2 Tips for Making Laundry LOADS easier.

This post is sponsored by Persil ProClean, now available at Target!

Laundry is the one chore we have always struggled to stay on top of. Okay, I dreaded it. Since our laundry room renovation, (check out the before and afters here!) the functionality of the space has improved 10 fold. But this year, I made it a goal of mine to not only get it done, but learn to enjoy it. If I can love vacuuming, or a freshly scrubbed sink, or cleared counters–surely I can learn to love laundry, too? My mom, on the other hand, absolutely adores laundry. It’s her favorite job and surely that gene is somewhere in me. When I shared with her my goal, she shared with me her two laundry-changing tips that helped her become a laundry queen and they are slowly helping me achieve my goal.

TIP #1: Wash clothes by type

For most people (me included) it’s not the act of doing laundry that we dread necessarily, it’s the part of that requires getting the clothes from the dryer to their appropriate places in the house; in the right room, in the right drawer, on a hanger–why is this so hard?! Years ago, my mom said she started doing loads by type of clothes instead of only by color. She washes all the shirts together. All the pants together. All the towels together. All the underwear at the same time, etc. I recently started implementing this technique and I can attest it makes the whole process go so much faster. It feels painless to fold all the towels, without sorting through a whole bunch of other things. Or to hang up a load of purely shirts. I’m sold!

TIP #2: Do a load every day (or so)

I resisted this tip from my mom for a long time, because why would I want to do something more often that I don’t like to do very much at all? But, she was right…again. It actually took way less time overall for us to throw one load in every day, then to do laundry all day on any given day of the week. I really like to throw a load in the wash after dinner (usually while the girls are taking their bath), and then put it in the dryer right before bed. (Make sure you set a reminder or turn on your washer’s end of cycle alarm so you don’t forget!) Putting the clothes away is my first morning chore and it takes less than 10 minutes. The only exception is Saturdays, when the only load I do is sheets/bed linens first thing in the morning. For me, this schedule makes me feel like I’m barely doing laundry at all and if there’s something, in particular, that someone wants to wear the next day, it requires no extra loads. :)

Going along with the first tip, my laundry schedule looks like this:

Lastly, when Persil ProClean asked us if we’d be interested in partnering on a post with them, I was so excited because not only do I finally feel that at 31, I’m finally getting the hang of the laundry thing, but Persil is the detergent my dear mother always uses and she got me hooked on this year. “Use a detergent that you can still smell on the clothes a week later, it’s so much more motivating.” She was so right. Not only does it smell amazing, it’s stain-fighting, whitening, brightening, anti-graying, clean rinsing and works wonders in cold water. Our clothes are cleaner and brighter, but also smell so fresh much longer! As it turns out, the smell of clean laundry on the daily, and bite-sized loads of laundry really do make the once-dreaded chore not so bad..enjoyable even? If you prefer scentless, the white Sensitive Skin formula is perfume free!

Any additional laundry tips to share from your household??

Thanks to Persil ProClean for sponsoring this post. You can now pick up Persil ProClean at Target! We even got a $5 Target gift card with our last purchase of our beloved Power-Caps and Power-Liquid, which was another motivating bonus. 



37 Comments

  • Reply April 11, 2017

    Emily

    This sounds like such a little thing, but I do my best to turn clothes – especially socks – right side out when I’m removing them and putting in the hamper. No inside out socks! It’s quick to do one by one, but super annoying to flip 20+ socks and shirts back right side out when it’s folding time. (I’m single, no kids, so totally in control of all the laundry.)

  • Reply April 11, 2017

    Sophie Thomson

    Love your tips. Last week, I tried loading the washing machine according to your plan, and it seems to work great for me. IT IS much easier, indeed. bThank you for the great idea!

  • Reply April 10, 2017

    Jennifer

    Isn’t it hard to separate the laundry that way?I divide the laundry by color and fabric, and the frequency of washing depends on the number of clothes.

  • Reply April 9, 2017

    anoneemouse

    I have a question for Julia and the readers… I have taught my teens to separate clothes by weight of clothes and of course underclothes are a separate load themselves. Each teen is given a weekend day use the machines/or hang clothes in the furnace room all day. My question is: how to help them adapt to dorm living? Should they still take one whole day to do laundry? Or do it daily by types, like Julia shared above? What is best for a college kid’s timetable and sharing the machines?

