Helpful Laundry Advice
Not many people enjoy doing laundry. It’s exhausting. If we can’t make the chore enjoyable, could we at least make it more tolerable?
Would having a serene laundry room make a difference? What if laundry rooms could be peaceful, organized spaces? Would a specific laundry routine help break up this monotonous task?
Sometimes, it’s not the chore itself—but the environment where it takes place causes stress. Truthfully, there aren’t many spaces in your home that are more prone to clutter and chaos than the laundry room.
We’re sharing our favorite laundry tips and tricks to transform your laundry routine and turn your chaotic laundry room into an organized clothing oasis.
1. Reduce the time you spend doing laundry.
Most American families wash fifty pounds of laundry per week—and each load takes around an hour and a half to complete. At 5-10 pounds per load, this amount of laundry could easily equal over ten hours of washing and sorting clothes every week. No wonder laundry is up there on your least-favorite-chore list.
The most helpful laundry advice has to do with cutting the time commitment. There are a few things that can drastically decrease the amount of time spent washing your clothes.
Consider the following:
- Create a system to sort your clothes in the moment. Who wants to take the time to sort through a week’s worth of clothes? Use a divided hamper or separate bins in the laundry room to keep your darks apart from your whites. Use another section of the hamper for delicates. You’ll be shocked at the amount of time you save when it comes time to throw a load in the wash. If you have a large family, put hampers with built-in separators in each person’s bedroom and have them sort into the appropriate section when they discard their dirty clothes.
- Use lingerie bags for delicates and socks. Attach a special laundry lingerie bag to each family member’s hamper. Have them put in their delicates and socks into this bag and toss each bag into the wash. This step will help save time matching socks and will prevent you from losing as many miscellaneous socks.
2. Find the appropriate stain treatment method.
When in doubt, wash your clothing. Some stains won’t show up until later, which can make them more difficult to remove. The sooner you wash an item, the less likely a perfume or deodorant stain will permanently stick to the fabric. Also, it’s helpful to know about how to treat certain stains. Treating them effectively will save you time, frustration, and money.
You’d be surprised how many stain secrets are out there—and how much time it will save you.
Here are some helpful stain-fighting laundry tips:
- Sunlight is one of the best solutions for tomato-based stains.
- Chalk is one of the best solutions for grease stains.
- White bread can blot out a lipstick stain.
3. Wash some clothes in cold water to save money.
Did you know the average hot-water load of laundry costs 68 cents per load, which could equal $268 per year? The same load, using cold water, costs four cents, which would cost you around $16 per year. Some items need to be washed in warm or hot water, like gym clothes or towels. However, for everyday items, consider setting your washer to cold water.
Here’s another bonus money-saving tip: Make your own dryer sheets! One idea involves bunching up some aluminum foil (that can be reused up to 30 times), and the other idea utilizes a dried washcloth dipped in fabric softener. Try it!
4. Add more functionality to the laundry room.
Laundry requires more than a working washer and dryer. You might have the essentials, but do you have a functional laundry room? Do you have a place to put your dirty clothes waiting to be washed, or a table to fold your warm and dry clothes?
Here are a few things you need to keep a clean and efficient laundry room:
- Install behind-the-door shelves. Shelf space is vital, but it’s extra useful when it’s hidden. Placing a few shelves behind your door—or even hanging on the back of your door—will add storage space and save you room.
- Add extra storage in any way possible. If you’re not a fan of shelves, consider using some baskets, drawers, or towel racks to place some of your things.
- Make a DIY drying rack. If you don’t like collapsible drying racks between the washer and dryer, you could repurpose a vintage ladder for drying use. Be creative. For an inexpensive option, hang a few hooks up in your laundry room for hangers.
- Create a folding station. We all need space to fold our clothes. If you’re not using shelves directly over your front-load washer or dryer, put in a simple counter and get to folding.
Laundry might seem like a hassle, but with a few of these laundry tips—and takeaways—you might even start to enjoy the task. Okay, maybe not… but at least you have a few ways to get inspired. If you want to explore more of our organizing content, check out our guide to the perfect bedroom makeover.
Editor’s Note: Originally published July 24, 2014; updated October 16, 2020.