6.09.2013

Our Favorite Laundry Tips and Tricks

I'm addicted to buying cute, stylish little girls clothing.
There. I said it.
Okay, I've actually mentioned this before in a post, but the reason I'm bringing it up again now, is because with ALL of those adorable new threads, comes a whole different issue...
MORE LAUNDRY TO DO!
I'm not a Mom of boys, but I hear that keeping up on their laundry pile is just as hard, if not harder than a house full of little girls, because of how dirty and messy they tend to get when playing. So whether it's 5 outfit changes a day for a "picky princesses", grimy, stained duds from an active, curious little man or just the weekly sheet and towel washing responsibilities; we ALL dread doing the laundry at some point... am I right?
That being said, I thought I'd share a few tips and tricks that we use to help us alleviate some of our laundry doin' stresses around here.

While there may be that one person in the house that takes care of most of the laundry duties, having everyone pitch in during the week to help make the job for that person easier, can make all the difference.

Designate a laundry hamper to each room: This makes collecting dirty clothes and linens a lot simpler. For a long time our kids were so small that I didn't have hampers in their rooms, and just walked their dirty clothes straight to our laundry room after changing them, but now that they're getting much bigger they dress and undress themselves, resulting in clothes everywhere!

Our solution of having large, inexpensive hampers tucked away into their closets helps to keep dirty clothes clutter off the ground, and creates an easier clothing roundup when it's time to do laundry.

Utilize your little people and teach them while they're young: Around our house Cason does all of the overseeing of laundry getting done, but delegates other jobs within his laundry routine to our kids. From as young as three years old he's taught our girls how to separate colors into darks and lights, change things from the washer to the dryer, lay delicate shirts over our portable clothing racks to dry and put their own clothes away after they're done being folded.

We feel that kids should help with as many tasks around the house as possible. Not because we're trying to be mean or strict, or even because Cason and I don't want to do all the work, but because it teaches our kids responsibility and HOW to do things for themselves so that they're not completely clueless when they grow up and have to do simple day-to-day duties like this on their own.

 Having a well organized and designed space to do your laundry in definitely helps make the job of washing, drying and folding a lot less miserable. Nothing is more frustrating than trying to do a job and then realizing halfway through that you don't have all the tools or equipment you need. Believe me, we know; and that's why we're sketching up some plans with a local cabinet builder to hopefully incorporate a lot more hidden, sensible storage into our little laundry room someday soon.
If you don't have the time or budget right now to add additional storage, then think of trying some simple things like large decorative jars with labels on them to keep your laundry products organized, or dollar store baskets to house dryer sheets and clothespins.
Even if it's a single shelf or really small space, having a functional area where everything you need is at your fingertips will help things move a lot quicker when laundry time comes.
Wash often - Instead of picking one day a week where you're tethered to your laundry room doing mountains of laundry all day, do a few small loads a week to keep up on things. Throw in a load of whites before you head out to the grocery store or fold a finished load of laundry during your nightly TV watching routine.

Set reminders - We figured out that a lot of the reason laundry always seemed like it took us so long to do, was because we'd sometimes forget about it and then come back a day or so later just to discover that the damp clothes in the washer started smelling sour and then had to be RE-washed! If you are just hanging out at home doing laundry, set a little timer on your phone in between washing and drying loads, so that you don't forget to change over or remove things from the machines.

Quickly unwrinkle clothing - If you DO happen to forget about the clothes in your dryer and then unload your items only to realize you've got a wrinkly mess on your hands, then simply dampen a washcloth with some water, toss it in with the clothes you want unwrinkled, set your dryer to hot and tumble everything back around for about 10-15 minutes.

Add Lavender oil to your linens rinse cycle - Before your sheets and other bed linens are completely finished washing, add a few drops of lavender oil to the load, to give them an extra fresh smelling sent that also promotes a better nights sleep. This is one of my favorite little tricks!

