Stop Folding Laundry

 

As part of the Simplify Your Family Life Sale I am writing about ways to make life easier around the home. The Simplify Your Family Life Sale runs April 16-20 and is a fantastic deal if you are looking for more how-to for saving time, money and space. 35 e-books with a value of $375 for just $29.

 

Some people love folding laundry. They enjoy making neat piles and order and putting a basket of folded laundry away. It soothes them.

Other people, like myself, find it to be a chore.

I can’t find where I first heard about this idea but I know it was from a mother of a large family. One of her tips for simplifying was to not fold laundry. With many loads of laundry washed every day, not folding t-shirts, jeans and underwear saved her hours a week. The only person in the house that had their laundry folded was her husband. The children were given freshly washed laundry that was never folded – just placed in drawers.

This might be a bit radical for you, especially the neat nicks and organizers out there, but I think it’s brilliant. I’ve decided to start just putting Henry’s laundry away instead of folding it and save myself the bother and time of folding.

Most of our adult laundry will still be folded or hung up. I’m not sure I’m ready to go this route for all of our washables. I do like a stack of freshly washed towels and sheets. Also, most of my clothing is stored in a wardrobe that has large deep shelves. Easy to lose something if it is in a pile.

There are a few things you’ll have to look into if you want to do this for your family.

Wrinkle free wardrobe required. If you wear a lot of cotton button up shirts or linen this probably won’t work for you. Soft cotton blends and synthetic fabrics will do best as no fold laundry.

Watch that dryer like a hawk. If you use an electric dryer you’ll need to pull clothes out and give them a few shakes before throwing them in the laundry basket. Best not to leave anything in there overnight.

More storage or fewer clothes. Unfolded laundry will take up more space. If your clothing storage is maxed out you’ll need to cut 20-40% of your wardrobe or find more space.

I think this will be a temporary time cutter for my family. Eventually I would like Henry to fold and put away his own laundry.

I probably have outlandish expectations on this front because I was doing all of my own laundry by age ten. That’s what happens in a single parent family with six children. If you wanted clean clothes you had to learn how to use the washing machine at a young age.

Anyone already skip folding laundry or willing to try it?

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  • A very timely post, Rachel, as I recently got rid of my laundry basket.

    What used to happen was that I put the dry clothes into the laundry basket. As it was easy to throw all clean and dry clothes into the basket instead of ironing them and/or putting them away , I ended up having to sort, fold and iron lots and lots of clothes at the same time.
    Now, that I do not have the laundry basket, as soon as I take the dry clothes off the line I separate them, fold them, put them into their relevant wardrobe and iron what needs to be ironed on the day.
    It does take an effort, but overall, much easier to tackle little loads. …will see how long I can keep up being so diligent. :)

    • Brilliant way to force your hand on getting the laundry done all at once.

      I’ve found that with every step of paring down I procrastinate less on tasks. Laundry doesn’t pile up as much simply because we have less clothing – we need those t-shirts clean or there is nothing to wear.

  • The only clothes we fold are our jeans (dh has 5 pairs and i have 2) and dh’s tee shirts. I dont see the point in folding underwear, or my toddlers clothes, and my shirts get hung up. We only do ome load a week too. Its crazy to read people do multiple loads in one day. Thats crazy!

  • Also, when i take the clothes out of the dryer (or off the line) i seperate the clothes into piles (sons clothes, my underwear/socks, dh’s shirts, dh’s jeans, dh’s socks/underwear, my jeans, my shirts) on my bed. It makes putting them away a lot faster.

    • I don’t fold underwear and socks (how do you fold socks?? I just pair them) but was folding our toddler clothes. They are so small that they’re hard to fold so I am happy to give up this step.

  • I have a large family (9 kids, 6 at home), and I don’t think I could ever skip that step. I’m too much of a neat freak. However, I did stop folding socks a long time ago. I have a dryer that sits on a pedal stool w/a drawer, and all the sock get thrown in there. We have all the same white socks for the girls and black for the boys so it’s an easy match for them. I also stopped doing my kids laundry about 2 months ago. The dirty clothes baskets are in their bedrooms and they wash, dry, fold, and, put away their own laundry. With us minimalizing SO drastically, laundry does have to be done more often, so they get 2 days a week to do the laundry. I am loving it!

