It's no secret that managing laundry can be quite a task, especially when there are little ones running around and you're juggling other household duties. With numerous outfits to sort, reusable diapers to clean, and a seemingly endless pile of laundry baskets that never empties, you might find yourself longing for a magic wand. Well, who says magic doesn't exist? In this blog post, I will share some strategies I have embraced that help me keep my entire family clothed, even without a live-in helper and with a majority of our clothes line dried.
1. Opt for easy-care clothing
Clothing that requires minimal care is key when you're dealing with a mountain of laundry. I’ve talked before about how you should not buy anything that says ‘hand wash only’. Likewise, you want to steer clear of materials that will require ironing (collared shirts, I’m looking at you!). My favourite Bumblito clothing takes this a step further, since it doesn’t even need to be folded or hung - you can just toss it into a drawer, which simplifies the process of putting them away after a wash. I also like that the colours stay vibrant (presentable enough to wear when going out!), and they are comfortable enough for everyday wear. An added advantage of this buttery soft polyester is the quick-drying times, reducing the need for an energy-consuming dryer.
2. Minimise & Simplify
Living with a minimalistic wardrobe has been a tremendous help in managing our daily laundry. By decluttering, I've narrowed down my wardrobe to less than 10 everyday outfits. My children have more clothes out of necessity, but their clothing items are carefully selected. They are durable, stretchy, and grow with the kids, meaning I only have to size up every couple of years. This also means that my 4-year-old and 2-year-old can wear the same shirts and pants, which significantly decreases the time spent sorting. A smaller, more organized wardrobe benefits not just laundry day, but has the added bonus of making everyday outfit selection much simpler as well.
3. Share the Load (Literally!)
It's easy to complain about a lack of help, but sometimes we need to take a step back and think, "Have I made it easy for others to help?" If only *I* am aware of which shorts go in which specific section of which drawer, or how our towels should be sorted, then no one can assist. The key is to simplify your process and make it easier for other family members to come onboard. Make your system straightforward, discuss it with your family (*cough* husband *cough*), and train them if necessary. This approach not only reduces your workload but also promotes teamwork within the family, decreasing the resentment and friction that can come when life is busy and people are sleep-deprived.
4. Warm is Good, Hot is Even Better
I'm about to drop the mother of all laundry tips: hot water! Yes, ladies, you heard that right, HOT water. The science behind it is simple: increased heat breaks the bonds between your clothes and the dirt they have collected, which means a hot wash is uber-effective for a deep clean. This is super important for kids’ clothing for two reasons: firstly, kids have more sensitive skin than adults, so it’s extra important to get their clothes properly cleaned to minimise eczema flare ups. Secondly, kids are dirtier than adults. It’s just a fact that toddler clothes will have more drool, food stains, and dirt compared to the typical adult’s clothes. Cranking up the heat means that I don’t have to worry about pre-treating stained clothing, or separating children’s clothing from adult clothing. Remember, the key to getting on top of laundry is to simplify the process.
5. Routine is Your Superpower, Use It!
Getting into a decent rhythm with laundry has been an absolute game-changer for me. Before we had kids, my husband and I had no set laundry routine - we would run a load as and when the laundry basket was full. But once babies come into the picture, the amount of laundry rises exponentially (even if you’re not cloth diapering!). It’s crazy how one small baby can generate so much laundry. But if you have a routine that you stick to, it really helps you to stay ahead of the game. Deciding whether to go for a 'one load a day' or a 'laundry blitz once a week’ system is largely dependent on your personal lifestyle, family size, and unique situation. The key is to set aside specific laundry days or times, and stick to them, making it a non-negotiable part of your home routine. This is the only way you can keep the laundry monster under control. It's a simple hack, but oh-so-effective!
Trust me, managing laundry at home with 3 kids, no helper, and majorly line drying might sound implausible, but it isn't. (It’s still difficult, just not impossible.) By choosing easy-care clothing, simplifying the process, and bringing others on board, we can transform laundry from a daunting task to a manageable routine. So, put these tips to the test and observe the wonders they can work for you. Soon, you might just find that clear laundry basket you've been dreaming about, and all without a magic wand in sight!