Tips to get through the laundry pile chaos faster

by Katrina - The Organised Housewife

This post is sponsored by Sard Wonder

Laundry is just one of those tasks that we love to hate… it’s never ending and can easily take days to get on top of once it gets out of control. If you have a growing pile of dirty laundry and you dread laundry day, then here are some tips to get through the laundry pile chaos faster, to make the process a little bit easier and to make this ‘ground-hog day of a task’ more efficient!

Laundry is just one of those tasks that we love to hate... it's never ending and can easily take days to get on top of once it gets out of control. If you have a growing pile of dirty laundry and you dread laundry day, then here are some tips to get through the laundry pile chaos faster, to make the process a little bit easier and to make this 'ground-hog day of a task' more efficient!

asked the community on Facebook what their top laundry hacks are to help them to tackle their laundry quicker and there were some great responses, which I have shared with you below.

Create a schedule

Create a system that works for you, washing particular items on certain days and using a laundry schedule will help you make sure that the kids don’t wake up on Thursday morning without a clean school uniform!

Dot suggests:

Do it every day (clothes every second day, on the other days towels, bedding, delicates etc). Put it away that night (I am less good at this bit). One day off just means a bigger pile the next day, it’s just not worth it.

personalised laundry schedule

new laundry schedule is avaialable in my shop, as an instant download here.

Get into a routine

My latest laundry routine is that I glance at my laundry schedule and see what needs to be washed (which is usually always the biggest sorted pile). You can either delay-start the washing machine to the next morning or as I always do, put it on the night before, I usually do this around dinner time (during dinner prep or after I have cleaned the kitchen). I have never had any issues of it smelling the next day. It’s just one less task to worry about (putting on a load) during the mad school morning rush.

Abby suggests:

I do a load every day. Wash hang fold and put away.. That’s 5 loads a week… Also I hang kids on one side of line and hubby’s and mine on the other, I fold as I take it off and each person has their own basket. So everyone gets their basket to put away. I do hubby’s work and kids school clothes on Fridays so they can dry by Monday.. I do sheets, etc. Mondays… Every other day is anything I find that’s dirty.

Be organised

Have your detergent, vinegar and stain remover products in good supply and at arms reach. I usually stock up on my laundry products when they are on special to ensure that I never run out.

Pre-treat stains

Don’t throw stains into the dirty washing pile, as this will hinder the chance of completely removing the stain. Most stains can be removed entirely, provided you treat them promptly and appropriately.  The faster you treat it, the better chance you have to remove it.

  • rinse stain under cold water, not hot as this will set in the stain
  • don’t rub the stain, as this will push the stain into the fabric further
    • Fill a tub/bucket with 1-2 lidfuls of Sard Super Power Soaker & Inwash Stain Remover, per 7 litres warm water. Dissolve completely in warmest water recommended by clothing care label. Submerge item for at least 2 hours, but I usually just allow it to soak all day or overnight
  • Then add to your regular wash

Laundry is just one of those tasks that we love to hate... it's never ending and can easily take days to get on top of once it gets out of control. If you have a growing pile of dirty laundry and you dread laundry day, then here are some tips to get through the laundry pile chaos faster, to make the process a little bit easier and to make this 'ground-hog day of a task' more efficient!

As much as I love the bicarb soda and vinegar combination for so many other cleaning purposes I have tried this duo to remove sweat stains from the kid’s school uniforms but it doesn’t remove it entirely. I trialled the new Sard Super Power Soaker this week, and I was pleasantly surprised, it worked, removed the whole stain leaving no traces behind!!  Here’s the before:

Laundry is just one of those tasks that we love to hate... it's never ending and can easily take days to get on top of once it gets out of control. If you have a growing pile of dirty laundry and you dread laundry day, then here are some tips to get through the laundry pile chaos faster, to make the process a little bit easier and to make this 'ground-hog day of a task' more efficient!

I soaked this uniform overnight. With no scrubbing or using the spray, just soaking, this is the after result, no more stains around the collar or under the arm!

Laundry is just one of those tasks that we love to hate... it's never ending and can easily take days to get on top of once it gets out of control. If you have a growing pile of dirty laundry and you dread laundry day, then here are some tips to get through the laundry pile chaos faster, to make the process a little bit easier and to make this 'ground-hog day of a task' more efficient!

Remember to separate colours and whites before soaking.

Sort it out!

As the dirty clothes come into the laundry, sort them directly into darks, colours, whites, linens, work clothes, etc. piles. Sorting is half the battle and to have this already done when you go to do the washing makes this tedious task so much easier. I have shared with you many times how I organise my dirty laundry and the benefits of this.  It makes knowing what to wash less complicated and easily being able to see at a glance what basket is full and clean that pile of dirty clothes as soon as possible.

