These are just a few things I do to keep it simple with my laundry:
Which one is which??
We all know children (and sometimes even HUSBANDS!) can get that fresh stack of nicely folded laundry from us and do what? …throw it somewhere instead of putting it in drawers, where it should be. This is one of the reasons you have an ENDLESS cycle of laundry going—is this TECHNICALLY dirty? Before you do the sniff trick and end up next to the toilet over some pants, I’ve got a better idea!
When you sort the laundry and put it in the washer, ZIP UP THE PANTS AND BUTTON THE FLY. On shirts, button ONE button, near the top is suggested. On socks, unroll them. On under wear, turn them right-side OUT. On your bras, clasp them closed like you’re wearing it (you should do this anyway to avoid tearing and catching with the hook-and-eye clasp). Turn T-Shirts right-side-out, unless they have a special screen printing that needs to be protected (check the label!).
Wash your clothes like normal, dry and fold. Hand to your children and husband—then prepare yourself for the possibility that your two-year old will pull all the clothes out of the drawer, so you don’t know which is dirty and which is clean.
This is the good part, I promise. All of us have a tendency to undress and leave it like that. Pants are left unzipped, shirts inside out, bras undone. SO…if you find a pair of pants all buttoned up? They’re clean! Your bra is clasped? Clean! Socks are folded together? Clean! Your shirt is right-side-out, but on the floor/bed/dresser? Clean!
Enjoy your time not using your nose to test every article of clothing!
Avoid tears (and tears!)
Going along with the benefits of the last section, as you load your laundry, you should “re-do” everything you “undo” while getting undressed (minus buttons on button-up shirts). Zippers should be zipped, clasps should be clasped, buttons buttoned. This helps avoid the inevitable laundry fiasco of someone’s beautiful polyester blouse being caught, snagged, and ripped by jean-zipper’s teeth, or shredded by a hook-and-eye clasp.
And those buttons on those shirts? Out of sheer laziness I don’t button every button, because you have to unbutton it to hang it as well as wear it, but buttoning one toward the top can help keep that firm collar shape we all love. If you keep all your other clothes in check, buttons are usually safe enough to brave the washer without being ripped off. :)
Avoid your child’s creativity on your clothes
We love our kids, but there is nothing more frustrating than finding an entire load of laundry soaked in red. At the bottom of the disappointment, we find the culprit: one red crayon (or marker, or pen). We all know we should check the pockets of every article of clothing, but we don’t. But since you ALREADY have to zip it all up, why not do a quick run-through? You might find extra change, but even more valuable, you’ll probably find a crayon or a piece of cherry candy, saving you a load of laundry.
Ever lose that ONE pillowcase in your set, right when you need a complete set the most? Now you have several mismatched sets of sheets, lost and lonely! Here’s what to do so your dryer eats less of these things (if your dryer is the enemy). When you go to fold your sheets, fold the flat sheet first, then the fitted sheet, then ONE of the pillowcases. Place the flat sheet and pillowcase INSIDE the fitted sheet, and fold the whole package into a standard pillow size. Take the remaining pillow case and open it like you would to place your pillow in it, but instead shimmy the contents of your set into the pillow case. Voila! You can’t lose ‘em! On a related note, check the fitted sheet before you fold it—that’s usually where I find lost socks later. :)
If you’d like to go a little over-zealous with this project, use old, odd-and-end pillowcases (or buy some at a garage sale) to also store your towel sets—both towels, hand towels and washcloths placed inside—you’ll have extra clean towels (not so much as dust on them!) and you’ll never have mismatched washcloths again!
I hope you find these hints helpful -- happy laundry day!
Thanks, Keira! If any day needs more happy at our house, it's laundry day :)
This post is part of the Housewife MacGyver series on just Lu. Read more about Housewife MacGyver and see all the posts in the series here.