Ok. So it's time for more confessions.
I have, in the past, been a very lazy laundry lady.
I've used the dryer when I shouldn't. Like on a sunny day. My excuse is I've been to too busy to hang it out on the line. But that's a load of crap really. I've used long washes accidentally because I've been in too much of a rush to pay attention to where the dial landed when I turned it on. And I've had piles of washing sitting around waiting to be put away for a week at a time because it's my least favorite job (aside from ironing...more on that below).
So it was time for me to make a big change. Change means using less water, less electricity, less time and less energy. There's the obvious things like buy white goods with good energy ratings and water ratings. But there's other simple things that make it so easy to change. So why not change?
So after getting a few hot tips from other people and working out a few of my own, I've compiled a list of helpful hints to make washing less time consuming, less stressful and just...well....less!
- Get it right at the start.
Get organised in the laundry. If it's simple at the start, it'll be simple at the finish. And it'll get finished.
Once everyone's through their baths/showers, put all the dirty stuff in the machine. Then it's ready to go first thing the next day. Also, get a laundry sorter. I got a cheap three section sorter from Aldi, but I've also seen them at the Reject Shop, Bunnings, Big W or K-Mart. Darks, Whites, Towels in my house. Or sometimes adults clothes, kids clothes, towels. Depends on how I'm feeling ;)
- Put washing on first thing in the morning when you wake up.
The sooner it's washed, the sooner it's on the line to dry and the better chance you have of getting it dry without needing to pop it in the dryer to 'finish it off'. Make it part of your morning routine. It's like exercise. If you don't do it up front, chances are, you won't do it. It also means you won't waste half your day doing washing. I press start on the machine, get breakfast organised and then, because my kids take so long to eat, I can hang it out after eating my own breaky before they're even out of their high chairs ;)
- Hang clothes straight on hangers from the machine.
I have to give credit on this one to my little sister. Don't know why I didn't think of this one before. As soon as wet clothes come out of the machine, hang them (well, at least the shirts, pants too if you have the hangers for them) on hangers. Then you just hang them on the line to dry, on the hangers! Brilliant! And it's great for so many reasons. I don't know about you, but I never have enough pegs! The peg monster eats them I swear. But this reduces the need for pegs, leaving enough for pants, towels, underwear etc! It also means you can take them straight from the line to the wardrobe without having to leave them lying around because you haven't had time to fold/hang everything away later. Or if you're like me and leave bringing clothes in til the dark clouds are looming, it makes the mad dash to get clothes in before it rains a whole lot quicker and easier! You can also use this method for hanging clothes all over your house to dry on a rainy day, to avoid being tempted to use the dryer.
Here's mine today...
- Use a clothes horse/airer thingy.
In fact, use a few. I only have one and I've decided to go out this afternoon and buy another one or two. They're so cheap. Get them from the Reject Shop or even an op shop. They won't cost you much and they will be so useful! Again, to save on pegs, you can put the towels on the clothes horse and straight into the backyard/sunshine. This means it's also a quick an effective way to get clothes in if rain comes. They're also brilliant for rainy days to avoid using the dryer again. Triple bonus!
- Don't iron.
I know, I know. This is a controversial one. So if you MUST iron, keep it to a minimum. Really. Ironing, in my opinion is a waste of time. My lovely (and I really mean an actual lovely, not sarcastic lovely) mother in law can't quite believe that I just don't do it. hehe.. There are plenty of clothes that can be bought that either don't require it or require very little of it. In my house, my husband irons his work clothes each morning and on special occasions where the particular outfit requires it, we will iron. But on the whole, we just don't do it. Save's electricity. Saves time. Saves stress. This will be even more possible if you start doing the second step ;)
- Put clothes away as soon as they come off the line.
I will be the first to admit, that this is a work in progress for me. There are still going to be times where it just doesn't happen because of other distractions. But as much as possible, I put it away straight away. I feel so much less stress when clothes are packed away and able to be found. It also saves washing more often because you can find clothes easily and need something (and then probably dryer it because you need it quickly!).
Ok...so that seemed like quick points on paper - but you never know what's going to come out of my head... haha...hope you've found something here useful!
Happy washing day!