Tackling the never-ending chore of washing our clothes over and over again will forever haunt us, but adopting a few new, easy tips and tricks to help you move through the mundane task of doing laundry, may help to make doing it a little more effortless and less demanding. 

What are YOUR favorite laundry tips? We'd LOVE to hear about them!

This is a collaboration between Tide Original Liquid HE and the AOL Lifestyle Curator Network. Compensation was provided by Tide Original Liquid HE via AOL Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Tide Original Liquid HE.

75 comments:

  1. Folding table right beside the washing machine/dryer. Helps so much to take the clothes out of the dryer and fold them there. When planning your laundry room, don't forget to plan for this space. Helps immensely!

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    1. yes! I want to implement something like that into our space! Hopefully we'll have the room!

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    2. I would suggest a table that folds down when you need it and then folds back up when you dont. not only does it keep the surface clean (any surface in my house becomes a catch all no matter how hard i try) it'll also keep the room from feeling so cramped when your in there and NOT folding.
      Good tips, Thanks for posting!

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    3. I would suggest a table attached to the wall that can fold down when needed but is out of the way when not in use. In my house, any flat surface becomes a catch-all no matter how hard i try to keep it clean, so this way the table is always cleaned off and ready to be used. Also, in that little nook you have, it'll keep it from feeling cramped when your in there NOT folding cloths.
      Thanks for the great tips!

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  2. Hi, Im Wanda and I am addicted to buying cute tween/teen clothing too! Maybe we need a 12 step program?
    Love the lavender tip, I will be trying that this week!
    Good luck as your girls get older, getting them to get the laundry done ,unload a dishwasher, or even place their trendy clothes in the laundry basket will become your biggest challenge of the day! :-)

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    1. So you're tellin' me it doesn't get easier!?!? dang it!
      :) jk

      Yes, I figured that as kids get older, the clothes get bigger and also multiply. yikes! Wish us luck! :)

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  3. I love this post because it reminds me that we ALL are prone to getting behind on laundry, and some key ways to conquer it! For myself, the biggest offense was leaving stuff in the dryer, and then when a new load was ready to go in, I'd pull all the old stuff out am dump it on the counter. Clothing explosion!! It would look like a bomb went off in there! Now, my rule is, I must empty immediately. Haven't quite put AWAY immediately but I'm workin' on it. Ha! Thanks for the tips!

    Serena
    Thrift Diving

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    1. Oh, the putting-away clothes is also definitely a hard part of the processes. That's also where we have our kids help a lot. They may not put it away how I would do it... but it's put away, and that's ALL that matters! lol

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  4. Kuddos to you and your hubby for getting the littles involved. My son is in charge of bringing down the laundry to the laundry room daily. My daughter helps me with the folding in and out of the washer and sorting into each person's basket. I love the help PLUS it gives us some one on one time. Keep up the great work! I love your blog!!

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    1. Yes! You're right! It is great for one on one time. I never thought about it that way. Two in one; teaching responsibility AND spending time together! I like they way you look at things :)

      xo

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  5. First, I adore the pic of you using a step stool to reach in your washer. So cute! Second, you are so busted! You are tiny!!! Did I miss that update?? J/k! Congrats on your beautiful laundry room!

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  6. These are great tips! It's only me and my hubby at home now but I have 3 hampers - yes 3. One for his dark clothes, one for mine and one for whites only. I don't have to sort laundry anymore and it makes me very happy.

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    1. That's a great idea! Maybe we should try that out in our girls' closets too. that way it can be sorted BEFORE it comes to the laundry room... Thanks for the tip!

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  7. I don't mind doing the laundry, it's putting it away where the laziness comes in!! Clean piles of folded laundry could sit for 2 weeks before it gets put away! (Or even until the next load of laundry has come out LOL

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    1. That's us sometimes too! I think we still have a pile of shirts on a chair in our room that needs to be hung up from our last load. haha!

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  8. I don't know how families get by without doing laundry every day. With a big family, at the end of the day I always have a load of whites, a load of colors, a load of jeans, and a load of towels. EVERYDAY. It's a never ending laundry cycle at my house lol.

