8 Ways to Make Laundry Easier

Do dirty clothes just keep piling up? Keep laundry at a minimum by sorting through these eight useful strategies.

Excerpted from Houseworks, by Cynthia Townley Ewer

Schedule Laundry Chores Regularly

The equation is simple: You wear clothes. You wash clothes and towels, sheets and bedding, too. Put off the laundry side of the equation, and the job becomes much harder. In the laundry hamper, stains and wrinkles have a chance to settle in and make themselves permanent. A load of wet laundry, left to itself in the washing machine, invites mildew. The dryer load, forgotten and unfolded, settles back into rumpled comfort once the heat dies down.
Solution: Schedule laundry chores regularly. How often to do laundry will depend on your family's needs. Households with young children may have to launder multiple loads each day, while singletons can go for a week at a time between laundry sessions as long as laundry operations are conducted regularly.

laundry rolling shelves organization

Create a Laundry Activity Center

A laundry activity center combines the equipment, tools and supplies needed to get in and get the job done quickly. Establish a space to assemble, sort, wash, dry, fold and return clean clothing and bedding.

Clear Counter Space

Look to the location of the washing machine (if you have one) to set up the laundry center. Clear space around the machine; folding laundry is an active process, so you'll need as much clear counter space as you can create. A sink nearby will make it easier to treat stains and presoak soiled clothing.

Ensure Good Lighting

Good lighting will help you find and identify stains, so supplement existing lighting if it's dark or dreary. Can you read the fine print on a garment label? If not, provide additional lamps or lighting fixtures.

Laundry Room

Take Advantage of Storage Space

Store detergents and laundry products in an overhead cabinet, or mount a shelf unit on the wall above the washing machine. Households with small children will need to locate cleaning products up and away from little hands, but within reach of preteens and up, to make it easy for growing youngsters to take over their own laundry chores.

Small Wash Area in Do Room Enhanced by Artwork © 2011, HGTV

Hold in the Permanent Press

Install a closet rod in the laundry center to hang permanent-press garments. If cabinetry permits, an expandable shower-curtain rod will hold clean shirts and extra hangers in smaller spaces.

Take Clothes Vertical

If space permits, add a retractable clothesline or folding drying rack to the laundry center. Even if the house has an automatic dryer, a clothesline or rack makes it a quick matter to dry sweaters and underthings that should not be placed in the dryer.

Baskets Help Keep Laundry Sorted and Organized DK - House Works © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Keep Laundry Separated

Code laundry baskets with a different color for each family member and place baskets in every bedroom and bathroom. On laundry days, family members who can take their own baskets to the laundry center, and return the clean and folded clothing to their own closets at day's end.

Excerpted from Houseworks, by Cynthia Townley Ewer

Text Copyright © 2006, 2010, Cynthia Townley Ewer, extracts from Houseworks, reproduced with permission from Dorling Kindersley Limited

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