Get the most out of laundry days

By Joanne Loos Posted in: ImproveThe Fix is In

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According to many Taylorism studies, doing the same part of a process over and over before moving on to the next part is the most efficient way of getting something done. For example, if you were to apply this to dishes, you would rinse everything at once, scrub all at once, and then rinse all again together. This is a much faster way of getting the dishes done than doing each dish completely one at a time.

Since having my daughter just a couple of months ago, I’ve learned how precious time can be. I now do laundry nearly every single day, so streamlining that process has become even more important. If you want to make your laundry day(s) more efficient, too, consider some of these tips:

• Rethink your sorting bins. Typically, we think of sorting bins for separating lights and darks. However, with higher efficiency washers that are capable of washing just as well in cold as in hot, sorting by color becomes less of a priority. Instead, sort by how the clothes or items should be washed. Towels can go in one bin, delicates in a laundry bag, cold cycle in another, and warm in another. In my house we also separate by which clothing can handle fabric softener and which cannot.

• Bag your socks. Just because laundry bags are typically used for delicates, does not mean they have to be limited to them. Keeping socks in these bags keeps them together. As a bonus, if you are short in stature like I am, it also helps you to get them out of the washer without grabbing the step stool.

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• Sort smarter. Before you start folding and hanging, make piles according to where the clothes will go. For my own laundry, I’ll have several piles: tank tops, pajama bottoms, workout tops, workout shorts, etc. After I make the piles, I’ll fold them up and put them away. Because they’re already grouped by where they will go, I don’t have to take unnecessary extra steps going back and forth.

• Keep it clean. You already know that cleaning your dryer’s lint trap after every cycle helps it to run best, but did you know that you need to clean in other ways, too? Clean the tub of your washer to regularly to keep it from transferring debris and odors from previous loads into new ones. You should also clean the hoses from your dryer to ensure there are no blockages causing fire hazards and slower drying cycles.

Have a question or comment for Joanne? Email her at thefixisinhawaii@gmail.com.