Today, time is an incredible luxury - one that we too rarely have. Between family responsibilities, work commitments and everyday stresses, it can often be hard to accomplish everything on the to-do list, let alone carve out time for oneself. A mainstay on the to-do list has always been laundry, and with the average household doing 7.5 loads per week, the time spent washing, drying and folding really adds up.
In fact, a significant number of women are making sacrifices to make time for laundry. Many women find themselves neglecting exercise, family time and their social calendars, among other everyday tasks, because of the time they spend on laundry, according to results of a national survey conducted for LG Electronics. And, with the onset of summer, the work only multiplies - from guest bedding and towels to sports uniforms and everyday clothing.
The good news is that there is freedom from the task that more than 77 percent of women describe as tedious and time consuming. With some simple tips from LG Head Home Economist Mike Wisner, you can make your laundry a faster and more efficient process. Pretty soon, all you'll need to worry about is what to do with all your free time.
* Keep your laundry room organized. While it's easy to let things pile up, keeping the room tidy and organized helps you save time by making sure that you know where all of the tools you need are located. Wisner advises keeping dryer goods separate from the items you need for the washing machine, and store ironing necessities in their own container. Check products periodically and re-stock before you run out - having to run to the store for dryer sheets or even detergent at the last minute is something you want to avoid.
* Have the whole family do their part. Collecting clothes is a time-consuming task in itself, especially when unsorted clothes are left on the floor to pile up. Instead, encourage everyone in the family to put dirty clothes into hampers, which makes it easier to gather items that need to be washed. "Another simple step is to provide everyone with two hampers - one for whites and one for colors - a time efficient way to sort," Wisner suggests.
* Opt for a large-capacity washer. Getting more items into the washer equates to getting more done - and faster. But overloading an outdated, standard model can leave you with clothes that aren't fully clean. Today's washers are better equipped for the job, and the new mega-capacity front-loader from LG is great for handling huge laundry tasks. "It can accommodate a king-size bedding set, including a comforter, and its TurboWash technology - which combines the "spin" and "rinse" cycles - saves 20 minutes per load, even on larger loads," he says.
* Re-examine how you dry. "While a high-capacity dryer will help, there are also other ways to cut back on drying times," Wisner says. Re-usable dryer balls can cut down on the time you need to keep items in the dryer and help to eliminate static. For items that aren't dryer safe, keep a collapsible drying rack or retractable laundry line in your laundry room, so that you don't need to take them outside or to a different part of the house. Turning on a dehumidifier as hanging items dry can speed up the process, too. And don't forget to clean the lint from your machine following every load.
* Look at some of the newest innovations on the market and learn more about the ones you have. There are constant improvements to the stain-fighting and detergent categories: today's stain sticks help to eliminate messy foods before they set while easy-dose laundry packets, like Tide Pods, make it easy to use the right amount of detergent per load. "Also make sure you study the operating guide for your existing machine. Find out how often you should check hoses and filters and, most importantly, learn more about the benefits of using different cycles, speeds and temperatures," notes Wisner. Make sure your washer is ENERGY STAR qualified, as this can save tons in energy and electricity bills.
"Get back a bit of your life," says Wisner, "with these simple solutions to reduce time spent in the laundry room." For more ideas and tips, visit www.lg.com/us/washers.