Home Organization

Laundry Day

Like many empty nesters, laundry day isn’t an overwhelming chore in our house.  I usually do laundry just twice a week and with our huge capacity washing machine, it may only be one or two loads at that.  And with the price of our water, that’s a good thing.

I am sharing my laundry routines and practices and the products I use – some I love and some I don’t. I hope you might relate to these tips and tricks or pick up something useful. Or reach out and teach me something!

Front Loading Washer and Dryer

Although the washing machine holds a lot of clothes and it saves a lot of water, I don’t love it and wish I would have gotten a simpler top-loading machine.  These machines sit very low to the floor and it’s hard to remove clothes from the washer and transfer to the dryer without dropping half of them onto the floor.

Note: My laundry room is not this yellow – I need a new camera!

A picture of our front load washer and dryer with the door open and detergent compartment open
Front Load Washer and Dryer

As a remedy, we purchased (the very expensive) storage risers.  Now the machines are convenient to access, but I cannot reach the cupboards above them and the risers are just a bit too short to hold laundry bottles.  So I either have to get a ladder to get into the cupboards, empty detergent into smaller bottles or lay the bottles on an angle in the riser.  I do a mixture of all of those, but I don’t love the situation.

Saves a little too much water?  I have had loads of laundry where the clothes come out literally dry.  That bothers me.  So I put them on an extra rinse cycle.  That means every load takes over one hour and I’m not sure I’m any longer saving water.

The machine tub doesn’t dry out and it beings to stink.  You absolutely have to leave the door and detergent casing open or those areas never dry out – even here in Arizona.  Since I don’t do laundry every day, I really need to remember to open all that up or I’m going to have a mildew mess. We do a regular tub cleaning cycle, but that’s not enough.

Clothes Line and Clothes Rack

I use this drying rack from Ikea and store my clothes pins in this perfectly sized Jo Malone bag
My Drying Rack

This may be a little more hillbilly than country club, but I hang my clothes and sheets outside to dry.  Yep, I do.  And I LOVE it.  I love having nice crisp, fresh smelling sheets.  It’s a smell that takes me to a happy place from my childhood.  Like smelling lilacs or eating a PB&J. Or catching tadpoles. Ok, that doesn’t sound fun anymore.

Most of my clothes are made of synthetic or cotton fabrics that dry really quickly – especially my exercise clothes.  Oh, and those clothes are none too large so I don’t want them to shrink.

Several years ago I purchased a drying rack from Ikea and it easily holds everything I want to hang out to dry.  I think keeping my clothes pins in the Jo Malone bag keeps it classy.

Our sheets hanging to dry on a retractable clothes line

For sheets, John hung a retractable clothes line between the pillars on our patio and it takes less than ½ hour for them to dry and become bits of heaven to sleep on.  It really does look hillbilly when the laundry is out, but it’s only for a short time and the payoff is worth it. 

Retractable clothes line on the patio pillar
Retractable Clothes Line

When the clothes line is retracted, you don’t even notice it on the patio. Really living in this hot and dry climate, I cannot imagine why I would use the dryer if I didn’t have to.

Rolling Hamper

I purchased this rolling hamper from The Container Store a few years ago and it’s been a great find.  We keep it in the bedroom closet and it rolls right into the laundry room on washing day.  No lugging heavy or overflowing baskets.

My Favorite Washing Products

The products I use for my weekly laundry
Tide, Downey, Shout and Oxi

This sounds crazy, but John’s sensitive skin does best with Tide.  Tide is harsh for some people, but it doesn’t bother him, so we stick with it.  Oxy gets added to every wash load for an extra kick of clean.  I have no idea why, but I do.  We rarely use softener unless there is a lot of static going on, but I have started using this Downy stinkum.  I guess they are technically called “scent beads” but whatever. It’s expensive and makes some people break out, but I have come to love it.

I don’t use the entire recommended amount, but when I add a ½ capful of beads to my laundry, it really smells good for a long time.  It’s especially nice for towels that may stay in the linen closet for weeks or even months.  I’m addicted.

Ironing

As much as I love wallowing in my line-dried sheets, we don’t iron them.  I think they are crisp enough without doing that.  What I do try to do; however, is keep on top of my ironing.  It seems like I have less and less to do and if I just give my clothes a quick press right away, it’s less of a chore.  And….when you wear yoga clothes most the day, there’s very little ironing that needs to be done.

I’m not a great ironer, but I do like to press most of my shirts, shorts and pants.  I don’t do jeans, of course.  That is old fashioned!

Folding

John hates that I fold his underwear and I hate the way he folds mine (he makes them into a small, wadded ball).  I hate when he puts my stuff in the dryer and I have to go without ice cream for a week.  It’s really best if we separate out our clothes.  I guess in old age, you get grumpy about how you want stuff done and that’s where we are.

This is an example of how I "file" my shorts in my Elfa container drawer
Ironed, Folded and Filed Shorts in my Elfa Basket Drawer

Several months ago, John installed the Elfa closet system from The Container Store (I’m not an affiliate, by the way) and I still love it.  I fold my stuff and then place it into the bins like file folders.  I can see everything at a glance and am not tempted to only wear the top thing over and over.

Wow, there were so many other things I wanted to include in this post and once again, it got really long! Well, you know there will be another post next week, so until then, enjoy your day, even if it does include doing laundry!

2 Comment

  1. Girl, I could have wrote the paragraphs about the front-loading washer issues. 1) Even with the risers, I manage to drop clothes on the floor when going from washer to dryer. Every. Time. 2) We store our excess protein powder in the riser drawers…useless for laundry soap bottles. 3) Extra rinse, always. 4) And those doors gotta stay open all the time to prevent “mildew mess.” And here I thought that I was the only one….[sigh].

    What are those lowely embroidered day-of-the-week swatches on the wall?

    1. Thanks you, Jill, those are tea towels my grandma made me when I was 18 years old. I love them so much, so I display them in the lundry room (which is also the cat box room) and I see them every day.

Comments are closed.