Laundry wouldn’t be such a burden if it involved only washing and drying the clothes. Especially if you have kids, you know that’s only a fraction of the process. Before you can even get to the washing part, the job of distinguishing the clean clothes strewn across the floor from the dirty ones can leave you feeling like a forensic investigator.
For most households, laundry is a three-part process: gathering the clothes, washing and drying them, and redistributing them. All three steps can be a hassle, but there are things you can do during each one to reduce the time and effort required.
Invest in hampers. Plural
In a perfect world, you could count on older kids (or even your spouse) to deliver their dirty clothes right to the laundry room. In the meantime, why not make sure a hamper is visible in every bedroom, preferably within an easy toss? The First Law of Laundry states that the farther a child is from a hamper, the more likely his or her clothes are to end up on the floor.
Small loads make for an inefficient use of energy, both your own and your household’s. Look for large-capacity washers and dryers that enable you to do fewer loads. The front-loading Samsung Eco Bubble™ 7kg, for example, can handle 7 kilograms, so you can start loads whenever you’re ready.
Eco Bubble technology generates special bubbles that dissolve detergent as the wash cycle begins, enabling it to penetrate fabrics faster. In short, cold water (15 C) washes like hot water (40 C), using small amount of the energy. Eco Bubble is gentler on clothes, too.
Get peace of mind
When choosing a new washer and/or dryer, look for a machine with a secure door and childproof display. That way you can leave a load unattended without worrying. Some washers, including the Eco Bubble, even have sensors that automatically shut off the machine if leakage is detected.
As for the final step, getting clean clothes back where they belong, why not delegate? Assign older children the folding (or at least the putting away) of the clothes. Even very young kids can handle sock-matching duty—especially if you call it the sock-matching game. Involving the whole family at the end of the process makes everyone a little more likely to cooperate at the beginning of the next one—by getting their clothes into the proper hamper, for example.
Finish it up
Whenever possible, don’t let clean clothes sit in that last stage too long. Leaving clean clothes out can create confusion and extra work. If your teenager has ever torn through a mound of clean clothes looking for that one T-shirt she must wear tonight, you understand. The resulting mess can make it hard to tell the clean from the dirty.
Whether your family is big or just beginning to grow, simplifying your laundry operations can give you time for other, more interesting activities. You might even discover new ones. Dirt biking, perhaps?