  • Reply April 8, 2017

    Laura

    Like several others have said, I wash by person. That is the easiest to put away for me. The kids don’t wear much that has to be separated. I wash pillow cases with every week with their clothes. Sheets every other week. I figure pillow cases have the most germs and nasty stuff. HA! No “outside” clothes on the bed. House clothes can be worn for several days before they need to be washed. My kids are older so they are in activities right after school. By the time they are home, it is straight to the shower and then in house clothes.

  • Reply April 7, 2017

    steph n

    I’ve read a few times now that you should never run your dryer while you are not at home as well as running it while you head to bed. House fires. I’d rethink that strategy.

  • Reply April 6, 2017

    Ange

    I LOVE laundry, it’s my favourite chore. We are a family of four and I do two loads everyday. I separate loads into lights, darks, hubby’s work clothes, towels, bed linen, and kitchen towels. I put a load in the machine at night and set the timer so it has finished washing before I wake up. I dry that load first thing in the morning and put the second load on. All of my washing is usually done before my kids even leave for school!

    And I agree with your mum, it is important to use laundry products that make your clothes smell great. The smell of clean laundry is what I love most about doing laundry!

  • Reply April 4, 2017

    Hannah Speyers

    Could you tell me where the hamper is from in the first pic? Thanks!

  • Reply April 4, 2017

    Abby S

    I follow my mom’s trick: use the washer as a hamper. Everything goes straight to the washing machine once it comes off. No hampers, no sorting. We don’t wear a lot of white, so it’s easy to throw it all together. We’re doing laundry almost daily, but it never feels overwhelming.

  • Reply April 4, 2017

    Deena

    I wash by person, 8yo Monday, 3yo Tuesday, me Wednesday and hubby Thursday. Everyone has their own basket. Then a day for towels and linens. No sorting, except pulling out the occasional white shirt that will wait for the end of the week when I have a small load of whites. It really doesn’t hurt anything to get washed together. I fold or put on hangers and give to my kids to put away, don’t sort socks, they all go in the drawer and the kids match them up as they go to wear them.

  • Reply April 4, 2017

    Kate M

    So many good tips to try! Best thing in my small laundry room is a retractable clothes line! Use it all the time and don’t have to store it

    • Reply April 7, 2017

      Sarah K

      Kate M–Never thought of a retractable clothes line! Sounds like a great idea. Which one do you use?

  • Reply April 4, 2017

    Jo reynolds

    We are a family of four – I usually do a load a day. I sort by colour, whites, lights and darks and have a laundry basket which is divided into three especially for this. I either line dry or dry everything in my airing cupboard and only
    Use my tumble dryer for emergencies. Ivan definitely
    Vouch for getting the kids involved – both off my girls
    Are quite capable of doing the washing, putting it out to dry and putting it all away. I no longer see laundry as a chore.

  • Reply April 4, 2017

    Aedriel

    I wash each family member’s clothes in separate loads. The teenagers now do their own laundry, most of the time, but I found it’s easier to wash and put away one person’s stuff at a time. I even wash mediums and darks and brights together and so long as it’s cold water, it all seems to turn out fine. Love Persil!!

  • Reply April 4, 2017

    Tracy

    Thank you for the ideas, Julia. I’m curious where/how you hang pants that don’t go in the dryer? I’m considering your hook idea, b/c we don’t really have room for a big folding drying rack, but I can’t figure out what to do about the pants.

  • Reply April 3, 2017

    Julie

    I wear a lot of the same shades (violet, purple, plum, fushia), so I can do a load of different items but similar colors. I work out a lot, so when the clothes are clean, I set up an entire outfit, then role them up together, and now I have a full outfit ready to go.

  • Reply April 3, 2017

    monica

    I highly recommend teaching your kids to do their own laundry! My two boys are teens now, but they have been doing their laundry since they were 6 or 7 – I know the because when we moved into this house 7 years ago and I got a new washer, I chose a front loader again, so my little guy, who was 7, could keep doing his own laundry – he would not have been able reach down into a top loader! In the beginning they would do the laundry and we would sort, fold and put it away together.

