There are two types of people in this world: those that love laundry and those that hate it. I have friends who could fold for days. You can probably guess by the tile of this post under which camp I fall.
I have never loved laundry. In fact, one of the first times I did laundry in college, I thought I would help my then boyfriend with his color sorting. Now we’re married so he didn’t hold this against me! Since he only had two colors to sort through in college, maroon and white (GIG ‘EM AGGIES!) I ended helping him turn his white load PINK because we left one maroon shirt in with the whites. (If you keep reading, you’ll learn why this would never happen today.)
Fast forward to life today with 3 kids. I can easily start my days by starting a load of clothes in the wash but about one out of every 10 loads gets moved to the dryer immediately and even fewer get folded when they’re warm. My husband and I will sometimes fold a few loads at once and have a giant “laundry folding party” and watch a movie while we sort clothes and talk. Our kids will pull clothes out of their clean baskets in our room until finally we work together to put the clothes back in their home upstairs.
So when I say that I HATE laundry, I mean it. I am only slightly better today than I was as a freshman in college, but I have learned a few key things that have helped tremendously.
1. Do laundry every day!!
I used to have a laundry DAY. I would do all my sorting, washing, and folding one day a week and let it pile up between then. If I did that today, I would DROWN under the laundry. How 3 little people can generate SO MUCH laundry I have no idea. I mean, it could be the fact that they love to change clothes 3 times a day. We have actually instituted a rule that they can only wear 2 outfits a day now unless they want to wash the clothes themselves. My mom gave me this advice after my 2nd child was born and since I adopted it into our lives it has made a world of difference (now if only I folded every day too…)
2. PRAY for what you FOLD!
This is my favorite thing to do and honestly it makes folding laundry worth it. When you are folding shirts, pray for the hearts they cover. When you fold pants, pray that your children will walk in truth. When you fold socks, pray that your kids grow up to be the hands and feet of Jesus. I promise you, when you start to pray for your family as you fold their clothes – it will change your heart towards the people in your home and about doing chores.
3. The right products make ALL the difference.
This is huge. I have tried almost every stain blaster, fabric softener and laundry detergent out there and these are what I have found to be my favorite products: (PSA these are not all natural and oily-based products. I am a fan of the wool dryer balls like every other mom feels they have to be, but let’s be real – sometimes you need the good stuff to keep your clothes looking and smelling their best.
1. Oxi Clean Power Packs – these little guys carry a PUNCH!! They really do make your whites whiter keep your colors vibrant. I keep them in a cute little jar on a shelf in my laundry room and it makes me so happy to throw them into my wash. Plus they smell great too!
2. Clorox 2 Color Safe Bleach – this is my newest find. It’s been around for years, I’m sure, but once my son added “lizard catching” and “worm digging” in the backyard to his list of hobbies I needed this stuff to help me with the mud and dirt stains.
3. Mrs. Meyer’s lavender fabric softener – I love to use this on our sheets and blankets!
4. BORAX!!! Yes. The tried and true no frills Borax. I remember using this stuff for a 5th grade science experiment (crystal ornaments anyone??) but I swear its the only thing that gets the stink out of my husbands basketball clothes and my workout clothes (thanks to the Faster Way workouts I’ve been doing in my garage.)
5. SHOUT COLOR CATCHERS – I saved the best for last. These things would have saved Mr.G’s pink load of whites back at A&M. I throw one into EVERY load. If it’s a big load or a load full of kids clothes that I actually like and may want to keep for hand-me downs I use 2. I get them on subscribe and save and they have saved me multiple times. I have friends who use them and don’t sort clothes at all anymore, but I prefer to use them just as an insurance policy that I won’t ruin any light colored items. Plus sorting is really my favorite part of laundry.
These were my runner ups:
1. Out White Brite! I am SURE this would not be on the list of low chemical laundry additives but MAN it works to get your whites clean again. I don’t really use it on the whites we wear, I save it for towels, bath mats and that sort of thing.
2. Dreft! This is what I use to wash all my studio blankets, backdrops and dresses that don’t need to be dry cleaned. I love that it makes my house smell like a freshly washed new baby!
3. And this is my every day jam – tide free and gentle pods. I switched to pods after we bought a new washer and dryer last summer because I often put too much soap for the high efficiency machines. This way I don’t have to worry about measuring.
4. And my favorite non-pictured would be Shout spray. I figure that is a staple in any mom’s laundry room and a TOTAL necessity. (I buy it in two’s so I never run out.)
This is me, nonchalantly being photographed while looking grungy and shopping for fabric softener at the new health food store near us!!
So there you have it, my favorite tips and products for busy moms who hate laundry to hopefully make it SLIGHTLY more bearable!