I have been in the "I have kids" laundry trenches for 16 years, and as all parents know, kid laundry is different than adult laundry for a few reasons. In my experience kids tend to fall into two camps:
Camp One: They will change outfits 15 times over the course of a day.
Camp Two: They will wear the same items of clothing until those clothing pieces are so dirty they can actually walk themselves to the laundry hamper.
And then there are the lucky parents who have kids in both camps. To them I say, "Welcome to laundry hell."
While knowing how to wash a baseball hat or how to make your own dryer sheets is helpful, real tips are what parents need, as well as tricks that will actually save time and money on a daily basis.
For a very long time my kids thought they got clean clothes from the dryer and/or laundry basket. Washing and drying clothes is the easy part but I would fall apart at the folding and putting away phase UNTIL I started sorting according to clothing type. Now I wash all the pants in one load, all the shirts in another load, and all the underwear and socks in a third load. You’ll be amazed at how quick and easy it is to fold and put away clothes when they are all the same.
Two words: Mesh bag. Wrangling socks is much easier when you wash them in a mesh bag. Pull it from the dryer and sort while you’re binge-watching Netflix. Easy peasy.
If you have more than one child of the same gender you probably spend a lot of time trying to figure out whose underwear is whose, especially if they are close in age or size. Stop the presses! Assign each of your kids a colour and then spend 30 minutes putting a dab of that nail polish on the tags inside the underwear, or if there are no tags, put it on the elastic waistband. Now, when laundry day comes around, you just have to check the colour and put it in the right pile. It also makes it super easy for your kids to sort out the laundry basket too.
Why struggle with heavy bottles and wiping up spills and drips when there are convenient laundry pods on the market like Arm & Hammer 3-in-1 Power Paks. Just toss it in and go - no measuring required.
Fast Fact: If you’re into saving money, Arm & Hammer 3-in-1 Power Paks work out to $0.19 per load versus $0.35 per load of other leading brands and are the only detergent boosted with the stain fighting power of OxiClean™ and the freshness of Arm & Hammer™ Baking Soda. And besides saving you money, this detergent also saves time in a "once-and-done" way, because the formula works just as well as those twice the cost, so no re-washing needed.
Need to dry clothes in a hurry? Toss in a clean, dry towel. I’m not sure why this works, (I think it’s magic!) but it totally does.
This won’t save you time or money, but it may just save your sanity. If that mud puddle was too much of a temptation for your little one and now her pink shoes are no longer pink, the reality is you’re going to have to wash them. However, you also know the thud, thud, thud of having those shoes in the dryer is going to drive you crazy.
Pull the shoe strings up and over the dryer door with the shoes on the inside. Close the door and voila. Dry shoes, no banging.