    • Hi Melissa,
      that’s inspiring to read that your kids do their own laundry! Could you tell me: are your kids able to do a full load if/when they sort their clothes into darks, whites etc? It seems like a great system though, I’m just not sure how to do it.
      Thanks!
      Nynke

  • We have colour coded hampers (darks and lights) one for the boys and one for my hubby and I. I do fold my clothes and put everyone’s items together (pants, shirts, etc). It sounds complicated but I find it much easier to put everything away when each person’s cothing is grouped together in the basket. This way I’m not running back and forth between dressers and closets and we all put our clothes away. My boys (hubby included) have way more clothing than me and I can get a weeks worth of laundry put away in less than 15 minutes. Slowly we are working towards less clothing in general for all of us and we’re trying to get a couple of wearings out of our clothes before we wash. Not so workable for the little one but we’ll get there. The one thing I hate dealing with is the socks so I let them pile up and the kids and I play sock match together – which they really do enjoy.

    • I do a version of this too…we are a family of 5, 2 adults 3 kids age 5 and under and i do everyones laundry in seperate loads, monday i do DS, Tuesday i do the girls, Wednesday I do ours, Thursday I do towels, Friday i skip and Saturday I strip all the beds…it makes putting away so much easier when you arent going to every room of the house trying to put away clothes.

  • I have 5 kids- with 4 at home and my mom lives with my husband and I. A couple things I did to make laundry more manageable was to stop folding or pairing up socks. I just leave them in a clean basket by the dryer. We also do one load of rags and towels for spills and clean ups a week. For the longest time I was folding these up and putting them away. Now I just put them all in a clean garbage bag under the kitchen sink. My last time saver is in the morning- I send kids down to the laundry table for clothes instead of their closets or drawers. I ask everyone in the house to find something to wear in the unfolded, clean clothes first. This whittles down what I have left to fold. :)

  • I have four kids and a husband. I hated the laundry monster. What worked for us (as I could never not fold laundry) is two things: 1) each child has their own laundry basket and is each assigned one day to wash, dry, and put away their own laundry. This has been a life saver!!! I do my husband’s and my laundry on one day as well. 2) we got rid of a lot of clothes. The kids have enough clothes for outfit for one and a half weeks. 3) hang up as much as you can. We bought a ton of pant/skirt hangers from a business going out of business. My kids hang up pants, skirts, dresses, shirts (yes even t-shirts). The only thing in drawers in undergarments, socks, stockings, pantyhose, and swimsuits. None of which need to be folded. My kids don’t mind hanging stuff up. It actually goes faster than folding, so they love it. And no wrinkles. Which I love!

    • Great tips, Paula. I started doing my own laundry at a young age and it is a great skill to have. I could not believe how many people I met in university that had never done their own laundry.

  • My 3 girls do not get to watch TV during the week (homework, activities) so on Saturday morning, they get to watch TV on the condition that they fold and sort and put away the weeks laundry (my husbands and mine included).
    We do not fold socks / underwear – we have 2 boxes that they go into and the kids all figure out what belongs to who.
    The dress shirts are outsourced as no one in our house really enjoys ironing…

    • Love it! Can’t wait to have a little laundry folder in my home.
      Oh, I outsource ironing too. I told my husband before we were married that I don’t iron. Wasn’t a big deal when he was a musician but now that he works in an office and wears a tie… we set aside some household spending to have a pro do the shirts.

  • I dropped laundry folding whenever my second baby entered the picture, and I let it go until she was almost two, when we moved into a new rental and my sister-in-law was there to help and she lectured me on folding my dishtowels. There was no substance to that lecture whatsoever, but I let it bother me anyways. Nowadays, we have a dirty laundry hamper for lights, darks, and towels. Each family member (6) has a clean laundry hamper plus a 7th for towels. I recruit one kid to help sort, then the big kids each put their own laundry away (ages 10, 7, and 4) and return their empty bin to the laundry room. The oldest two hang most of their clothes. We are getting ready to move into a new house, and are giving up a giant, built in closet organizer that currently holds the 3 biggest kids’ and my own clothes (as well as most of our games, puzzles, photo albums and such – much of which is heading for a garage sale). In the new place, I think we will try just using the clean laundry baskets stored in the closets for clothes storage, and save the money spent on dressers. Will be worth a try. In the meantime, I am letting those dishcloths, towels, and bibs go flying back into the drawer unfolded!

