Tips for Tackling the Laundry
Laundry is one of those never-ending tasks that we all have to deal with....if not daily, then weekly at minimum. As soon as I finish putting away my cleaned and folded laundry, there are another 2 or 3 loads taunting me from the laundry room.
I have gathered a handful of laundry tips over the last 14 years of being a mom. From the 4-outfits-a-day that babies go through to a toddler's propensity for attracting stains to a teen's clothing pickiness, I've had my share of laundry challenges.
5 Tips for Keeping Laundry Looking and Smelling Good
- Keep a bottle of vinegar near the washing machine. Not only will vinegar take away stinky, stubborn smells on clothes and linens, but vinegar also reduces color fading when added to the rinse cycle.
- Throw a few tennis balls in with each dryer cycle. The tennis balls not only cut drying time by 25 to 50%, but they also fluff the clothes.
- Frustrated by the grease stains on your favorite shirt? Baby powder or cornstarch will absorb the grease. Just sprinkle a generous amount of cornstarch or baby powder over the grease stain, let it sit for a couple of minutes, then brush the powder off.
- Always check pockets before putting pants or coats into the wash. There's nothing like discovering after a wash cycle that a permanent marker, crayon, or lip balm has wreaked havoc on a whole load of laundry.
- Hate ironing like me? I use these two tips to avoid ironing: Remove wrinkle-prone clothes as soon as the dryer cycle is done, or even when the clothes are still slightly damp. Immediately hang or fold the clothes. If you miss a wrinkly article, then toss it in the dryer with a damp towel for a few minutes.
However, getting stains and smells out of the clothes is only a portion of my laundry challenge. One of my biggest headaches is the sheer amount of clothes we go through. This is where I have recruited my kids' help and participation. My oldest daughter (14) helps me take the laundry down to the laundry room to start loads and rotate loads from washer to dryer. I constantly have to remind her not to over-load the washing machine, but for the most part, having the extra set of hands is a huge help.
After the laundry is washed, all of my kids participate in sorting. Each family member has a basket where their clean clothes are placed, including baskets for towels and another for socks. Each of the kids are in charge of folding their own clothes and putting them away. My kindergartener still requires some help with this, but I know that he will catch on eventually. Not only am I getting the help that I so desperately need to stay on top of the mountains of laundry, but I am teaching them skills that will carry them through college and later family life.
What are your favorite tips for tackling the laundry?
Lolli is a mother of five who believes that kids can do more than they lead us to believe. So she puts her kids to work cleaning and cooking as much as possible, reassuring them the whole while that they will thank her for it someday. When the kids are at school, Lolli spends her time writing on her blog, Better in Bulk, tweeting, and editing pictures from her latest photo shoots.
Photo from Wikimedia Commons
Latest posts by Lolli (see all)
- Home Management and Priorities: When Crayons Come Before Meal Time - January 25, 2011
- Tips for Tackling the Laundry - January 18, 2011
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