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    1. I feel the same way! And there are only 5 of us! we like to just keep up on it, so it doesn't get to overwhelming later.

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  9. Oh, thanks for the lavender tip. I will definitely be trying that one.

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  10. I am one of those weirdos that loves house chores and the smell of clean laundry. By the age of 12 I already knew how to cook and clean a house, believe me our mother did not kid around, but I appreciate that so much now. I have relatives that are 25 yrs old and have no clue how to do a wash or even fry an egg.

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    1. That's so awesome that your Mom taught you so well! I'm hoping to instill the same work ethic into my kids, so that they can be really successful once they're all grown up and out of the house!

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  11. Thanks for the great tips! I love the laundry hampers in their closets- where did you get those?

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    1. We picked those up at Walmart for only about $4 a piece! They are collapsible too!

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  12. I've got 3 boys, and they are all responsible for helping with the laundry in some way (they are 8, 6 and 3). We've got hampers in their rooms and bathroom, and they know now that if it's not in a hamper, it's not going to get washed. My oldest can do his own laundry now, and we are working on teaching middle-man. My youngest will help put stuff in the dryer if he's in the mood, but the putting away of things still eludes all 4 men in my life!

    I have found that using a cup of vinegar in the boys' wash takes that boy-sweat-butt-funk smell out easily. I don't even wash their stuff with detergent anymore. The vinegar gets all smells out, stains out, and keeps the clothes really soft!

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  13. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  14. I gave each person in my home a different color of hanger. Once I pull there stuff out of the dryer and hang it up on there colored hanger then they come down and know what is there section hanging up and can quickly grab there section and take care of it. Plus with several little kids in the home it helps daddy know what cloths go to which kid. Especially when I lay them all out on the couch for church.

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    1. That's an AWESOME idea! I love it! I hadn't thought of that before, but it makes total sense!

      Thanks for the tip!

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  15. Each person in my family has there own color of hanger. This way when I pull the cloths out of the dryer and hang them up each person knows what is there section and can grab it and take care of it. It Especially helps my husband when I lay all there cloths out for church to know who gets dressed in what outfit.

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  16. We are a six-person family and it is sooo easy to get behind! Lately we've been creating "stacks" of clothes for each person to put away and it seems to be working so far!
    However, Sock Basket is our nemesis... Never EVER start a Sock Basket because it will never go away : )

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    1. haha! oh those darn SOCKS! Maybe it will let up, now that Summer and flip flops are here (?) :)

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  17. Doing a couple loads of laundry every day or two really helps us keep up on laundry. It doesn't become so overwhelming at the end of the week that way for us. Great tips and ideas!

    xo, Tanya

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    1. Yes! I totally agree. It may be the same amount of clothes and time, but it sure feels not as overwhelming, that's for sure.

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  18. my secret is that I have never separated my darks and whites! Never! And not once have I had color bleeding. The primary reason is because I wash on a cold cycle every time unless it is sheets and towels. I read about that trick as a money saver, and really have never noticed a difference. I also even put my hanging clothes in the dryer for just about 10 minutes to get a few of the wrinkles and wet out, then hang them. I had a salesman at a fine menswear shop tell me about that one.

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    1. WOW, seriously? Your whites don't get grey-ish looking? Hmm... maybe it's the cold water!? I'm gonna try this!

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    2. I, too, never separate whites & colors (except jeans). I use a color-safe bleach when need be & never have any issues with whites looking dingey.

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    3. I, too, never separate colors from whites (except jeans) & just add in a color-safe bleach when needed. Our whites look great & it makes laundry much easier to complete.

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    4. I do the same thing! No separating, cold wash. Saves so much time and money. Works like a charm! :)

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    5. I don't separate them either and have never noticed any greying or fading..we wash in cold and I pour about a cup of vinegar in the load to get rid of that sweaty boy smell..
      -heather

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  19. I LOVE the lavendar tip. I also take away from this that I need to have kids pronto! :)

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  20. Laundry room rug is beautiful! Where could I find it? Thanks!