  • I’m happy that you are going to try this for a while! I don’t think I’ve ever folded my son’s clothes (except while I was pregnant and was very excited about baby clothes), mostly due to the fact that as soon as my four year old goes looking for a pair of pants, everything in that drawer gets messy anyway. I hang up the items that I don’t want to get wrinkled. And I do fold towels and my husband’s shirts. I’m the only person looking in my underwear drawer, so I’m not concerned with how it looks :)

  • We are a family of 6, our four children are 7 and under. I have a lot of laundry! I was excited to read this post because there is nothing more than what I would like is something to help with my laundry. But, I am too much a folded laundry freak to even being this one. There is no way that I could handle this lol. I try to do 1 load every Day. I will fold and put away that basket until I start a new load and that is how I keep my pile small. If I just let my folding pile build up it gets bad! I now put the children’s laundry pile outside their bedroom door and they are responsible for putting it away where it belongs. We live in a cold climate that can change 20 degrees in one day. We need access to many different types of clothes in one day (long sleeves, short sleeves). Every drawer is assigned a certain type of clothes and they know where everything belongs (even my 4 year old). Being that organized has really helped me..

  • Very little of our laundry gets folded. Most of what my husband and I have gets hung up in the closet. His jeans get folded, that’s about it. For our sons, shirts get hung up and pants just go in drawers – not folded. Our one-year-old has onesies that also just go in a drawer. This works better if the drawers aren’t filled to overflowing, so we make sure they don’t have too many clothes. Underwear, socks, etc – all just goes into drawers, no folding needed. Again, this only works if you have just a few of each item. Otherwise the drawers would be a jumbled mess and we’d never be able to find anything. I keep a small canvas bin in the closet that holds my workout clothes. Nothing is folded, but I can find everything easily because I only have a few pairs of shorts and a few sports bras – just enough to get me through from one laundry load to the next. We have two or three loads of cloth diapers that have to be washed each week, so minimizing time spent on other laundry helps a lot. We also don’t own a dryer – everything goes on the clothesline or on drying racks in the house. So again, any time I can save doing laundry is valuable!

  • As someone who helps others organize their spaces, this post made me gasp lol! I’ve often found that people who do not fold their laundry end up losing a lot of it. However, I completely understand the hatred of folding laundry. I often leave laundry clean in the basket for days before getting it all folded and put away and just pick items out when needed. And as for those who say baby clothes are hard to fold, bring them to me! I’ll do it! We only fold undies, socks, & PJ’s…everything else is hung up. My suggestion for the anti-folders is to have separate drawer organizers, so each little bin holds separate items. That would make it easier to find items rather than shoving it all in a drawer and leads to fewer items getting lost. I’m a huge drawer organizer proponent lol!

    • I don’t have a problem finding things in my son’s drawers (unfolded clothes) or lose any of it. But if you are working as a professional organizer you probably deal with clutter bugs :)
      As I wrote in the post, this system wouldn’t work if you had a lot of clothing.
      We don’t have much. I packed for a multi-week trip and my son and I filled one side of a large suitcase with our clothing. The drawers and cupboards at home were almost bare. Our wardrobes are small.
      I’m also not a fan of drawer organizers for clothing except possibly underwear if the drawers are deep (again, I’m at 10 pairs of panties and 2 bras – pretty easy to pick out of a drawer). The dressers in our UK flat are small and shallow. Perfect for finding things easily.
      I do find it fascinating how people keep things simple, and organized, with such vastly different system. Loved the squeals of horror on the blog Facebook page about no folding.

      • LOL! I have little of everything, but every item is in its respective bin lol! The Ikea clothing drawer organizers are simply amazing for it! I may only have 3 pairs of socks, but they will all look nice in their little container lol! My theory is that if you can stand your food touching other foods on your plate, you can survive without drawer organizers. However, if you are like me and like foods in their respective corners, drawer organizers are a little slice of heaven 😉

  • I enjoy folding laundry and ironing – seriously! But I make a point to sort and fold as soon as it is out of the dryer / or hang it up in the closet straight away and once dry then put away in it’s appropriate place. Saves on wrinkles, AND my sanity. Even if I let items sit in the dryer or the laundry basket for even twenty minutes, I notice the wrinkles are harder to get out. I also love to iron – but cannot stand the extra work of having to iron a shirt badly wrinkled because it was stored for a while. Better to iron it fresh, saves time and my patience. Easier to iron a freshly washed / dried shirt than a piece of “cardboard” that has been stored all folded up.

