I don’t mind doing laundry. I don’t hate it, I don’t love it, I just don’t mind it. Sorting clothes, running the washer and dryer, hanging things up and putting them away are all things that I can clip through in under 10 minutes. The parts I mind are the things that take longer; folding, ironing, dealing with socks, un-wadding up the sheets every 15 minutes so they’ll fully dry. Sometimes, these small things seem like an insurmountable barrier to completing the weekly chore of keeping our clothes clean.
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The thing I hated the most, have always hated the most, is dealing with socks in the laundry. In my past life, I had a million solutions for organizing socks in the laundry. One was having a mesh laundry bag for each family member. Another was having each family member have one type or color of socks – so previously Chad had black running socks and I had purple. While that solution made matching and sorting a lot easier, we still came up with missing socks from time to time. I recently found the best solution for us, which is the sock dock.
Each pack comes with two sock holders, they hold 9 pairs of socks each. The website says they can be one for clean and one for dirty – ostensibly you can hang them up with your clothes. I prefer to load them up with dirty socks – one in the wash, one ready to load, and store the clean socks in their drawers. There’s really no wrong answer when it comes to making laundry easier.
Mesh Laundry Bags
I found out about mesh laundry bags when I started working at the mecca of organization, The Container Store. I use them for running hats and visors (so the velcro doesn’t ruin other delicate clothing), sport bras, and any delicate fabrics. I can’t imagine doing laundry without them anymore.
We live in a very dry place, so clothes dry pretty quickly but static cling is something you have to try very hard to prevent. Wool dryer balls are supposed to replace dryer sheets in a normal climate, but used in conjunction with a half sheet here in Utah makes the clothes dry faster and none of that static cling. I replace them once a year and I just cut them open and string them in the yard for the birds to make homes with.
Every week, drying the sheets took two to three tries, because no matter how I situated the sheets and the dryer balls, the sheets would turn into a giant wadded ball with the inside still being wet. Then I found (probably in a buzzfeed article) the Wad-Free Wad Preventer (great name, BTW). Total game changer. I really didn’t think it would work, but it totally does! Our sheets are done in an hour, no more rearranging and running multiple times for dry sheets.
There are several things I hang dry that are too small for their own hanger; running hats, gloves, cloth face masks. This little hanger with mini clips is perfect and takes up very little space. I also love that it folds up and fits in a drawer when I’m done with it.
Sorting & Folding
We have a three laundry sorter and a laundry bag so we are set up to pre-sort, or sort as we put the clothes into each laundry bin rather that doing it later. I put my sports bras in the laundry bag – which hangs on the wall in the closet next to the laundry sorter. The laundry sorter is for exercise clothes in one, darks in one, and lights in the other. Then we have a basket in the bathroom for towels. Pre-sorting works for the way I do laundry a load or two every few days. I used to do all the laundry one day a week, and so pre-sorting didn’t really matter then.
I love this magnetic laundry symbols guide, it sticks right to the top of the washing machine where I can access it while I’m making sure those items really should go in the washing machine. I don’t know about you, but I can never remember what those symbols mean.
Finally, I really hate folding. But I really love using the flipfold. It makes folding fast and easy – and my personal favorite, everything comes out the exact same size.
Fine tuning organization is about finding a system that works for you. It’s also about identifying road blocks or barriers that make tasks difficult to complete and solving them. All of these solutions are less than $40, most less than $20, and they make a daily chore so much easier to handle.