As a mom of five there are two chores that will never, ever, ever be finished - dishes and laundry. Try as I might there is always something dirty because people are always eating food and wearing clothes.
Even when there were less kids it seemed like I couldn’t keep up on laundry. I had our little sorting bin in the laundry area and I’d put darks in one, lights in another, and colors in the last. I’d wait and wait for a pile to get large enough to fill the washing machine (because why run it if it isn’t full?!) and almost every time there’d be some piece of clothing we’d need before it was actually clean.
It’s not as big of a deal now that we have a different washing machine with the water level sensor but I still prefer to wait for a full load simply for the energy factor. It just seems wasteful to do multiple small loads of wash instead of one larger load. So I changed things up.
I decided to stop sorting my laundry.
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There were a few factors that ultimately went into us deciding to make the switch but since deciding to stop, we’ve only become more and more convinced. Our clothes look great, the colors do not bleed together, and we are saving energy!
Take a peek at our reasons for no longer sorting our laundry and see if it will work for your family as well!
Why we stopped sorting our laundry
No room for multiple hampers
When we moved into our new home we finally had a real laundry room… but it’s not much bigger than a walk in closet. Add in a littler box and cat food and there is barely enough room on the floor for a hamper, let alone multiple for sorting laundry. That laundry system doesn’t work for us!
By using a single basket hamper we aren’t harping on the kids to put their items in the right spots, just to get it in the one spot. Much easier ;)
No waiting for specific types to get washed
Back during our sorting days we would always end up with one pile that took forever to fill up. Usually it was the whites. And of course our towels were white, but not much else. We didn’t have a high efficiency washer so the same amount of water was used for two towels or a full load.
By skipping the sorting we can throw in a load as soon as the hamper is full and it can get sorted once it’s dry. No waiting a week because that black shirt you wanted is still in the dark pile waiting for enough clothing.
But Katie, won’t all my colors bleed together? I’m so glad you asked! ;)
Use cold water for all loads
Did you know you can use cold water to wash just about all your laundry? I’m not talking freezing cold, but tap water temps are totally fine in most cases. In fact, my washer even has “tap cold” as an option on the dial so I know that know extra energy isn’t used to warm up or cool down the water I’m using.
Cool or cold water prevents the bleeding of colors, which is why it’s recommended for brights in the first place. Same with stains - hotter water can set in stains so you should be using cool water anyway. Current detergents are made to work in lower temps so skip the hot water!
There are a few times when we do separate items. Don’t worry, we aren’t completely crazy ;)
When we are dealing with illness we keep those items separate from the rest of the clothing. We don’t want to risk cross contaminating items! We also use hot water for sick laundry. Kill those germs!
We also used separate loads when we were cloth diapering. Those definitely got washed in their own load and with specific temps.
The occasional load of ridiculously dirty or gross items get their own load as well. Those times when the kids come in coated in mud or we’ve been cleaning up something really nasty? Yeah, I’m not throwing in my nice sweater and Micah’s jeans with greasy rags or five kids worth of muddy clothes! I’ll wait until the washer is open, thanks.