    A friend in high school came from a very large family. One day I noticed a really tiny safety pin on the upper side of her sock. What was that for? Her mother insisted everyone in the house “pin” their set of socks together before putting them in the laundry hamper. Then no time wasted searching for the socks mate, or ended up with one very worn sock along with one almost new. Also less fighting amongst the kids too. So every pair of socks in the house had a tiny safety pin for such. My school friend said no one minded, and the pin was never a bother when wearing your socks, as long as you pined it properly.

      • Oh my – me too! Growing up in a large family of many girls, if you wanted clean socks that matched, it was tempting to hide them from everyone else! :) In fact, looking back, I probably did such! We also had “issues” if there was a mistake and your clean item was placed in the dresser drawer of someone else, it was almost a fight to get it back. My poor mother!

          • This is funny… I think my oldest daughter may be hiding pairs of socks to keep from her sisters. My younger two actually prefer to wear mis matched socks, and I think it is driving her crazy….

  • Awesome tip that I have done in the past but will adopt for good. Since in our drawers clothing becomes unfolded with time, let it be, right? I thought I was the only one who was fine with this idea, so thanks :)

    Another great tip I adopted is having way less of everything, like:
    – 3 t-shirts
    – 2-3 pairs of jeans
    – clothes diapers (hum for my boys)
    – a few others

    I gave a lot of clothing to others who could need it and I don’t use many drawers anymore. Such a delight.

    I wash frequently because of the diapers so I just wash at night every 2 days, and the next day we all have what we need. My next step is handwashing as soon as it must, hang it dry, and it could take less energy. And teach all my family to do the same.

    You have a great blog! About your post where you feel like going in the opposite way of the society, I feel that way too, but maybe it’s just because we’re a few years ahead of the norms.

    Mary

  • I haven’t quit folding altogether, but I don’t do much!
    The towels get folded. The second set of sheets just get rolled up and put on the shelf though. They don’t wrinkle anyway!
    I have always purchased clothing based on how wrinkle free it is! I shake out my shirts and put them in a stack (I don’t even bother to hang them at this point), and the two pairs of pants I have don’t take much time. Underwear and socks go into a basket. I wear short socks that are hidden in my shoes, so no one knows if I didn’t put on a matched set that morning 😉
    About the only thing we really do is hang up all of my husbands shirts, and he folds his socks if he wants.
    We are expecting our first baby, and we used an old bookshelf for his clothes. That way I can see what he has, and when we need to wash his clothes, and I will never have to fold tiny little onsies and socks!
    Both my baby and I have small wardrobes, and it makes laundry so much nicer!

  • I’m not a fan of this at all, and don’t get me wrong — I’m a lazy housekeeper. The main reason is I guess I don’t hate laundry like most people do (there are other chores I hate!). This is supposed to work if most of your clothes are wrinkle-free; but it seems to me even wrinkle-free clothes get wrinkled when not folded. A lot of our clothes we hang to dry, so they are easy to fold up when you put them in the basket. We have to sort clothes for each person anyway, it doesn’t take much longer to fold them. I also find folding an easy chore to do when watching tv at night or it is something even young children can do.

    Also, I feel I’ve kind of done this before and it doesn’t work: even with relatively few clothes, we also had relatively little dresser & closet space, and so it was incredibly difficult to find things when needed. I spent way more time looking for things than it would take to fold everything, I was often late for events because I was looking for something and then I’d come home to a whole drawer dumped on the floor and I’d have to clean it up. My husband & I shared 3 dresser drawers for 12 years until I finally bought myself a dresser: I can’t believe how much time I save in the mornings when it is easy to find what I’m looking for! Lots of dresser space, with everything neatly folded makes my life so much easier than everything thrown in! (Particularly when 99% of your wardrobe is black, it is SO hard to find what you’re looking for.) And don’t get me started on the ease of finding particular kids clothes when they folded and in the right spot.

    I think this would only work if you had lots of dresser space so things didn’t get bunched together and you could dig through everything easily to find stuff. For us, we live in a small house and we travel frequently so our clothes are mostly in small spaces. Plus, in Canada, we have every season of clothes. Even paring it down to the bare minimum, there are still quite a few clothes.