I have a new system in my new house. I put laundry baskets in my linen cupboard, as I had no room for my old system of a set of drawers in this new laundry. The other side of the cupboard is enough space for table linens and beach towels, and I put bed linens and bath towel is a cupboard upstairs.

laundry sorting system

Not only will sorting your dirty clothes into baskets keep your laundry floor tidy, washing clothes separated by colour (such as washing darks separate to whites) ensures you keep those whites bright!

Set some rules

Set some laundry rules for those in your household to check their own clothes, even the kids:

  • to make sure they put their clothes in the right way
  • socks or sleeves are not scrunched up
  • tissues and money removed from pockets
  • stained items on top of the washing machine for TLC

I am known for not washing socks if they are scrunched up, I refuse to put them in the right way and get my kids to come and do it themselves, this is teaching them to try and remember to do it and be kind to me.

Wash similar type of items together

If you don’t have the time to sort your items and want to wash them together, remember it’s important to keep some items separated:

  • keep items that shed (e.g. towels) away from your darks, otherwise, you’ll end up with fluff all over them after that final rinse cycle
  • don’t put delicates and heavy items together
  • keep heavily soiled items away from whites, as the dirt will separate and dull your whites

Jo suggests:

Don’t separate by colours. Wash all in together on a COLD wash. I’ve never had a problem with this method.

Don’t waste time searching for stains

Most of the time I am aware of a stain that needs attention and as mentioned above this should be treated as soon as possible. I ask my kids to put anything that has a noticeable stain but doesn’t require soaking,  on top of the washing machine, my alert to give it some TLC before a regular wash.

Don’t waste time looking at each piece of clothing in your dirty washing pile searching for stains before it goes in the wash, no time for that!  Use an in-wash booster to remove stains and boost the colour. Sard Wonder’s new Super Power range is their strongest stain removal spray and soaker. Targeting baby and kid stains, lifts outdoor stain, mum and dad stains like cuff and collar grime and perspiration and family food and drink stains.  It revitalises whites and is suitable to use on colourfast colours.

As an in wash booster:

  • Front Loader: Add ½ to ¾ lidful to detergent compartment of washing machine
  • Top Loader: Dissolve 1 heaped lidful completely in warm water and pour into machine

Laundry is just one of those tasks that we love to hate... it's never ending and can easily take days to get on top of once it gets out of control. If you have a growing pile of dirty laundry and you dread laundry day, then here are some tips to get through the laundry pile chaos faster, to make the process a little bit easier and to make this 'ground-hog day of a task' more efficient!

For a fast acting stain remover use the Sard Super Power Stain Remover Spray.  What I love about this spray is after you have sprayed the stain, you only need to let the item sit for one minute before putting it through a regular wash.  This is a stain from a dropped strawberry on one of my kid’s school uniforms.

Laundry is just one of those tasks that we love to hate... it's never ending and can easily take days to get on top of once it gets out of control. If you have a growing pile of dirty laundry and you dread laundry day, then here are some tips to get through the laundry pile chaos faster, to make the process a little bit easier and to make this 'ground-hog day of a task' more efficient!

I sprayed the stained area, sat for 1 minute and put it through the regular wash.

Laundry is just one of those tasks that we love to hate... it's never ending and can easily take days to get on top of once it gets out of control. If you have a growing pile of dirty laundry and you dread laundry day, then here are some tips to get through the laundry pile chaos faster, to make the process a little bit easier and to make this 'ground-hog day of a task' more efficient!

and the stain is gone!

Laundry is just one of those tasks that we love to hate... it's never ending and can easily take days to get on top of once it gets out of control. If you have a growing pile of dirty laundry and you dread laundry day, then here are some tips to get through the laundry pile chaos faster, to make the process a little bit easier and to make this 'ground-hog day of a task' more efficient!

Know your temperatures

Water temperature impacts the effectiveness of washing clothes, use the following as a guide:

  • cold water – delicates, knits and clothes that may shrink
  • warm water – whites and lights
  • hot water – heavily stained items, towels, washers and cleaning cloths.

Set a quick cycle

If you have a huge pile of washing to get through, then set your washing machine to the fast cycle setting to help you wash more loads than you usually would in a day.

Tracey suggests:

Use the settings on your machine! I have a 15min quick wash that I use for t-shirt and shorts that have only seen a minimal wear time and arent ‘dirty’. This saves me a good 40 mins off my usual ‘dirty clothes’ cycle.

Double spin

If you need to use the dryer to dry your clothes,  run your washing machine on an additional spin cycle, to help remove out more excess water. This will reduce your drying time.

