I have a laundry mountain.
Sometimes my children climb upon it. Sometimes they stuff toys within it. Sometimes it moves from my dining room table to my stair case to the landing on the top of the stairs to the shelf above the landing, finally to the child’s room where the clothes never actually make it into their drawers.
It’s cool though.
I’ve embraced my laundry mountain. But just in case I can’t take it anymore I’ve found these easy laundry hacks that anyone can do to tackle the giant mess of clothes that never, ever goes away.
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BTW, I’m typing this on my dining room table that is shared with one overflowing laundry basket that was washed and dried about four days ago. So. I’m a hot mess too. Which is why I write this blog, mmmkay?
Let’s fucking do some god-damned laundry!
Laundry Hack #1: Do the Least Important Load First
For some reason I’ve become the kind of person who now owns enough towels that I can actually do an entire load of laundry that is JUST FUCKING TOWELS #whendidthathappen.
Towels are a good starter load. They’re also super easy and quick to put away. Hold off on doing the most important load of laundry last in line.
If you do all the other laundry before the emergency-we-are-out-of-underwear load, odds are you’ll wash, dry, fold, and put away all the rest of it before you get to that last load.
Laundry Hack #2 - Use Ice Cubes to Remove Wrinkles
Speaking of the drier…
Laundry Hack #3: Use a Towel to Dry Clothes Faster
This is so weird but it works like a damn charm. Since my hubby is constantly having either wet clothes or wrinkled clothes we typically cycle through the laundry towel and the ice cubes in somewhat rapid succession.
Laundry Hack #4: Keep Vinegar and Baking Soda On Deck
Vinegar and baking soda are OG laundry hacks you need to have. Toss a cup of vinegar and a 1/2 cup of baking soda in with your towels to freshen them up. Use Vinegar to clean your washing machine as well from build up.
Yes. You need to clean your washing machine every few months depending on how frequently you use it, ya heathen.
Laundry Hack #5: Use Aluminum Foil Instead of Drier Sheets
I’ll admit the first time I tried this I was a little freaked out, but we were also out of drier sheets and I also had no interest in putting on a bra to leave the house and get some…I think you see where this is going.
Make the laundry ball bigger if you’ve got lots of laundry. Smaller if not so much.
Keep a few balls in a box in the laundry area of your house and watch your life change. Side bar, I love that I get to write sentences like “keep a few balls in a box” because sometimes I have the sense of humor of a 12-year-old boy.
Laundry Hack #6: 6 Minutes a Day Every Day
Set a timer. You’ve got 6 minutes to make a dent in the laundry pile. Whether it’s to start a load, to fold a load, or to put away a load.
Set a timer, and get after it. When the timer goes off, hands up you’re done!
That is, until tomorrow.
Six minutes is just a random number I chose, because it’s more than five (which feels manageable) and less than ten (which feels like too much). Find a number that works for you. Set the timer for that amount of time. Get. After. It.
Laundry Hack #7: Use Baby Shampoo to Un-shrink that Sweater
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve shrunk something like a sweater because I forgot it was mixed in with regular clothes. Thank goodness for this hack from onegoodthingbyjillee.com.
Un-shrink it by mixing a bit of baby shampoo (such as this one from Aveeno) with warm water. Work the mixture into your garment. Using a clean, dry towel absorb any extra mixture. Gently reshape the garment before fully drying it again. Voila!
Laundry Hack #8: Use a Dry Erase Marker on the Machine
Speaking of forgetting there was a hang dry only sweater in the wash, hang a dry erase marker on the machine and be sure to mark what’s in there that can’t be dried!
Bonus points: Use that vinegar to help get rid of residual dry erase marker from the top of the machine.
Laundry Hack #9: Use a Garment Bag for “Hang Dry Only Clothes”
As an Alternative to writing all over your machine, use a Dollar Store garment bag to wash the “hang dry only” clothes. Find the bag while you’re tossing everything else into the drier. Hang up the clothes. Don’t stress.
Laundry Hack #10: Get Rid of Clothes You Don’t Wear, or That Don’t Fit.
Mari Kondo wrote a book a few years ago called “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing,” and when I was pregnant with Sam I got real Mari Kondo on my entire life. The idea is to remove things from your home or your life that are not serving their purpose any longer and at the same time, are just cluttering the place up.
The first step to tidying up your life according to Mari Kondo is to purge way more clothes than you think you will. When we did this the first time I had 10, 30 gallon sized bags of clothes to give away.
So those jeans from your junior year in college that make your ass look amazing? Toss ‘em. Kondo believes in “thanking” them for their service. This helps for some reason. (Seriously). Also it helps when I have less clothes to wash because I have less clothes in my closet. #mathproblems
In theory, if you downsize the number of clothes you have, you’ll be downsizing the amount of laundry you’ll need to do as well.
