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Never ending laundry

Statistically American wear 20% of our clothes 80% of the time.  Then why does it seem impossible to keep up on doing laundry sometimes? It’s definitely one of my more dreaded chores. The washing and drying part isn’t too bad but folding and putting everything away seems to be quite the challenge for me. I’ll admit it, I have about 5 loads of clean laundry that have been tossed “temporarily” into a basket because I just didn’t have the time or ambition to fold and put everything away. Mr. Manor usually helps, after all, it’s half his but the past two weeks have been pretty busy. I know it sounds silly but plenty of times I’ve seen people get so overwhelmed with laundry to the point where they’ve simply purchased more clothes. Extreme but it happens and that’s when I usually suggest a wash and fold service. Here’s a few tips and tricks that may help you keep ahead of the game:

  • Put it right away or else it will stay! If you’re really pressed for time, at least pull out and fold the bigger items like jeans, shirts, towels otherwise known as low hanging fruit.


  • Enlist the troops. Sure, you could bang it out pretty quick but I find it’s good to include other household members as sort of a buddy system. Of course it’s a great skill for young children to learn early even if the folding is somewhat haphazard.


  • We’ve all done it, especially in the summer, run a load through the wash but it never makes it to the dryer or the clothes line and we have to rewash it. If the load has only slightly soured, I add a cup of baking soda and just run it through the rinse cycle. Saves some water and detergent and the soda freshens the clothes.


  • Do you have to wash a blouse that you wore out to dinner for a few hours? Not unless Alfredo sauce took a trip down the front. As a matter of fact, the CEO for Levis’s Jeans recommends not washing your jeans so often if at all! Denim aficionados claim that they hold their shape and color much better. They say jeans can be spot cleaned and aired out or even frozen once a month to kill bacteria that may cause smells. That may be ok for dress jeans but of course it’s not so realistic for work jeans.


  • Ok, so you’ve left a few clean loads in a wrinkled lump, now what? You may have to iron some but I get away with throwing most of the load back into the dryer on high heat for about 15 minutes with a couple of wet wash clothes for a “steaming”. Some shirts have responded to being hung on a hanger and spritzed lightly with water, of course it depends on the material.


  • One of the main reasons people hate putting away laundry is because their drawers or closets are overstuffed and difficult to access. This is simple math, too many 3D inanimate objects, too much volume and not enough space. If you’re hanging onto clothes that don’t fit for more than 6 months to a year, it might be time to purge. Can you store out of season clothes somewhere else? Are you using a narrow bureau drawer for a big, bulky winter sweater? The sweater could probably live on a shelf or in a chest instead of taking up a whole drawer. Closets that are over packed are difficult to manipulate, try to have at least 3 full inches of empty space on the clothes rod so for easier accessibility. If there is limited hanging space, big, thick clothes hangers might be traded for thinner ones like the velvet covered hangers that have become more popular for good reason. Use the big, wooden hangers for heavy winter coats.


  • If possible, get family members into the habit of separating their soiled darks and light colored clothing by having two hampers or baskets available. I love pop up, lightweight, mesh style hampers that are tall and utilize upward space instead of low to the ground baskets which take up more floor space.


  • Treat stains right away. Not only do you have a better chance of removing them, it won’t slow you down when you go to load the washer and you won’t forget them in which case they will be vastly harder to get rid of after being run through the dryer.


  • Keep socks simple! It’s much easier to match up socks if they are the same color, the same brand and there are plenty of them. Of course a little diversity is fine but bulk socks can save a lot of time, especially with kids.


  • If your laundry situation really gets out of control, take a trip to the laundromat and do multiple loads all at once. In the long run, it’s less time consuming than trying to process your piles one load at a time at home.


  • My cat enjoys a variety of different sleeping spots in the house and I have folded blankets for his little nests. It’s not necessary to wash the blankets from start to finish just to get rid of some accumulated fur. I toss two wet washcloths into the dryer with a blanket or two on low heat for 15 minutes and a good amount of the fur is removed. The wet cloths break the magnetic hold between the fur and the blanket and the evidence is easy to see in the dryer’s lint trap. Dog bedding may need to be washed more frequently as pups tend to be a little more odiferous than cats.