1. Pick your Baskets Wisely
However, I have to say, I am personally much more practical with my laundry baskets. I like ones with handles – preferring bins I can easy carry to the laundry room. I also am inclined to use hard bins (plastic or other not fabric/pores material). Let’s face it – kids are messy. They have wet clothing from spills or diaper leaks, they play in water or get their sleeves wet washing their hands. They clothing can be gross, stained and even hiding secret souvenirs like play-doh in their pockets. Fabric or weaved bins are more likely to mold (ewww!!), stain or get play-doh engrained in the material.
We have baskets in their room and also one hidden on the main floor so that we aren’t always running up and down when someone needs a new shirt or spills all over their pants.
2. Choose Detergent for the Whole Family
Make life easier and use a free & clear detergent for the entire family.
Product-wise, I also really like wool dryer balls to stay away from
3. Sort & Treat Stains to Preserve Clothing
We are all about the handy-me-downs in our family. But I don’t want to dress my littlest one in clothing that is stained and ruined from his big brother. I careful to take care of our clothing well so that they will last from child to child!
Before washing your kid’s clothing, sort out clothing for stains and treat them properly with a stain remover like Dreft or Oxyclean. If it really bad, try soaking it. Plain old sparkling water does wonders. Try adding in Distilled White Vinegar in your washing machine as replacement to bleach. Wash on cold and skip the dryer until you know the stains are out! If they are not try washing and treating the stains again before the attire hits heat. (Heat sets stains!).
4. Skip the Machines
If you have expensive or designer items, dry on light heat or hang dry. For fancy bathing suits, hand wash and skip the machines all together.
If you don’t have a drying rack, try this collapsible one for easy use.
5. Pick a Routine
Do what works for you! For me, collecting the kid’s laundry twice a week in the mornings as soon as they up is easiest. I sort through stains and throw a load in the machine when they are eating breakfast (and we are playing/listening to music). Sometimes they even help me (which is really the opposite of help).
I flip the laundry to the dryer before leaving the house and fold at the end of the day, putting it away as we all are getting through the bedtime routines upstairs or first thing in the morning when everyone is up again.
Doing it twice a week when possible helps keep the loads small enough to manage in very small increments of time (sorting breakfast and putting away at bedtime). I also enlist my au pair or babysitter to help fold or sort if I can’t make it happen at least once a week due to work and other commitments – I am not shy to have trained my helpers to take this one under their umbrella when need be.
6. Buy the Right Clothing
Stay away from hand wash only and anything that needs to be irons (except for special occasions). These will slow you down on the laundry front.