18 ways to save time & energy doing the laundry – if you hate it, read this now!

Laundry.

Laundry is one of those unavoidable tasks in life, I don’t know anyone who really enjoys it. It’s certainly something the EHT team have been bemoaning for quite some time. If you also dread laundry day make sure you explore these 18 ways to make it as painless and efficient as possible. I’ve been doing some research and a few of these might just make your life that bit easier…

1. Sort first, wash later

Sorting, sigh.
Sorting, sigh.

Let’s face it, sorting is the chore. The washing machine does the real hard work. Sorting can seem like a mammoth task when you’re faced with piles of random items in all different sizes, shapes and materials. Organising your laundry sorting and simplify your life:

  • Invest in dividers for your laundry bin so they do the sorting for you
  • Keep smaller baskets to separate lights from darks
  • Hang bags in your laundry bin to sort out smaller items like socks
  • Skip the bin and store dirty clothes in your machine until its full & ready to go

2. Sort your laundry by weight

Sorting laundry by colour is the traditional method favoured by many, but the efficient way to sort through laundry is by weight. Unless you’re washing reds or any other items that come with a colour-run warning, you’re going to make your life a heck of a lot easier by sorting your clothes out this way.

If you wash just light items, you’ll be able to fit in a lot more into the wash. Saving you time and money! Your thinner items won’t get damaged by heavier ones either and everything should be cleaned evenly. Plus, if you have a dryer, they’ll need the same drying time so you can pop them in for a dry altogether.

3. Hang a mesh washing bag inside your laundry bin

Handy for all delicates.
Handy for all delicates.

By hanging a small mesh bag in your laundry bin tied to the side, not only can you keep your dirty underwear separately in the bin but you can quick remove it and chuck it in the washing machine when it’s full.

Mesh bags offer amazing protection for delicate items, like lingerie, that could get snagged and ruined when washed with other bulkier items.

4. Use a drawstring bags to limit missing socks

Speaking of the wonders of mesh bags, cotton drawstring bags also help keep your socks together so you won’t be spending ages pairing socks from a huge load of random items.  Save time and energy, invest in mesh bags and keep the small items together at all times.

5. Keep this useful stain remover tool for emergencies

Not so much a laundry tip, but an emergency stain removal aid. Keep this Persil Stain Removal Tool bookmarked on your phone or computer, you just select what type of stain it is from what material and colour and it’ll give you an instant solution. Amazing!

6. Get clever with your laundry bins

More laundry bins for efficient sorting means less space. Tackle this problem by getting clever when it comes to using multiple laundry bins. I love these great ideas…

It takes up space, but your life will be so much easier.
It takes up space, but your life will be so much easier.

If you have space, you can make or invest in a cupboard dedicated to laundry baskets. Even better, attach an ironing board to the top to create a laundry and ironing station.

Pic via Pin Junkie.
Pic via Pin Junkie.

If you don’t have enough floor space for multiple bins, try hanging laundry bags on wall space that hasn’t been used. Behind a closet door is always a good one!

Compact and it works!
Compact and it works!

7. Repurpose an old ladder to create a space-saving drying rack

A great way to re-use a ladder.
A great way to re-use a ladder.

If you don’t have a dryer and are fed up of having the clothes rack out, think about repurposing an old ladder to create a hanging clothes rack. Your clothes will dry quicker and you’ll be less stressed when your laundry is out of site.

8. Create a ‘Wanted’ Board for missing socks

Cute yet so clever.
Cute yet oh so clever.

Isn’t it so annoying when you can’t find that missing sock and your drawer ends up with an abundance of single socks? If you suffer the same problem, you need this DIY wanted board to help reunite your missing socks (and gloves). To find out how to make this great board check out the blog post at Sassy Style Redesigned.

9. Make a lint rubbish bin for your dryer

It's the small things that make a difference...
It’s the small things that make a difference…

Attach a bin to the wall next to your dryer so you can use it as a lint trash can. It’ll save you from emptying it out in the kitchen bin or wherever you usually put it. When everything you need is close by, washing can be a doddle.

10. Stop washing your jeans & other clothes too much

Don't over wash your denim.
Don’t over wash your denim.

The obvious way to reduce laundry is to stop washing your clothes as much. Not every item needs to be washed after first use, and some people don’t even wash their jeans at all. If you’re guilty of chucking your day’s outfit straight into the laundry bin without thinking twice then make sure you check out my guide to cleaning your clothes the smart way. There are loads of tips and trick on how to wash clothes and make them last longer, for example throwing jeans into the freezer to keep them fresh.

11. Learn how to fold clothes faster

Think you can fold?
Think you can fold?

Second to sorting, folding has to be the second biggest gripe when it comes to laundry. Folding is mundane and can take such a long time. With the right techniques and a few nifty tricks, you’ll be spending less time folding and putting clothes away. Check out wikiHow’s article on How to Fold Clothes Fast.

12. Either do laundry every day or once a week

Screen Shot 2016-07-25 at 14.55.56
A little and often or a lot and less. Decide!

