An Easy Laundry System That Will Save You Hours

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Keeping up with laundry can be tricky especially if you have a large family. Finding shortcuts to keep laundry caught up is a win for any sized family. This guide on how to set up a laundry system will help you to streamline a solution that works for you.

Once you have a system, use the printable page below and keep it in your binder for living a simple life.

how to set up a laundry system

Doing laundry is one of those chores that never ends. No matter what size family you have, there is someone somewhere doing their part to fill your hamper.

Keeping up with laundry can be tricky, so I have a few tips to make this chore easier. As a seasoned laundry-washing vet of 35+ years, I have tried countless shortcuts and routines and these are my favorites.

laundry system time saving tips

It is important to note that when I first wrote this article, I was a mom of 4 very active boys. They were in many sports, worked with me on our homestead, and spent many hours in the woods. This meant that dirty clothes were a constant.

Most of the tips today will be for that kind of family with that kind of activity.

But rest assured, you can use these tips for any size family, in fact, most of these ideas I still use today even though now I am an empty nester with just a fraction of the laundry we had before.

Time-Saving Laundry System Tips

Before we dive into our family’s laundry system, let’s look at a few tricks that you can use to save time.

Be sure to grab the FREE Laundry Routine Guide below!

Tip #1  Fix the sock dilemma

Nothing is more time-consuming than matching up socks, especially if you have more than a few kids at home. To help fix this, our kids each wear a different style or color of socks.

If you are on a budget, you can purchase a large collection of colored socks and separate them out by family member.

This tip saves so much time and cuts down on those single socks that are missing their mate.

a pile of brightly colored socks on a wood table

Tip #2  One towel per week rule

If you use a towel to dry a clean body, it can be used again before needing to be washed.

In our home, towels last a week, meaning I only wash them weekly. This will at least keep your towel loads to a minimum.

You can also incorporate the color rule as we did in tip #1 above.

Have a towel that matches your child’s sock color, and let them know that it is their towel only. This way your kids will not worry that a towel will be used by a sibling.

When I was younger, my mom sewed my name on my towel, so I always knew which one was mine.

READ: CLEANING HACKS EVERYONE SHOULD KNOW

Tip #3  Have a hamper in every room

This tip is so simple yet a complete game changer for any sized family.

When my boys were young, they each had their own hamper in their bedroom. This kept their clothes separate and allowed me to get their help with laundry.

When they needed clothes to be washed, they could bring their hamper to the laundry room, saving me from having to walk around the house looking for clothes.

I love these hampers:

Lifewit Double Laundry Hamper with Lid and Removable Laundry Bags, Large Collapsible 2 Dividers Dirty Clothes Basket with Handles for Bedroom, Laundry Room, Closet, Bathroom, College, GreyLifewit Double Laundry Hamper with Lid and Removable Laundry Bags, Large Collapsible 2 Dividers Dirty Clothes Basket with Handles for Bedroom, Laundry Room, Closet, Bathroom, College, GreyLifewit Double Laundry Hamper with Lid and Removable Laundry Bags, Large Collapsible 2 Dividers Dirty Clothes Basket with Handles for Bedroom, Laundry Room, Closet, Bathroom, College, GreyBlissTotes 3-Pack Laundry Basket, Freestanding&Waterproof Laundry Hamper, Collapsible Tall Clothes Hamper with Easy Carry Handles for Clothes, Towels in the Family and Dorm,Gradient Grey,75LBlissTotes 3-Pack Laundry Basket, Freestanding&Waterproof Laundry Hamper, Collapsible Tall Clothes Hamper with Easy Carry Handles for Clothes, Towels in the Family and Dorm,Gradient Grey,75LBlissTotes 3-Pack Laundry Basket, Freestanding&Waterproof Laundry Hamper, Collapsible Tall Clothes Hamper with Easy Carry Handles for Clothes, Towels in the Family and Dorm,Gradient Grey,75LBlissTotes Laundry Basket, Laundry Hamper, Collapsible Laundry Baskets, Dirty Clothes Hamper, Waterproof with Foam Protected Aluminum Handles for College Dorm, Family 90L (Black)BlissTotes Laundry Basket, Laundry Hamper, Collapsible Laundry Baskets, Dirty Clothes Hamper, Waterproof with Foam Protected Aluminum Handles for College Dorm, Family 90L (Black)BlissTotes Laundry Basket, Laundry Hamper, Collapsible Laundry Baskets, Dirty Clothes Hamper, Waterproof with Foam Protected Aluminum Handles for College Dorm, Family 90L (Black)

 

Since I do not have a set laundry day, that meant they could bring their clothes down any day. If you have a set laundry day, you can remind your family so they all know today is the day to get their clothes into the laundry room.

