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Living simply is something I am passionate about. Getting rid of unnecessary things so you can focus on what is truly important extends to every area of our lives. Even the laundry.
Now that Spring and Summer are upon us, my house will grow by two when my stepsons stay on their school breaks. They are 7 year-old twins, and they add such a fun energy to the house! But another thing they add is laundry. And lots of it.
So how do we keep our laundry routine simple, even with 5 people, 2 of whom consider avoiding puddles a cardinal sin? Here are 4 of my best tips.
Keep It Clean
Now, I am not talking about clothes here. I am talking about your laundry room! No one wants to go into a room that is heaped with piles of clothing, or is dirty. Keeping your laundry room organized and clean will lend itself to a simpler laundry process, and make it more enjoyable to do that particular chore. My laundry room is in an unfinished room in the basement, so adding a pretty rug made a huge difference on the look and feel of the room!
Do A Load Of Laundry Every Day
I do at least one load of laundry every day. I don’t get particular about sorting beyond the real necessities, and I make sure the load is at least washed, dried, and removed from the dryer before I go to bed. My kids know that as soon as they remove clothes, they need to take them to the laundry room. It took a while to get them into this habit, but it was well worth the constant reminding. At the end of the night I can just add detergent, and get the load done.
Also, we don’t have tons and tons of clothes like a lot of families. By keeping our wardrobe simple, we are forced to do laundry more often. I don’t have the luxury of doing laundry once a week, because I would run out of clean clothes! The massive piles of clothes found in most laundry rooms are excess. We don’t need that many clothes, we just need to be diligent in taking care of them.
Don’t Use 3 Products When One Will Do
Something I have noticed in laundry rooms is the overwhelming amount of bottles, and jugs, and random products cluttering the shelves. Find one laundry detergent your whole family can use, and stick to it! We are using all® free clear Mighty Pacs®, which are the epitome of simple. They are individual pacs that you drop in with your laundry, so no muss no fuss. all® free clear is also the #1 recommended brand by dermatologists, allergists and pediatricians because it is 100% free of dyes and perfumes, and removes 99% of top, everyday allergens like cat and dog dander, dust mite matter, ragweed, grass and tree pollen.*
Some of my favorite things about this product are that it is minimal waste. We are able to buy all® free clear Mighty Pacs® in our Sam’s Club, so it is a large container that we don’t have to purchase as often. The pacs dissolve in your load of laundry, so there is no additional, wasteful packaging. I re-use the container it comes in to store my dryer balls, so it creates even less waste. I love that we can spend more time outside as a family, but I don’t have to worry about lingering allergens bothering my kids. Every single person in my family suffers from varying degrees of allergies, so that is important!
*all® free clear is not intended to treat allergies
It may surprise you that I don’t hang a lot of laundry to dry. Like I said, everyone in our family has allergies, so hanging clothes outside can leave additional allergens on the clothes. I hang a few things in the house, but I throw a lot in the dryer. To me it seems counterproductive to use all® free clear because of the simple, fragrance-free ingredients, then dry our clothes with a fragrance-laden sheet or softener. My solution is to use wool dryer balls.
You can purchase wool dryer balls, but they are so easy and simple to make, that I DIY my own. All you need is a skein of wool yarn. You’ll want to wrap the yarn into balls, so start by wrapping it around your fingers 10 to 15 times. Carefully pull the loops off of your hand, then wrap the yarn cross-ways 10-15 times. Keep rotating and winding til it starts to form a ball. Keep going until its just a little bigger than a tennis ball.
Once it is the right size, snip the yarn and weave the end into the ball. You can use a crochet hook, or jab it in with a chopstick. I don’t know anyone who did that.
Then take an old pair of pantyhose or tights and put the wool ball in the toe. Tie it off tightly, then add another ball and repeat for however many you made. Throw these in your washer for a few loads on hot (this can be a regular wash cycle with other clothes, if you have clothes to wash on hot), and throw the dryer with the corresponding loads. After 3 to 4 washes they should be felted together and can be removed from the pantyhose.
Dryer balls work by separating the clothes and reduce static and drying time with no added chemicals or fragrances to irritate allergies and skin. You can add a few drops of essential oils to your dryer balls if you want a little scent.
Laundry doesn’t have to be overwhelming, it can be simple and efficient if you have the right tools. Do you have a good system in place for laundry? Or is does your laundry room need crime scene tape over the door?