    As for socks, I feel it’s well worth the time to throw out socks with holes and match them properly when they come out of the dryer. When you see them in your drawer, you know how many you have (in case you need to go buy more — I hate realizing I only have 4 matched pairs so no wonder I can never find any) and so you’re not running around looking for a decent pair when you’re late!

    • Plus I do not want to take the chance that something would get so wrinkled I would have to iron it!

      • After reading the Facebook comments, I see the key to this is a roomy dresser drawer — otherwise it’s just shoved in. But I think even with minimal clothes, in small houses, lots of dresser/closet space is a luxury. (And of course things don’t need to be folded that are going to be hung up anyway! It sounds like people are doing that!)

  • I don’t found the kids clothes and I don’t sort as I have two girls and they share clothes anyway. I don’t fold underwear but I still fold our stuff that ends up unfolded in the drawer after a couple of searches…that doesn’t make sense. Starting today. Nothing will be folded!

    Thanks for bringing up the subject~:)

  • I go one step further–shh–I don’t even put the clean laundry in the drawers! Mostly, our laundry lives in the laundry baskets (one for each member of the family plus one for household items like towels and tablecloths). Though truthfully, I do fold and put away my own laundry, and make my 12 and 15 year old boys do their own. The older one cares about wrinkles and has been known to iron his t-shirts and jeans. I have to remind the younger one to *wash* his jeans even when visibly dirty. And my husband works from home–makes life easier!

  • Hmmm… I’m hemming and hawing over this one. I just wrote a post about how people do WAY too much laundry, but the idea of not folding it somehow makes me nervous. I even fold the socks and underwear…

    But I have a question out there for anybody with a HE machine who line dries. We have a TERRIBLE problem with lint, and the folding step is really closely aligned to the lint brushing step… Seriously, I’m not overly concerned about appearances… it’s just that with 4 cats the lint around here can get out of control rather easily. The thing is that my old 1968 Kenmore never left any lint behind… guess it’s the low water thing that does it.

    Anyhow… I have to do EVERYTHING with the lint brush… even the underwear because otherwise you get lint stuck all over your private parts! Does anybody have any suggestions?

    • The only way we’ve found to deal with the lint problem is to give things a small amount of time in the dryer at first and then line dry. This also helps to make things a little less wrinkly.

  • We do a mix of folding and not folding. I don’t fold socks or underwear. I hang almost all of my clothes in the closet and most of my children’s clothing just gets thrown in the drawer since they’ll unfold it all when they’re getting dressed anyways. I’m hoping to transfer the kiddos over to mostly hanging clothes when they’re old enough to work the hangers better by themselves. My husband’s clothes all get folded and tidily placed in his dresser. That’s the way he likes it and I like to bless him in that way.

  • I haven’t fold pajamas in ages. Who cares if they’re wrinkly? I do fold my sons bc they fit in his drawer better and it actually saves me time because then I’m not constantly picking up a huge mess all over the floor (or nagging him to do it).

  • I don’t iron too many things anymore, only the nice tableclothes and kitchen towels and the dress shirts/blouses. Our wardrobe is simple and we don’t even use the dryer. My son (almost 4 yr old) helps with hanging, most of the tops are on hangers, pants, pyjamas are only folded in half, socks are just paired. Adult pants and gym clothes are folded, my tanks are only folded in half, I keep most of my clothes on hangers. Easier this way. Baby clothes I would still iron up to 6 months and maybe up to a year old if there was time.

  • I’ve been doing this for years! I started due to sheer laziness, not lack of time, but after reading this I feel better, somehow. 😉 Wearing close-fitting clothing, mostly cotton & stretchy clothing helps a lot, as any wrinkles get smoothed out when put on.

  • We have a wire outside our apartment windows that we hang our clothes on to dry. We live in China so no dryers. The clothes are hung up on hangers and when dry they can just stay on their hangers and go straight into the wardrobes, easy peasy! No creases, no ironing, job done.

  • Never. I am far too compulsive.

    Everything gets folded, right down to socks (paired, then folded in half and rolled into neat bundles) and cleaning rags (sorted by style). I love to open a drawer, closet or cupboard and see tidy stacks of uniformly folded stuff. It’s probably a sickness :) but it does make it easy to find everything and to keep things clean.

    • Me too! If it’s easier to see / find by being sorted properly – saves time. Hum? I don’t roll the folded socks…thanks for the tip! I’m off to sort the socks now!

