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How to shorten your laundry time to 30 minutes

By Published On: August 9th, 2013

In our bid to reduce parents’ laundry cycle from 3 hours of tedium to 30 minutes of bliss, we addressed 3 time-gobblers in our previous article.

  1. Sorting the whites from darks before dumping them in the washer.
  2. Fishing out itsy-bitsy kid’s clothing from among the adult ones to hang them on the washing line.
  3. Searching for a sock’s/mitten’s lost twin after the washing dries.

Now, we’re on the home stretch to tackle the final two:

  1. Sorting through a pile of clean clothes before folding them into tumbling piles in our bedrooms/ living rooms/ laundry area.
  2. Picking up socks that fall onto the floor while we are transferring the folded piles from where we folded them to the wardrobe.

Tip #3:  Dry baby clothes by category

If you air-dry your laundry, hang the freshly washed clothes of the same category together.  This would have been an insane activity previously, but would be a cinch if you follow our previous post, since the clothes are sorted prior to washing.  What’s more, the same types of clothes tend to take round about the same time to dry, so it makes the collection easy too.

Drying junior’s clothes by category will speed up the subsequent collecting and folding, since it eliminates the sorting stage. (Source: NWEdible.com)

Okay, we know – it sounds a little OCD at this point, but stay with us…

Tip #4:  Collect your foldable clothes by category

When collecting the clothes from the laundry line, the usual practice is to dump them into one big pile, like so.

This is how our laundry pile usually looks like after it’s trip to the drying rack. (Source: ApartmentTherapy.com)

We then sort and fold each article of clothing one by one, creating mini (tumbling) piles around us in the process, like a moat.  Meanwhile, our laundry area/ living room/ bedroom looks like the Tazmanian Devil has just gone through our wardrobe.

Try this the next time you do a load of laundry.  Grab a few small baskets and designate each for one category of clothes.  Collect clean laundry and place them into the appropriate box, before putting them aside.  Then when you have 15 minutes to do some folding, dump the contents from one box into your processing area, fold the items, placing them back into the box as you go along.

By breaking a huge folding task into small manageable chunks, we overcome the psychological barrier of folding a large and formidable pile of clothes.

When each category of clean laundry is collected using a dedicated basket, it breaks the subsequent folding task into manageable chunks and eliminates any subsequent sorting work.  (Source:  MeckMom.com)

There are several advantages to this approach:

  • It is easier to find pockets of 15 minutes in our day, than to find an hour of free time.
  • Completing a small task like folding a single category of clothes gives us a sense of achievement that motivates us to move on to the next.
  • Your kids can help with folding and putting away the laundry.  It is in the nature of kids to want to help out.  Let them.
  • It is easy to transfer the folded items back to your wardrobe – simply carry the box to the wardrobe.  You can ask your toddler to help out with this too!


Finally, all the laundry time-globbers are officially busted!!  Welcome to the new world of 30-minute laundry cycles!

This two-parter is probably our most process-oriented article in the series.  It defies convention, but try it – we know it works.  The good thing about this approach is that you can stop and start any time along the way, without having unsightly garment piles lying around.

If you need any help or clarification, feel free to drop us a comment.  We’d be happy to answer questions.

Have a comment or a tip to share?  Drop us a comment too.

Next up:  Creating a fun and functional wardrobe for baby.