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As a stay at home mom the thing I most often hear people complain about is laundry. I’ve never personally understood this? Laundry isn’t a chore that bothers me in the least! Today is BFBN Tips and Tricks Thursday and we’re all blogging on this very popularly hated chore. Check out our Pinterest board for TONS of tips to help make the laundry in your life a little easier 🙂
Here is how I personally manage the laundry in our home!
When we built our home the laundry room was important to me. I wanted it to be large enough where I didn’t feel cramped and I wanted to have plenty of storage, counter space, and a sink as well! Here is what our laundry room looks like (yes, that’s a rather sexy picture of my husband and I…there is a story there…)
Here are some lifesavers I have in our laundry room to keep me organized and make the process easier:
- I keep a basket on the top of the washing machine. Anything that has a stain goes into the basket during the week so I know to treat it prior to washing it! Having the sink is great to be able to rinse out stains prior to letting them set and I will hang dry them in the sink until laundry day!
- I have a divided laundry hamper in our laundry room. I know often people keep hampers in bedrooms. We don’t in our home. Everyone learns to bring their dirty stuff to the laundry room! That way it’s already where I need it to be on laundry day 🙂
- The hamper is divided into three sections. 1 for whites, 1 for darks, and 1 for lights. I also keep a small round plastic hamper hidden beside the divided one, out of sight, that holds dirty towels, sweatshirts, etc that I wash in a load together (you can kinda see it peaking it out in the picture above!)
- I LOVE my shelves in the laundry room! I have a cheap laundry basket for each member of our family on the shelf. There is also one (which is full in this picture below) for Zach to keep his “dry clean only” stuff in. We don’t actually dry clean anything…Zach found a great system to do his dry cleaning at home! We are too cheap for the cleaners 😉
- I also am so glad we purchased this little handy device from Ikea a few years ago. It hangs on the wall and allows me to pull out little “arms” as needed to hang dry clothing. I actually don’t hang dry many things. Sometimes sweaters, sometimes my nicer under garments, usually though it’s used to hang wet bathing suits and towels from the pool!
I read somewhere several years ago that it saves money on the electric bill to do all of your laundry on one day. I have no idea if that is true but ever since reading that I have a designated laundry day! Lately that day has been on Mondays. It works out well for our schedule as Zach has a meeting every Monday morning so he can take Kye to school and I can get going on the laundry after breakfast!
Here are the things I use for our laundry:
- Oxi Clean Stain Remover: This stuff is AWESOME. You can literally see the stain fading when you spray it on!
- Oxi Clean Powder: I put some of this in my washer prior to each load of laundry. Not only does it help get rid of those stains but it also keeps the colors fresh! It’s also GREAT to use when there is a deeply set stain that I need to remove. I use it to remove storage stains on my baby clothes too!
- Tide: I found Tide on sale and stocked up and now I’m just loyal to it! One time Mrs. Charlotte washed some clothes at her house for the kids with some other detergent and Kye got a rash so I figure stick with what works.
- Bleach: I use the cheapest bleach at the store! Whites stay white with no issues!
Here is how I do my laundry every Monday:
- I usually do a load of dark clothes first and put in all the stain treated stuff with that load. I be sure to do it on a warm setting to really help get the stains out
- We have FOUR people in our family right now and the typical laundry day takes me four loads: towels/bedding, darks/stained stuff, whites, light colored clothing
- I use the least amount of liquid detergent possible. I’ve heard studies about what a rip off laundry detergent is so I fill mine to the “1st” level for each load.
- I only use the warm water setting for stained stuff and whites, everything else gets washed on the cold settings
- The kids usually help with putting the clothes from the washer to the dryer, loading the washer, and unloading the dryer then sorting the clothes.
- I don’t fold or iron anything! I take the clothes from the dryer and separate them into baskets. One basket per person in our family. Usually on Mondays I also clean out our church bag and pick up anything left out from over the weekend and toss that stuff into each person’s basket as well.
Once I’m done with all the laundry Zach or Kye help me “deliver” the baskets to the room they go in. Zach puts away his own laundry (Yes, I’ve been lectured about how I’m a terrible wife for not doing it for him…gasp! He also does his own ironing!). I put away all my stuff, the kids stuff, and the towels.
Putting away the clothes is actually my favorite part. When I worked in retail for a little bit I LOVED folding up all the clothes. I really enjoy organizing my kids closets. I’m a clothes lover and I take pride in caring for our clothing. I take extremely good care of everything. I want their clothes to last for future babies down the road so I really take time and effort into making sure they are kept nice!
Part of keeping our clothing nice is from only buying good quality stuff. I know lots of moms LOVE Polo brand stuff, but it fades. SO fast! I don’t buy their stuff for that reason. I stick to brands I know will hold up for a long time (I love Old Navy and The Children’s Place and Gap). Another part of keeping clothes in top shape is not washing them too often. Jeans and dress pants? Don’t need to be washed every time they are worn! With my clothes, I usually don’t wash majority of what I wear! If it’s not dirty, why have it get worn out in the wash?!?!
By not washing everything we wear, we cut down on the amount of laundry as well! I’m able to keep it to four loads each week (typically) because Zach and I don’t wash our stuff unless it’s legit dirty, we all wear our pjs for multiple days, and use bath towels multiple days as well. Underwear are a once a day thing though for sure! Usually I also don’t have to wash Kye’s pants after one day of wear either!
While I love putting the clothes away, I loathe ironing. In order to avoid having to iron I think through my clothing purchases. For Britt, I avoid ruffles and such on tops that you know will become a wrinkled mess! For Kye, I take extra care in pressing his collars down when I hang up his shirts so they, hopefully, won’t need ironing later. With my own stuff I just wear it wrinkled haha!
Another way we avoid ironing is a setting on our dryer. We purposefully bought a dryer with a rapid refresh setting. We stick in our wrinkled clothes, hit that setting, and bam! No ironing needed!
While I don’t currently have a new baby, I don’t actually change very much of my laundry process when I have a newborn. I do not wash the baby clothes separately from ours and I don’t use any special detergent. I’m blessed to not have had any skin issues with my kids (at least not yet!) so I don’t see the need in doing that. I also do not wash baby clothes prior to them being worn. I did that with Kye and regretted it because then I couldn’t return things and things started getting worn out without having been worn yet! I leave ALL tags on all of our clothes until we go to wear them the first time!
I really feel like I have a good handle on this whole laundry thing! I know when our family grows to five I’m going to be needing more laundry baskets but other than that I think this plan will transition fine, no matter how large our family grows!
Have any great laundry tips you want to share?