If you find yourself responsible for dealing with all the laundry for your large family, it’s only natural that you’d want to find ways to make this time-consuming task more manageable. With a family of four or larger you could easily end up doing laundry daily, including collecting, pre-treating, washing, drying, folding, and hanging clothes. That’s a lot of work, but it could be even worse if you push it off until the weekend. But when clothing gets worn it must be cleaned. Luckily, there are strategies you can try out to save time and make your laundry tasks easier when you have a large family. Here are a few that should be on your radar.
One easy way to cut back on laundry is by refusing to wash items that are neither soiled nor smelly. In most cases, jeans can be worn two or three times before they need to be washed, especially if they haven’t been muddied or otherwise messed. And in fact, many jeans manufacturers recommend cutting back on washing as a way to increase the longevity of their product. You might not be able to get away with wearing shirts two days in a row thanks to sweat and perhaps a penchant for spills. And you’ll certainly want fresh socks and undergarments daily. But pants, skirts, and other bottoms may be worn multiple times before washing, cutting back on loads and laundry time.
As for items that are soiled, you should pre-treat them as soon as possible to stop stains from setting in. Once a stain sets, you’re going to have to spend time scrubbing and re-washing to try to remove the spot. While pre-treating stains will certainly take more time than simply throwing them in the washing machine, it could save you more time on additional washes after the fact. And it will certainly save you money on having to replace irreparably stained items.
The next step to reducing time spent on laundry is to increase separation. This might sound counterintuitive, but there is a method to the madness. When you have multiple hampers for lights, darks, and so on, you won’t have to separate out the laundry later. And you may also want to do loads specific to adults and kids in the home. This will not only save you time on sorting once the laundry is done, but if you find yourself doing laundry all day, this means you can fold and hang adult laundry while the kids are asleep, leaving you only the kids’ laundry to put away in the morning.
Another great way to save time on laundry is by doing larger loads. This could require you to purchase washer and dryer models designed for larger loads, but if you can cram more clothing into a single load, it could drastically cut down on the number of loads you do each week. You could also spot laundromats in your area to use for large items like blankets that might require additional drying time when using a commercial dryer. And you might want to consider front-load machines that can be more quickly and easily loaded and unloaded. The right equipment can save you a ton of time when you tackle the laundry.
Finally, consider having family members help out. Young kids can put laundry in the hamper and then help you to sort and even fold their own clothing. And older children can be taught to use the washer and dryer in order to do their own laundry (something they should learn before they leave home in any event). Everyone helps to create the mess of dirty laundry, so it only makes sense that everyone should participate in the cleaning process, saving you time on this task.