  • We are a family of three living on a horse farm, so we do have a lot of really dirthy clothes.
    I have always struggled with putting away the clean stuff, so right now I try the following: I have put a drying rack in my daughters room (4 yo), in our bed room and one in the kitchen (for rags, aprons, ect.). While hanging the clothes to dry I sort them. When dry they are already in the right room, so no need for a laundry basket.

    My daughters clothes I do not fold at all (never did!), they are stored in bins. I drew pictures of a pair of trousers, a shirt ect. and taped them on the bins so she can find her own stuff more easily.
    The rest of the laundry I do fold, but not very neatly. Since the drying racks are not far from the closet it is no bother to put them away quickly. Works for me so far :)
    Some people might be bothered by a drying rack in their kitchen, obviously I’m not one of them!

    Also I do not buy clothes that need ironing, so I have not done that in years!
    Greetings from Germany! Katja

    • What a great idea! All our stuff is on racks in our kitchen through winter, so this is a great idea to spread it out a bit! One small rack in the kitchen wouldn’t bother me, 3 racks lined up really does! I also don’t buy clothes that need ironing. Common sense to me 😉

  • I don’t fold or iron, my laundry routine is very simple…. this is how I do it
    ((disclaimer – Hubby’s works shirts are ironed (in a fashion…))
    Here’s a quote that I rounded the post off with –
    ‘Will your children remember the afternoon you spent playing outside with them, or that their trousers were neatly pressed?’

      • It is definitely a rule that works in my house. When there is more laundry the children will end up throwing their clean clothes in with the dirty clothes because they couldn’t remember if it was clean or dirty when they put it on the floor. I started getting rid of clothing items that were put into the wash before they were worn again to be made dirty. They now have 7 outfits for summer, 7 for winter, 3 sets of pjs, underwear and socks for a week. The oldest (11.5 years) whined at first but he’s since decided to stop because he prefers I continue to do his laundry for him.

    • Actually I do fold when wet before hanging on airers… oops! My advice really is to eliminate ironing or storing dry laundry in baskets… Hmm slightly different angle?

  • Laundry is absolutely no stress for me. After 22 years’ experience, here is the super easy method I’ve come up with:
    I buy mostly no-iron clothes. (My husband has one white “church shirt” that I iron for him–I’m so nice!)
    At about age 10, everyone starts doing their own laundry, so I only have to do my own!
    My clothes are mostly similar fabrics and colors intensities, so I don’t have to sort. I just throw everything in!
    I take it all out of the dryer and put it away immediately. It never piles up or gets the chance to wrinkle.
    I have very few clothes, so my closet is nice and neat.
    We don’t have extra sheets for our beds. We wash the sheets and put them back on the bed–no folding. Same thing with towels–wash them and hang them back on the towel rack–no folding.

  • I grew up in a family with 10 kids. My mom put all the socks together in a pile and all the underwear in another pile. I used to love sitting in a warm pile looking for a matching pair of socks. There are so many more important things to spend your time doing!

  • I never bother folding the baby’s clothes or my own clothes. But I do fold my husband’s clothes and my 3-year-old’s stuff. They would never find things in one big pile. Folding baby clothes is like folding underwear. They’re so small that it just seems silly.

  • Most of my work clothing is spandex/blend items. I have little racks with multiple hooks over the back of the door to our bedroom and the door to our closet. I use one hook for dresses, one hook for skirts, and several hooks for shirts/long sleeves. the other rack I use for bed clothing and weekend apparel (tank tops and casual skirts).

    This keeps my clothing hung up and neat without getting wrinkly.

    The rack I own is kind of like this one:

    http://img2.targetimg2.com/wcsstore/TargetSAS//img/p/13/51/13513343.jpg

    In the US, you can get them at Ross discount stores for maybe 6 dollars a piece.

  • I’ve found the laundry is less intimidating if I keep up on it. I do one load of laundry (which includes anything dirty in the house, I don’t separate things) a day and it’s not as big of a deal to fold what needs to be folded if I just have one small load to fold. Plus I think I must lazy fold because I don’t see it as a huge deal. I just fold everything in half. Is that not normal? We also hang out shirts and pants wet so they can air dry (to keep them from shrinking and getting beat up by the dryer).