Think about what really annoys you about laundry – is that you have to do it every day OR that it’s always such a huge task when you do it?

If you hate doing it all the time, dedicate one day to doing all the laundry and don’t think about it during the week. It’ll be a nice feeling when you see the bottom of the laundry bins! But if the thought of spending the whole day doing laundry fills you with dread, make sure you fit in some daily sorting, washing, drying or folding. It won’t feel like such an overwhelming task as you’ll be getting through it bit by bit and not letting those bins overflow.

13. Do something fun while doing laundry – like drink wine!

Cheers... to laundry!
Cheers… to laundry.

Whether it’s catching up with a TV programme, listening to a podcast or just talking on the phone to a friend. Take your mind off the menial task of laundry by distracting yourself with something you enjoy. I know a friend who does the ironing while watching Come Dine With Me and always has a glass of Rose wine on hand. If you can reap some simple pleasure out of the mundane tasks in life then you’re winning!

14. Label your laundry bins so all the family can help out

All your new laundry rules go out the window if the whole household doesn’t pitch in! Let them know how you’ll be doing laundry from now on and make sure you help the kids out by leaving labels on laundry baskets and so on.

15. Wear less clothes = wash less clothes

Try it for yourself!
Try it for yourself!

Wearing a ‘uniform’ during the week has become a very popular notion recently, with some smart bods claiming the key to success is wearing the same outfit every day. If you’d like to learn more about this check out The Uniform Challenge at Stylist, an interesting experiment where two office workers wore the same outfit every day for a month.

Having a capsule wardrobe of a few key items every week will mean you have few decisions to make in the morning, eliminating stress and time wasted. It also means you’ll washing less clothes every week! Streamline your weekday wardrobe and you’ll inevitably streamline your washing load too. Give it a go and see how much of a difference it makes to your chores – you’ll be surprised!

16. Pay a cleaner to do the laundry

If you really can’t stand to do the laundry and it’s stressing you out on a daily basis, explore the idea of getting a cleaner for 1 hour a week. Most cleaners charge around £8-£12 an hour and if you consider how much you spend on luxuries throughout the month – alcohol, clothes, going out – it’s actually more affordable thank you think.

A cleaner will do the sorting, ironing and folding in the hour (maybe longer if you have a big household) so you don’t have to. All for the price of a round of drinks at the pub or a few coffees and a muffin at Starbucks.

17. Buy identical pairs of socks

If you’re not sold on the mesh drawstring idea then how about eliminating the task of sorting socks altogether? Buy a huge batch of the same design of socks and you won’t need to sort them out. Simply chuck them into your socks drawer and quickly pair them up when you need them!

18. Hang everything!

Warning: may require a wardrobe clear-out.
Warning: may require a wardrobe clear-out.

If you have the wardrobe space, try hanging everything straight from the washing machine. A friend of mine has ditched folding and hangs absolutely everything he owns. Suprisingly, it actually saves time and space. He doesn’t end up rifling through messy drawers or sorting out cupboard. Everything is hanging neatly in his wardrobe – even ancient T-Shirts!

Thanks for reading. If you’ve found any of these tips in this article useful please feel free to share it with your friends and family using the tools above and below. Let me know if you have any laundry tips yourself!

Editor

A keen money-saver and fan of all things natural, Anushka enjoys making her own beauty products and is partial to a bit of crafting. Never short of a clever tip or two, she's always looking for new ways to make her money go even further.

  1. 1 alison Reply

    some useful ideas, but what happened to thinking about energy use – and therefore the environment???
    if you wash small loads frequently you use more energy – and money.
    there is no need for a dryer unless you live in a flat- hang your washing on the line for the sun and wind to dry and use no energy. it is possible…

    1. 2 Anushka F Reply

      You make a good point Alison! I have a dryer in my flat which I use fairly regularly as I’m not allowed to hang clothes in the communal garden. I wish I could though as I agree it’s far better for the environment and clothes smell nice and fresh.

  2. 5 Marinda Reply

    Thank you for the tips. I like some of the repurposing ideas the best. I have also found that by air drying clothes (either hanging it outside or on the rail) and once they’re dry to pop the clothing in smaller (usually half or less) bundles for about 40minutes at a time on low heat minimises the need for ironing. The clothes comes out soft and mostly without creases…. It might feel like you’re doing more but you’re actually spending less time behind the iron and thus giving you more time with your glass of wine, 😉

    1. 6 Anushka F Reply

      Reduce ironing and increase wine time? Right up my alley Miranda! Sounds very smart, I might give that a go next time I’m tackling the laundry. My problem is I don’t have too much space in my flat for drying and my garden is communal so that is frowned upon. I will give it a go with a small load though. Thanks for sharing.

  3. 7 Mary Reply

    I have one laundy bag but use a net for light bras, pants, socks and another net for dark pants, socks and bras. I soak white socks in vanish and throw them along with the water into the drum along with extra detergent. I only was once a week. I change our bed each week but wash the sheets fortnightly as two sets make a load. If the weather is good I reduce the spin speed to help with the ironing,

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