In my laundry routine, it works best for me to fold clothes as quickly as they come out of the dryer. I know there are those people that wash several loads in a day and then fold them all in the evening. But I’ve never figured out how to make them not wrinkle in that scenario. And I hate wrinkly clothes. So I stick to folding them as they leave the dryer.
It takes me between 6 and 10 minutes to fold a normal load of clothes for my family (I’ve even timed it!). This ‘normal’ load of clothes is a large load – not exceptionally large where my washer/dryer is packed, but not a medium-sized load either. And when I’ve got my housekeeping groove on, it might only take 4 or 5 minutes.
These are the steps I take to make this go so quickly:
- As soon as the dryer stops, I empty the load of clothes into a basket and take them to my folding spot.
- I pull items off of the top of the basket. If it is a pair of underwear or a sock, they are tossed in their own pile to deal with at the end.
- I try to find my husband’s shirts or the kids’ nice clothes that I need to hang up first. I pull those out and loosely fold in half and place in a pile by themselves.
- Then I continue through the basket, folding tshirts, pants or pajamas as I find them.
- As I fold them, I go ahead and separate them into each person’s own pile. This takes absolutely no extra time and is a vital step, especially if your children put away their own clothes.
So in the above picture, all of my son’s clothes are in the top row, the baby’s clothes are in the middle row and my daughter’s clothes are in the bottom row. (No, I usually do not put them in rows…this was only for the picture!)
- The only folding left to do now is to quickly fold the socks and the underwear that are in their own piles. No one in my family cares if those are wrinkled, so I leave them until last.
As soon as I am finished folding, I hang up everything that requires it. If I don’t go ahead and put away the hang ups, they are likely to get sat on or pulled off the bed by the baby. That defeats the purpose of having them set aside to not wrinkle. So I go ahead and hang them up and save myself that headache.
Usually it is the end of the day before I am able to get clothes put away. I put away my clothes, my husband’s and the baby’s. My 5 year old son puts his away and assists my 3 year old daughter in sorting hers in the right drawer. Since they are already sorted by child and by garment, put away is (usually) a breeze.
How does this work in your family? I always love to hear how other mothers and families do things differently. Let us know in the comments…