Don’t overload

Don’t overload the clothes dryer, as you need the room to help reduce the wrinkles in the clothes to prevent having to iron them.  My kids’ school uniforms need ironing. But to be truthful I, probably more times than most, use the method of putting them in the dryer, removing them as soon as it’s finished and placing them onto a coat hanger instead of ironing them. Who has an hour and a half or the desire to iron?!

That said, another alternative to reducing your ironing is to hang shirts directly onto hangers to dry and allowing the creases to drop out naturally.

Louise suggests:

I don’t separate colours etc, all in on 30 degrees. Anything that belongs on a hanger in the wardrobe gets put on the hanger and then hooked on the washing line to dry – no peg marks, wind blows out any creases, goes straight into the wardrobe. I’ve probably used my iron on less than 10 items in the last 10 years!

Line dry

While dryers are convenient, they can cost a pretty penny to run. A good idea is to let your clothes dry completely in the sun. It will kill bacteria and it’s free!

Create a clean clothes sorting station

As the clothes come off the line or out of the dryer, sort them into baskets/tubs and then the owner of the basket can put away their clothes. I have heard of some people sorting the laundry as they hang it on the line. i.e. one line per family member. This makes it easier to sort it out when taking the washing off the line.

Jane suggests:

I put shirts, dresses and t-shirts on coat hangers on the washing line – it saves double handling and makes for less ironing. I also pair socks on the line and group underwear together to make sorting easier.

Read more:  My clean washing sorting system

Laundry is just one of those tasks that we love to hate... it's never ending and can easily take days to get on top of once it gets out of control. If you have a growing pile of dirty laundry and you dread laundry day, then here are some tips to get through the laundry pile chaos faster, to make the process a little bit easier and to make this 'ground-hog day of a task' more efficient!

Delegate

If you’re busy prepping dinner, bath the kids or sitting down and having a coffee, then delegate and get another family member, such as the kids or your partner, to help out, put on a load of washing or take the washing off the line for you. You’d be surprised children are quite capable from the age they can reach the line.

Don’t make it boring

Hayles suggests:

Watch tv while you fold. Its not as boring, if the tv’s on the kids are more likely to come and watch it, then they can help as well.

No more odd socks

One of my favourite laundry tips is to buy white socks all from the same brand (Rio are our favourites). This way you don’t have to match them together to pair them, and you never have issues of the odd sock!

Get rid of unnecessary clothes

Lara suggests:

Get rid of unnecessary clothes! The less you have, the less you wash!

What is your top tip to make the laundry process faster?

This post is run in accordance with my disclosure policy.

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28 comments

Tara October 26, 2016 - 7:06 AM

I wash by urgency. Our bathtub has three laundry containers – underwear, uniforms and other. This way I always know school and sports uniforms are under control and if we’re getting low on undies we’ll do an underwear load. Towels and sheets go directly to the laundry on their wash day.

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Katrina - The Organised Housewife October 26, 2016 - 1:15 PM

great systme Tara, especially when you don’t have enough uniforms for every day of the week!

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Jen October 26, 2016 - 9:46 AM

I can’t keep on top of our laundry, I really struggle with this and it drives me crazy having having all the washing over the floor. I am going to try some of these tips, thanks Kat.

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Katrina - The Organised Housewife October 26, 2016 - 1:15 PM

start with getting some tubs (they are really cheap at Kmart) and use them to sort your laundry to see if that system works for you

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Bridget December 28, 2016 - 3:02 PM

I got a 2×2 cube storage from bunnings and 4 coloured tubs. Reds, blues, black and white. We sort straight into it and when a tub is full I put it on. Means it’s not all over my floor! My 4 year old loves choosing which colour and my 18 mnth old loves putting the dirty washing into the machine from the full tub!
I also now have an extra shelf to use for folding/sorting the clean washing… Bonus

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Sylvia R October 26, 2016 - 9:53 AM

I can’t get the sweat stains out of my sons soccer top, I have tried so many things, I was about to give up and just buy him a new uniform for next season. Thanks Kat for your honesty that sometimes the natural doesn’t work and your recommendation.

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Katrina - The Organised Housewife October 26, 2016 - 1:14 PM

and no scrubbing either Sylvia, I tried with the bicarb and vinegar along with a toothbrush, it just wouldn’t budge.

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Fiona October 26, 2016 - 10:44 AM

I love those peg hangers that are really cheap at places like the reject shop. I have five. I use them to hang all the socks, girls underwear and boys jocks (by side seam) and baby clothes. Hanging clothes go on hangers on the line. All other items are pegged on the line, boxer shorts, jeans, linen.etc. We live in a climate that can get cool suddenly or rain showers. By hanging this way I can get a lot of clothes off the line quickly and inside. I try really hard not to double handle washing when it is drying. I have been known to sort as I hang but often it ends up all in one basket. It is the kids job to sort and fold neatly all our washing and put on peoples beds.

