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Train them too to put their dirty socks in mesh bag. Even if they're too young to do so, put all dirty socks in bag and throw entire thing in washer. They come out clean and washer doesn't eat baby's socks.
Enlist your kid's help when it comes to folding laundry.
A 2 year old can put dirty laundry in hamper and throw clean clothes in dryer when you hand it to them, a 3 year old can fold washcloths, and an older child can deliver clean folded laundry to their room and even hang items.
5) Forget Perfection
When I was a kid we had "play clothes" and "school clothes". The nicer things were what you wore to school and out of house, and you changed into your play clothes (usually items that had a defect or weren't as nice as going-out clothes) as soon as you got home.
Using this method means that nicer items don't wear out as quickly, and they may not need to be washed after every wearing. An item that is worn once (unless it's socks or undies) doesn't necessarily need to be washed.
And you may decide that it's not worth spending time removing stains on play clothes, thus saving you more time and money.
Also, try using Oxi-Clean or another non-toxic whitener instead of bleach on your whites. Since it can also be used on colors, it won't be end of world if a stray colored item gets in your bleach load.
I hope these tips help rescue you from laundry room shackles!
Carrie Lauth is a work at home Mom of 4. You can learn more tips for carving more time out of your busy day at http://www.business-moms-expo.com/organized_moms.html