We all have it. For many of us, it's on our floors, scattered on random surfaces, or piled on favorite seats that never get to be sat on. It can be tedious, and some have piles that fill rooms!
I have tried many things in my laundry experience, to try and make things run more smoothly. Labels, 8 baskets, you know. I think I finally have something that works REALLY well. No more piles of clean or dirty, no more sorting for an hour. It might not work for your family, but I think it should work for very near everyone. I always forget to share cleaning tips and whatnot, and especially since we are eco friendly/no chemicals, I plan to do my best to share more on this topic.
Anyway, laundry. So it's actually insanely simple (maybe that's why it works so well). Here is what I do:
Each family member has their own basket (I use the colorful 5 dollar rubber totes with handles from walmart. We all have a different color.) I also have a basket for my linens/towels and one for my 'extra dirty' (clothes I use to clean bathrooms, rags, Cody's work pants, anything that touched something that came out of a dog..)
Everyone goes about putting anything they wear in their baskets, and anything else goes to their proper baskets.
When a basket is full, I throw a load in. I wash everything in the basket. No sorting colors. It all goes in. *gasp*(don't worry, there is more.) I wash on cold to accommodate our clothing type and also to be more green.
To keep colors from running or fading, put 1/2 a cup of vinegar in the rinse cycle. It's really that easy! I promise you it works and everything stays it's own color. And Mackynzie and I recently went on a big shopping trip so our clothes are very new. THIS is the big secret. Eliminates a whole bunch of steps!
I wash towels/linens in warm with a cold rinse, and my 'gross' in hot (but usually change it to warm mid fill up because it's hot enough.)
I also wash nearly everything inside out. This keeps color better and protects things like designs and buttons. I highly recommend it. I don't flip jeans or socks/underwear.
I have 6 wool dryer balls that knock my dryer time easily in half. They also eliminate the need for dryer sheets and keep clothes fluffy, wrinkle-free and soft. In the summer I try to line dry often, but don't care for that crunchy feeling clothes get, so afterwards I pop them in the dryer for 5 minutes with the dryer balls and they feel normal.
Got wrinkles? No need to iron. Throw everything that is wrinkled in the dryer (preferably use balls, but you don't need to) along with a damp cloth and turn on for something like 10 minutes. Take out and hang immediately Hang up the ironing board ;).
I wash with an Eco friendly soap called Ecos. There are tons of great Eco options out there.
I also make a home made linen spray for my whole house. I spray on clothes (once put away. I'll even open drawers and give em a spray.), carpets, furniture... anything with fabric. It both disinfects, calms and smells great!
-Spray bottle filled with warm water
-1/4 cup (I just leave the neck empty and fill it up or put about and inch or a little less depending on bottle size.) of vodka or peroxide/rubbing Alcohol.
- 10-25 drops of your favorite essential oil. Lavender is great. I have a sweet orange in mine right now.
-shake up and spray away!
Add a couple drops of essential oil to your drier balls for added scent as well. OR spray rags with vinegar/essential oil and throw a sheet in per load. Bam. Natural dryer sheet.
One of my biggest tips? Do an ENTIRE load at once. Wash it, dry it, and put it away right away. It keeps things easy and doesn't seem daunting at all. Keeps your house free from crazy laundry piles and stops you from collecting baskets of clean laundry. Try it. You will feel so much better, I promise!
The one basket thing also allows each family member (even toddlers!) to easily put away their own clothes.
I hope this helped someone.