    My personal rule is not to let clothing sit in washer or dryer. This does not apply to the basket of folded clothes, unfortunately. Often we pull from the folded clothes basket for the next week. Which means re-folding more than once! Not a good use of time!

    Also, I avoid ironing by partially drying and then shaking out and straightening on a hanger to finish drying.

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    1. Oh! We do the same thing with ironing. If we can avoid it, we do.

      The rug was from a Joss & Main sales event. I've seen it since, just keep your eye out!
      http://www.jossandmain.com/invite/kYl

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  21. Laundry room rug is beautiful! Where could I find it? Thanks!

    My personal rule is not to let clothing sit in washer or dryer. This does not apply to the basket of folded clothes, unfortunately. Often we pull from the folded clothes basket for the next week. Which means re-folding more than once! Not a good use of time!

    Also, I avoid ironing by partially drying and then shaking out and straightening on a hanger to finish drying.

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  22. I have littles, so they aren't much help with laundry yet, but I have assigned everyone a day. My baby gets Monday, preschooler gets Tuesday, Me and hubs are split up on Wed and Thurs and linens Frid. It keeps it all manageable and I make sure to stay on top of it that way. I use a small laundry basket in the bottom of my girls closet so once it dries it goes back into the basket until time to fold in the evening. :) Loved your ideas. I can't wait to see how you do your laundry room, as mine is set up very similarly.

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    1. Splitting up days between people is a great idea! Haven't thought about that :)

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  23. I am a single mom with 4 kids. I also have an obsession with buying my kid clothes. Especially my 8 year old daughter. I need to join you in rehab. lol! I think it does get easier as they get older. My teenaged daughter is no fun to shop for. She doesn't like anything I pick out. So I don't pick things up for her. Hehe.

    To help with laundry I assign each of us a laundry day. Each morning on their day the kids bring down their clothes and bedding. We start a load before breakfast and then throw the bedding in while we are getting ready for the day. My kids have learned to turn all of their clothes right side out and spray any stains. I start the load for the younger 2 (but the older 2 do it all themselves). They all switch from the washer to the dryer. I help fold and hang then they put it away. Each child also has their own hamper and I keep one in the laundry room for good whites (like shirts, pants and dresses). I wash whites and towels on my laundry day. We do not do laundry on the weekends. The number one rule for laundry is... if you do not wash on your laundry day, you are out of luck until next week. Momma does not budge on this. If your favorite pair of jeans, cheerleading uniform, choir shirt or football socks are not washed. Sorry! That only happens once. lol! I also charge $1/item for all of the clean clothes I find in the hamper. My kids love that:)

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    1. WOW! You've got it all figured out! Sheesh, I'm taking notes! :)

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  24. I purchased a t-shirt folder like these use in retail stores. My husband has 100+ cotton t-shirts and I swear he wears half of them in a week. I pull out all the t-shirts lay them flat in a stack and can fold them all in no time flat and then they are all the same size. Then I put them in order of color (whites in one drawer, stacks of blue, black, grey etc) So when he wants a certain t-shirt it's easier to find and he doesn't ruin my nicely folded drawers.

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    1. GREAT idea! I love when T-shirts are folded all nice and perfect! :)

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  25. I love the reminder to keep your laundry space organized. Smaller spaces are so challenging. I was able to do laundry only 2 (maybe 3) times a week (about 3 loads each time) until we had our 5th child. It is amazing how much more laundry one child can add! I had to switch to almost daily laundrying. Now the baby is 2 1/2 and I am back to laundering only a few days a week. My three oldest children do their laundry themselves, so that has really cut down on my work! Love it! Since you are teaching your littles so well, I am sure it won't be long before they can do it on their own too!

