As far as chores go, laundry gets a pretty bad rap. The tedious task is on the bottom of most people’s to-do lists, and you would be lying if you said you’ve never waited until you’ve run out of underwear to finally do a load of laundry. (We’re all friends here; you can be honest.)
Still, it’s just one of those things that has to get done, and I’m all about figuring out ways to make life’s must-dos a little bit more palatable. Enter: these tips designed to make your next load of laundry quicker, more effective, and — yes — even pleasant.
Reserve Your Fave Podcast or Book
To help psych yourself up for doing laundry, save a much-loved form of entertainment just for the task. “I bank episodes of my favorite true-crime podcast for laundry day,” says Caitlin Thomson of Putnam Valley, New York. “Listening to something distracting and enjoyable makes folding go by so much faster.”
Inject Personality into Your Laundry Space
Laundry day will feel like way less of a chore if you’re not closed off in some sad, dim, forgotten room of your home. If you have machines at home, whether they’re in a dedicated room or just a hall closet, spice up that zone with a bold pop of color or a touch of plant life. “I’m a plant mom through-and-through and believe that plants (even faux ones) belong in every room, including your laundry room,” says Kenika Williams, professional organizer and owner of Tidied by K. “It’ll dress up your space and make it a more inviting environment to spend time in.”
Doodle on Your Appliances
Nothing sinks your stomach more than realizing you accidentally tossed your favorite air-dry-only top into the dryer by mistake. The key to keeping all your cycles in sync? A dry-erase marker. “If there’s anything I have to take out of the washer to hang dry before transferring the load into the dryer, I write myself a note directly onto my machine with a dry-erase marker — that way, there’s no forgetting,” says Amber Casillas of Washington, D.C. To add an extra playful touch, choose markers in fun colors or leave notes of encouragement for the next poor soul — ahem, laundry warrior — who uses the machine.
Customize Your Own Laundry Scent
Scribble Out Grease Stains
Though there are tons of effective products on the market for treating everything from stains to mildew, sometimes useful ones are options you haven’t even considered. Exhibit A: chalk. “At my house, any stubborn grease stains get treated with chalk,” says Allison Bottenhofer of New York City. “I’ll scribble chalk on top of the stain, let it sit for a bit, then add a bit more before throwing it in the laundry.” While this is honestly probably really satisfying even for an adult to do, it’s a great task to get children involved in. (Look, kids: Chores can be fun!) Just don’t be surprised if they start drawing all over your jeans. Don’t worry: It will wash off (duh).
Grant Yourself Some You-Time
Instead of feeling like you’re shackled to the washer and dryer while making your way through laundry loads, use the chore as an excuse to build a little me-time into your schedule. The average wash cycle is around 40 to 50 minutes, so squeeze in some TLC for yourself while your clothes tumble. “I do my laundry once a week and use that time as a self-care ritual,” says Shelley Brown of New York City. “I face mask and sometimes even whiten my teeth while my stuff is in the wash.” Whatever your form of ahhhhh — meditation, a bit of couch time with a magazine, or a quick walk with your dog — gift yourself the freedom to do it during the wash cycle. Who knows? You may even start looking forward to laundry day.