some people who would prefer to do a little bit every day. Whatever your preference, it helps to know ahead of time what your plan is for when you're going to get the laundry done. Maybe you want to wash towels on Monday, light clothes on Tuesday, sheets on Wednesday, etc. It could be enough to know you're going to do one load each day. Experiment and find a system you like.
Of course, sometimes you'll have to adjust! I have found that my do-it-all-on-Sunday system has been a bit of a challenge in an apartment with a shared laundry room. Some of when I can do laundry depends on when our neighbor is using the machines. Also our king-size sheets and blankets won't fit, so we do have to go to the laundromat from time to time. This can throw a wrench in my plans sometimes, but it's important with any schedule to allow for some flexibility, too.
The key thing to your schedule is that it means you won't be waiting to do laundry until you're completely out of undies!
4. Fold, hang and put laundry up right away
I can't tell you how many times I've heard people talk about the piles of clean laundry they have to dig through when getting dressed in the morning. It's SO tempting to just load your clean clothes back in baskets to put them up later. It's funny how often later never becomes now! Plus this can lead to looking like a wrinkly mess because who wants to IRON?! Save yourself some trouble, and fold the laundry or hang it up as you pull it out of the machine. I mean, you have a lovely, flat surface right there in front of you to ease the process. And it will feel oh-so-good not to have to shove clean clothes off of your couch when you want to sit down and enjoy a movie.
Try thinking about it this way: The laundry is clean when it comes out of the washer. It isn't DONE until it's hanging in the closet or put back in the drawer.
These are the things I do to make laundry more efficient. What tips can you share from your process? Tell us in the comments!