How to do Laundry After a Trip
Here are some tricks to not having it be any more painful than it, truthfully, is.
Everyone needs to empty out the suitcases or duffels that they used to travel. COMPLETELY. Have everyone work on it in a family space - near the laundry room. Share the container of clorox wipes and have everyone get their stuff, that doesn't require washing, into their room and put away correctly. Make sure you have trash bags at the ready.
Next thing, if you bring a bag specifically for dirty laundry for each person, then you have already conquered the biggest/hardest part of the laundry beast.
At this point, you can wash loads per person - if they have enough for a load. We generally wash everything on cold (except sheets/towels/wash rags/cleaning rags/underwear) - I have never had colors run or bleed onto other clothing, just so you know, as well. After a vacation, if you have a smaller family, it might be more simple for you to just wash them in all their sorted piles of color - whites / darks / towels / jeans & other. So this part will depend on what your personal laundering preferences are.
Just make sure that you set a timer and you are in the room transferring the laundry as it is ready to go. As for the laundry coming out of the dryer - if you have done it by each person, then that person can pull from dryer and put it away, right away. If you have done it "together" then I usually sort it and have children put their things away. Depending on how much other stuff I need to do, I can fold the towels and blankets and have the children put them away. It just depends on what else we have going on. My husband is fantastic about jumping in and helping or just doing the laundry.
So, the 'big take-away' that you should get from this - ENLIST EVERYONE'S HELP!!! Wash + Dry + Fold + Put Away + Repeat until is is completely finished. Last thing I do is have my "trash" child empty the laundry room trash and get it swept up and dryer vent empty. If we leave it as clean as it can be, then the next laundry moment will go just as smoothly!
Make it a great one!
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