Family laundry is a biggest chore. It has to be faced every week.While it may seem like a daily task at times, it is more efficient to choose a day and complete the entire task that day. There will of course be exceptions and times when you will need to stray off of the schedule but those should be rare. Here are a few tips for dealing with the family laundry.
In order to make the task seem less overwhelming, it is advisable to get the cooperation of the entire family. This may require some tough love, such as letting your little athlete play sports in the dirty uniform they tucked under their bed and never brought down to be cleaned or sending a teary faced teen off to the dance without her favorite shirt. It will only be necessary a few times for the family to get on board. Stand firm, be strong and you will get their cooperation.
Supply each family member with their own hamper and their own laundry basket. This may seem excessive but it makes each person responsible for their own laundry. If Saturday is laundry day, make a rule that hampers must be in the laundry room by a designated hour. No hamper, no clothes washed. This will result in either children who will learn at an early age to operate the washing machine and dryer or children who are organized and learn to be helpful, the choice is up to you.
You as the person in charge will need to sort the laundry by colors, fabrics and degree of soil. While you are sorting, you should be looking for any items that need to be pre-treated for excess soil or stains. You can begin with any degree of color, whites are a good choice, if you have no other preference. If you are planning to use bleach, be sure that all the clothing can safely take chlorine bleach. Hopefully your washer has an automatic bleach dispenser, if not, be sure that you let the washer fill, add the bleach and detergent and then add the clothes. Fabric softener can be added if you want the additional softness.
Allow the stained items to sit for at least a half hour with their pre-treater on them. Some detergents like Tide, are very good at treating stains if placed right on the offending spot.
Make sure that your dryer filter is clean before you move the first load from the washer to the dryer and clean it after every load. A dirty filter is a fire hazard and why tempt fate? At this point be sure that you have everyone’s empty laundry basket available to you. When the dryer buzzer goes off be there as soon as possible. It is best for avoiding wrinkles to remove the clothes from the dryer immediately. Fold the clothes and place in the correct basket. If there are items that need to be ironed they can be placed together in a pile or can be placed on hangers, awaiting the iron. It is easiest to do the ironing as soon as the clothes come out of the dryer.
When all the loads are done and the clothes have been placed in their baskets try to get the family to take them right to their bedrooms and put the clothes into the dresser drawers or the closet. This may involve some bribery and/or threats, do whatever it takes because if you don’t, next week the baskets will be half full when it comes time to reload them and that is never a good idea.
Doing the laundry for a family is a big job, getting everyone involved can make it less overwhelming. Good luck and may your whites never turn pink and your socks disappear in the dryer.