With a change of season comes a change in wardrobe, which likely also means a change in washing instructions. After all, summer clothes are more lightweight and tend to be made of different types of fabric than winter clothes. But just when you pull out the warmer weather clothes, spring has a way of saying, “Not so fast,” and sends in a surprise snowstorm. That means you’re dealing with two wardrobes (summer and winter) all in one season — plus lots more laundry than normal. Fear not. Here are six ways to make doing laundry easier this spring.
Some people don’t mind doing laundry at all. Others detest it. If you’re in the latter camp, take a moment to think about the reasons why doing laundry is such a chore. There are generally two types of people when it comes to the frequency of doing laundry: those who do it as often as possible and those who do it as seldom as possible. There are benefits to both. Doing it more often means less laundry to fold and put away each time, meaning it gets done more quickly and isn’t as overwhelming. Doing it less often can mean a whole day of doing nothing but laundry, including folding it and putting it away.
If you have to do laundry for other people in your house, enlist their help. Kids over the age of six especially should be able to at least put their clothes back in drawers. You may be surprised at how quickly they learn if you take a moment to show them how to fold kids’ T-shirts and pants, and let them take it from there. Assigning each child a laundry hamper of their own can also help keep laundry in order.
While there will always be exceptions to this rule, such as leather, suede, and silk, try to buy clothes made of materials that don’t have special washing instructions. That way you don’t have to worry about separating them not only by color but also by hand-wash and hang-dry, etc. Having two categories — whites and darks — should be enough for spring and summer clothing most of the time. Look for “machine wash/tumble dry” on tags before buying, if you can. Even better, you can take the task of ironing out of the picture if you find clothing that you don’t have to iron. There are a lot of wrinkle-resistant womens blouses that are dressy and professional but much easier to care for than a typical blouse that would otherwise need ironing.
One way to make laundry day less dreadful is to reward yourself for doing it. Listen to a podcast, read a book, or buy yourself a coffee to enjoy while you’re doing laundry. You could also give yourself something to look forward to for after the laundry is done, such as a nice dinner, a bubble bath, or simply settling down in front of the TV for a movie you’ve been looking forward to watching. Just make sure it is something you don’t allow yourself to do much outside of laundry day or else it won’t be as special.
Because bedding takes up so much room in the washer and dryer, you might want to devote a separate day for washing bedding. Kids bedding will take up less room, however, so you may want to wash their blankets and sheets along with their clothes. In terms of care instructions, you’ll want to pay attention to the tag on the sheets — unless you’ve removed them. No worries; we’ve got you covered with care instructions: Experts recommend washing sheets and pillowcases weekly in warm water, not hot water, which can shrink the fabric. As far as drying, remove them from the dryer as soon as the cycle is finished to ensure you won’t have any pesky wrinkles. Alternatively, you can hang them outside in the sun to dry when it’s nice outside. There’s nothing like slipping into some sundried bed sheets.
If every family member has a mesh bag to throw their dirty socks in and another bag that they throw their underwear in, that takes sorting out of the equation, making laundry take up a lot less time. You also don’t have to worry about missing socks, mismatched socks, or socks hiding in pant legs!
Don’t forget about your winter coats. Washing them at the end of every winter ensures any dirt on them doesn’t have a chance to become more deeply absorbed when stored throughout the summertime. This protects the fabric and makes the coats last longer. Storing them in a garment bag or covering them in plastic also helps ensure they won’t get dusty or have a musty odor when you take them out of storage next winter.
Doing laundry doesn’t have to be dreadful. Taking little steps to make laundry less of a chore can make a world of difference on laundry day. Of course, having clothes that are easy to care for helps, too!