  • I’ve only really just learned how to use a washing machine and dryer and I’m 22, I’ve recently moved out of my family home and in with my fiance. I do our laundry and the housework as I am currently unemployed. I honestly can’t see why laundry is such a big deal, okay there may only be 2 of us but we use a heck of alot of clothes, towels, tea towels and wash cloths I also wash the bathmat and the mats around the toilet and sink. I always have worn multiple outfits on any given day and my mother used to go mental about it. I don’t get why…Wash what you need the day before you need it…Do bedding every Sunday and towels mid-week. Fold as you take things from the dryer, separate into piles of who’s is who’s and there you have it…and I’ve been doing this 4 MONTHS…People will probably say the longer I do it the more annoyed I get but with the system I have…I doubt it’ll ever get ontop of me. The electric bill is also nice and cheap as the dryer isn’t on all the time.

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  • I totally Agree!!!!!!!!!!

    I hate folding washing and I have just learnt to put it away fast into drawers and its done! No more laundry pile to worry about folding!

  • I read this back when you first blogged it… and I finally started doing it yesterday! Between my husband who needs to wear multiple outfits a day, my 4 year old, and my 16 month old, with have a lot of laundry. I either needed to buy more laundry baskets, or start folding laundry more frequently (which my 16 month old has made very clear isn’t going to happen anytime soon), OR stop folding laundry altogether.

    I chose the latter. It goes against my “neat piles” side, but I just don’t have time to make those neat piles with the way my toddler is right now. I feel so free!!! haha

    • Ha! Admittedly it doesn’t look ‘nice’ but it saves me time and I love that. And we can find everything when we need it because the drawers aren’t overly stuffed. Glad to hear someone else has found this to be freeing :)

  • I’m reading this post and the comments almost 2 years after it’s original posting and I’m in shock! I’ll admit to being lazy with folding the laundry in my house but I do fold it and put it away. I actually I have a very deliberate laundry process. The reason? My husband. He has twice in our years together folded and put away dirty laundry. And he is famous for putting our 6 year old son in clothes that belong to our almost 3 year old son. I am not making this up.

    I fully acknowledge that we have too many clothes – especially my husband and the kids – and I’m working towards reducing it. I don’t know if I can (or could ever) not fold and put away clothes but reading this post and the comments has been interesting and entertaining. Thanks!

    ps: I can hardly wait to talk to my mom and sister about this. My sister lived in Switzerland about 15 years ago as an au pair and discovered a wonderful sock folding method that my mom and I adopted. I wonder what they would think of not folding laundry. :)

  • Laundry is actually my favorite household task which is strange considering how much laundry I had to do growing up as the oldest of 9 kids. Anyway, I do laundry almost every day because I usually hang it to dry and that takes time. In the summer I use my backyard clothesline but in the winter I use a drying rack and a load takes about 24 hours to dry. I almost always sort the laundry myself (every once in a while my kids or husband do it) but my kids have put away their own laundry since they were 3 or 4. A few years ago I stopped folding their laundry, just hand them a big stack of stuff and let them put it away how they want. I don’t match their socks either, just sort them into the right piles and let them handle it. Dressy clothes get hung up so they don’t wobble since they tend to just shove stuff in their drawers. They all have too many clothes thanks to gifts and hand me downs but I don’t worry about it unless they can’t shut their dresser drawers. My son has a really small dresser and hates hanging things up so he keeps all his long sleeve shirts and athletic pants and shorts in laundry baskets in his closet. I fold/hang up mine and my husband’s clothes but don’t bother to fold my underwear or match my socks.

  • We just stopped folding laundry a few months ago and I’m LOVING IT!!! I honestly thought it was the most insane idea ever to not fold clothes, but then I realized that the idea had merit. I don’t like the idea of wrinkley clothes though, so now I just do MINIMAL folding, I don’t just toss everything in. When I fold shirts, I fold them in half, and then bring the sleeves in, and that’s it. When I do pants, I I fold them in half, then half again…etc. One other idea I ditched is the idea of having the clothes separated and sorted into drawers – another time waster for me, since my girls just toss everything out anyway. My girls each now have one basket, and I drop the folded clothes (in no particular order) into the basket, since they are somewhat folded, they stay folded, and my children go through the basket, and the clothes stay contained. I loved how it worked so much that I started putting my husbands clothes in a basket (other than his dress-clothes for work), and have even started considering doing a basket for all of my clothes (even shirts, I realized I’ve been tossing them on my dresser anyway).

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