WhatIWore: Confession: I have a scary basement. Alright. it’s not downright dungeon-like or anything, but it is 95 years old and unfinished. Our washer and dryer are down there, so actually doing the laundry is not my favorite chore (folding it is not so bad!) But it’s gotta get done and I’ve got to make the best of it, so here are a few things I’ve made part of my routine to make it as easy as possible.
1. Do a load each day. Instead of letting it pile up into 5 loads of laundry on the weekend, I like to try to start a wash in the morning while my son is playing, flip it over sometime during the afternoon and fold that evening (sometimes with an extra fluff to minimize wrinkles. If I get out of this habit, inevitably the wash stays in there too long and gets smelly and I have to re-wash it, which is wasteful (both time, energy and water!). When I do a load every day, I’m not overwhelmed with a mountain of dirty clothes (and towels, and diapers!) OR a mountain of folding the clean stuff.
2. Add an extra laundry basket to your stash. We keep laundry baskets in our master bedroom and Felix’s room and another one at the landing on the basement steps for kitchen towels. About 6 months ago, I added another two baskets into the rotation so there’s always an empty one in the basement. For me it is so annoying to try to wrap my arms around a bunch of tiny baby clothes, leaving a trail of clean onesies behind me because it’s all dropping along the way[[. Anything to make life more efficient, people! Now we have stacking baskets both upstairs and in the basement and it seems like less socks are missing and more laundry is washed and put away more quickly.
3. Check pockets! How many times has one of us left a chapstick in a pocket and then had oily spots all over our tee shirts? Answer: A lot of times. I’ve also disinigrated half a dozen of Adam’s pocket notebooks because I didn’t check ‘em ahead of time. While you’re at it, zip your zippers and if you want your jeans to stay darker longer, flip them inside out.
4. Pick the Right Detergent. We need something both powerful (babies = stains galore) and gentle (baby’s skin = sensitive). We actually never ended up changing detergent brands (we’ve used Seventh Generation for years) after Felix was born. I also like that the free and clear detergents don’t have the glow in the black light whiteners. Seventh Generation 2X Free and Clear is the only detergent on the market that does not include artificial, or optical, brighteners! I actually wash all of my cloth diapers in the same stuff now (with an extra two drops of tea tree oil).
5. Tennis Balls in the Dryer can keep things fluffy! Especially if you’re washing anything like winter coats that have stuffing.
6. Clean Your Lint Traps Every. Single. Time! Sometimes I’m lazy I don’t clear out the lint before starting a load in the dryer - and it always comes back to get me when my towels still aren’t dry. It takes 5 seconds, so just do it!
7. Or Skip The Dryer in favor of sunshine. I like doing this with my cloth diapers once and a while to get them really bright and white. Buh bye baby skid marks! I also like to let my white quilts dry in the sun too. Feels old timey and wholesome.
8. Put away the clean laundry when it’s done. I think one of the reasons I don’t like laundry also has to do with the fact that my closet sometimes just becomes one big pile of clean stuff and it feels like I have nothing to wear because I can’t see it. Dumb! Put that laundry away and shop your closet like it’s your favorite store!
Got anything to add that makes your laundry routine easier? I’d love to hear your tips on my facebook page!
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