Essential Laundry Checklist for Apartment Living
When you load up your laundry basket with the essentials for laundry day, you need more than just dirty clothes. In order to keep from running back and forth to the laundry room, you should take all the basics down there with you on the first trip. Whatever you don’t take, have it set up in your room back at the apartment so you can complete any follow-up tasks like ironing and air-drying without having to search high and low for the tools. Here’s a list of everything you should have on-hand before beginning your first load of laundry:
- A basket or hamper. Laundry day is doomed if you don’t have anything to hold those dirty clothes. Opt for a sturdy basket that can support your typical load if you’re just doing laundry for one. Families of two or more might want to invest in a portable hamper, particularly one with separate compartments for lights, darks, and delicates. It’ll take any guesswork out of the equation when you make it to the washing machine.
- Laundry detergent. Again, this one is a no-brainer, but there are a few things you should consider before just grabbing the cheapest detergent off the shelf at the store. If you or anyone you live with has an aversion to a particular scent (or scented detergents in general), opt for an unscented solution. Also keep in mind roommates or family members with sensitive skin. Many lines of detergents now make “free and clear” versions of their products that go gentle on skin prone to breaking out. You can also make your own “laundry bomb,” courtesy of PopSugar. Its mostly natural ingredients do the work of a detergent, stain remover, and fabric softener all at once.
- Stain removers. If you have a stubborn stain sticking to one of your favorite tops or pairs of jeans, it might require some pre-treatment. Make sure you follow the instructions on your pre-treating stick or solution, allowing your clothing ample time to soak in the stain remover before taking it down to the laundry room. Keep your stain remover in your laundry basket in case you discover a new spot while you’re tossing clothes in the washing machine.
- Bleach. You probably won’t need to use bleach on a regular basis, but it’s still a good idea to have some on hand. Not only can you use bleach on white items with especially stubborn stains, you can also enlist bleach to help out with cleaning around the house.
- Fabric softener. This one’s optional, but if you have clothing prone to static cling, you should consider dryer sheets or liquid fabric softener. If you’re opposed to putting out cash for a nonessential, you can always make your own dryer sheets. Lifestyle blog Radical Possibility gives a simple recipe for DIY dryer sheets, which includes only cotton or flannel scraps (an old pillowcase works well), vinegar, and an essential oil of your choice. Best of all, you can reuse these sheets time and time again.
Attribution: CC BY 2.0/ Flickr/Samsung