How To Create A Laundry Schedule That Actually Works

Laundry is something that many people hate doing.  It's like you're taking a risk every time you start a load of laundry.  In this post, you'll learn some laundry tips to help you know how to wash dark clothes or what the washing symbols meanings are.

With so many different colors, textures, and fabric types out there it's hard to keep track.  If you struggle with separating your laundry then you're in the right place because I'm going to be covering all of your laundry questions plus a few laundry hacks to help you keep up on the never-ending chore we call laundry.

I've created a free quick reference laundry guide to help you with your laundry you can print out to help you.

 In this post, Jenn shares with you how she created a laundry schedule that is easy to follow and allows her to stay "caught up" with the laundry.  She also included a free laundry schedule blueprint that you can download and use. #laundry #laundryschedule #laundryscheduleforworkingmoms #laundryroutine #familylaundryschedule #familylaundryroutine #laundryprintable

How to do laundry

It seems like every time you go to do a load of laundry you are taking a chance of if your clothes are going to come out better than the went in.  If you read the labels of every item you add to the wash, you might spend the entire day reading labels and not actually getting anything accomplished.

I'll be the first to admit it, I've shrunk my fair share of sweaters and turned white shirts pink and grey.  It was a running joke between my husband and I that it would be cheaper for us to just throw our clothes away after we wore them.

Now that I’ve learned a few laundry hacks I want to share them with you so you are having to replace clothes just because you clicked the wrong setting on your washing machine.

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Washing symbols meaning

Let’s first start off by talking about washing symbol meanings.  If you look at the tag on your clothes you’ll see a symbol and usually the directions but if your eyes are anything like mine, it’s impossible to read the instructions.

If you know what the symbols mean it makes your life so much easier.

The symbols are broken up into section:

  • Washing

  • Drying

  • Ironing

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Washing symbols

Your washing symbols are:

  • Machine wash

  • Machine wash gentle

  • Machine wash cold

  • Machine wash hot

  • Hand wash

When you see the plain bucket of water, just wash your clothes normally.  If there are lines underneath, you want to use the gentle cycle.

If you see the number 30 then you’ll use cold water and if you see the number 60 you’ll use hot water.

If there’s a hand in the bucket, that is hand wash only.

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When it is safe to use bleach?

This is something that people often wonder about and it’s quite simple.  If you see a triangle it’s safe, if there’s a triangle with an “X” don’t bleach.

dry cleaning symbol.jpg

To dry clean or not to dry clean?

The symbols for drying cleaning and do not dry cleaning are a circle and a circle with an X.  So if you see a circle it’s safe to dry clean and if there’s a circle with an X don’t dry clean.

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When to tumble dry and iron your clothes

There are a few different symbols here that might confuse you.  When it comes to tumble dry, there are a few different symbols.  

  • Do not tumble dry

  • Tumble dry low

  • Tumble dry gentle

So if you see an X like usual, don’t do it.  If there’s a dot in the middle set your dryer to a low temperature and if there are a few lines under the dryer symbol, use the gentle cycle.

Ironing can destroy certain clothes if you don’t use the iron on the correct setting.  Most irons have setting described by the type of fabric you are ironing. Like you’ll see cotton, linen, etc on your iron now there are a few other things to put into consideration.

  • Do not iron

  • Hot iron

  • No steam

If there’s an X over an iron symbol, don’t use an iron on that piece of clothing.  If there are 3 dots in the iron symbol, use a hot iron. Finally if you see an X below the iron, that means no steam.

ironing symbols.jpg

How can you really remember all of that?

Seriously, I know I can’t sometimes I look at a symbol and forget, that’s why I created a free laundry symbol guide to help you out.  You can print it out and hang it in your laundry room for a quick reference guide.

How to separate laundry

The next thing that stumps a lot of people when it comes to laundry is how to separate your laundry.  Here are a few tips to help you with that.

Separate your darks, lights, and whites

I like to separate my laundry into 3 piles a dark, light, and white.  I think of it as, is this item bleachable? If it is then I add to the white pile.  If it isn’t, then I’ll add it to the light pile.

Sorting by fabric weight

The weight of the fabric can have a lot with how well your clothes will be cleaned.  You’ll want to put any delicates in a pile and then separate them by color (dark, light, and white)

Then you have the “lint-givers” and the “lint-takers” you know those items that it seems that everything sticks to them.  You’ll want to separate those so those items to get washed and dried together.

Separate your lighter and heavier weight clothing items.  You don’t have want to have heavier cotton pants with thin t-shirts.  The heavier fabric can damage your lighter and more delicate articles of clothing by scratching them during washing.

Dirty vs. very dirty

If your kids are like mine were (and still are) you’ll want to check for those stains that need to be pretreated.  Or for those big messes you might want to wash those alone or without the less dirty articles so there isn’t a risk of any of those stains transferring to your lightly soiled items.

How to make this easier on you?

I have put together a laundry pack that helps you with this.  In the laundry pack you’ll find the list of the laundry symbols plus a laundry sorting checklist so you can have this printed out and in your laundry room to help you with the laundry.


With everything that I’ve laid out, how can you keep up with the laundry?  I’ve got a few laundry tips to help you with your laundry.

Some laundry tips to remember

Here are few things I’ve tried that have helped with keeping up with the laundry.

  • Assign laundry days meaning, everyone gets their own day.

    • Mom & Dad

    • Child 1

    • Child 2

    • Child 3

    • Household

    • Mom & Dad

    • Extra

  • Try getting to the stains as soon as they happen then you don’t have to start another load of laundry.

  • Use multiple hampers to help you sort the clothes.

  • Use the laundry pack to help you wash your clothes properly

No matter how you look at it, laundry needs to be done but having a little bit of understanding about how to do laundry will help you.  Knowing what those symbols mean, how to sort, and having a few laundry tips will make the laundry a lot easier.

Being consistent with your laundry is going to help you with keeping up with the laundry.  What type of systems will you be putting into place to help you keep up with the laundry? I would love to know in the comments below.

Thank you so much for stopping by.  Below I’ve attached a few other posts that I thought you might enjoy.  Have an amazing day.