    As my kids got older, I realized that folding laundry and putting it in drawers seemed pointless, because in a day or two, as things were pulled out, folded clothes were messed up and drawers were always open. Next, we tried keeping clothes in baskets on shelves in the closet instead of in drawers – this worked a bit better. But eventually, I realized that I have boys who wear T shirts and athletic pants or shorts every single day, and these things don’t really wrinkle – even the T shirts seem OK right out of the basket. I decided that given the way their clothes ended up in piles on the floor when they were pulling things out to wear, they may as well just keep everything in a laundry basket. So now they each have two laundry baskets – one for cleaning one for dirty. They do their own laundry as needed and they never really put clothes away, just pull from the clean basket. This has made life much easier!

  • Reply April 3, 2017

    Keltie

    there are only 2 of us, (for now!) so I don’t find laundry that overwhelming yet. I really enjoy it (maybe because the volume is so manageable). For me, redoing our small walk-in closet to incorporate a home for all our clothes really helped. we have no dresser in our bedroom, so all clothes go straight to the walk in closet–that helps more than you know. Having a well designed space to store clothes, makes putting them away a breeze.

  • Reply April 3, 2017

    Syl

    The only way I’ve found that works for me is to wash-by-person during the week and towels + bed linens on weekends. One basket per person, wash, dry and back into the basket, basket goes back to the person’s room to deal with. One hamper/basket in the bathroom for towels, bed linens get stripped and immediately go in the wash. I wash in cold water only and put everything in the same load unless there’s enough volume in one person’s basket to warrant a load of dark and a load of white/light. Every 3-4 months some whites start to look dingy, then I’ll wash them in hot water w/ bleach or brightener.

    I do have a bar for hangers and I use it to hang shirts right out of the wash. If someone forgot to put the hangers in their basket then likely as not the shirts will end up in the dryer.

    I don’t match socks; I have several identical pairs of thin socks (in black and in white), identical thick black socks, and “others”. Each go in separate drawers unmatched and unfolded. Also saves me from darning sock. Got a hole? In the trash the single offending sock goes, until I get to critical mass (usually about 5 socks) at which point I buy a more matching ones to compensate. Underwear don’t get folded either, undies in one drawer, bras in another.

    As long as I fold towels right out of the drier, I can stay in control of the dirty clothes monster and the laundry room stays tidy. There’s just not enough hours in the day to do laundry “perfectly”… It’s done with minimal fuss and that’s what’s important.

  • Reply April 3, 2017

    pt

    I love to set up a wash at night before bed… we have a timer, so it actually starts in the early wee hours of the morning, and is ready for me to switch to the dryer when I wake up in the morning. I always have clean clothes… but I don’t always have them folded or put away… (I like to watch TV while I fold, and I never make time for TV either.)

  • Reply April 3, 2017

    Amy

    I don’t always separate everything, but I do wash pants, towels, and bedding separately, and then do colors and whites for the rest of our clothes. But I also have always hated laundry, and a few years ago I put myself on almost an identical schedule as yours! It works so much better for me to do them one load per day, and it’s way less overwhelming. Right now I have to use a laundry mat because we’re in the middle of an extensive remodel, and so I have been doing it all in one day. I way prefer my other method of one load per day, and I can’t wait until I can start doing that again!

  • Reply April 3, 2017

    Nicola

    Do you ever hang the washing outside to dry? It takes a few minutes but clothes smell fresher, last longer and it is far better for the environment.

  • Reply April 3, 2017

    Olga

    I’m a big fan of doing a load every day, if you have a routine for when you do it like yours you barely even have to think about it! But rather than sorting clothes by type I do it by person. Everyone in our house has a dirty laundry hamper/basket/bag in their room anyway so I just haul it downstairs and wash it. Yes, you do have to fold it (I do it in front of the TV and only one load a day really doesn’t take long). And putting away is so easy since it all goes in one room. With this system I don’t mind doing laundry at all, we even use cloth diapers which adds another 2-3 loads a week and it’s still not so bad!

