No, I’m not talking about airing your dirty laundry in public, I’m talking about the stuff in the hamper; piled up on the floor, in the bottom of your closet, you get the picture.

a. Treat spots before laundering; mend before laundering if possible.

b. Wash full loads rather than small loads to conserve water and energy, and tear on your machines.

c. Find the best way to fit laundry into your schedule. For some doing all on one day make work best; for others, doing it in conjunction with other household duties may work best, like putting in a load while preparing a meal, or cleaning a near-by room.

d. Wash dark clothes together, white cottons together, light-colored and delicate fabrics together, etc.

e. As you take clothes from the washer, shake and organize them in the laundry basket before hanging them on the line. Consider hanging clothes for one person on one line, items for one room or closet on another, etc. Fold clothes as you take them from the line. Put them into the basket by room or family members to which they go.

f. If you use a dryer:

  1. Dry loads according to color and weight of fabric.
  2. Remove clothes from the dryer as soon as it stops. Hang garments on hangers as you take them from the dryer. Hang as many garments as possible, especially permanent press. I recommend plastic hangers. Put a few hooks on the laundry room to keep hangers handy.
  3. Sort and fold clothes as you take them from the dryer according to family member and/or room.
  4. If you don’t hear the dryer go off and clothes are wrinkled, rather than iron them, put them back into the dryer with a wet hand towel for 10 minutes.

g. Iron more often and in smaller amounts. Keep a spray bottle of water handy or use a steam iron.

h. Place 3 laundry baskets in your utility or closet (one white, one light and dark) making sure the size of each basket is 1 load of laundry, for your washing machine, so when the basket is full, you have one load. The idea is to eliminate the time it takes to sort the clothing; it’s already sorted for you.

i. Use cold water whenever possible.

j. Dry cleaning: clean garments only every 8 to 10 wearings; less frequently as possible. Dry cleaning is hard on fabrics.

  1. As soon as you remove your garments, empty the pockets, shake the garments well, and hang them immediately.
  2. Consider Scotchguarding new fabrics. The protection will last until the clothing is cleaned or washed. Then just spray again. Also, use Scotchguard on any fabric shoes; tennis shoes especially.
  3. Rotate your dry clean clothing so it can regain it’s shape after wearing.

k. Blue Jeans: Everyone has a favorite pair of jeans. Wear a single pair of jeans two to five times before washing, unless soiled. It will save the fabric. You may want to fold them on a chair or hang on hanger; as soon as you take them off, so they don’t get wrinkled to re-wear. Hanging jeans on the line after laundering, rather than in the dryer will make them stiff and appear to be newer. This will extend the life of the jean.

Real strength is not just the condition of one’s muscle, but a tenderness in one’s spirit. ~ McCallister Dodds