Laundry Hack #11: Downsize Your Laundry Baskets
Speaking of downsizing, if you have fewer places to put the laundry you’ll be more motivated to actually fold and put it away.
If downsizing the amount of baskets you have feels too overwhelming consider getting some smaller ones instead. Smaller laundry baskets have a tendency to make you feel like there’s more laundry. Yet it takes you half the amount of time to fold and put it away (if you actually get to that step) as anything else.
Laundry Hack #12: Get Cute with Lost Socks
This adorable sign from Etsy is a great way to keep track of that one fucking sock that doesn’t have a mate. And that other sock too.
Laundry Hack #13: Speaking of Socks - Use Garment Bags for Socks
When my boys come home, the rule is that they take off their shoes and socks immediately. The socks go into a bag hanging in the laundry room. The shoes go on the shoe shelf. I probably need make two bags (one for each child).
Just like the old saying goes, the socks that get washed together, stay together. Or something like that.
Laundry Hack #14: Hang Shoes in the Drier by Their Laces
Because the only thing that makes a mom migraine worse is the sound of all that banging from the dang shoes.
This hack comes from 4Men1lady.com where they have perfected the most simple (and seemingly obvious) way to deal with drying shoes.
Laundry Hack #15: Schedule Laundry Time, Like, For Real
Pick a day once every two/three weeks and do all of the fucking laundry all at once.
Block it out on your calendar. Prioritize this one day. Involve the kids in some process of doing their laundry.
To help this process along, make sure you’ve presorted things. Having hampers set up that allows you to do this on a consistent basis will make this whole thing go faster. We have four of these from Target to organize lights, darks, delicates, and yes...towels!
Laundry Hack #16: Pay Someone To Do Your Fucking Laundry
Sometimes, when things are really insane in our life, this is my go-to move to just get it done. Yes, it costs money. But time is money and if your time is particularly valuable and the idea of spending hours or even six minutes folding laundry is just freaking you the fuck out, then don’t do it.
If you can afford it, pay someone to do your laundry for you. On average, most delivery or drop off places charge between $1.00 to $2.00 per pound.
Time is money and money is time. If you can’t do it all the time, maybe treat yourself once every few months when the laundry gets realllllly Appalachian Range huge.
Laundry Hack #17: Save Money by Hanging Your Laundry Instead
Line drying your clothes can significantly reduce your electric bill. Personally, I like to pull my clothes out and hang them up as a way to avoid having to dry, and re-dry, and throw ice cubes back in to un-wrinkle my clothes again.
Even though it seems like it would take longer, having my clothes hanging up (not necessarily outside, I mean, I use this drying rack to do the heavy lifting), I actually have unwrinkled, dry clothes in about the same amount of time that it would take for me to move my laundry basket from the table to the bedroom floor, so…win win?
Laundry Hack #18: Turn Your Clothes Inside Out to Prevent Fading
It’s pretty easy to do this if you’re like my children and seem to always take off their pants and shorts and simultaneously turn them inside out. But by doing so, they are helping their clothes from fading in the wash.
Be sure to wash on the coldest setting to prevent more color fading.
Laundry Hack #19: Get Rid of Pit Stains the Natural Way
Combine fresh lemon juice and some baking soda into a paste, and apply to the unruly yellow pit stains in your husband’s white t-shirts. Yes. I’m saying your spouse is the only one with nasty pit stains in white shirts. You would never be caught dead with that situation.
(Wink. Your secret is safe with me).
Let the mixture soak for at least an hour. Toss into the wash just like normal.
Laundry Hack #20: Don’t Fold Laundry, Like Ever
A friend of mine has five kids and she’s in process of adopting a sixth child. She never folds laundry, ever. Each of the kids has a basket in the laundry room where they throw their laundry. The dirty laundry gets washed, dried, and goes back into the basket. The kids are charged with “dumping” it into their drawers.
Inevitably they will need to use ice cubes to get the wrinkles out of the clothes anyway - but this whole process saves a ton of time, stress, and space.
Not folding laundry? That’s either something that brings on feelings of anxiety or totally freeing. I’m firmly in the totally freeing camp, at the moment.
Laundry Hack #21: Make Peace, the DGAF Way
I’m a huge believer in making things more simple when you can.
But at the same time, there can be a release of worry when you make peace with laundry, clearing room in your thoughts and in your mind for the real things you need to be thinking about and worrying about.
Ultimately, laundry is a boring, annoying, but necessary task. And if you can figure out a way to make it less so then you’re on your way!