Laundry is high on the list of exhausting tasks for Spoonies. You can put it off for as long as possible but when everything comfortable is dirty & your birthday suit is all that’s left hanging in your closet, laundry will need to be done one way or another.
Here are a few tips & products I have found through Spoonie trial & error to be really helpful. One I just learned about recently. It was hard to believe something so simple (& free!) would cut any time off of doing laundry, let alone cut one whole step in half. But incredibly, it did!
Get naked the right way: Get in the habit of turning your socks or pants right side out as soon as you take them off. Taking the 3 seconds right then to fix it, is a lot easier than turning a large pile of clothes as you fold them. Also don’t shove: If you tend to shove pills or tissues in whatever pocket you have (like I do) get in the habit of checking your pockets as you put things in the hamper. It will save you from having your bright green Extra Strength Advil liqui-gels melt all over your sweatshirt. (That is a highly specific, but totally random example. I’m in no way saying that has happened to me… nope… never).
Forget the bags & baskets: Filled with clothes, laundry baskets are too big, too heavy & too cumbersome for my Spoonie body. I tried a laundry bag (like this one) & that was worse. By the time I’m able to keep the bag open and get the clothes in the bag, I’m done for the day & I have accomplished nothing! I finally tried a mesh laundry hamper & couldn’t believe the difference! It’s extremely lightweight, has handles so I can drag it if I can’t carry it & has a sturdy enough frame that it keeps its shape. It’s wonderful!
Note: I have used my mesh hamper non-stop for over a year now. After over stuffing it (on a regular basis) the top tore a little but it still works great (& for $4, I don’t mind having to buy a new one every so often!)
Sort it out: Getting 2 mesh hampers (1 in a light color, 1 in dark) makes it visually easy to remember to sort the clothes as you put them in the hamper. You won’t have to bend & sort on laundry day!
Go small: Years ago I filled a mini travel bottle (the type they sell in sets at Walmart for $1) with liquid laundry soap (like “Woolite” or whatever chemical free laundry soap you like) & stored it in my upstairs bathroom. If I need to rinse something that’s new or quickly wash out a stain (so I don’t have to spend hours stain treating it later once it dries), I just grab the squeeze bottle & soak the item in my sink, rinse it out & stick it on a hanger in my shower to air dry. It can save a lot of time & effort.
Tip: Washing bras like this will actually make them last a lot longer. At the very least, never put a bra in the dryer. They can last twice as long if you let them air dry.
Front & center: If your washer is top loading & your dryer is front loading, you know the joy of transferring the clothes bit by bit, bending up & down, back & forth, over & over. I quickly gave up on that (or rather my body gave up on me). So instead I dumped all the clothes on the top of the dryer (no bending). Once they are all out of the washer, it’s much easier to squat down on the floor & pull the clothes right into the dryer.
Remember what? Putting clothes in the wash isn’t something you forget to do when you are going commando. Remembering to go back an hour later & put the clothes in the dryer? Well… I don’t want to admit how many times I have had to redo an entire load of laundry because I left them in the washer too long. (The truth on just how long isn’t important). A portable timer (that you store on your washer so you don’t have to search for one every time) works well. I downloaded a free timer app on my phone & use that. It took awhile to get in the habit of setting it (or admitting I needed to set it) but finding a load of laundry in the washer I had started 2 days prior, cured me of that.
Time out: We are patients, we probably don’t care about a few wrinkles on our clothes but most of us don’t want to look like we just pulled them from the bottom of the hamper either. Set your timer for 5min before the dryer will end. (If you move slowly it gives you a few minutes to get to the dryer while it’s still running & everything is still hot). It’s tempting to leave the clothes in the dryer & deal with the crumpled remains later. I’ve done it many times, until I realized folding crumpled remains takes more time & energy. The easiest thing to do is spread the clothes over the back of the sofa. They won’t wrinkle & you can fold them a little at a time as you sit & watch TV.