  • Reply April 3, 2017

    Jennifer

    This would not work for me. I’d never get things put away if I was traipsing around the house to put all the pants away in each individual’s space. I assigned each person a day (Sunday-laundry, Monday-my laundry, Tuesday-my daughter, Wednesday-my husband, Thursday-anything else). One load a day. Fold and put away all in the same room thereby eliminating extra steps.

  • Reply April 3, 2017

    Dana

    I recently adopted the more frequent, smaller loads approach to laundry and it’s a lifesaver. I work so my routine is to gather up everything dirty, regardless of item or color, and throw in a load as soon as I get home. By the time dinner is done I put it in the dryer. By the time the kiddo is in bed, it’s ready to put away. I usually do this every other day. We wash cold and use a color catcher if we have something new/dark/red and we’ve never had an issue. You’d think it would feel like we’re ALWAYS doing laundry, but the tasks are so quick it actually feels like we’re NEVER doing laundry.

  • Reply April 3, 2017

    Caitlin

    With all those specific loads of laundry, how do you sort? Do you pick through everyone’s hampers every day looking for pants or tops?

  • Reply April 3, 2017

    yasmara

    I love Persil & was super happy to see my local Target has started carrying it! I have 2 boys who both play sports & it’s a lifesaver. We use the unscented one because my younger son has a bunch of allergies & is prone to skin irritation. LOVE IT.

  • Reply April 3, 2017

    Justynn

    It’s funny. I used to hate doing laundry, but now I love doing it. I only do laundry during the week and clean house only during the week, so weekends are free to have fun and relax. Now I’ll do a couple loads of laundry on Monday, and a couple loads on Thursday generally. I use folding laundry as my TV binge catch up time. We DVR everything so while folding a couple loads I watch my shows and then it’s magically done way faster then you’d think.

    We recently redid our laundry room and one of the biggest changes was adding sorting laundry baskets into the shelves. Keeps everything off the floor and when one gets full I know I need to get it done. I also made a pact with my fiance that I’ll wash/ dry and fold, but he has to put away. We also don’t keep a dirty laundry basket in the bedrooms/ bathrooms because it’ll get full and get left in there. instead we’ve just both started to bring out our laundry every morning since it’s on the way to the kitchen/ out the door for work. I’ve noticed without the basket the laundry gets done on time and with less hassle.

  • Reply April 3, 2017

    Heather Stephenson

    Laundry is hard, and you’ve almost convinced me to try this method! Question, though: what do you do with your dirty laundry? Do you have a system to separate it when it’s put in the hamper? The thought of rummaging through dirty laundry to find all the shirts, the next night to find all the pants, etc, sounds just as hard as, and less appealing than, sorting through the clean laundry.

  • Reply April 3, 2017

    Lauren

    How do you sort the laundry pre washing? Do you have a basket for shirts, pants, underwear etc? And everyone separates ahead or do you go around and dig the underwear out of everyone’s basket on underwear day?

  • Reply April 3, 2017

    Heather

    I hate laundry too. How do you sort clothes by type and then store until wash day in a not so big laundry room?

  • Reply April 3, 2017

    Rachel

    I just recently learned that 3-yr olds are REALLY good at sorting socks. More importantly, my 3-yr old LOVES to sort socks and she’s GOOD at it. I clear our big coffee table and dump all the clean socks on the table and she sorts and stacks each pair. Win!

  • Reply April 3, 2017

    Ashley

    Ok but how do you sort your dirty laundry? Sounds like a massive pain to dig through your hamper for dirty socks. Also how practical is it to have 5 hampers?

    • I was wondering this very same :)

    • Reply April 4, 2017

      Zoe

      My thoughts too…. love the idea but does that mean I’m dumping and sorting dirty clothes every day?

    • Reply April 5, 2017

      Johanna

      I have a similar system and have an ikea wire basket dresser in the laundryroom. (http://m.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/spr/19876454/) When someone puts their dirty clothes away, they sort it in to the dresser. There’s a basket for every sort of item and when one of them is full I just empty it straight into the washingmachine without sorting. Simple as that!

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