>Fresh Idea Friday

>Today’s fresh idea is sharing laundry tips! We’re sharing any routines we have, products we can’t live without, tips for getting out stains, ways to cut cost with laundry, time saving steps … pretty much anything laundry related!

So … here are my tips:
~To stay on top of the laundry in my house, I try to do one load a day. There are always going to be days in my week that this doesn’t happen (and I rarely do wash on the weekend), but by having that goal I find that I stay on top of the laundry pretty well. I have a designated day to wash sheets each week, but other than that I typically just do a load (or two if I’m catching up!) of whatever we have.

~The system we use around here for organizing dirty wash is to keep a laundry sorter upstairs … it has 3 bags, so one is for whites, one for brights (lots of those with girlies!) and one for darks. I’ll often combine some of those to make a full load (i.e. darker brights with the darks, lighter brights with the whites) or throw in towels, a tablecloth, the bathroom rug, etc. to make a full load. I don’t usually have a problem finding something that is dirty and could be washed if the load isn’t full that day … and if I don’t have a full load, then I’ll skip doing wash that day (as long as it isn’t supposed to rain the next day!).

~Treat stains immediately. We all know what happens when we say to ourselves “I’ll take care of that later … or I’ll treat that before I throw it in the washer” … we forget! I keep a stain remover upstairs (my washer is downstairs in the basement) to make things easier. Although I’ve used a variety of stain removers over the years, I use oxi clean (put in a bucket dissolved with hot water then let soak for a day) and dawn dish soap (the original blue) the most to remove stains. I also keep a spray such as spray n wash or zout next to the washer. One other helpful tip that I have found is that by adding some clorox 2 in with my colored wash it will often remove simple stains that haven’t set in yet. Since I do wash so often around here, stains don’t typically have much time to set in anyway! Although it is helpful when Brian or the kiddos tell me when they get something on them that might stain, I do try to look over items before tossing them into the washer so that I can treat them.

~One way that I save money is by line drying all of our wash outside on my clothes line as long as the temp. is above 55 degrees or so. This means that for well over half of the year I don’t use my dryer, and even in the cooler months I use inside racks to dry a lot of our wash. Other ways I try to save money are by not using as much detergent (which I buy in bulk at Costco), always putting in a full load of wash to conserve water, and by using cold and warm water to do all of the washing. I never use hot water to wash, and I try to only use warm if there is a load that really needs it. And I always rinse with cold water. Another nice thing about line drying wash is that if you missed a stain, you still have hope to get it out since it didn’t go through the dryer! And if the kiddos are playing outside, I’ll often fold the wash while I take it off the line so that I don’t have to do it later.

~I allow the kiddos to help me whenever possible … they love handing me wash and clothespins while I hang up the wash. They also often put away their own wash after I fold it. I’ve tried to keep their pajama, shirts, and pants/shorts drawers lower so that they can reach them on their own, but there are some items that I help them with. This does mean that their drawers aren’t always quite as tidy as I may like, but I’ve come to realize that in the large scheme of things this isn’t such a big deal! And it really only takes me a couple of minutes every once in awhile to tidy it for them so they can find what they need when they are getting dressed.

That about sums up my laundry system around here! Don’t forget to check out Lisa’s post for more laundry tips!

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4 thoughts on “>Fresh Idea Friday

  1. >Sarah,Thanks for all the helpful tips. I actually feel really inspired, like I want to go tackle some laundry right now. It is neat to be able to learn from other homemakers! Love, Caitlinp.s. I really like the doing one load a day idea. For some reason I like to wait until we are almost totally out of clothes so I feel like we are using all our clothes and not wearing the same favorites over and over, but then I’m trying to do like 13 loads all at once. I’ll think I will be using this new idea!

  2. >Thanks Sarah for sharing all of those great ideas! You sure make it sound so easy, and strangely kinda fun. I wish we had a place to line dry our clothing…I love how fresh and clean it smells when you hang it outside. Does Sydney put her own clothes away? I haven’t thought of having the boys do that yet, but come to think of it they are probably getting old enough, huh?Thanks again…you made me one step closer to conquering my laundry fears.

  3. >Thanks for the tips, Sarah. I second the Oxi-Clean tip… that’s the best stain remover I’ve found, and I’ve tried many different ones!

  4. >Sarah, that sounds almost exaxtly like what happens at our house. I could copy and paste your post to my blog! All but the sorting bit. My sorting days are over and I just throw it all in the same load and let the sun whiten the whites.

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