11 No-Brainer Ways to Make Doing Laundry Easier

I have a confession — I let the laundry collect for as long as possible before actually tossing it in the wash. The massive piles have become too much to handle, finally proving it's time to figure out how to make doing laundry easier. After a bit of research and my own trial and error, here are a few suggestions for getting this chore done without losing an entire day in the process.

  1. Plan right: If you're already taking time out of your day to do laundry, plan smart and coordinate the chore with something else you're already doing — like working out while a load is washing. And if you have to go to a laundromat to get the job done, make sure to pack right. Bring a book to read, pack your portable device with a movie, or plan on calling and catching up with friends while your clothes are in the spin cycle. It may seem like common sense, but a little planning goes a long way.
  2. Try timing the wash: If you have a washer with a timer, you can set it to wash right before you get up so you can just toss the freshly washed clothes in the dryer first thing in the morning.
  3. Sort right: Instead of spending time sorting your laundry by color right before washing, which adds extra time to getting clothes in the washing machine, make it easy by using colored laundry baskets — a white one for whites and a different color for colors. This way you can just dump and wash.
  4. Get rid of clothes: Every three months, go through your clothes, tossing undergarments that have holes or donating clothes you don't wear, which leaves fewer things to wash.
  5. Make getting to the washing machine easier: If you have a few flights of stairs between you and your washing machine, think about rolling laundry down stairs in big drawstring linen bags, or if you have an open stairway like I do, just drop and collect before doing laundry.
  6. Deal with matching socks later: I wish I had a time-saving suggestion for keeping socks together, but after trying clips (that cost money) and tying ends together (which takes up time) I just wash socks and pop in the drawer as is. Finding a match is left for later.
  7. Pretreat and forget about it: You might not feel motivated at the time, but the minute a stain happens, it's best to pretreat. And you can toss stained clothes right in the washing machine or in your dirty laundry basket to sit and hang out until you have an entire load to wash.
  8. Learn how to fold right: Learning how to quickly fold linens makes the chore go so much quicker, and the way you fold and store clothes can create so much more room in your home. Just like packing for a long trip, rolling clothes actually leaves more space in drawers.
  9. Get rid of wrinkles fast: If you forgot a load in the dryer, here's a quick tip for getting rid of wrinkles fast.
  10. Hang it up: Absolutely hate folding? Hang everything. Invest in tons of hangers and keep them in a basket right next to your dryer. As every shirt gets pulled out, fit it on a hanger. This also works if you don't feel like waiting for clothes in the dryer. Just hang clothes as they come out of the washer, and let them air-dry, making sure to leave a few inches between each item so they can breath. And it's a great way to use less electricity!
  11. Keep it clean: Spending a few minutes cleaning your washer and also your dryer every six months keeps them working at their highest efficiency. Double-check settings, and adjust as needed. Consider setting your washer for smaller loads and lowering the heat on your dryer to save money.