None of us want (or need) another item added to our to-do lists, so simplifying our day-to-day tasks is essential, especially while we’re getting into spring cleaning mode. Laundry is one such chore that can be daunting but with a few easy tweaks, you won't want to keep putting it off. Read on for surefire ways to make laundry day less tedious.
Declutter your wardrobe
The fact of the matter is, without excess, you have fewer items to launder. This means that downsizing your wardrobe is one of the quickest and most freeing ways to simplify laundry day. Start by sorting everything into Keep, Toss, and Donate piles. Then go through each piece one by one. Toss any items that are damaged or worn out and donate duplicates or whatever is in good shape but you haven’t worn in over a year — with the exception of any timeless pieces, like your event gowns, classic blazers, and beloved cashmere sweaters.
Wash in smaller, color-sorted loads
Small laundry loads come with big perks. In addition to them getting more thoroughly washed than a load that’s too big for your machine, small loads are also easier to manage from start to finish — they take less time to sort by color (a necessity) as well as fold and put away.
Use the right laundry accessories
Tossing in a load of laundry, no matter the size, and walking away may be tempting, but the proper preparation goes a long way. Consider the following before putting your machine to work:
- Use mesh bags to wash delicates like bras and underwear to prevent damage. Or use them for socks to avoid losing one of the pair. It makes for much easier folding, as well.
- Pick the right spot remover for your stains. Nancy (Reflekt’s very own Queen of Spot Removal) loves Carbona Stain Devils for any of those everyday stains (from ice cream to cooking oil), Dreft Laundry Stain Remover for baby clothes, Jason Markk Essential Kit for shoes or canvas handbags, timeless Savon de Marseille Soap for use on more fragile fabrics, or The Hate Stains Co. Emergency Stain Rescue for more stubborn stains.
- Brighten your whites with OUT White Brite.
- Add ½ cup of Borax to your load to boost the efficacy of your detergent.
Add two Nellie’s Lamby Wool Dryerballs, Nancy’s favorite natural alternative to dryer sheets, to separate clothes and cut down on both static and drying time.
Put everything away immediately
If folding and hanging are your least favorite part of laundry day, our previous advice to wash in small loads sorted by color will help make this much easier for you. Once the dry cycle has completed, remove everything, lay all clothing out flat, and proceed to fold and put away. This helps prevent unnecessary wrinkles. Plus, keeping your space neat and tidy as you go instead of creating a giant pile to tackle will help make the aftermath less overwhelming.
Keep clothes fresh between washes
Overwashing your clothes can not only shorten their lifespan by wearing them down over time, but it also requires more energy and water consumption, which is a no-no for us. Denim, sweatshirts, sweaters, and other outer layers worn with an undershirt beneath them, for example, don’t need to be washed after every wear, unlike underwear, socks, and sweaty gym clothes, which require washing every time. To keep the aforementioned garments fresh between washes, it’s important to:
- Apply products like deodorant and perfume and allow them to dry before dressing to keep them from rubbing off on your outfit.
- Hang your clothes up after you’ve undressed (don’t leave them in a ball on the floor).
Use the right washer and dryer setting
Save yourself from the headache of shrinking your favorite clothing staples, ruining the material, or losing a button by choosing the appropriate washer and dryer settings. After all, not all pieces are created equal, so tossing them all in one load and selecting the “Normal” cycle won’t work for all. Read the labels carefully to ensure you opted for the correct speed, temperature, and time.
TIP: If you’re tempted to cut off those pesky tags, make sure you save or take a picture of them to reference later.