Laundry happens. It’s just one of life’s juggling acts that never ends. And I think I've done a pretty good job at making it manageable. But when my 13-year-old signs up for every possible extracurricular (Crochet Club’s a thing?) I realize that I too have involuntarily been signed up for some “extras,” like car pool duty, Saturday morning game snacks and mass loads of laundry.
I can just see the school year unfolding before my eyes: It’s one big, sudsy swirl of soccer socks, cheerleading skirts and bedazzled musical costumes, punctuated by grass stains, glitter and a little bit of every day’s lunch.
Well moms, get ready. Shed one last tear for summer’s sockless days and put on your big girl pants – we’re gonna score an A+ in laundry this year. Here are 10 tips for staying on top of the pile and keeping the stink out of laundry day.
- Don’t mix up family members’ clothes. If you keep everyone’s laundry separate, then you can make one victory trip straight from the dryer to a bedroom – no sorting necessary.
- Ask yourself this very timesaving question. Does it really need to be washed? Or can it be sprayed with Febreze? Febreze is perfect for between washings or dry cleanings. Mist fall layers, like scarves and sweatshirts. Tip: Be careful not to use on fabrics that water spot, like silk, suede and leather. If you’re unsure, test on a small area first!
- Assign a day for other items like towels. That way, you won’t find yourself asking, “When was the last time I washed the bed sheets?!”
- Make a rule. If anyone needs it tomorrow morning, let mom know by 5 p.m. That will help cut down on midnight load switches and surprise wash requests.
- Leave the color-sorting to everyone else. Designate baskets or invest in divided hampers for every bedroom. Your whole family can separate lights, darks and colors as soon as they undress. When laundry day rolls around, it’s just a matter of collecting piles.
- Teach teens how to use a Tide stain stick. After all, they’re the first to know when (and what) stains appear.
- Teenage boys stink, and so do their sports uniforms. Double-team the odor – try Tide with Febreze for a deep clean and fresh scent.
- Next time you replenish your family’s sock stash, buy all of the same socks for each person. You’ll cut down on lonely singles and, BONUS: so much less sorting.
- Can’t run it through the washer? Febreze it! Fabric Refresher is perfect for the stinkiest (and least-washable) items – like athletic shoes, safety pads and helmets – and the most delicate things, like precious crochet club crafts.
- Let everyone do their own folding and putting away. Recruit kids to help take care of community items like kitchen and bath towels. Even preschoolers can fold simple items like washrags. No helpers around? Treat yourself to a movie or your favorite show while you fold. Oh, and maybe a bowl of ice cream. I'm never above self-bribery when it comes to sweetening the laundry experience.
Callout: Just remember: always keep laundry products out of the reach of tiny hands.