Most of us will close our eyes and wish up a fairy godmother when we see a pile of dirty laundry. Those who actually enjoy doing the laundry are few and far between and, quite possibly, from another planet. You sort, you wash, you fold, you turn around and the pile seems to have grown larger. Here's some tips for conquering the laundry pile before it gets so big that there's a shortage of oxygen at the top!
Use a divided laundry cart or several hampers so that family members can help with the sorting, whether it's into whites and colours or separating out soiled and work clothes. Give the kids a little reward when they manage to get everything in the right sections.
Put socks into mesh washing bags before putting them in the washer. This makes it easier to collect them all from the machine and helps avoid them getting lost in duvet covers and up sleeves.
If your mornings are chaotic (and let's face it, who's aren't?) then put a load of washing in the machine the night before and set up ready to go so you'll be the first one with your laundry out on the line the next morning (yes, we all want to be first!).
The laundry room
Set yourself up with a few necessities. First is a rubbish bin for the lint and multitudes of tissues you'll rescue from the pockets. Secondly is a container to store all the other bits and pieces, like small toys, receipts and the washer woman's favourite - money! One more container is for those dreaded odd socks until they find a partner. Also keep a clothes horse nearby for those items that you can't throw in the dryer on wet days.
Give your laundry cupboard a good clean out and give away anything that's still usable but that you don't want. Make sure you have a back up supply of washing powder, fabric softener and stain remover so that you're not tempted to use running out as an excuse for not doing the laundry. If you buy in bulk, keep some powder in a small tub that's easier to use each day rather than lugging around that big box.
Folding and ironing
This is probably the worst part so make it as pleasant as possible. Make sure your workspace is at a good height that's not straining your back. Some people prefer to fold laundry whilst watching the TV or listening to some favourite music. Whatever makes you happy is the key!
Even small children can put away their own socks and underwear. But remember, they will be more willing if it's fun. So get them to play the sock game where you dump all the clean socks in a heap on the table and they have to see who can make the most matches.
It's also easier for kids to put away their clothes if they actually have some space in their drawers. So have a clean out and take out all the clothes that no longer fit or that you know they will never wear