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Useful Laundry Tips and Tricks for the Home

Updated on February 6, 2016
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Marissa is the writer of ThePracticalMommy and the blog Mommy Knows What's Best. She is a stay-at-home mom to four and was a teacher.

Useful Laundry Tips

Save time and money with these helpful laundry tips.
Save time and money with these helpful laundry tips. | Source

How to Do Laundry

Just as Rome wasn’t built in a day, my laundry is never done in a day—or any day, that is. It seems like I wash a load, and then seconds later I turn around and the piles have mysteriously grown to taller heights. Where does this laundry come from? And it’s not just simple piles of clothes. Oh no. It’s twisted and mixed, unsorted and everywhere.

There are four of us in the household: two adults, two children. There shouldn’t be that much laundry! The sad fact is that the laundry piles will never shrink. The baby goes through two to three outfits a day, plus her bibs and burp cloths. My son has his own laundry basket he can fill in two days tops. My husband has his work clothes and his home clothes. I have my workout clothes and home clothes. Not to mention the towels, washcloths, sheets, pillow cases…

Here are some tips and ideas to make doing the laundry easier!

Pop-Up Mesh Laundry Hamper

Organizing Laundry

In efforts to reduce the amount of time I have to spend sorting the laundry, I instituted a system of organization. In each of the bedrooms, there are two laundry hampers: one for whites and one for darks. Before this, all clothing items would be in one hamper for me to sort later. Now, as the clothing is placed into a hamper, it is already sorted and ready for me to transport it downstairs.

I also have a hamper outside of our bathroom. This has been designated for towels, sheets and pillowcases only. Again, all of these items are pre-sorted for me. Most, if not all, of the towels etc. are darker colors, so no need to separate further. Point for me! Beat that, laundry demons!

Once the laundry is brought downstairs to our small laundry room area just outside of our kitchen, it is ready to be washed. No further sorting steps are needed. I have replacement hampers to go back into the bedrooms and outside of the bathroom.

Make or Buy Laundry Detergent?

Do you buy or make your own laundry detergent?

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Save Money on Laundry Detergent

Once upon a time, my husband and I were buying two different laundry detergents. When my son was born, we bought the special baby detergents for sensitive skin. As he grew older, we realized my son had super sensitive skin and would need the gentler, fragrance and dye free kinds of detergent on a regular basis for his clothes. We continued to buy two different kinds of detergent.

Do you know how expensive it can be to buy two different kinds of detergent? Well let me tell you—it’s expensive, like an easy $20-$40 dollars or more, depending on what brand/kind you purchase. In other words, it was pure craziness. We switched to store brands which saved us a bit, but we were still buying two different kinds.

My solution? We stopped buying the baby detergent and chose just one fragrance free/dye free hypoallergenic laundry detergent. We also compare the big brand names to the store brands to see which has the better deal (we can sometimes get a better price for a big brand name at a warehouse type store, like Sam’s Club).

And the clothes? Good and clean. Ah, yes, laundry demons, I win again!

There are homemade laundry detergent recipes out there that can save you even more money. For ideas, see the links to the right.

Laundry Trick!

Ever leave your clothes in the washer just a bit too long after the cycle has finished running? You open the lid to the washer and yuck: it smells like a pack of wild dogs has run through your clothes. This seems to happen most often when it is warm out (and when my husband does laundry, but I digress...). Why? Warm and wet conditions are great for bacteria and mold. Ew. You'll have to wash the clothes again, wasting water and detergent.

Don't let this happen to you! Get those clothes, towels, blankets, etc. out of the washer within an hour after the cycle is done.

If it does happen, rewash the clothes in a short cycle with a little baking soda or white vinegar. It removes the odor and is safe to use with all clothing.

Folding and Returning Clean Laundry

Once the clothes have been washed and dried, I fold (which I despise doing, but I digress…) and put the clothes according to owner and type of clothing. For instance, for my son I make piles of pajamas, pants, short sleeved shirts, long shirts, etc. When I bring them to his room, they are easily placed back into his dressers which are also organized according to item. Muuhahahaaa, laundry demons! You cannot defeat me!

Washing (and Losing) Socks

Don’t go there. I hate them with a passion unless they are warming my feet. (So I guess that’s one point for the laundry demons…sigh…).

Does anyone have their own solutions for socks? If yes then please share!

Long Story Short

1. Pre-sort clothes and other items according to color

2. Use a family friendly detergent that doesn’t break the bank

3. Fold and place in respective piles for easy return to owners

4. Rant about hating socks…

5. (In my case) breathe deeply and begin again (or just wait for tomorrow!)



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