Over the years, we’ve figured out plenty of tricks to make the whole laundry process a lot easier. Because oof, who wants to spend more time than we have to doing laundry?
It presents a particular challenge for those of us with bigger families; Kristen has six people living in her house, so you can imagine the amount of laundry that builds up daily in her home. Kate is grappling with four kids, from a toddler to tweens. Liz doesn’t even have a washer/dryer in her own apartment (darn you, NYC living!) and when she’s got the kids, stepkids, nieces visiting…well, wow.
Let’s just say laundry can be a huge source of pain-in-the-buttness (yes, that’s a new word) for those of us with big families and we’re down for any hacks and tips that can lessen the pain.
Seeing as we all have bottles of Clorox among our laundry supplies, we’re very happy to welcome them aboard as a sponsor as they launch their new Clorox Regular Bleach with CloroMax Technology. It’s about dirt-fighting, disinfecting, and keeping clothes whiter, longer — and amen to all of those benefits.
(Just be sure to check the bottle for proper usage instructions, obvs.)
We’re really happy they’re letting us share our favorite tricks with you to make laundry a lot easier, especially because they really do work with any size family.
And hey — just because we’re all moms doesn’t mean we’re the ones doing all the laundry! We’re lucky to have husbands, boyfriends and partners who are bona fide laundry masters.
1. Purge clothes you don’t need
Want less laundry to do? How about starting with fewer clothes?
Sure, not every kid can survive on a capsule wardrobe like Kate’s kids are now doing. But when your kids have a lot of clothing, more tends to goes in the laundry — and so much of it isn’t even dirty! It’s like, “oh…I wore that t-shirt and skirt when we were playing dress-up for four minutes, and I’ll just toss it in the hamper since I know there’s other stuff in my drawers.”
Not so fast, kids!
Kristen has had a talk with her kids about what specifically constitutes dirty clothes (washing clean clothes is a major pet peeve!), and what can be worn again. Turns out, it’s cut down majorly on loads of laundry each week.
You can also go through your kids’ drawers with them at the beginning of each season to purge items down to what they really love and really wear. The Konmari technique has worked great for so many of us in this way.
2. Skip the laundry basket
Kate recently shared a brilliant laundry time-saving tip: She has her four children kids toss stuff into the washer directly and bypass the hamper or laundry basket altogether.
Granted, that doesn’t work for our city-dwellers who don’t have machines in their homes (and you’ll still have to do some color sorting in the laundry room), but it could be a great solution to help you cut back a ton of time carting baskets up and down the stairs.
3. Try the sock trick
One of the most painful, time-consuming aspects of laundry is matching socks. So…skip it!
Kristen buys her younger kids all the same socks — plain white, in the same size — for everyday use. It’s amazing how much time it saves matching and dividing up socks amongst all the kids.
(Bonus: you can use Clorox Bleach with CloroMax in that load of whites to keep your socks from getting dingy so fast.)
If the all-white sock trick doesn’t work for you (we get it — our kids love their sugar skull and superhero socks too), use a netted lingerie bag for socks, one for each kid. If they can remember to put their socks in there at the end of each day, then after laundry is done, it’s so easy for kids to just grab their own bag and put away their own socks, skipping the massive sorting job altogether. Win!
About our sponsor
Whitening, dirt-fighting, and disinfecting just got a whole lot more powerful thanks to the new Clorox Regular Bleach2 with CloroMax. And it helps protect surfaces and keep clothes white longer, versus original Clorox Regular Bleach.
Whether you’re removing mold and mildew or cleaning and sanitizing your laundry, when you use Clorox Regular Bleach with CloroMax as directed, you get a protective shield (invisible, that is) that repels stains to make cleaning quicker and easier.
Just take a look at their #TACOTUESDAY Facebook Live to see Clorox Regular Bleach with CloroMax at work, and then stop by your local grocery store (or wherever you buy your laundry detergent) to pick up your own bottle, available now.
4. Have one laundry basket for each child.
Similar to giving each child their own lingerie bag for socks, you can give each child their own laundry basket or hamper.
This works great for Kristen and nope, she does not separate out whites and darks (unless they need to be bleached, of course). Then instead of doing one big family wash, you can do individual washes with loads sorted by child and again, save a ton of time on sorting.
5. Don’t try to do all laundry all at once.
This may sound counterintuitive, but if you’re busy, it can be so much easier to do all the whites one day, all the colored or dark clothes another time, all the sheets and towels at still another time than to do them all at once.
Mostly it’s a matter of prioritizing. So when the kids are low on underwear or you’re low on white t-shirts, you can just do the loads that include those items, instead of feeling like you have to do absolutely everything all at once, then spend an hour sorting, folding, and putting everything away.
When Liz is doing laundry for four kids, she tends to break it up and finds it actually saves her time. Because you can usually squeeze in one quick load of just towels or just whites between conference calls or on quick breaks during family game night (with the kids helping, cough).
6. Kids fold. The end.
Our number one favorite time-saving laundry hack for families of all sizes, is to get kids folding laundry as part of their chores.
Even super young kids are capable — it’s actually great for fine motor skills — and big kids can take on everything including sheets. In fact, they’re such big fans of the lifehack video on YouTube and Instagram, they can teach us a thing or two about tricks for folding fitted sheets!
7. Just give up on having Instagram-perfect children’s drawers
The thing is, being a busy, multi-tasking parent with a big family is always about prioritizing. And one of the things you may want to let go of is the look of what’s inside your kids’ drawers and closets.
While Liz’s oldest daughter likes to color code her closet (go figure!), her youngest…well, polar opposite. Once she learned to let it go it cut back so much time on folding clothes that get unfolded in four seconds, let alone all the begging and pleading that accompanies it.
So if your kids want to ball their t-shirts in and stuff them in, or mix the leggings in with the sweaters, or toss all the socks in one drawer without matching them first…so be it. No one is going to think you’re a failure as a parent if your kids’ drawers aren’t photo-ready at all times, promise.
Besides, this way you can put your time and energy toward something else that matters more to you. Like actually doing something fun with those kids.
Thanks to our sponsor Clorox. Their new Clorox Regular Bleach with CloroMaxTechnology makes it a whole lot easier to disinfect and keep clothes whiter longer, something we parents can appreciate. Please follow all instructions on the bottle, and use your laundry products safely!
Photos: Andy Fitzsimon (hamper), Kate Etue (kids’ clothes) AGKrejci (folded shirts)