Announce to your family that it is laundry day. In order to have clean clothes, they will need to bring their hampers or baskets to your laundry room. This is a great way to introduce younger children to this task until they are old enough to be more involved with the washing.

Tip #4  Wash by hamper

Once there is a hamper in each room, you can wash clothes by the person keeping you from having to separate clean clothes out when folding. This one tip completely overhauled our entire laundry system.

Washing clothes by family member not only eliminates having to sort things out, but it also saves time when I am folding.

This tip also eliminates giving the wrong clothes to the wrong person, which is earth-shattering, let me tell you. If only my youngest’s clothes go into the wash, I can guarantee only my youngest’s clothes are coming out.

Love These Helpful Tools for an Organized Laundry Room:

COAZEX 4 Pack Laundry Pods Container & Dryer Sheet Holder, Square Plastic Laundry Room Organization and Storage Jars with Lids & Labels for Detergent, Powder, Scent Booster, BeadsCOAZEX 4 Pack Laundry Pods Container & Dryer Sheet Holder, Square Plastic Laundry Room Organization and Storage Jars with Lids & Labels for Detergent, Powder, Scent Booster, BeadsCOAZEX 4 Pack Laundry Pods Container & Dryer Sheet Holder, Square Plastic Laundry Room Organization and Storage Jars with Lids & Labels for Detergent, Powder, Scent Booster, BeadsLaundry Detergent Cup Holder [2 Pack] Detergent Drip Catcher for Laundry Room Organizer. No More Mess or LeaksLaundry Detergent Cup Holder [2 Pack] Detergent Drip Catcher for Laundry Room Organizer. No More Mess or LeaksLaundry Detergent Cup Holder [2 Pack] Detergent Drip Catcher for Laundry Room Organizer. No More Mess or LeaksModern Home Narrow Sliding Storage Organizer RackModern Home Narrow Sliding Storage Organizer RackModern Home Narrow Sliding Storage Organizer RackSUBEKYU Metal Magnetic Lint Bin for Laundry Room, Wall Mounted Lint Box Holder Trash Can with Lid for Dryer,Lint Basket for Laundry Room,WhiteSUBEKYU Metal Magnetic Lint Bin for Laundry Room, Wall Mounted Lint Box Holder Trash Can with Lid for Dryer,Lint Basket for Laundry Room,WhiteSUBEKYU Metal Magnetic Lint Bin for Laundry Room, Wall Mounted Lint Box Holder Trash Can with Lid for Dryer,Lint Basket for Laundry Room,WhiteWaaliji 10 x 3 Gal Large Laundry Hamper with 3 Pull-Out & Removable Sorter Bags, Freestanding Clothes Basket Organizer for Clothing or Toys in Bathroom and Living Room, Rustic Brown and BlackWaaliji 10 x 3 Gal Large Laundry Hamper with 3 Pull-Out & Removable Sorter Bags, Freestanding Clothes Basket Organizer for Clothing or Toys in Bathroom and Living Room, Rustic Brown and BlackWaaliji 10 x 3 Gal Large Laundry Hamper with 3 Pull-Out & Removable Sorter Bags, Freestanding Clothes Basket Organizer for Clothing or Toys in Bathroom and Living Room, Rustic Brown and BlackUlif U5 Over the Washer and Dryer Storage Shelf, Laundry Room Space Saver Bathroom Storage and Organizer Rack for Hanging Towels and Drying Clothes with 5 Wire Shelves, 58.2Ulif U5 Over the Washer and Dryer Storage Shelf, Laundry Room Space Saver Bathroom Storage and Organizer Rack for Hanging Towels and Drying Clothes with 5 Wire Shelves, 58.2Ulif U5 Over the Washer and Dryer Storage Shelf, Laundry Room Space Saver Bathroom Storage and Organizer Rack for Hanging Towels and Drying Clothes with 5 Wire Shelves, 58.2

 

Tip #5 Wash kids clothes in one load

Another helpful tip is to wash your kid’s clothes in one load. After some experimenting, I found that I could safely wash most articles of clothing together. This means I am washing jeans, shirts, shorts, and underwear together.

However, there are a few instances when this is not recommended if you have new clothes with bright colors or clothes that require delicate or hand washing.

How to prevent color run in new clothes?

If you are worried about colors running, use this tip: add 1/2 cup of white vinegar to the rinse cycle. The acid in the vinegar helps set the dye, keeping it from staining other items in the wash.

You can also use color catcher sheets for additional protection.

Tip #6  Declutter the closet

Every new season, our family does a clothes purge. This means that four times a year, we sort through the clothes our boys wear. We call it a clothes swap and it works great with our boys.

