This post was sponsored by P&G as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central. I received complimentary products to facilitate my review.
I adore traveling. I adore living out of a suitcase. I adore seeing the world and road tripping with my family here, there, and everywhere. I love the fact that The Kid learns so much on our road trips and that making her education fun has only helped with the power of schooling on the road. The fact that she can delve into what she’s reading about in her American History books (and the fact that history is one of her favorite subjects!) is a welcomed sign of relief. I remember being in middle and my face palm history class. Blech.
What I don’t adore is arriving back home and having three suitcases (one for each of us) of laundry to wash and dry- and then a laundry room to clean up after the laundry whirlwind. Gah. If there’s ever anything to put a damper in our vacations it’s knowing there’s a ton of laundry waiting for us when we get home. So, to make things easier on Mr. Locke and me, we’ve got the laundry thing down to a science and have a few laundry hacks up our sleeves.
So what’s so efficient in the way we do laundry? We’ve come up with laundry room hacks that save time and energy and make us not dread road trip unpacking.
Do Sort Your Clothes all at Once
After the clothes are all sorted into whites lights, and darks, it’s a simple matter of using great products to get (and keep!) our clothes clean. And if that can be done in as few steps as possible? Even better. We have enough clothing that we can do laundry once a week when we’re home or pack enough clothes that we don’t HAVE to do laundry when we’re traveling (that doesn’t mean we haven’t during resort down time, just that we don’t have to).
So when we get home, I take one suitcase at a time and sort it into three piles: whites, lights, and darks. Next suitcase? Same thing. I end up with three piles on our laundry room floor- and I’m okay with that for a few hours. There’s a door on our laundry room that I can close if I need to. Here’s why I do that immediately: I really dislike finding one white sock in the bottom or our hamper that has to wait until there’s a full load to be washed. Just a pet peeve. Once a load is finished in the washer, it’s a snap to throw it in the dryer (or on the clothes line during warm weather. There’s nothing like line-dried towels!), and throw another load in the washer straight away. You’re already in there, right?
Don’t Fold Clothes That Need to Be Ironed
You know your clothes that need to be ironed. I sure know ours. Mr. Locke’s button-down dress shirts for work, most of my skirts, and all-together dressier items. Don’t fold them when they come out of the dryer! I have a couple dozen hangers for both shirts and pants that always stay in my laundry room. I hang up those pieces that need to be ironed immediately to save on the creases and wrinkles from being folded. It really does save time on ironing. And I’m okay with a ton of hangers just waiting for a job, too. Hey, it’s the laundry room after all, right?
Do Use High Quality, Cost Effective Supplies
Here’s my goal when it comes to our laundry: quick and painless with as few steps as possible.
After the clothes are all sorted into whites lights, and darks, it’s a simple matter of using great products to get (and keep!) our clothes clean. And if that can be done in as few steps as possible? Even better. I also want laundry detergent and fabric softener that smell great and work with my family’s budget. So I head to Costco to stock up. We purchased a membership on a whim this past winter and I have to say, I’m very pleased with the products and prices.
Heading to the laundry aisle, I can find my tried and true Procter & Gamble favorites from Costco like Tide® Advanced Power® with Bleach Alternative (super nice scent and keeps everything from looking dingy- especially The Kid’s shirts that are mostly white but have colored material touches so they’re a no-go in bleach) and my new favorite item for saving time- Downy® Unstopables® Fresh Scent Booster. You add it straight to the wash cycle at the beginning so there’s no more running for the rinse cycle (or missing the rinse cycle and having to rewash the load. LOVE that!) and the scent stays with our clothing all day- even after it’s been folded and put away. I really adore how it’s the little things that matter with Procter & Gamble products like using just the right amount of fragrance or having a detergent that keeps both my whites and colors looking bright and clean.
Do Clean Your Washer and Dryer Frequently
It goes without saying that a lint-free dryer is a happy dryer. I remove lint for the catcher at least every other load, if not every load just to be safe. I also check the dryer vent and hose a few times a month to make sure they’re not clogged or cracked.
As for my washer, it never hurts to do an empty cycle: fill up with water as you would normally do, but instead of adding clothes, add in a large sprinkle of baking soda or a cup of vinegar (don’t do both at the same time- 8th grade volcano science experiment!). After I run a cleaning cycle, I wipe down the inside and outside of the washer and dryer with a Mr. Clean® Magic Eraser®. I’m really into using as few chemicals on my household surfaces as possible and I love the fact that a few wipes with a Magic Eraser® makes the inside and outside super clean and shiny.
Don’t Forget to Let the Big Kids Help!
This one is priceless. I have a teen daughter that, up until a year ago, had no idea how to sort laundry, let alone do an entire load of clothing. It occurred to me that there was no reason why she shouldn’t have been helping at a much earlier age. I could have made a game out of it by asking her what the colors of the clothing items were, had her help me place the items in the washer and dryer, etc. It’s okay, though. There’s no reason why you can’t start now! Just remember to add the detergent and softener yourself.