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Katrina - The Organised Housewife October 26, 2016 - 1:16 PM

That is a great idea Fiona, I have seen those hangers at ikea and haven’t considered how convenient they would be when it starts to rain, a very quick way to bring them in.

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Betty October 26, 2016 - 1:10 PM

this is awesome Kat, I love that sock trick

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Katrina - The Organised Housewife October 26, 2016 - 1:13 PM

it saves my sanity, I remember watching my mum pair socks together and get cranky when one was missing. I don’t even pair each kid has a basket for socks and it goes straight in there!

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Sylvia Leggett April 21, 2017 - 1:16 PM

I do too! There’s 5 of us and I have separate bins on top of my dryer to immediately separate each person’s socks as I go.

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Lara McQuinn October 26, 2016 - 1:17 PM

I love that Print Kat, your very clever!

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Katrina - The Organised Housewife October 27, 2016 - 11:04 AM

thanks Lara 🙂

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Mrs Nash October 26, 2016 - 2:27 PM

Love your new sorting system Kat, it looks very neat and tidy. I used to admire your old one but didn’t have the space for it, I didn’t even consider using baskets in the linen cupboard, doing it this afternoon

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Lyn October 26, 2016 - 5:56 PM

Socks, evil little things! I was forever washing just one sock as the other had run away to who knows where….so I purchased a 3 pack of delicates bags from Kmart for a few dollars. These hang in our laundry and when socks are taken off they go into the appropriate bag – hubby has one for his business socks, then the sports/school socks go in the other. Wash day I simply zip up the bag & toss it in the machine. When hanging, they are hung in pairs, then as I take them off I fold them together. This eliminates odd socks!

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Katrina - The Organised Housewife October 27, 2016 - 11:05 AM

that is a very clever idea Lyn!

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Shrelle Deveney January 4, 2017 - 8:18 AM

Kat, I do the same with my socks it makes for a lot less time wasted. So much easier to find them.

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Benjamin October 27, 2016 - 3:12 PM

Great arrangement tips! I used to make a mess of clothes in my room. And your tips are somehow similar to my shoe organizing method. I bought a Crazysales shoe rack and make a decent organization of all my shoe. No more chaos in the front door.

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Rae October 30, 2016 - 1:02 AM

Do you have any suggestions for small spaces? I would love to keep a pantry full of baskets but I barely have room for a pantry. Maybe I can see if I can find a stand up laundry organizer or something, hmmm ..

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LJ November 4, 2016 - 12:33 AM

I do the sock thing with my kids as well! In fact any clothes in the hamper that are inside out they are called to rectify – since the dirt is usually on the outside! I’m in the UK and don’t have a tumble drier but do have an airing cupboard created by where the hot water storage tank is. So stuff comes off the line and goes into there for 24hrs. As I take it down I sort it into piles for each family member to put away.

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Katrina - The Organised Housewife November 7, 2016 - 6:59 AM

ooh happy to hear I’m not the only one that gets them to put their own socks in the right way!!

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Donna Buckley November 21, 2016 - 8:26 AM

Can you please tell me where you got the blue basket with lid in your laundry cupboard photo please

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Sherelle Lock December 28, 2016 - 4:17 PM

I’ve seen them at Kmart Donna Buckley

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Sherelle Lock December 28, 2016 - 4:16 PM

Donna Buckley I believe I’ve seen them at Kmart

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Jenny January 4, 2017 - 7:09 AM

Well 2017 is not starting out good for the Laundry Tasks Today. My dryer broke and funds are kinda short these days. Laundry is piling up very fast, especially in this house! I would love to try and have a GREAT SYSTEM for 2017. Trying to stay positive!! I would love to have a great sorter for my clothes and it would be nice to have a area to fold them as well, instead of my bed. I have so many ideas in my head to try and make life a little simpler but it still hasn’t worked. Any ideas?

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Jenny January 4, 2017 - 7:28 AM

I have never heard of Sard Wonder Super Power Spray that treats stained areas on clothes. Where can I get it? I checked the website and they didn’t show how much it was or how I could purchase it. Any ideas to that, cause I don’t know if they sell it here where I live.

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Yaya April 20, 2018 - 8:01 AM

Dryers are a great invention, I use it for everything, Im never behind on laundry anymore, used to be awful, there is 7 of us in the house, and the machine could do three or more washes every day, even sat or sun, straight from machine to tumble dryer, cuts out the ironing too as they come out like new, ready to put away, few less socks lost too, I do have two laundry baskets but only one gets used really, it’s no big deal,

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