How it works:

  1. Have your children go through their clothes.
  2. Instruct them to put anything they do not like or doesn’t fit into a box or basket.
  3. Be sure they go through their drawers and their closet as well.
  4. Once finished, they can bring their clothes to the kitchen.
  5. After everyone has sorted their clothes, your family can “shop” through what was collected.
  6. They can choose what they want to have, being sure it fits.

This is a great way to incorporate hand-me-downs without the usual drama it tends to bring.

a cardboard box of clothes with DONATION on the front

If you find it hard to let go of your clothes, our sister site has some great tips on how to make this chore a bit easier.

Clothes Decluttering Resources:

Tip #6  Let your family put things away

In our home, our laundry room is in the basement. To streamline my system, I prefer to fold clothes on a table we have set up nearby.

Since I wash all clothes by the person, I can easily fold things and put them right back into that person’s hamper. Our boys come down, grab their hamper taking it up to their rooms to be put away.

If there are any hanging items, these clothes are hung up in our basement on colored hangers that match their color. This makes it easy for them to see what items are theirs.

SLCG Pro Tip: Let each family member put their own clothes away. If you have younger kids, use photo labels on drawers to help them know what clothes belong where.

A collection of childs shirts hanging on a wooden rod

Tip #7  Top priority clothes

If you have kids that play sports or wear a uniform to work, this tip will really help you out.

My family knows that if they have a stained shirt or a “need it now” item, it goes on top of the washer.

When I do laundry, I know these are the things that need my attention first. I will soak or spray any stains and wash those items first to ensure they are done on time.

If our kids do not get “need it now” clothes on the washer and instead allow them to stay buried in their hamper, they may not get washed in time, meaning they will have to find a plan B if they forget.

Laundry Room & Linen Closet Fast FixLaundry Room & Linen Closet Fast FixLaundry Room & Linen Closet Fast Fix

 

Giving your kids more responsibility will not only help you, but it will teach them as well. A dirty uniform will not end the world but it will be a reminder of how they need to take responsibility for their things.

Next, let’s look at our family laundry system that I used when my kids were home and the laundry system I use today. I hope you find a few helpful tips that will cut down on how much time you spend washing clothes.

A woman in a red shirt holding a basket of clean laundry

Daily Laundry System

When my boys were all home and we had tons of laundry, daily washing was a huge time saver and helped me to keep from getting behind. Back then, washing clothes was a part of my morning routine, and worked great to keep me caught up without getting behind.

Whether your family is small or large, spreading laundry out rather than doing it all in one shot is a great way to turn a day-long chore into a quick-win task.

Daily Washing Routine:

  • Each morning, go into your laundry area.
  • Move clothes from one area to the next.
  • Take clothes out of the dryer and place them in your folding area.
  • Move wet clothes to the dryer, sorting out any items that need to be hung dry.
  • Push start on the dryer and hang up clothes.
  • A new load is then started from what is waiting to be washed.
  • If there are items on the washer, treat them as needed.
  • My husband’s and my clothes are always washed first in our home.
  • Once the washer is full and running, I will move to the clothes on my folding table.
  • Clean clothes are folded and put into that person’s hamper.
  • As a family member’s clothes are done, you can let them know they have clothes ready.

From start to finish, this system takes about the same amount of time as it does to make a pot of coffee.

Just a few minutes every morning, I can stay caught up on our laundry for a family of 6. Now, on weekends, I only need to do a quick load of sheets or misc items, which is much easier than doing 10+ loads all weekend. 

Weekly Laundry System

Now that it is just my husband and myself, it is more efficient to do laundry all in one day. We each have our own hamper, and once the clothes are done, they go back into the hamper so we can each put our own things away.

Here’s how I break the loads down

  • One load of his clothes
  • One load of my clothes
  • One load of sheets and towels

Three loads in a day is easy to complete and stay caught up with our clothes.

Over the years, as I have worked to declutter and simplify our home and life, I have found that small steps can bring life-changing results. Having a laundry system is proof of that outlook.

READ: HOW TO DECLUTTER YOUR HOME ONE DAY AT A TIME

Finding a system for chores and tasks can save you time and energy. If you are worried that you will forget to do your laundry routine in the morning, leave a small post-it note by your coffee maker or anywhere in the kitchen to remind you to do a morning load of laundry.

Before you know it, you will have a simple habit of adding your new laundry system to your morning routine that will save you from spending a full day in the laundry room.

More Simple Living Reads:

time saving tips in the laundry room

2 Comments

  1. I kid you not, this is exactly how I do my laundry! It’s a great system

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