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  26. I agree on spreading the laundry throughout the week, but I am not a proponent of small loads. It's a waste of water and energy. Instead, I will load the washer with laundry. It sometimes takes a couple days to fill and that's okay. I wait until it is full before I start a load. I'm helping the environment and still keeping up on my laundry...well, attempting to stay caught up.

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  27. I really loved this whole post- I don't know when I've ever felt so positive after thinking about laundry :) I have recently switched to doing small loads of laundry and it is much easier. I am also very impressed with you teaching your girls- my sister has friends in college that are learning how to do laundry for the first time!

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  28. I always look at your posts and think... "Every room in her house is so adorable" and your laundry room is no different!! Speaking of adorable, where did you get that cute hello sign from?! LOVE it!

    My laundry tip :: I also don't always separate my whites from my darks. Guilty! With only two people in my home (my husband and I) it is easiest just to keep up on it by washing it all together on cold. I've never had a problem!

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  29. I agree with you about teaching them a skill. Both our daughters new how to cook, do laundry and clean a home before they left for university. They can also change tires, change the oil and know how to check the other things that are required to run a car. Good for you for being proactive parents.

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  30. I need the "how to motivate me to put away clothes" oh my word, my hell on earth.

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  31. I need the "how to motivate me to put away clothes" oh my word, my hell on earth.

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  32. My parents taught me how to do laundry from a very young age which I'm totally thankful for now! When i was in college I gave laundry lessons to way too many friends who dyed all of their underwear aqua or pink because they'd never done a load of laundry in their life! Now i rule the laundry room in my house haha :)

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  33. OK, so I live alone, so admittedly simpler. But even when I was in a house of five, it seemed ok. Maybe I just don't hate laundry. First up, Australians seldom use dryers. We use sunshine! And we'd iron out wrickles. So old school! (I shudder to think of the cost if we used the dryer more, we have high electricity prices, but it's also totally normal to hang out washing too, unlike by laws etc in the US). Also, learnt from my parents - use the timer, set a load to finish when you wake up (and my washer in in my bathroom), then I hang it as I get dressed (seeing in my condo I have a rack not an outdoor line). Then when it's dry, it's steps from the wardrobe. Anyhow, I also blogged about this ages ago, cause it seems such a 'how do you do it' topic people love to read and talk about! Me, I'd love to know how to make washing up less of a chore - cause there's always *something* that won't dishwasher!

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  34. Good tips! My little guys are great help with putting folded laundry away and baby girl's clothes are a breeze but the socks, oh THE SOCKS. Pairing the socks after wash could be the death of me, so I have a baggie of safety pins & we pin socks before wash and my 6 & 7 year old then unpin, fold and put socks away. I feel like a genius every time I remind them to do it :) Plus I have an amazing hubby who takes on laundry like a champ! Although, if you have a tip for the fitted sheet besides rolling into a ball like he does, I'd love to hear that.

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  35. our family don't own hampers in each room, but we have 2 in the bathroom, for darks and whites :)
    so we don't have to go around collecting clothes from each room, but only from the bathrooms. saves so much time and energy

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  36. my family don't put hampers in each room, instead we put them in the bathroom.
    so when it's time to collect dirty clothes we don't have to go around from room to room, but only the bathroom xD saves so much time!

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  37. Love the clean & fresh look. Very simple chic. I also love the shape and style of your new W/D.

    Where did you find the "hello" sign with sunburst background. It's adorable.

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  38. I have a basket for each of my 3 kids and one for us so that when I fold clothes coming out of the dryer, they are sorted right away (it used to take me hours to sort the clothes!). Then I just take the baskets to the kids rooms and they put them away (we do this Sunday night after baths/showers). They might not be put away as nice as I would like, but as you said, they are away! I help my little one though. I have a laundry chute too which I LOVE... then I sort into those laundry collectors (I use a set of 3 and set of 2) with the bags (got them at Walmart!) so the laundry is no longer in piles on the floor and the baskets are freed up. Works great :) Thanks for your tips! Love the blog!

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  39. I love the jars that you use. Do you know where you can get them?

