Start with a sort. Make piles of darks, lights, coloured items, delicates and whites. Seriously, do I really need to say this? Apparently, yes.
Tempting as it may be to just throw all those inside-out t-shirts into the machine and run off, don’t. Stop. Take a few minutes, and turn all items right-side out. Check for stains. Pre-treat and adjust the machine setting based on how dirty items are.
Don’t overload the machine and don’t scrunch things in to make more fit. Shake items out, so that they can lay as flat as possible, exposing the dirty surface. They’ll also be less wrinkled if you do this.
If you want to use fabric sheets and fabric softener, be my guest. But I don’t get it – especially the aggressively scented ones (guys, that’s a chemical). Instead I make my own linen spray by stirring about 20 – 30 drops of essential oil into a teaspoon of vodka, which gets added to a litre of distilled water in a spray bottle. Or, use an all-natural product, like Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day.
Line-dry clothes outdoors for as many months of the year as you can. They’ll last longer, feel softer and be easier to iron. (FULL DISCLOSURE: The only thing I ever iron is tableclothes. #Life’sTooShort.)
BONUS TIP: Changing bed linens once a week is de rigueur Around the House. But I also like to change pillowcases mid-week – it’s a little luxury that freshens the bed and makes hitting the hay just that much sweeter.