A bulging laundry basket heaped high with clean, but hopelessly wrinkled clothes.
Clean laundry that has been sitting wrinkled in the dryer since 5 Friends reruns ago.
Are these common sights in your household?
Messy-looking, wrinkled laundry doesn’t have to be a reality. With some easy tweaks to your routine, you can have clean, wrinkle-free clothing every time. Today, I’m bringing you 3 super-simple strategies that I use to get my laundry out of the dryer and keep it wrinkle-free – even when I don’t always have time to fold it and put it away!
Before you get too excited…
Let’s preface this by saying that there’s no silver bullet for slaying the laundry beast (Well, there is, it’s called a maid… but he or she won’t be willing to wash your sweaty yoga clothes on the cheap). Why do people loathe doing laundry so much? It has nothing to do with washing and drying clothes – those are the easy parts. It’s because most people hate folding. They put off folding laundry, and end up with wrinkled clothes as a result. There are ways to work smarter when it comes to folding laundry and, thereby, avoid wrinkled clothes.
Fold laundry right out of the dryer
The best time to fold clothes is toward the end of the dryer cycle – not only are they warm and smell great, they’re also not wrinkled!
How to do it
With about 10 minutes left to go in the dryer cycle, pause the dryer and pull out a few items that you know are dry – thin fabrics, 100% cotton items, socks, et cetera. Start the dryer back up and let it continue to run while you’re folding these few items. Once you’ve folded them, pause the dryer again and remove a few more dry items. Keep this up until everything is folded, leaving heavier items (Such as hooded sweatshirts and jeans) for last, since they will take longer to dry. Voila! Clothes are folded and wrinkle-free!
Drape now, fold later
If you don’t have time to fold clothes immediately, drape laundry neatly around the sides of a laundry basket, then fold it later. This is a great option if you’re strapped for time, doing multiple loads of laundry, or just don’t want to be stuck folding clothes in your laundry room for an eternity. It allows you to finish laundry at a time and place of your choosing, while keeping your clothes wrinkle-free in the meantime. You can fold later in the day while you get caught up on your DVR, chat with family, or keep an eye on your kids!
How to do it
Toward the end of the dryer cycle, pull out a few items at a time, as described above. Smooth each item out and lay it neatly over the side of the laundry basket. I keep like items together – lay tops on top of tops (Redundant?), bottoms on top of bottoms (I also quickly quarter-fold my pants and jeans to keep excess pant legs from dragging into the bottom of the laundry basket). Put tops and bottoms on opposite sides of the laundry basket to balance out the weight and prevent the basket from tipping over. Toss socks and underwear into the center of the basket.
Once your laundry is neatly draped around the sides of the basket, you can take it elsewhere to fold, hand it off to someone else to finish, or save it for later if you’re short on time. This works especially well if you’re doing laundry for multiple people, such as children or a spouse. You can wash, dry, and drape their laundry, and have them get it folded and put away.
If at first you don’t succeed… dry, dry again
Just because clean clothes are wrinkled doesn’t necessarily mean you have to re-wash them… or iron them, for that matter (Anyone else here hate ironing?).
How to do it
If you end up with a wrinkled load of clean laundry, put it back in the dryer for about 25 minutes, then choose one of the strategies above to tackle the load. For clothes that are especially wrinkled or have been sitting for more than a few hours, add a clean, damp towel to the dryer. The evaporating moisture from the towel will relax the wrinkles and help the heat from the dryer to release them. Just keep in mind that the longer the laundry sits, the more set the wrinkles will be. If popping the load back in the dryer with a damp towel doesn’t do the trick, it may be time to throw in the towel (No pun intended) and re-wash the load.
Let’s wrap this up
Caring properly for clothing keeps you looking well and protects your investment in your wardrobe. While laundry may not be fun (Okay, it sort of is for me…), a few simple tweaks to your routine can make folding less time-consuming and easier to complete. To avoid piles of wrinkled clothes and the stress that comes with them:
- Be proactive and fold laundry right out of the dryer, or
- Drape clothing neatly over the sides of a laundry basket to fold later, or
- If you do end up with wrinkled clothes, toss them back in the dryer with a damp towel, if needed, to release wrinkles
No one wants to wear messy, wrinkled clothes that are technically clean but look like you hibernated in them. And forget mining in the laundry basket for clean underwear 10 minutes before you’re supposed to leave for work! Wardrobe woes are often a major impediment to getting out the door on time, yet laundry is one of the most-dreaded tasks on many people’s to-do list. Clean laundry doesn’t have to end up heaped in a basket, left in the dryer, or piled on beds and floors, all the while gathering wrinkles. Using these strategies will get your laundry out of the dryer and wrinkle-free.
Have you tried any of these strategies? What other tips do you have for getting laundry done? Share them in the comments below!