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10 Top Tips to cut your laundry time and manage that never-ending laundry pile

So many of our home maintenance tasks are an ongoing, seemingly endless chore. The laundry pile (or mountain) can be a real burden, leading to frustration, guilt and even conflict within the home. I hope that by sharing my 10 top tips for the laundry, it will help lighten your load and cut down on the time it takes to get this job done.



#1 Start with a well organised laundry



A well organised laundry can help to minimise your time in the laundry by having everything easily accessible. Hunting for the laundry powder or the pegs is not only frustrating and stressful, but also time consuming. By having everything in the one place and within easy reach of the machine, putting on a load will be much easier.


#2 Consider your clothes



Instead of throwing everything that has been worn once into the dirty laundry pile, think about whether it can be worn a second time before it is washed. Think jackets, jeans, jumpers, etc. Are they actually dirty? Or can they be hung up and worn again?


When purchasing a new item, check the care label and consider the maintenance required to keep the item clean. Is it hand wash or dry clean only? Give the item a squeeze in your hand, does it wrinkle easily and require ironing? By choosing items that are easy care, you will save a lot of time and energy in the long run.


#3 Storage for dirty clothes


By colour, by person, separating delicates, … there are many options when it comes to sorting your dirty laundry. I recommend you take a moment to think about your current system and what you might change to make things easier for you. As for the actual storage, having a laundry hamper in bedrooms and/or bathrooms is a win. Always make it as easy as possible to put your dirty clothes away, rather than just on the floor. I recommend using an open topped hamper with kids. The extra step of lifting the lid is, frustratingly, too much for them sometimes. And honestly I think the act of lobbing their clothes in the hamper for a quick three pointer is quite fun.


#4 Use a stain remover stick

Using a stain remover stick in a quick and easy way to deal with stains. It will massively cut down on your washing time by eliminating or at least massively reducing your need to rewash or soak items. Get them clean the first time.


#5 Get to know your washing machine


Investigate the different wash settings on your machine. Is there a quick cycle for lightly soiled clothes? Is there a good delicates or wool wash cycle to reduce your hand washing? Instead of always using the same “regular” wash cycle, you may be able to cut down on your wash time AND you water usage.


#6 Hang wet clothes on coat hangers to dry



Hang laundry with the end in mind to cut down on double handling. Which items need to be placed on coat hangers for storage in the wardrobe? Place those items on hangers to dry rather than peg on the line. This reduces double handling AND reduces the need to iron, especially as there are no peg marks to remove.


#7 Reduce peg marks to cut your ironing



Try pegging your clothes on the line in a place where you won’t see the peg marks. For example, place the peg in the armpit of t-shirts. This will cut down on your need to iron and remove those peg marks. Also have a look at different types of peg and ones that won’t leave marks. We use metal pegs, not only are they long lasting and thus more sustainable, but they don’t leave big peg marks.


#8 Hang clothes according to owner


For clothes that will be folded once dry, try hanging them in groups according to their owner, e.g. one line for baby, one line for mum, one line for dad, etc. This may take a little longer to hang the clothes up, but you will get this time back plus three times more when it comes to putting the clothes away. If the clothes are hung according to who they belong to, when you remove and fold the clothes, they will go into your basket in piles belonging to the owner. You can then pop the clothes away straight from the line. No additional sorting required.


#9 Fold straight off the line


Don’t put off until tomorrow what can be done today. This is a powerful rule to live by. Cut out the procrastination and get it done now. You will save time in the long run.


Put a small table along side your clothesline so you can easily fold your clothes straight off the line. This will cut down on your ironing too, as your clothes won’t get wrinkled by laying in a basket waiting to be folded.


#10 Share the work


I no longer do all the laundry all by myself. Total game changer! My eight year old son has learnt how to load and put on the washer. But the biggest change is in the folding and putting away. Everyone folds and puts away their own clothes! I still do the linens and I help my 4 year old with his clothes, but everyone else? Nope! Their clothes are sorted into piles and roughly folded off the line so as not to cause wrinkles, but the true folding and putting away is up to them. My husband and two older sons, 10 and 8, do their own. The perfectionist in me has had to let go a little. They don’t fold as neatly as I do and the clothes sometimes sit in their room unfolded and not put away, but this is a lesson they need to learn. If you don’t put your clothes away, they won’t be there when you need them. They have come so far and they are learning. I believe that my job as a mother is to raise responsible children that can organise and maintain their own home when they become adults. If we keep doing everything for them, where will they be when they are grown?


I hope these tips help you to cut down your laundry time and give you space to let go of perfectionism or guilt. Little by little, you can guide your whole household to work with you to keep on top of that laundry pile. Isn't it time you got some of your time back?

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