Laundry is possibly the world's most boring chore (heck, you're probably bored just reading this). But it's something we have to do every week, and there are a loads of ways to do it faster, better, and boredom-free.
10. Wash Your Clothes Less Often
The most obvious way to avoid doing so much laundry is to... well, not do it. Not every item of clothing needs to be washed right away; in fact, you could probably wear lots of clothes more than once before you wash. Shirts can survive multiple wears if worn with an undershirt, and many people don't even wash their jeans at all (though you can throw them in the freezer to keep them fresh). Check out our reader thread on the subject for more info and see what others have to say -- you might find that you're washing some clothes too often. Image: Harika Reddy.
9. Get Stains Out Right Away
You can remove nearly all of life's horrible stains right away using simple house hold items, like soda water, lemon juice, hydrogen peroxide and more. We've shared more clever stain removers than we can count, but for a good round-up check out WonderHowTo's DIY Stain Removal infographic. If you have to, pin it on your laundry machine so you never forget it. The less time you spend getting those stains out, the quicker you can get that laundry clean and folded back in its home.
8. Eliminate Sorting With Multiple Hampers
One of the best tricks I ever put into practice was putting two laundry baskets in my closet: one for whites and one for colours. That way, when you take off your clothes before bed, you can sort them with almost zero effort, instead of having to rifle through everything later on. It seems like a small annoyance, but come laundry day, you'll be happy everything's sorted out for you.
7. Wash Everything Properly
Ever look at your clothing tags and see those little symbols? They're supposed to tell you how to wash that item, but heck if any of them make sense without a description. This handy chart will help you figure out what all those symbols mean so you can get it right the first time (and avoid ruining your clothes). Weblog Apartment Therapy recommends sorting your laundry by fabric instead of colour, too. If you wash on cold, colour doesn't matter and you'll save time on drying cycles if you have all your lights in one, easier-to-dry load. It's not for everyone, but it could make your life a bit easier. Make sure you don't use fabric softener on towels, either -- they'll lose their absorbency.
6. Declare Sock Bankruptcy
Sometimes it feels like half of laundry day is spent looking for that missing sock, or trying to pair everything together. If you're tired of sorting socks, it may be time to declare sock "bankruptcy" and buy a whole new set of socks. Buy only a few colours, all from the same brand, in large quantities. You'll never have to fold or sort them again. Just throw them all in your dresser and as long as you grab two socks of the same colour, they'll be sure to match. Plus it helps a bit with that whole "lost sock" problem.
5. Load And Unload Like A Pro
Don't have a basket? Can't carry a basket? You don't need one: all you need is a towel or some item of clothing large enough to wrap everything else up. You can transport an entire load of laundry down to the washer just by wrapping it up in a pair of pants, no hamper required. Similarly, you can throw a clean towel into the dryer after it's finished, rotate the dryer and use that towel as a little laundry bag that you can carry with one hand. Never drop anything on your way back up the stairs again!
4. Use Less Detergent
Okay, so this one won't save you that much time, but it can save you money. Many of us use way too much detergent in our laundry, and while you could make your own at a fraction of the price, the easiest way to save money is to just use less. You know how much soap the manufacturer recommends using? Use less than that. A lot less. Your clothes will be just as clean and you'll save money.
3. Clean Your Appliances
It's weird to think about cleaning the thing that cleans you clothes, but it can make everything work a whole lot better. Cleaning your washing machine every few months can help get rid of excess dirt, soap gunk and other things that may be invading your laundry, while cleaning the dryer can make it dry more effectively in a smaller amount of time (especially if you clean that moisture sensor). Your clothes and your patience will thank you. Photo by Patricia H.
2. Fill Your Drawers From Front To Back
Do you stack clothing in your drawers from top to bottom? If so, you've probably noticed how much of a pain it is to find what you're looking for and get it out later on. The next time you fill your drawers, fill them from front to back as shown in the picture here. You'll be shocked how much easier it is to see what you have and pick something out. Alternatively, you can hang shirts in your drawer like a filing cabinet, too.
1. Fold And Hang Your Clothes In Seconds
You may have seen the Japanese folding method that gets your T-shirts folded in two seconds, but have you seen the instant t-shirt hanging method, too? What about the saddle row fold, which keeps your pants from falling off the hanger? There are a ton of more efficient ways to fold and hang your clothes, and we've shared a ton of them over the years. Check out this video for 10 of our favourite clothing tricks, explained in 60 seconds. Once you've seen them, you'll never go back to your old way of folding laundry.