    My tip: In really yucky loads, cloth diapers, and towels I use a few drops of tea tree oil.

    Now, if only I could figure out how not to create a Mt. Foldmore I'd be great. I get the laundry washed, but I just can't seem to keep up with folding.

    We have 5 kids from 6 down to 1 mo. We have 3 laundry baskets in the boys room, 3 in the girls, and 3 in ours. Each are labeled lights, mediums, and darks. Everybody is responsible for sorting their own dirties (with direction when needed). When 1 gets full I take it to the laundry room and wash it. That way, each load of laundry goes back to the same room. (We used to have 1 set upstairs for the kids and 1 down, but we were filling them up too fast to keep up with). And our kids are really good at sorting their own and putting their own laundry that I have folded into the correct drawers.

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  40. I'm with Nice - I refuse to iron, even to the point of buying anything that needs ironing. Even in today's business world, there are plenty of mens shirts that come out of the dryer effortlessly IF you are willing to hang them up immediately after the dryer stops. I also do not over dry, using the wrinkle free or delicate setting, and again, getting them immediately on hangers.
    A little contraption called the InstaHanger is my absolute saviour in the my laundry/kitchen area. My washer/dryer combo take up one long wall right in my kitchen so I have had to be quite creative with storage. This InstaHanger pops open to hold easily 18-24 hangers, then folds flat against wall when finished. It's about 2ft long, 4 inches wide, so it fits perfectly on a wood door jamb, that leads out of my kitchen. I splurged and chose the pretty carved wood InstaHanger, but you can go just white plastic if you want.

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  41. I love this post! I was just doing laundry tonight and discovered my 5-year-old's passion for stain removal! Haha... She is officially in charge of spraying the stain remover and scrubbing the stains with an old toothbrush; she literally begged me to do it. That is absolutely my least favorite part of laundry! (We have 2 little girls, but they seem to stain everything!) It's fun when the kids are old enough to "really" help... It's worth it to take the time to teach them. :) Thanks for all your inspiring posts, Shelley!

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  42. Love this post! I was just doing laundry tonight, and I am happy to announce that my 5-year-old has discovered a passion for stain removal! ;) She officially looked for stains, sprayed the remover on the stains, and then scrubbed the stains with an old toothbrush. Ahh... my least favorite part of laundry just became my daughter's favorite part of the day!
    Woo-hoo! I love that y'all teach your kids all the basics of life, too! Thanks for all the fun, inspiring posts! (PS I also love using a combo of lavendar/lemon oils OR peppermint/lemon oils - which sounds really weird for laundry, but it smells AMAZING and so fresh!)

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  43. I built my "folding table" above my frontloaders. I put 2x2 around the wall above them(level ofcourse) and then layed a cheap hollow door across the "frame". works great. if it starts to get yucky ( I spill soap) then i flip it over. The door stays up there just fine with the frame on the 3 walls.

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  44. I wash my clothes in categories. Example - husband's work clothes, pants, socks... then it's easier to fold and put away. Load of all jeans,,, load of all white undershirts... etc. I hate when you are done with a load and there are like 20 different piles to run around to each bedroom.

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  45. I do my wash in categories. Example - husband's work pants, shirts, socks. Load of only jeans,,, Load of girls clothes... load of towels, load of white undershirts,,, etc. This makes it easier so instead of having like 20 piles of different peoples clothes to take to all their bedrooms, you can simply fold and take to one drawer, or one section of the closet. It helps a ton!

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  46. I love an organized laundry room...Where did you get the pendant light hanging in your laundry room?

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  47. Where did you get your sectional??! Love the space :)

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  48. Write on the washer or dryer with a dry erase marker which items you don't want to put in the dryer so you don't forget and throw them in the dryer and ruin them!

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  49. I love the idea of putting lavender oil in with the sheets while they rinse! I will try this very soon! I also love the idea of having a dirty laundry hamper in each bedroom, and maybe even the bathrooms!

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